Melissa Lanes, MS, RD, CSCS, CHES, is a registered dietitian (RD) and professional research assistant at the CU Wellness Clinic at Anschutz Health and Wellness Center (AWHC). She integrates her broad experience in health and wellness through her various responsibilities as a dietitian, coach, and researcher.
We recently sat down with Melissa to learn about her role(s) and what a typical day is like as an RD at AHWC.
What are your primary responsibilities?
As an RD and professional research assistant at AHWC, my current responsibilities include:
- Counseling patients at the CU Wellness Clinic.
- Implementing and supporting research protocols in the areas of nutrition, metabolism, and physical activity.
- Facilitating nutrition and exercise interventions.
- Coaching AHWC weight loss and wellness programs.
- Assisting research protocols, including collecting and managing data.
- Providing and reviewing nutrition-related marketing content.
What does a typical day entail?
No day is the same. Each workday presents different meetings and job responsibilities. Some days I may be counseling patients in the CU Wellness Clinic, and other days I may be gathering or compiling data from research participants.
I may be involved in multiple research protocols and review meetings one day, or I may be coaching participants in AHWC weight loss programs or research studies.
What do you like most about your profession?
Helping patients and clients live their lives to the fullest. I also particularly enjoy participating in research protocols as both a dietitian and a research assistant. I would consider myself a huge research “nerd” and take great pride in knowing that my work will contribute to the nutrition and dietetics field in the future.
What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in your position?
One of the most critical skills is the ability and desire to wear many different RD “hats.” Individuals who enjoy learning, participating in ongoing research reviews and interacting with clients, teams, coworkers, and supervisors will be most inclined to thrive in this position.
Individuals who enjoy being flexible and continuously evolving responsibilities will also enjoy this position. People who take the initiative and are self-motivated will succeed in this role as well.
What advice would you give someone considering this type of position?
Be flexible, stay organized, and have excellent time management skills!
Melissa Lanes is currently accepting appointments for registered dietician consultations at the CU Wellness Clinic. Most health insurance plans are accepted. Schedule an appointment by calling 303.724.9030 (option 0) or email AHWC.Clinic@ucdenver.edu.