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NutritionRunner last won the day on June 12 2016

NutritionRunner had the most liked content!

About NutritionRunner

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    Allied Health Team Member

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    Nutrition, dietetics, public health, community nutrition

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  1. Dietetics can be a very satisfying and rewarding career. The one downside is the lack of advancement unless you become a clinical practice leader or want to go into management. That said, when I was working as a dietitian (before I returned to university to complete a PhD), I was working full-time in primary care. I’ve never worked in a hospital or in private practice, but worked in primary care, in Community Health Centres and Family Health Teams. My salary reflected my education (I had a master’s degree) and so I was at the top of the pay scale for primary care dietitians. As for the availability of jobs, it all depends on where you are and what kind of practice you have. I see plenty of job postings for dietitians in my area of the country, but granted a lot of them are for maternity leave replacements (a good way to get started/get your foot in the door) or for Community Health Centres (where you have to really enjoy the type of clients that CHCs typically serve or you will get burned out and/or not do a very good job). A quick search of dietitian jobs in Ontario brings up 337 dietitian positions currently advertised. That’s just in Ontario. Private practice dietitians certainly earn $50/hr or more, but they have to be good at business and marketing. Clinical dietitians in the hospital often have to start out as casual, progress to part-time, and then to full-time once they get to know you and an opening is available. Most dietitians I know who work in hospitals make between $35-40/hr. Some, however, make more, up to $75/hr. There’s currently a job posting for a dietitian in Toronto where the hourly rate is stated as $65-72/hr. Dietitians who work in primary care can make anywhere from $60,000 - $80,000 per year working full-time, depending on their qualifications (i.e. do they have a master’s? certified diabetes educator? Craving Change? Additional certifications?) In addition to hospitals, private practice, or primary care, there are dietitians working in Long Term Care, Home Care, Food service, government (federal or provincial), public health, policy, the food industry, marketing, academia, research, grocery stores, non-profits, charities, etc. There’s a sports dietitian who works with the Raptors and there’s currently a photo of her on Twitter where she’s in the locker room kissing the NBA trophy. A lot of dietitians who completed the same master’s program that I did are working either in public health units or in government positions. In government, there is much more opportunity for upward mobility/advancement as you advance through your career. I loved working as a dietitian in primary care: I was able to counsel clients and help them make changes that improved their health. I was able to provide nutrition education to groups on a wide variety of nutrition-related topics. I taught cooking classes that helped people learn how to use a variety of produce and allowed them to develop or improve their cooking skills. I did a lot of outreach, speaking to local community groups and organizations. I really, really enjoyed my work and I was happy to go to work everyday. However, I always knew that I wanted to complete a PhD (I love research and teaching), so after working for a few years I went back to university to pursue a PhD. My work experience informed my research interests, as I saw the gaps that were there in primary care dietetics. Nursing can be a very rewarding career as well, but it would not have been the right choice for me. It really comes down to your interests and what type of work you enjoy doing or can see yourself doing.
  2. I didn’t study BioMed at Guelph, but rather Applied Human Nutrition. I had plenty of friends in BioMed though, and they all loved it. Guelph, overall, is just an incredible place. Beautiful campus, best campus food out of all Canadian universities, and tons of supports available for students. BioMed students have the option to take a human anatomy class where they do dissections (students also have the option to take the prosection anatomy course if they aren’t interested in dissection). My friends who were in BioMed really liked that it was relatively easy to get to know the professors (if you made a bit of effort) and the profs really seemed to care about students’ success. Plus, a lot of the “gunners” at Guelph are interested in veterinary medicine, so you don’t get the kind of “cut-throat” pre-med vibe that I’m told exists at other universities. If you have specific questions about Guelph, I’d be happy to answer them. I loved my time at Guelph! I was a peer helper, volunteered with the Health and Performance Centre, with the Student Nutrition Awareness Program, had an NSERC USRA, and did an undergraduate thesis.
