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Week of November 5th- Intensive Care Dietetic Internship Rotation (Freakin’ Phonies! I Miss my Diverse America)

I’m tired of thinking of this week. Here’s the basics: I spent the week actually trying to small talk with the preceptor. She is a busy woman, essentially left us on our own after the first day. Made a big deal of keeping a clean lab coat and of cleaning the mud off our uniforms (it was raining and me and Gia got mud on our uniform). On Monday, the preceptor told me she liked my evaluation notes. She asked how old I was the next day and was shocked. Said I’m a baby when I answered 23. Feel like she didn’t treat me the same after that. Less respect.

Anyway, they gave us breakfast and lunch at that hospital, so that was nice. The preceptor gave us a ride to the train station after the rotation which saved us an hour bus ride. Nice. But on evaluation day, she rated us on pretty much every category “needs supervision”. Like I said, she was super busy and left us on our own most of the time. If what she said were true, our patients would be even more ill than when they began. Lies. She also said I needed improvement on my appearance. Yet, she used me as the example to Gia on how to do her hair (slicked back and tied up). How does that make sense?

Oh! And she told Gia that she understands there was a language barrier because we are from the U.S. … Gia was raised in Mexico. Gia told the preceptor that. Just because she went to university in the U.S. doesn’t mean she’s American and her first language is English! What the heck! Also, why does being raised in the U.S. mean I don’t know Spanish?! I may not be an expert, but I’ve done what I can to be decent! (7 years of Spanish classes beginning in high school) I sure as hell can speak it and understand it!! What language barrier?! Geez! I’m sick of being judged for being American. It’s not my fault my parents chose to move to the U.S. when I was 7 months old! That’s just my life. And I’m not shunning my culture. I came to do this internship in Puerto Rico to be able to practice my career in Spanish! I want to be able to use my education to help both English and Spanish speakers! More if I was able!

I don’t appreciate the racism! Because that’s what it is! As far as I remember, there was not a time where I didn’t understand what the preceptor said, or in anyway insinuated that I had a barrier with the language. That’s a judgement about me based on my being American and, as far as the appearance needing improvement, I do believe my nationality had a hand in that poor evaluation. The preceptor practically told Gia as much! She told her that she knows in America dietitians go to work in Crocs and generally don’t put as much importance on their appearance. What!? What a naive expression!! Ugh! I did my hair, retouched my makeup like it was a nervous tic, and did everything I could to work on that this week. For nothing! I might as well have not tried!

I’m sick of this. I’m tired of being judged for not being from here! The first word out of my mouth and people know I’m not from here. They always ask, where I’m from and as a follow up question, if I’ll be going back after finishing this internship. Why? So you can do whatever you please to me, knowing you’ll never see me again?? Seems like it! I’m sick of it!

Oh, and we have to wear a skirt during clinical rotations. I know mine fits comically long. But… this preceptor. Geez. She mentioned the fact that I don’t wear pants due to religious reasons. … Um. No. I didn’t wear pants, because the clinical uniform is a skirt. Believe me, I would gladly wear pants instead of a skirt, nylons, and heels we are forced to wear to hospitals!

I’m tired of trying. I’m tired of caring, only for it to all go out the window at the first sound of my voice. I have come to believe that all people are racist. Not always in a mean way, but almost always at least in an unconscious way. We like what we know and are weary of those who are different. I miss America, where there was always a little bit of different. So much so, that it was commonplace. I had teachers and friends whose parents (or themselves) were Vietnamese, Mexican, Korean, Texan, European, African American, African, Indian, Turkish, Bulgarian, Lao and more.

Yet! We all considered ourselves American. We were all different, yet similar. From my experience, we all appreciated our differences and wanted to learn about each other’s customs and different ways of life. Someone taught me a little Hindi, another taught me the joys of seaweed and sticky rice. I miss that sharing. I miss the diversity. I miss not sticking out for being different. I wish I was home. (Or at least not being judged here.)


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