Senior Dietitian, Singapore General Hospital
I was quite sure I wanted take up Dietetics after my high school in Singapore. At 16 years old, I came to Perth to undertake a bridging course so that I can enter Curtin University’s Nutrition and Food Science course and thereafter a Post Graduate Diploma in Dietetics.(completed in 1998)
I chose Curtin University because it was close to Singapore and at the age of 16, my parents would only allow me to go to Perth because my Auntie (Mum’s sister) who had migrated there can keep an eye on me.
Looking back, the units that Curtin offered in the Nutrition and Food Science course and the Dietetics post grad were very useful and applicable to help me understand and do my work now. I remember collecting my 24hour urine and then testing it for various vitamins and minerals. Feeding rats different diets and weighing them weekly to see which diet had the best results. Learning how to use skin fold calipers and measuring the skinfolds of fellow course mates and friends. Only after graduating and working then I come to realize the reasons why we had to learn these things.
The lecturers were approachable and knowledgeable. Many of them are still teaching there now, which shows their passion and dedication to nurture future dietitians.
I started working as a Clinical Dietitian in 1999, both in Singapore and Australia. I had experiences working in the areas of pediatrics, geriatrics, cardiology, renal, general surgery and oncology. I found my interests in oncology and am currently working in that area. I also cover the cardiothoracic and neurology ICUs. I enjoy working in oncology because I feel this is an area that patients need proper evidence-based information on nutrition as there are many unsound diets and food restrictions that patients may follow after hearing from friends and family or reading from the internet/books. My daily activities include reviewing patients in the oncology ward and the ICUs, running a weekly outpatient head and neck cancer clinic, assessing and supervising junior dietitians on their clinical competencies.