  3. Yes, even within the same institution they don’t care, in my experience. For master’s programs, I was accepted into two different master’s programs at the same univeristy (and several master’s programs at other universities). I’m currently doing a PhD, and I was accepted to two different PhD programs at my current university (as well as to PhD programs at other universities). None of the programs cared that I had received acceptance to other programs, even within the same university.
  4. While it has changed quite a bit since I graduated, my class at the University of Toronto (MPH Nutrition and Dietetics) had at least four of us who were non-traditional / second degree students. I was definitely the “most” non-traditional, having had several years of work experience before returning to university to complete my second undergraduate degree. I’m not sure about the other MPH programs at UofT, and the program director and associate director have changed in the Nutrition and Dietetics program since I graduated, so things may have change recently. When applying, make sure your letter of intent clearly outlines what you hope to get out of an MPH and what you can contribute. Many MPH programs also put a lot of emphasis on your undergraduate statistics grade(s) so if yours isn’t an A or A+, that might be a course to re-take to improve your chances. Also, check the faculty who teach in the MPH programs that interest you, and see if their interests align with yours. It sounds like you have a good understanding of the SDH, so I would make that clear in your application materials, emphasizing how your work experience has helped you to gain a better understanding of the SDH. If that’s something that you’ve already been doing, then perhaps you just applied in a very competitive year. In my experience (albeit limited), someone who is able to show that they really “get” or “understand” the SDH, from work, volunteer, or other experiences, and who can articulate how their experiences have influenced their career goals, has a pretty good chance of being admitted, all other things being equal. Perhaps you just had the bad luck to apply in a particularly competitive year? Did you have strong reference letters that clearly outlined why an MPH program (or why a particular MPH program) was right for you? Good luck! I loved my MPH studies and I’m now happily pursuing a PhD!
  5. This is completely anecdotal, but the only IMG CSAs I’ve worked with (5 in total, out of a larger number of residents rotating through the centre where I worked prior to pursuing a PhD) have been Irish grads. I don’t know if that’s because the family medicine program here locally prefers Irish grads over other IMGs, or if there is some other reason. I am not in Toronto, but another Ontario city with a medical school.
  6. Anecdotally, the two Mac Health Sci grads I know *personally* did not go to medical school, but rather physiotherapy and veterinary medicine. Obviously a lot of Mac Health Sci grads get into medicine (and choose health sci because that is their goal) but students in that program certainly don't universally make it into (or even desire) medicine.
  7. What types of courses do you enjoy? Math, science, psychology, sociology? Courses where the answer is either “right” or “wrong?” Courses where you do lots of writing? All of those will determine which program you will enjoy the most. Do the minutiae of biology interest you? The social determinants of health (which are huge by the way)? Are you better at lab work or writing papers? Examine your strengths and weaknesses, and choose your program based on those, combined with your actual interests (you tend to do better in courses that you actually enjoy).
  8. Yes. In Ontario CHC physicians qualify for HOOPP pensions. You do have to be willing to spend the time with very complex patients, and really understand and GET the social determinants of health, or you will be frustrated and not enjoy CHC work. You can’t bill extra for paperwork (whether government-required paperwork, i.e. disability applications, or private paperwork, i.e. sick notes). I, personally, found CHC work to be much more rewarding than “standard” primary care work, because I was truly making a difference in my patients’ lives. Others, who are more focused on earning $ may not enjoy CHC work. Those who don’t want to deal with complex patients won’t enjoy CHC work. Those who don’t understand how adverse childhood experiences impact adult health won’t enjoy CHC work. Those who don’t believe in the fundamental influence of the social determinants of health won’t enjoy CHC work. Those who think they know better than allied health won’t enjoy CHC work. But for those who truly appreciate their allied health colleagues, who GET the social determinants of health at a fundamental level, who truly enjoy providing health care to populations who have