The number of lifestyle-related chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes continue to rise in Malaysia, escalating the need for dietitians. Dietitians are qualified professionals who are now registrable under the Allied Health Professions Act (https://alliedhealth.moh.gov.my/Mahpc/acts-774/). They treat dietary problems using medical nutrition therapy and translate the most up-to-date scientific research on food, health and disease into practical solutions in order to empower people to make appropriate food and lifestyle choices.
At International Medical University (IMU), the Dietetics with Nutrition degree programme equips students with the professional and personal qualities required for practice and prepares them with the knowledge to face the evolving health needs of individuals and groups. In this programme, students spend the first three academic years honing their fundamental knowledge not only through lectures but also through tutorials and hands-on workshops that further embeds crucial competencies such as critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills. In their final year, dietetics students then receive real world experience in the clinical, community, food service and management sectors.
As Chang Jia Tian, a 2022 BSc in Dietetics with Nutrition graduate recalls, “The most exciting part of the last year of my studies was the experiential opportunities we got in various workplace settings. While it was tough at the beginning, since we needed to adapt ourselves to a new environment which was also coming to the tail-end of a pandemic, students were always fortunate to have faculty members who continued to provide us support, either through physical meet ups or online. I definitely had the opportunity to learn from various dietetic experts as I went from food service to clinical internships. The most memorable and fulfilling experience was gaining the trust of patients as we consult and bring them positive outcomes.”
Today, IMU’s Bachelor of Dietetics with Nutrition graduates are widely employed not only in hospitals or clinics, but also in food service establishments, food and beverage business, wellness industries, pharmacies, and digital healthcare.
“The programme even specially conducted a career day for us (final year dietetic students) right after we finished our final exam,” said Jia Tian. “From the first year until the last, I am glad for the way the programme has shaped my skills and my confidence. I managed to secure a job even before my convocation! I truly enjoyed my journey in IMU, and I hope to contribute back to the community in time.”
IMU offers the BSc (Hons) Dietetics with Nutrition degree, a four-year programme integrated with dietetic practicums that also has its curriculum certified by the International Confederation of Dietetics Association (ICDA).
The programme additionally offers credit transfer options to a bachelor’s degree in Australian partner universities. Through such rich experiences, graduates from the IMU programme can surely begin their career as dietitians across a variety of settings, from the physical to the digital platforms.