Daniel Kahn ‘09

Nutrition Degree Became the Foundation of Medical Career
UNH alumni Daniel Kahm '09

Daniel Kahn graduated from UNH in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Sciences. He went on to complete his dietetic internship at Virginia Tech. The only person in his immediate family in the healthcare field, Daniel has been a nurse practitioner since 2016.

COLSA: What are you doing now?

Daniel Kahn: For the past four years I have been a primary care provider working in community health at Fenway Community Health Center in Boston, MA. I do primary care medicine and utilize my dietitian background with all my patients. My interests also include HIV, sexual health, and transgender care.

COLSA: How did UNH prepare you for success in your field?

Daniel: My education at UNH served as the foundation to where I am now. Being enrolled in Nutritional Sciences allowed me to learn both the medical and nutritional importance in caring for individuals. The health and science curriculum allowed me to realize that I ultimately wanted to care for patients in some capacity. UNH encouraged me to never give up and taught to me to strive to be best I can be.

COLSA: Was there a person or course that had a significant influence on you? And if so, who or what and how?

Daniel: The Nutritional Science major was very small. The professors got to know all their students as individuals, you were not just a number like most large majors may feel.

The medical nutrition therapy course taught by Dr. Colette Janson-Sand was one of the most influential courses/person throughout my studies. You learned about various disease states and the importance of nutrition as a means to ameliorate illness. As Hippocrates says, “Let food be your medicine, not medicine be your food.”

Dr. Janson-Sand taught this course and several others, which is why she was such aninfluence on me. She was always there whenever you had a question and was patient while explaining the rationale. She was readily available and went out of her way to be there for students. She taught me to never give up and stay positive even if I may not have done well on an exam/project. To this day, I touch base yearly via email or quick phone call  just say “hi” and touch base about life.

COLSA: At this point in your life, what achievement are you most proud of?

Daniel: During my undergrad career I served as a teaching assistant for a health science course. I was asked when I was just a sophomore. I did that for four years; it was great to serve as a leader in that role. I was also at one point the lead TA for the course.

During my internship, I was published in an Oncology and Nutrition Journal about a patient I took care of with esophageal cancer requiring tube feedings. Being published was a gratifying experience.

I recently taught a group of medical providers about the importance of nutrition and diabetes. I used my knowledge and skills as a dietitian to provide this teaching to a large group of doctors, NP/PA, and nurses.

COLSA: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were an undergrad?

Daniel: The importance of serving as an active member in my undergrad major. I did not attend groups or events that my peers took part in. I also know now that you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. Just because you may not have done well on one exam or one project, learn from your mistakes and move on.

COLSA: What advice do you have for students interested in your field?

Daniel: Be open minded. Do not think you know exactly what you want to do during your undergrad studies. There may be a course or an experience that will open your eyes to something new. I came to UNH as a psychology major but after taking NUTR 400 with Dr. Stabile Morrell, I realized nutrition was far more interesting and saw myself in this field.

COLSA: What do you miss most about UNH?

Daniel: I miss the campus SO much. UNH has a classic New England campus. The buildings and the green space make it feel like a small college, even though it’s a large university. I also miss being within a 5-to-10 minute walk to friends that still to this day I see regularly.

I also miss the intramural sports (history of being an indoor volleyball champ!!) and the many social events that took place on campus that were right outside my door.

COLSA: What's ahead for you?

Daniel: After completing my dietetic internship in 2010, I worked as an inpatient dietitian for several years. I learned then that I wanted to become a nurse practitioner. So I went back to school and earned my master’s in nursing.  I have been an NP at a community health center since 2016 and plan to stay in this role for a long time.

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