Diary of a Broke Intern

Yes, I completed an internship program, but I hated having to pay for one...


Now I’ve shared prior that I didn’t know what a Registered Dietitian was until I got into University. And as you can tell from my page, I go by That Black RD for a reason.


The other day I was paying for my certification fees and I thought WTF… I get it, nothing in life is free so I went to vent to my co-RD and she too was quite distraught.


To become a Registered Dietitian requires you to be in quite a privileged position, and though I am a visual minority, I do realize my privileges.


I have parents who saved money for me to attend University; the government supported me financially; I lived at home; I had no student-debt, access to a vehicle, worked two jobs, and the list goes on.


So when it came to applying to an UNPAID internship program, I was in a suitable position to do so. I had money saved and fortunately A LOT of support.


But what about those who are not in the same position as me, what about those who are so driven to become a Registered Dietitian but cannot do so… They’re forgotten about.


Only those who can afford to work for free will get the benefits and is this even as stable in this economy in these times!


Also, consider it's not just the internship program that you have to pay for, it's also the food you have to eat, the bus fare, the gas money, the car maintenance, the rent, etcetera, etcetera.


I wrote about “imposter syndrome” a few months back.


As an intern you sometimes don’t even value yourself as much as you would be in a working situation.


I understand, yes, not every experience is about monetary gain, but if you are in such a respected position, should you not feel as if you are more than that?


I loved my practice-coordinator and many of my preceptors, and they too were shocked in terms of how much internships cost now.


Yes, it may pay off in the end once you get a stable source of income, build up your practice, or become a well-respected health professional, but can everyone do that?


I loved my practice-coordinator and many of my preceptors, and they too were shocked in terms of how much internships cost now.


Yes, it may pay off in the end once you get a stable source of income, build up your practice, or become a well-respected health professional, but can everyone do that?


This is not an internship bashing session, I’m just bringing a topic to light that we rarely discuss.


Would I do my internship all over again, YES.


Would I wake up those early hours and take a 2 hour bus drive to my site, DOUBLE YES.


Am I happy with the decision I made, a THOUSAND TIMES OVER.


BUT, it is because I could and because I can now reflect and discuss this; I hope that soon as a collective we work towards ensuring that those who truly work hard and deserve to get to this point can do so.


That it becomes not an overly niche field catered towards one demographic or a simple “money grab”.

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