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Dietetic Internship

Dietetic Internship

Alumnus Spotlight

Danielle McCauley

Danielle McCauley is a practicing dietitian in Hawaii. Danielle graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Nutrition and completed her dietetic internship through the UC Davis Medical Center. Danielle has held positions as a clinical pediatric dietitian for four years, working at UC Davis Medical Center, and Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. Danielle now owns a nutrition private practice and catering company. Furthermore, Danielle is a strong nutrition activist; she dedicates her time and provides her expertise as Board Member and Treasurer to the Hawaii Dietetic Association. She is also an active member of the Nutrition Entrepreneur and Private Practice Dietetic Groups. Danielle has been recognized state-wide as a valuable resource for the most current practices in her field and has repeatedly been chosen to speak and write about nutrition related events and news for Hawaii News Now TV, Midweek Newspaper, Lei Chic Online Blog, Honolulu Pulse, and Generations Magazine.

Alumnus Interview

Interviewer: Prior to starting UC Davis Medical Center's dietetic internship what were your career goals?
Mrs. McCauley: When I was going to college, I always imagined myself running my own private practice.

Interviewer: When the year was done and you had completed the internship, did your career goals change? If so, how?
Mrs. McCauley: After my internship, all I really cared about was getting a job. I was comfortable with clinical nutrition because the internship was heavily focused on clinical nutrition. But, I felt the internship prepared me for ANY nutrition job. Ultimately, I ended up working as a pediatric dietitian for 4 years prior to transitioning to a private practice.

Interviewer: What was the greatest lesson you took away from your year long internship?
Mrs. McCauley: You make a lot of mistakes as an intern. But, making mistakes is often the best way to learn. So, I would have to say, learning from my mistakes, being more open to constructive critisim, and acknowledging my weaknesses are the greatest lessons that I took home from my internship.

Interviewer: What is your favorite memory from your internship class year?
Mrs. McCauley: Graduation! It was the best feeling to realize you finally made it to the end and to have your fellow colleagues to share the experience with is amazing.

Interviewer: What was your greatest accomplishment during your internship year?
Mrs. McCauley: My greatest accomplistment would probably be making it through my critical care pediatric rotation. The pediatric RDs will laugh when they read this, but I had a really hard time in that rotation. But, I love a good challenge so when I was later offered a job as a pediatric dietitian, I couldn't say no.

Interviewer: Since graduating, where has your career path taken you? How did the internship help guide you towards this career pathway?
Mrs. McCauley: After graduating I was hired onto the staff. I worked as a pediatric dietitian for 3 years until I moved to Hawaii. I worked as a Neonatal and Pediatric intensive care unit dietitian for one year at a children's hospital in Hawaii while I started a private practice on the side. Once my practice was well established, I started working there full-time, which is what I continue to do now. Additionally, as of this year, I also opened a catering company that's based on the slow food movement (eating local, organic, and hormone free). I continue to expland both businesses and enjoy the fun of being my own boss, but the pains of all the administrative work that comes with it.

Interviewer: If you could give any piece of advice to future and graduating interns, what would it be?
Mrs. McCauley: Keep all your resources from your internship and build strong relationships with your preceptors and colleagues. You will need their guidance as you start your career. Remember that all your preceptors will have different styles of practice and that you should adopt and try them all. Eventually, somewhere along the line, you will develop your own.