The Interviews: The Scottish RD2B with Iona Mackay

Hi Emma, it is a pleasure to be featuring on your blog! I am a fourth year Nutrition and Dietetics student at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. I was born and raised in the most northernly town in mainland Scotland, where I am currently living again due to lockdown, but prior to all the Covid-19 shenanigans I did live in Aberdeen during term time.

What made you want to study dietetics?

I have always wanted to do something involving healthcare. In 2015, during my Early Education and Child Care course whilst discussing careers ideas, my college lecturer (an ex-midwife) brought up the idea of dietetics. This appealed to me, not only due to my passion for food and how the human body functions, but also due to the many pathways a dietitian can follow once qualified.

What are your interests and passions so far?

So far, I am fascinated by gastroenterology, in particular irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Coincidentally, one of my university assignments for advanced nutrition is on IBD. I am also intrigued by paediatrics and weight management which I hope to gain experience in during my B and C placement.

What is it like working and studying in Scotland?

Studying in Scotland is really lovely, although I may be slightly biased, the bracing winds and crisp, fresh air is a perfect way to clear your head after a long day. My university campus had a lovely riverside walk with beautiful views on a nice day.

A huge perk of studying in Scotland which I really should appreciate more is that we do not have to pay our own course fees, they are paid for us by Student Awards Agency Scotland.

What are your goals and wishes for the future?

Ideally, I would love to run my own practice but more immediately I am focussed on completing my degree and graduating with the best classification I can get. Being realistic, I would be very fortunate to obtain a job in the NHS preferably in an acute setting, but this may change when I gain experience in a community setting during my remaining placements.

Do you feel Scottish students are represented enough in our profession and what would you like to see to give yourself more exposure?

Opportunities like you have offered to be featured on popular blogs (such are yours) are great opportunities to raise the profile of Scottish dietitians and students like myself.

Unfortunately, the majority of the time, remote students like me tend to miss out on many opportunities, such as study days, as these tend to be ran in central England. However, a small positive that has come from Covid is that many events are being put on virtually which means we can attend no matter where our location.

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