It’s National Registered Dietitian Day, yes, we get our own day! If you’re not sure what an RD does or if you think an RD is the same thing as a nutritionist then read on.
What is an RD?
Registered Dietitians are nutrition experts. We have to complete an approved undergraduate program where we take classes like organic and inorganic chemistry, microbiology, biology, physiology and anatomy as well as our nutrition courses. Every dietitian holds at least a bachelor’s in Dietetics and many more of us have master’s degrees and Ph.Ds. After undergrad we all have to complete a mandatory internship, which can range in length from 9 to 12 months. This is an intensive, usually unpaid, position where we receive hands-on training in a variety of settings from clinical dietetics to community, food service, entrepreneurship, research, business, etc. After the grueling internship we all have to sit for and pass a national exam. Then we have to keep our registration current with 75 units of professional education every 5 years. Registered dietitians are the only professionals who are trained to provide Medical Nutrition Therapy.
What can an RD do?
You can find dietitians in a myriad of positions. Clinical, community, research, R&D, food manufacturing, teaching, sports, pediatric, oncology, diabetes, bariatric surgery, eating disorders, NICU, private practice, coaching, counseling and hundreds more.
What do people and patients say about dietitians?
“I thank you for teaching me HOW to eat, no one had ever just taught me HOW to eat.” – Stacy Smith MS, RD, LD
“I have been following your plan for me… I feel wonderful and continue losing weight. I have more energy for everyday activities, and don’t get out of breath as easily. I just realized yesterday that my chronic neck pain has been gone for months! I am a happier and calmer person, thanks to you.” – Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD
“We’ve been to doctor after doctor and it took going to a dietitian to figure out my son has celiac disease.” – Katie Mulligan MS, RD, LDN
“Thank you for today…as you can see from the email [my daughter] sent me – she was happy. Meeting you today really revitalized her and put her in a very positive place.” –Rachel Begun MS, RD
“I want to send my sincere gratitude for all of your help with D-. You worked so well with him, knowing just the right things to say in a very positive way. I’m very grateful. He’s very committed to his new way of eating and exercise program which is wonderful. Many, many thanks”. – Robin Berlin, RD
I had a patient who developed rheumatoid arthritis at age 69. The steroids
she was given for pain caused her to gain weight, about which she was very
distraught. After discussing it, and reassuring her that this is normal with
these medications, she began working toward acceptance of her new body size.
She was relieved and very pleased. – Ellen Glovsky Ph.D, RD, LDN
“I met Chere at a food and nutrition conference several years ago, and was
instantly won over with her charming personality, uplifting attitude, and
sunny disposition. Over the last couple years she has since helped me get
my business up and running, set goals and accomplish them, overcome
barriers (both personal and professional), and coached me into becoming the
dietitian I am supposed to be. I am extremely grateful for my time with
Chere, and look forward to many more years of Savoring My Life with Chere
as my coach. She is a delight to have in my life, and I highly recommend
her to anyone!” – Laura Niehoff, MS, RD, LD, CLT from one dietitian to another.