Maddy Ieriti is the Principal Paediatric Dietician at Barts and The London Children’s Hospital. Maddy shows children how to stay healthy by helping them choose the right diet for their disease. For example, Maddy gets children who have cystic fibrosis to choose food like sausages because they need a high-calorie diet with a lot of fat.
A typical day at work for Maddy is to start in the office sorting through the paperwork and patient referrals that come in each morning. Later in the morning she will go up to the ward to see inpatients, some of the patients she sees are cystic fibrosis patients and their families to check that the patients are gaining weight. This involves talking to the patients’ nurses and doctors and preparing any treatment plans or advice that they might need. In the afternoon she sees outpatients at clinics, teaches groups of patients or staff about diets, or works on projects and research.
Maddy’s favourite part of her job is “when you see patients and you’ve really got it right…the patient’s happy, they’ve achieved their nutrition goal, and the parents are much happier”. She enjoys working in paediatrics (children’s medicine) because she “sees the children growing along the way, and you tend to stick with the families that you work with”.
Her advice for people interested in becoming a dietician is: “Go for it! It’s a rewarding career and if you’ve got an interest in nutrition or healthy eating, and you have a good science background as well, then it is an ideal career to go into”.