I won’t lie. Becoming a dietitian is not an easy path. It starts with a passion for food, health and people. You need to learn and understand anatomy, physiology and chemistry. In order to receive appropriate training, you have to apply for and be accepted into a competitive dietetic internship or practice program, which is typically unpaid. Then you have to sit for a national exam to become registered, and maintain 75 hours of continued education every 5 years. There are multiple hoops to jump through. It is expensive, time-consuming and difficult.
Because of this competitive start, dietitians are often competitive with each other. You’re vying for the same job (like you would with other professions) or you’re trying to make a name for yourself. Your goal is to obtain more clients, work with brands, make a better wage, etc.
After being in the field for nearly 30 years and a small business owner for over 12, I’ve realized that collaborating with other dietitians is much more meaningful and fun than competing. Every dietitian has a little different spin on how they cook, teach, present, write, etc. We all have unique talents and honestly, can’t do everything. Just like there are specialties in medicine or nursing, the same applies for nutrition. There is no “one size fits all” approach and we each do things in our own unique ways.
For example,if I receive a call to work with a child with food allergies, I try to find a dietitian that works in this area. Or if I am asked to present on a topic that I have zero experience or interest in, I’ll likely forward it to a more knowledgeable colleague. The same holds true for how other dietitians treat me. We network with each other and refer clients when things are out of our lane. It’s part of being ethical and acting with integrity. It’s OK to say no to work that doesn’t fit, and you should.
This week, I am collaborating with another dietitian whom I’ve admired for years. She is a great writer and well known in the nutrition community. Her passion and practice is “plant-powered” nutrition and she is known for her plant prowess.
Rather than seeing her as my adversary, I see her as an ally. We met a few years ago at a nutrition conference in Texas and have connected online through social media over the years. She has written a few cookbooks and agreed to do a giveaway with me this week. I am happy to collaborate with her in this way.
So if you’re on Instagram, follow the two of us for a chance to win her Plant-powered for life book, market tote and my Don’t despear food pun tee. You’ve got nothing to lose by entering and you’ll likely pick up some great plant powered nutrition tips to boot! Here’s the book: https://www.amazon.com/Plant-Powered-Life-Recipes-Achieve-Goals_Starting/dp/1615191879