Getting into media work

getting_into_media_work.JPGby Sophie Medlin is a Freelance Dietitian and Founder of citydietitians.co.uk.

I was really lucky to know that I wanted to be a dietitian from the age of 15. My career started in the NHS where I specialised in colorectal disorders and intestinal failure. Following this, I moved into academia on a clinical lectureship. I began lecturing full time at Plymouth University in 2013.

In 2016, I was offered a position as a lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics at King’s College London and I did this for almost three years. During this period, I started to feel frustrated that I wasn’t able to easily complete some tasks that were required of me as a lecturer. I was encouraged to go and get tested for dyslexia and I found out that I am dyslexic and dyspraxic. I found these diagnoses really liberating and believe they have given me the push to move out of academia and into the brave new world of freelancing.

I hope that one day, you’ll see as many dietetic practices on high streets as you do physiotherapists!

As a freelance dietitian, I now juggle all sorts of new and exciting challenges from clinics to TV work and product development. I have learnt to say no to things that I know I struggle with and embrace the things I am good at!

Some people may find certain jobs harder than others, and I don’t feel ashamed anymore to ask for help when needed.

Withstanding critics

When I joined KCL, I started doing some writing. This led to some opportunities for radio and television work. One of the pieces I undertook was on veganism for the Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC 2 at the height of the veganism movement. Unfortunately, the clip from the programme that was shared on social media suggested that I was completely anti-vegan, which has never been the case.

This led to a significant backlash from the vegan community, including some particularly spiteful tweets and comments! This all fell at a particularly difficult time for me in my personal life which made it more of a challenge to cope with. On reflection, negative feedback and comments on my media work and the response only created more opportunities for me. I am now much more resilient.

I’m aiming to push dietitians further into the public eye so that more opportunities can be created for others in the future. I hope that one day, you’ll see as many dietetics practices on high streets as you do physiotherapists! Anything I can do on a public or individual level to facilitate this is a win for me.

Knowledge Booster: Get Into Media

  • Trust a Dietitian! – I am passionate about encouraging dietitians to look beyond the walls of the hospital and become the loudest public voice on nutrition. We are more qualified than 90% of other people who have the biggest followings!
  • Know your expertise – If you’re interested in starting in the media, my best advice would be to stick to something that you’re confident about and start writing.
  • Keep current – Stay up-to-date and always be clear that one size doesn’t fit all. Remember that for all the people who write a negative comment, many more will have scrolled past and agreed with you.