My experience at the British Inherited Metabolic Disorders Group Annual Symposium

MSc Dietetics student Georgie Wood, recently presented her research paper on Disorders of Protein Metabolism at the British Inherited Metabolic Disorders Group (BIMDG) Annual Symposium. We’ve caught up with her recently to find out more about her project, how she got involved with metabolic disorders and how the conference boosted her self-confidence.

“I developed an interest in Metabolic Disorders when I was on one of my placements last year, I found the subject fascinating, and so when it came to deciding what to do for my dissertation, I was really keen to undertake a project in this area. Luckily for me, the university had contacts at Birmingham Women’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital where there are many specialists’ research dietitians, who were keen to support two Dietetic students in undertaking projects within Metabolic Disorders.

In particular, my project has involved looking at the nutritional composition of special low protein foods available on prescription in the UK for patients with disorders of protein metabolism. I am still in the preliminary stages of research at the moment, however, the findings so far indicate that obtaining accurate and detailed nutritional information on special low protein foods is difficult. Full analysis, including a detailed micro-nutrient profile, fibre content, data for cooked and dried weights, is rarely available with these products.

The conference I attended was the British Inherited Metabolic Disorders Group (BIMDG) Annual Symposium. I submitted an abstract of my research so far to this group and was lucky enough to have my research accepted as both a poster and an oral presentation. I was incredibly excited to be given the opportunity to present my findings so far but I was also very nervous as this was the first time I have ever done anything like this. However, my supervisors at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s hospital were so unbelievably supportive. They worked with me in creating my poster and PowerPoint presentation and even helped prep me for my presentation on the Saturday before the conference.

Attending the conference and presenting all felt very surreal. I had a fantastic time and it was great to be able to network and learn from other dietitians and experts working in the field. This experience also helped to increase my confidence and has given me a bit more self-belief. It has definitely made me realise that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it, put the work in and that practice always makes perfect. I have also learnt the importance of asking for help and support from your supervisors throughout this process, they are the experts in the field at the end of the day and are there to support you!

Additionally, it’s made me realise how important it is to undertake a project in an area that you are interested in. I find disorders of protein metabolism fascinating, which has kept my motivation levels high, keeping me on track with my project and increased my desire to contribute and present at conferences within this area. Finally, attending the BIMDG conference has taught me to never be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone – I could have taken the easy option and had my supervisor present on my behalf, however I am so glad I faced the challenge as I have learnt so much from this experience.”

Interested in learning more?

You can learn more about metabolic disorders on our MSc Dietetics course.

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