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May Kang

Senior Dietitian ( APD ), Nutrition and Diet Therapy, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

I graduated from Curtin University in 1998 with a BSc Nutrition and Food Science & a Graduate Diploma in Dietetics. Throughout my years in the university, I have been very interested in the clinical aspects of Nutrition and Dietetics & had hoped that I would have the opportunity to work in a clinical setting when I graduate. The course at Curtin for Nutrition and Dietetics was very practical. The first 3 years of study was focused on all aspects of food and nutrition & its integration with the human body. The final year ( Graduate Diploma ) was exciting as it consolidated what we have learned & applied that in a practical manner such as compulsory attendance of the catering practical, community nutrition practical & the clinical practical. I enjoyed the course tremendously & were closely guided by the lecturers throughout the whole journey.

Upon graduation, I was the successful candidate for a graduate position at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. The learning curve when I started as a junior dietitian was very steep but I had gathered invaluable experience in a wide range of medical specialties ranging from renal to gastroenterology, respiratory, neurology & oncology. I stayed with this job for 2 years before an opportunity for a position came up from National University of Hospital in Singapore.

I was keen to join NUH, a tertiary hospital in Singapore. Having part of my childhood in Malaysia & travelled to Singapore often, I was ready to embrace the Singaporean culture & local cuisines. The job in Singapore was both challenging & rewarding. I had the opportunity to learn about the Singaporean Health System & had to learn Mandarin & Bahasa Malaysia so that I could counsel & communicate in those languages!

In Year 2003, a position for a dietitian at SCGH gave me an opportunity to return to Perth. I worked in the areas of gastroenterology, renal & liver. In Year 2005, I formally reside in my current position of Senior Dietitian for Liver & Renal Transplant.

Part of my current role includes provision of clinical nutrition care for patients prior to & post renal/ liver transplant. Besides day to day running of clinical nutrition services in this area, participation in ongoing projects, research & quality improvement activities have given me opportunities to update my knowledge, skills & expertise. Benchmarking my practices with other major teaching hospitals in Australia ( in renal and liver transplant ) is both crucial & necessary to ensure that we keep up to date with evidence based practices & also, to provide an effective service with the resources & manpower that we have.

In summary, I have and still am enjoying my ‘clinical dietetics’ journey & it is a profession that is being upheld & governed by a group of well respected & highly regarded professionals. I am proud to be one of them & it does inspire me to continue with this journey & hopefully to contribute more in my area of expertise.

May Kang