For Medical Nutrition Therapy II, we were required to do a capstone project where we shadowed a dietitian of our choosing for at least 20 hours. I chose to shadow two dietitians that work in the Bozeman Deaconess Diabetes Center. Bozeman Deaconess Hospital is the only hospital in the area and the Diabetes Center is one of many offices under the hospitals umbrella. Arleen Eliason, R.D. is the only full time employee of the Diabetes Center and she sees most patients that come to the office. Les Jones P.A.-C., R.D. is one of three medical providers that work in the office. Over the three days I was in the office, I observed visits with Arleen and Les and attended pre-diabetes and diabetes classes taught by another dietitian that contracts with the office. We saw a variety of patients from newly diagnosed teenagers to people that have had T2DM for 30 years. I was so inspired by the services they provided and excellence in the office I insisted my father become a patient there to help with his diabetes management.
This experience did not have a nutrition focus but I observed multiple doctors over the course of the spring of 2012. I shadowed a nurse practitioner at Community Health Partners, which is Bozeman's only sliding fee scale clinic. I shadowed a physician's assistant and a doctor of osteopathy at Urgent Care. I observed a doctor of osteopathy at Alpine Orthopedic and a medical doctor at Bridger Ear, Nose, and Throat. This experience allowed me to observe the patient-provider interaction first hand. It was interesting to get perspectives of the medical field from a variety of specialists. They all had such different practices that you could never get bored in the medical profession.