Dietetic Career Spotlight: Martha McKittrick, RD, CDN, CDE
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on JANUARY 2, 2013
Martha McKittrick has combined her clinical expertise and her private practice expertise into a happy marriage. She’s also blogging, writing, cooking, and excelling in social media. Wow! See how she finds time for it all. – Sarah
Sarah Koszyk, RD: What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
Martha McKittrick, RD, CDN, CDE: This may sound kind of strange, but I think my high school job working at McDonald’s got me interested in the area of food and nutrition! I also had a part time college job working in the school’s test kitchen. I decided to major in nutrition after taking a few intro classes my freshman and sophomore year. And if we go way back, I was also a candy striper in a local hospital when I was about 13 years old. Maybe that played a role in my interest in the healthcare field!
Company you are with now?
Self employed in private practice and on staff at New York Presbyterian Hospital
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you:
I work very long days! I either work a 8 hr + day at the hospital or in my private office seeing patients. After a long day, part 2 of my life begins, including: writing for my blog, doing product research for my articles, writing guest posts for other blogs, spending an hour or more a day on social media (I’m becoming a twitter fanatic), making videos for my blog (i.e. how many calories are in pizza http://citygirlbites.com/blog/archives/8663, check out my zucchini pasta maker http://citygirlbites.com/blog/archives/8827), marketing my services to physicians, answering patient emails, developing new client education materials, reading nutrition newsletters, reading nutrition info on twitter, etc. In addition, I get to the gym to weight train at least 3 times a week. I’m also an avid cyclist and might put in 80 miles or more on the weekends. I try to have a social life too! Luckily I am an energetic person and like to have my fingers in many pots.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
I did an internship many years ago at New York Hospital. They hired me after the internship as a staff dietitian. They changed the name of the hospital – it’s now New York Presbyterian Hospital.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I’ve always had an extremely strong work ethic. I started babysitting when I was 13 to make money. I worked at McDonald’s about 15 hours a week all throughout high school. I was also born with a creative side and have always loved to make things. The skills I learned along the way are my tech skills. I remember having to withdraw from a computer class when I was in college because it made me very anxious. But as the years have gone by, I’ve learned to become quite tech savvy. I’ve either taught myself, had friends teach me or took lessons at the Apple store. I also pay people to help me with things that would take too long to learn.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Get out there and network. Contact nutrition professionals you admire and ask if you can volunteer a few hours for them. I have had numerous nutrition students shadow me and we have both benefited. Check out nutrition blogs and ask if they have guest blogging opportunities. Join local nutrition associations and attend as many meetings as possible. If you like to write, start a blog of your own. Get involved with social media. If you don’t feel comfortable tweeting, follow other RD’s. Volunteer for the nutrition department at your local hospital.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
Good health … and having more time to spend with family and friends and not having to work QUITE so much.