Nutrition Sciences alumna Anne believes prevention is better than the cure

Name: Anne Krijger
Degree from KI: Master's in Nutrition
Graduation year: 2020

KI alumna profile photo
KI alumna Anne Krijger Photo: Private

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I received my MD in 2019 from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.  The final three years of my medical studies mainly consisted of practical internships in the hospital. During this time, I observed many aspects of medical practice, both positive and negative. 

For example, I saw that medicines were prescribed to patients on the wards in hopes for improved conditions, but at the same time, patients were served unhealthy food and very little preventive medicine was practised.  

In my opinion, this should be different! After all there must be a reason why the Dutch say: “Voorkomen is beter dan genezen” (prevention is better than the cure).  

Fortunately, I hear more and more voices saying that nutrition and lifestyle should play an important role in medicine. I find it remarkable that patients assume that their doctor is an expert in this nutrition, but hardly any education is given about this subject in medical school.  

Therefore, I wanted to broaden my knowledge on this topic.  

I must say - I felt at home from day one.  

- Alumna Anne Krijger, on her studies at KI

While in medical school, I organized for fellow medical students a course on nutrition and lifestyle. In this course, I met a very enthusiastic professor who told me about his PhD in Nutrition he obtained in Sweden. He told me that the level of research in the field of nutrition is very high in Sweden. My searches led me to the programme at KI.  

I applied for the Master’s in Nutrition Science programme during my final term of medical school, and began the next term after graduation, in the fall of 2019. 

I had a wonderful time at KI! The program was much more small-scale than I was used to, which made the classes very valuable. All voices were heard and coming from so many different backgrounds (education wise, but also many different countries) led to interesting discussions. Moreover, the quality of the education was very high and the teachers always happy to help. I must say I felt at home from day one.  

I am a PhD candidate at the department of pediatrics and public health at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. My project is on the development of a screening tool to assess nutrition and lifestyle in children aged 0-4 years. It perfectly combines my passions: nutrition/lifestyle and children. 

While I was writing my thesis at KI, I searched diligently for job opportunities. I discovered a position which felt like it was written especially for me. Within a few hours, I had written an application letter.  

For now, my work as a PhD student is mainly reading a lot of papers in order to immerse myself deep into the topic. Indeed, the development of a screening tool starts with creating an extensive scientific background. My time at KI definitely helped me here, as we had to read and critically assess many papers during all the courses and the thesis.  

I’m not really sure yet. I love doing research and digging into one specific subject. However, going back to clinical work would also be nice. I think ideally it would be a combination of both, doing clinical work and research in the field of nutrition/lifestyle.  

What is your advice for students

Engage in classes and extra-curricular activities organized by KI as much as possible. It is such a great opportunity to meet people from your field. Hearing their experiences allowed me discover so many aspects and opportunities and made me really enthusiastic about my future career.  

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