By Dr Megan Rossi
Do you ever feel like your fellow dietetic colleagues just get you? And I’m not just talking about their shared love of food or the fact that they too despise the phrase “clean” eating, but also other personality traits like persistence and reward dependence. Well, thanks to a recent study, we now have some proof! The study by Ball et al demonstrated that dietitians tend to share similar personality traits. And it doesn’t just stop at personalities, according to Twitter, some dietitians share looks too! None more so than twin brothers Dewi and James Druce-Perkins.
Dewi and James have just graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University in the UK and although their striking similarities in both career choice and looks, their futures in dietetics are likely to take very different paths. Dewi’s passion is quality improvement whereas James is more interested in clinical dietetics. They also have different passions outside of work- on the weekends you’re more likely to find Dewi on the rugby field or jumping off cliffs and James practicing yoga or hiking through mountains.
People often hypothesise that twins have a special bond or a sort of “sixth sense”. So I ask the Druce-Perkin twins if they’d ever experienced anything like this and joked about whether they’d put it to good use in exams. To this they laughed, responding “we get this question all the time, unfortunately not”. Although, Dewi did share a crazy one off experience in an exam where he vividly recalled hearing his brother shout STOP alerting him to an incorrect answer. When telling his brother about this “sixth sense” experience after the exam, like any good older brother James immediately proceeded to take credit for Dewi’s potential success remarking “if you get a better grade I know why!”. Despite this the guys believe their brains work very differently, for example how they approach problem solving, and feel these differences compliment their career ambitions and what they plan to bring to dietetics.
One of the key themes that came from the interview with the Druce-Perkins twins was the pride they took in owning their differences. In today’s rapidly evolving healthy industry, where traditional dietetic positions are scarce, we may need to take a leaf out of the twin’s book and start placing more emphasis on our differences. If we start to employ more of this mentality we’ve got a better chance of moving away from being pigeon-holed as a profession, allowing us to tackle new areas of practice and strengthen our reputation as innovative leaders in nutrition.
So I say let’s cherish our similarities but remember to acknowledge yourself as an individual and give some thought to the questions; what unique qualities do you bring to the profession? And how can you capitalize on them to improve people’s lives? #food4thought