Dietetic Spotlight on Kim Kulp, RDN, Health Tastes Great
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on NOVEMBER 7, 2013
Kim Kulp is a successful dietitian in private practice and clinical. Who says you can’t combine both worlds and enjoy helping people in all scenarios?! – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
Nutrition is actually my second career. When I first graduated from college, I worked in advertising sales. During that time, I became more and more interested in nutrition and started reading whatever I could on the subject. This interest probably had its roots in my childhood, where I loved to work in the vegetable garden, and cook new dishes from what was harvested. In college, while I wasn’t yet studying nutrition, I never missed an opportunity to do my shopping at the farmer’s market in Davis, where I went to school. Since I was on a budget, I would buy whatever produce was cheapest, and if I didn’t know how to prepare it, I would ask the farmers. From there my interest in nutrition continued to grow. Finally I returned to school, many years later, to pursue a second degree in dietetics and earn my RD. It was a great decision!
Your Job Title?
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Company you are with now?
I wear a number of hats in the nutrition world. I have a private practice called Health Tastes Great, with two locations in Marin County, Novato and Mill Valley. I see clients for a variety of needs, but mostly focus on digestive health. However, I also see people for weight loss, and some sports nutrition. In addition to my private practice, I continue to work as a clinical dietitian at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and Sutter Santa Rosa Medical Center . I find the combination of clinical and private practice makes me better, and more knowledgeable, in all areas of my work.
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Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
If I’m seeing clients in my private practice, I spend the day counseling clients, documenting session notes, returning phone calls, reading research, and creating appropriate handouts. If I’m at a hospital, I spend the morning with my team members screening all the patients for those at nutritional risk, and then performing nutritional assessments and providing what’s needed to improve each person’s nutritional status. I also provide nutrition education to the patients. A large part of my time in the hospital is spent charting what I did. Depending on which hospital I’m in, I either write in the medical record, or document electronically. Whether it’s a hospital day or a private practice day, my work often continues into the evening, where I return emails and take care of “office work” such as book keeping.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
I was hired at Santa Rosa Memorial out of my internship. A co-worker who was working at Sutter, connected me to those who were hiring at that location. As for my private practice, I started networking and marketing my services anywhere I could, and slowly built a reputation with doctors and clients. Word of mouth has helped me grow.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I have always been very outgoing and determined to reach my goals. I like listening to people, and that has helped me learn a lot about what they are looking for in nutritional counseling. I really enjoy other people’s success, and I believe my clients can sense this.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Try a variety of areas in nutrition, since each one offers a different set of skills and knowledge. When you decide on a direction you are really passionate about, pursue it. Talk to others who have been successful in that area, and try whatever advice you are given. Push yourself to do things that are a little difficult and uncomfortable, since it’s the only way you will get better. Don’t give up!
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
Travel! I love visiting new countries, meeting new people, and eating new foods!