July 27, 2022
KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Sarah Price (B.S.'14, dietetics) recently returned to Kalamazoo to take a job at Bronson Methodist Hospital, the same place where she completed her first clinical nutrition experience as a senior at WMU. She will also be teaching the Medical Nutrition Therapy lab course at WMU starting in the fall of 2022.
“As a senior dietetics student, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend time with a clinical dietitian at Bronson to learn about ICU and cardiovascular nutrition, create education handouts and present posters at local health expos, all of which I now do or have the opportunity to do as a clinical dietitian!” shared Price. “What I learned during the Medical Nutrition Therapy lab and the clinical rotation of my dietetic internship directly relate to the clinical work I have been doing for the last 8 years. To be back at Bronson and teaching this course at Western, it feels like I have come full circle from student to clinical professional.”
Additionally, Price feels the communication skills she gained from working as an RA and Orientation Student Leader (OSL), specifically conflict management and public speaking, still benefit her to this day as well. “I work closely with a medical team, a team of dietitians, and I work face to face with patients, which requires a significant amount of communication and teamwork,” she explained.
After graduating from WMU she moved to Ann Arbor for an internship at Michigan Medicine (U of M hospital), which then turned into her first full time job as a clinical dietitian. She primarily worked with bone marrow transplant recipients and other hematology/oncology patients and says that although it was challenging work, she loved the job! In addition to her clinical work, Price drew on the research skills she gained in her undergrad program and was able to complete and publish a systematic review titled, “Body Composition Impacts Hematopoietic Stem Cell Outcomes in both Autologous and Allogeneic Transplants: A Systematic Review.”
Recently, she chose to make the move back to Kalamazoo because it feels like home to her and she wanted to be closer to family and more friends. Her favorite part of her new job is the team of dietitians she works with because they are smart, team oriented, motivated, and fun.
Dietetics professors Dr. Arezoo Rojhani and Carline Webber shard that Price was a very strong student when she was enrolled in Western’s undergraduate program in nutrition and dietetics. “We are delighted that Sarah will be rejoining our department, this time as an instructor with years of clinical experience she brings to the class. Students often especially like Medical Nutrition Therapy Lab because it's the first hands-on opportunity to start practicing tools of clinical dietetics with fellow classmates and, at that time, a face-to-face "patient" nutritional assessment. Western staff volunteered for these wellness checks, both a great contribution to our program and useful health information for the volunteer,” they said.
Price encourages students not to be afraid to go out of their comfort zone when applying to internships and first jobs related to their major. “Never miss an opportunity for a job you would love! I almost didn't apply to the U of M dietetic internship because I was intimidated by its reputation of being extremely rigorous, demanding and very hard to get in to; I wanted the clinical experience I knew the program entailed but I was worried I wouldn't get matched. Ultimately though, I was encouraged by my WMU professors and Bronson mentor to apply and I knew that down the road I would always wonder "what if" if I hadn't applied. Thankfully, I got matched and the rest is history!”