Hospital Internship Musings & Pete’s APizza

Good morning — TGIF!

I’ve spent this week at my hospital dietetic internship on the cardiac floors — it’s been really interesting and I feel like I’ve actually helped some people because these are the types of patients that really need help with nutrition as they are getting ready to go home from the hospital. Oh, and FYI — if you wear a white lab coat in a hospital, even if you introduce yourself as from the Nutrition department, the patients will all still call you “Doctor” when you leave. Thanks for the promotion, guys. ;)

white coat

It’s hard to feel like you’re making a difference in the hospital sometimes because you have such a short amount of time with the patients and many of them are so sick that nutrition isn’t exactly what they care about. Plus, you’re usually just assessing malnutrition risk while in the hospital, not talking to them about diet/lifestyle outside the hospital at all. The exception is if you get an order from the doctor for a “diet education” — this can be all sorts of things, like an education about how much Vitamin K to eat if you’re taking a blood thinner called Coumadin, a heart healthy diet education for cardiac patients, a low sodium/low fluid diet for people with Congestive Heart Failure, etc. It’s definitely my favorite part of the internship so far — some people haven’t really cared at all, but a few have been really interested and engaged and seemed like they took some of my tips to heart. You only have about 15 minutes to spend with them usually so I try to focus on a few big takeaway points — I don’t want to overwhelm them with a million details (or recommend things that will be unrealistic for their socioeconomic level/lifestyle).

Anyway! Speaking of hospitals and doctors (to be), I met up with my good friend Gena last night for dinner!


Gena is currently working on her Post-Baccalaureate at Georgetown University and will be applying to med schools next year; she actually volunteered last summer at the hospital where I’m working this summer! Wish she were there now, too. :) We always have a great time chatting all things nutrition and health, and of course catching up on each other’s lives as well.


We decided to try a new (to both of us) place in Clarendon last night called Pete’s Apizza. I started with a spinach salad with some really delicious roasted tomatoes, goat cheese, and pine nuts:


And for our main course, we shared a pizza! Pete’s Apizza is fun because they offer a gluten free/vegan crust made from chickpea flour! You guys know I love me some chickpea flour. :)


We added a ton of veggies to the pizza and, since Gena is vegan, we left off the cheese. Fine with me — I think sauce is the best part of a pizza anyway, let’s be honest. ;)


The chickpea flour crust was delicious! I loved that it was really thin and crispy — my favorite. Especially the edges! Nice flavor, too.


Gena and I enjoyed a nice, long, chatty dinner, then took a stroll since the weather was nice and ended up at my apartment for more chatting. :) Thanks for a fun night, Gena!

I’m off to my last day of cardiac rotations at the hospital — I’m teaching a cardiac heart healthy nutrition class this morning to a bigger group of patients, which should be cool. Next week, I move on to surgery!

Happy Friday, friends!


  1. 1

    Chickpea pizza is one thing I have to make. I think I’m possibly as mad about the stuff as you are! It makes fantastic pancakes!

  2. 4

    It’s definitely all about the sauce! I’m loving reading all about your experiences in the hospital, glad that you’re enjoying it too :)

  3. 5

    Dr. Anne!

  4. 6

    So fun seeing you! I love talking about our desire to be healers, to make a difference, and to confront some of the limitations of “the system.” One day of work at a time!

  5. 7

    That pizza looks fabulous! Do you bring your big camera with you when you dine out or were those taken with a point and shoot? They’re really good!

    • 8

      This time, since I was with another blogger, I went ahead and brought my big camera since I knew she’d “get it.” ;) But normally when I go out I just bring my point and shoot – way lighter and more incognito, too.

  6. 9

    It sounds like your internship is really interesting! I always love finding pizza restaurants that serve gluten-free pizza. I think these days it should be a requirement, ha!

  7. 10

    I love Pete’s! My favorite is the clam pizza there.

  8. 12

    Sounds like you’re at a good place at your internship! I bet it feels awesome walking out of your patient’s room knowing you shared critical information that will better their health!

  9. 13

    I heart Pete’s. I think I grab a slice from the Co-Height Pete’s once a week – SO GOOD!

