Carol Taylor

Carol Taylor, Student Clinical Nutrition Program
“Each time I dealt with the people at UT Southwestern’s School of Health Professions, it confirmed for me that this was the right place for me to be.”

Clinical Nutrition Program
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Getting Started

“I got interested in clinical nutrition because I decided it was time to develop a Plan B for my life. The career that I was in [journalism] was changing dramatically and shrinking significantly. I saw the people around me making changes and going in completely different directions. So even though journalism was something I had done since sixth or seventh grade, it was time to look at other areas. At the same time, I was also making personal changes and really focusing more on my health and being healthier, getting in better shape. So that all came together at the same time to lead me to the Clinical Nutrition program here at UT Southwestern.”

Cooking Up a New Career

Carol received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas in Austin in 1995, then took her first job in Houston and spent two years at the Houston Chronicle. She moved to Dallas 13 years ago and more recently realized it was time to look at some new things. “I took some cooking classes at Dallas’ El Centro Community College and my teacher there was a dietitian, so I talked to her a little bit, I got information from the UTSouthwestern.edu website, came to a couple of different information sessions, and just kind of moved from there.”

Family Environment

[UTSW’s Clinical Nutrition program] has been a really wonderful, welcoming atmosphere. It is primarily just 16 of us in the Clinical Nutrition program each year. You get to know each other and support each other through everything. The faculty has been just amazing and welcoming and they’re always available. You go see someone, you need to talk about something, and if they’re not there, then someone else is there to help you. It’s been a great environment to be in.”

Quick Learning

“They start you on the rotations pretty quickly. I was out at the VA [Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center] my first semester here, so you’re thinking, Okay, we’ve only been here a few months and I’m already going out and visiting with patients, putting the textbook material that I’ve learned into actual practice. That’s really invigorating and gives you a jump because the first semester is so intense. Then the second semester, you do two different rotations. One is a corporate wellness environment – I myself did the worksite weight loss program at UT Southwestern – and now, after spring break, I’ve moved on and am with the St. Paul Diabetes Management Program.”

A Wide Variety

“My classmates are in so many different environments. Some are out in corporate environments, some work with obesity and bariatrics, some are working with the DISD [Dallas Independent School District]. It’s been a really great environment, to not only experience, but to get back together with other students, because you’re not seeing each other as much anymore, and to share experiences and what you’ve learned.”

The Last Word

Interacting with patients is something new for me. What I did as a journalist didn’t involve a lot of working with the public. But all the patients I have worked with have been great. They’ve been in different places in terms of their health and what their needs are, but it’s been a great experience. It helps you learn and grow as a person as well as a dietitian.”