Jiak Chin Koh

Preceptors: Who Are They?

Jiak Chin on a recent trip to Tunisia

Registered Dietitian: 19 years
Employment: Providence Health Care, Clinical Coordinator of Clinical Nutrition
UBC Preceptor: 15 years
UBC Research Preceptor: 6 years

Being a preceptor is like travelling the world: you don’t know what you’ll encounter, but you’re hopeful for growth. Jiak Chin Koh is well versed in both worlds.

The Providence Health Care research preceptor has travelled 66 countries with more on the horizon. As a research preceptor she’s supported 30 dietetic students for 12 research projects over six years.

“I love to see students grow,” she said. “And I love to see preceptors take on a challenge beyond their clinical work and flourish.

What Is a Research Preceptor?

As a clinical resource dietitian, Jiak Chin supports both students and the research preceptors who guide them throughout the project. Unlike other preceptors, whose time with students varies, research preceptors support students throughout their entire practice-education period.

Jiak Chin, who has a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition, helps fine-tune research questions. She provides guidance with statistics, ethics applications, and other research processes.

“I’m the bridge person for both parties,” she said.

Why Is Research Important for Students?

Registered dietitians operate using an evidence-based practice approach. Research is required to continue building the knowledge pool.

Providence Health Care employs over 60 dietitians. Jiak Chin, and more than 50 per cent of her colleagues, actively participate in research through initiatives like Providence Health Care’s Research Challenge Program.

A successful year for Jiak Chin is when students continue practice-based research following Year 5.

“Once you become a dietitian and you’re still in research, that’s a good sign,” she said. “Students can transfer that knowledge and inform practice.”

What Advice Does Jiak Chin Have for Incoming Year 5 Students?

Don’t fear your preceptor. They’re on your team with a goal to help you succeed. Be resilient. Be open to constructive feedback. There will be tough days. And you will fall, she said. The challenge is getting back up again.

“We’re here to help you. We’re on your side.”

By: Katie Bartel and Kaylee Beales, Year 3 Dietetics Students