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If Clinical Nutrition Isn’t Your Niche

Part 2 of Should you Kick Your Career Off Clinical Style?
Choosing an area of practice in dietetics after graduation is an exciting, but often conflicted time.  Thankfully dietitians have the option now of expanding their job prospects into areas of fitness, food service management, or grocery store based nutrition.  While these jobs may differ from a clinical setting, do new dietitians still need to start their career there?

Here’s part two of our two-part blog. (Click here to check out Part 1.)

For some, becoming a dietitian is a stepping stone to expanding an already existing career.  Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area, entered the dietetics field after a successful start in journalism.  According to Amy, “Although many of my nutrition professors suggested starting my nutrition career with a clinical focus, I decided not to go this route full-time—and you don’t have to, either! You can have a very successful and meaningful career with an alternate path. In addition to working with clients, I decided to jump right into nutrition communications—writing for media outlets and helping reporters with their nutrition-focused articles, consulting with brands and commodity boards, and offering media coaching services to other dietitians.”

Jenna Gorham, RD, LN, owner of Jenna Gorham Nutrition Consulting feels that although the mentorship in a clinical setting was beneficial she knew that her strengths lay elsewhere.  Jenna explained, “I learned quite a bit in clinical, however I think you learn a lot in most entry level positions.  I now work in business and wellness and honestly don’t use my clinical skillset much at all. For me, the main benefit of my clinical position was being able to work with and learn from […]

Should You Kick Your Career Off Clinical Style?

It’s that time of the year when the job hunt for new dietitians is in full swing.  Although the bulk of available opportunities remains in the clinical setting, with ever expanding roles of dietitians in areas of media, culinary work, and retail dietetics, new grads have the option of skipping the traditional route of hospital-based practice after getting those well-earned RDN credentials.

Is it necessary for new dietitians to start their careers in clinical nutrition? Check out part one of our two-part blog.
The Case for Clinical
For many new dietitians, work in a hospital or long-term care facility takes the number one spot on their list of desired job possibilities.  Sari Schlussel-Leeds, MS, RDN, CDN, a dietitian based in New York agreed, “Starting out in clinical nutrition is a must in my opinion. It’s a great opportunity to hone your knowledge and skills and the clinical information is so valuable to any future endeavors relating to medical clinical findings for those you serve. The people skills that are heightened when dealing with a vast population of differing socioeconomic strata will serve a dietitian not only professionally, but personally as well.”

Zachari Breeding, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND, an executive chef who specifically entered the dietetics field to help him confidently assist his mother who was having some health issues, feels a clinical base is an absolute necessity.  “As a dietetic internship preceptor, I have always advised my mentees and students to begin their careers in the clinical setting. Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is the basis of everything we do in dietetics, from culinary nutrition to community nutrition to public policy.” Zac added, “Regardless of their eventual professional goals, it is beneficial to the new RD to practice independently […]