  10. 14

    Great blog. I’m very proud of you and your internship.
    Please keep sharing informative medical (nutritional) facts with your readers, Dr. Anne! ;-)

  11. 16

    I’m sure you are making a difference at the hospital, Anne, even if it’s hard to see sometimes. We got some nutrition education this week–my boyfriend just got diagnosed with diabetes, so we went to the hospital diabetes education center to re-learn how to eat. It was really helpful and the session, combined with the booklets she gave us, got us off to a good start.

    • 17

      I’m so glad to hear that you found it helpful – I hope that the people I talk to feel that way, too. Good luck to your boyfriend!

  12. 18
    Barbara says:

    I think it’s really hard to make a difference in the hospital setting, unless you’re conducting diabetes management, cardiac health classes, or the like, for the “healthier” population. I think the best place for nutrition education is outside the hospital in an outpatient department or with a private practice nutrition consult. It is suuuuuper hard to teach a patient in the time allotted while in a hospital, or while in the hospital environment. Wait until you get to the outpatient rotation. There you’ll make a bigger difference. But, all in all, it’s great to read that you care so much about your patients. Keep on keepin’ on.

    • 19

      I agree – outpatient will be much more interesting. Sadly I’m not doing an outpatient rotation with the hospital (although I have asked to tag along for a day when one of the RDs I’ve been working with goes to the outpatient cardiac clinic), but in the fall I’ll be interning with some private practice dietitians so I’m excited for that!

  13. 20

    I love the hospital stories! My dad was a cardiologist and really likes to have patients understand how important diet & nutrition is for cardiovascular disease. Nice Work ANNE!!! Can’t wait to hear about surgery next week!

    • 21

      That’s amazing that your dad wanted the patients to understand that – most doctors don’t have a clue/care at all about nutrition! It’s sad!

  14. 22

    I actually prefer leaving the cheese off my pizza, I like extra sauce!

  15. 23

    Oooooow……. can’t wait to hear about Surgery next week! :-)

  16. 24

    Just curious, what career path will you follow after your internship? It’s sad that physicians aren’t trained in nutrition, healthy eating and exercise. My sister-in-law is an infectious disease chair at one of the top 3 hospitals in the USA and doesn’t have a clue. The medical community is only schooled in medications to prescribe to alleviate symptoms, not to treat the root of disease or promote healthy lifestyles.

    • 25

      I’m not really sure yet – I have one more internship in the fall (private practice internships/corporate wellness stuff) so I’m hoping that will help me to figure it out. I’m thinking I want to do a combination of writing/social media/working with companies and brands/etc. (tying in the blog as well) and then also do some sort of part time job either with a company or starting to see clients or maybe both. We’ll see. As much as I’ve been enjoying and learning so much from the hospital, clinical work isn’t really my thing. It really is sad that doctors have no nutrition training though – seems like that should be one of the first things they have to learn!

  17. 26

    I am with you on sauce being the best part the pizza! Problem is my boyfriend is all about the cheese. Challenging sharing a pizza with him…

  18. 28

    Wow. I like the dish. It is very healthy and looks delicious.

  19. 29

    Happy Fathers Day. I will be remembering my dear daddy today as i do everyday. Happy Fathers Day to my husband.

  20. 30

    Hahaha love that you get called “Doctor”! Well, I guess a doctor is simply someone who helps with health, and I think you’re a pro with that :)

  21. 32

    Pete’s is yummy! I haven’t tried the one in Clarendon yet, but I need to bc it’s near my new neighborhood. It always looks packed!

  22. 33

    Hi Anne,
    Congratulations! I have nominated you for the ‘Versatile Blogger Award’ – your blog has truly inspired me on my food, fitness and blogging journey.

    To receive the award, please check out the post

    Happy blogging and keep up the exciting and inspirational posts
    Kelly xxx

  23. 35

    Wow that pizza looks great! I’ve never tried a chickpea crust, but it sounds yummy :)

  24. 36

    I worked in the ER and know what you mean about not feeling like you made a difference. The nurses on the floor get all the credit for everything since the patients are there longer. But there is always that one patient you know you helped or comes back and says thank you that make ALL the others worth it!!

Speak Your Mind