Emily Murray, RD, LDN
What is your current position?
I currently hold a position at The Renfrew Center of Nashville! I work with clients who are enrolled in our day treatment and intensive outpatient programs.
How did you get started in your career?
I received my Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology with a concentration in Nutrition and Dietetics from Tennessee Technological University, and I completed my Dietetic Internship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. During my time at Vanderbilt, I competed my capstone rotation with the Adolescent Medicine Team at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, where I worked in multiple levels of care, including inpatient hospitalization and outpatient. I got my start in my career working with an outpatient private practice group of psychiatrists and therapists in Nashville! In that position, about 90-95% of the clientele I worked with had clinically diagnosable eating disorders, while the other 5-10% usually had some form of mental illness that was impacting their nutrition status in some way.
What advice would you give to someone new to the field?
A few things come to mind when I think of advice for individuals who want to work in the eating disorders field: First, if you have a history of an eating disorder / disordered eating yourself, make sure you have done the work for yourself first before jumping in to helping others. This boundary will not only protect your own mental health, but also your future clients. Second, if you know you want to work with individuals with eating disorders before/during your internship, do your best to apply for programs that either have a special eating disorders rotation, or where you will have the opportunity to choose an “area of specialty” and get some experience that way. Third, network! I landed my first job without having to fill out a job application for that position! I met one of my co-workers at an eating disorders training event, networked, and the rest was history. Fourth, seek supervision! Reba Sloan, RD/LDN, MPH, FAED has been my supervisor from day one, and her advice and expertise has been invaluable! Fifth, if you want to treat eating disorders (and not just dip your toe in intuitive eating and some disordered eating), I highly recommend working in a higher level of care if possible. It’s not to say that you can’t do it without the higher level of care experience (I did) but you learn so much and see so much in those higher levels, that it can really enhance your knowledge and skills as a practitioner.