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Nutrition for the clinical GI

GI nutrition expert Dr. Octavia Pickett-Blakely is on Small Talk, Big Topics to provide practical guidance on how to incorporate dietary counselling into your patient care.
Small Talks, Big GI Topics
Small Talks, Big GI Topics

In this episode of the AGA podcast Small Talk, Big Topics, Matthew Whitson and CS Tse are joined by Dr. Octavia Pickett-Blakely. Octavia is the Director of the GI Nutrition, Celiac Sprue and Obesity Program at the University of Pennsylvania. She is an expert in nutrition and health, which is reflected throughout her research and teaching. The interview begins by Octavia sharing her journey to becoming a gastroenterologist. While this was not her original goal entering the medical field, she found her calling in GI tract physiology and has been working in this field ever since.

Octavia shares what nutrition means to her and how her practice integrates diet into the management of a broad range of medical diseases. For her, an important purpose of medical nutrition therapy is to prevent diseases. She shares tips on how to teach patients about the goals of nutrition and how to approach diets with a healthy mindset. Octavia is passionate about setting healthy dietary goals that are consistent, realistic, and consist of incremental changes.

Octavia goes on to share other important factors in her job, such as collaboration with other specialists, nutritional education, and dispelling misconceptions of ‘dietary fads’ rampant on social media. Octavia explains that dietary fads may lack benefit and there should be a holistic view of nutritious living as part of long term, sustained changes. Octavia concludes by sharing some words of encouragement that helped her find her passion. She encourages others to find the person they want to emulate and to follow in their footsteps.

Learn more about Dr. Octavia Pickett Blakely 
Follow Dr. Octavia Pickett Blakely on Twitter @blakely_md
Learn about a resource recommended by Dr. Octavia at
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