traditionally been marginalized and/or ignored, then CHC work is incredibly rewarding. I’ve moved into academia because I want to do research that will hopefully influence how we provide care (once you’ve been in the workforce for a while, you see the enormous gaps and want to figure out how we can improve things). If I hadn’t, I would have spent the rest of my career in CHCs. It’s incredibly rewarding to see a client through from assessment to discharge, and to actually make a real difference in their lives. There are super challenging clients, and sometimes you wonder why you are even there, but when you actually make a huge difference in someone’s life, then that makes all the no-shows and challenging clients worthwhile. When they are able to stop taking antihypertensives because their blood pressure is normal with just diet and exercise, or when they can manage their blood glucose levels with diet and exercise, you know you have made a difference.
  9. Also don’t forget that family physicians working at Community Health Centres in Ontario are on salary. Pure salary. The only exceptions are the doctors who also work opioid replacement clinics as part of their CHC work or who do low-risk OBS as part of their family practice. Physicians who just do regular family practice in CHCs are on salary. The ones I’ve worked with are very happy with that model, but you have to enjoy the work environment, which is quite different from FHT or FFS family practice.
  10. Thank you for emphasizing the importance of respecting your allied health care staff. I can’t tell you how many residents (not clerks, residents) I’ve worked with who think they know more about nutrition than a master’s-trained registered dietitian. They don’t. Guess what? Allied health have a “say” in your final evaluation, so treat us, and our expertise, with the respect it deserves!
  11. This. As a dietetic intern, in one position, I essentially spent 3 months seeing clients independently, meaning that the dietitians I was working with weren’t in the room with me, and while they had to co-sign my notes, they didn’t have any direct contact with the clients I saw. I wasn’t paid anything for that work, and didn’t receive any stipend (in fact, I was paying for the ‘priviledge’ of working as an entry-level dietitian). There were even two clients I saw completely through the nutrition care process, from assessment through to discharge, with no direct involvement of the dietitians I was working with. Sure, the dietitians were there as backup if I had questions, was unsure as to how to proceed (and they certainly were there when I had clients who I didn’t feel I was able to properly provide care for), etc., but in many cases I was working as a novice dietitian, without any compensation (and I was paying to do this work, instead of being paid or even receiving a stipend. Granted, I was only working 40 hours/week, but it was still uncompensated work).
  12. There are most certainly other jobs where you are expected to work as much as they need you to, without any additional pay. Army officers, for instance, sometimes are on duty for weeks at a time, with no overtime pay, and maybe 3-5 hours of sleep a night when in the field or deployed. When my husband was DCO (Deputy Commanding Officer) of a regiment, he worked 6:30AM to sometime between 8PM and 10PM weekdays, and at least one weekend day for at least 8 hours. Didn’t earn anything extra beyond his regular salary. The only time he earns extra money is when he deploys overseas. Otherwise, he is expected to work as long as the army needs him to, no overtime or extra pay.
  13. You clearly don’t understand the metabolic changes that occur when on a very low calorie diet. It is very well established that it is neither possible nor healthy to remain on a very low calorie diet for an extended period of time, and that once calories return to normal, healthy levels, weight gain is going to occur.
  14. It’s an extremely low calorie diet, and most of the people who go through with the programon regain the weight. Since we know yo-yo dieting is more harmful than being overweight, it appears quite sketchy to me. I’ve seen a number of clients who went to a Dr. Bernstein clinic, lost weight, but then regained it all plus extra weight. So it seems totally sketchy to me.
  15. I have a completely different success story from most here. I’ve just been accepted to a PhD program in Aging and Health! I will be a very different kind of doctor from most posters here, should I make it through the program, but I am determined to do so. There is actually a shortage of RD PhDs, so programs that train dietitians are having a hard time filling the faculty positions that are required for them to remain accredited (a certain number of faculty members need to have both the PhD and the RD in order for the program to remain accredited to teach future RDs). I’m SO happy and delighted! I can’t wait to start my program this fall!
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