I have been a T-mag reader since 1999. As of late, I must say, I am starting to get somewhat insulted from the statements that have been given on this website about registered dietitians. I am currently a graduate student in exercise physiology and nutrition and a dietetic intern.
First there was the statement in an interview done with Dr. Berardi in which Chris Shugart and he stated that many dietitians come across as blooming idiots. And naturally, being the position I am in and my future profession, I posted with my feelings and grievances with these two men's statements and Dr. Berardi actually publicly corresponded with me on the forum and said some kind words about my intentions for my profession and what it is that I do.
After all, Dr. Berardi is one of my personal role models despite the fact that I do not know the man.
Then there was also the statements in that particular thread in which another T-Nation forum member stated, and I am going on memory here, something along the lines of us dietitians having to be "professionals" or something along the lines of them not being professionals. This was all very humorous to someone such as myself, considering that although dietitians are not the most valuable workers in hospital, compared to surgeons and even nurses per se, they are still valuable professionals.
Did anyone on this board ever accompany a registered dietitian throughout their work day in a hospital or better yet, a nursing home where they are actually of high value and get paid a decent salary. Or better yet, why don't you visit them where they are more valuable and get paid even larger salaries.
I am speaking of positions such as civilian dietitian for various military divisions (Marines, Army, Airforce), research and development for large corporations such as Kraft, Gatorade, Novartis, and Nestle, private practice, and media spokespeople. Some other dietitians choose to work in community nutrition programs, outpatient clinics, as foodservice managers and directors, and as salespeople for large companies selling nutritional supplements and enteral and parenteral nutrition forumlas for such Ross and Novartis.
Some choose to work for the government in departments such as the Center for Disease Control and the US Department of Agriculture, where in fact, they are highly valuable and get BIG salaries. And finally, SOME do venture into sports dietetics.
With that being said, I want to know why contributors to this forum would even bother discrediting RDs. Out of all the areas I mentioned, do any one of them have to do with the improvement of athletic performance? Only ONE, and this was sports dietitics. So, my question is, why would someone bother criticizing someone else in a field that person never even desired to get involved with or is not trained in it? Would I criticize a pulmonologist for his lack of understanding in some aspects of urology or endocrinology? No!
So far, I am nearly done with my grueling dietetic internship. And yes, I said it, dietetic internships are academically grueling. Why don't you ask an RD you know of how much work and study had to go into becoming a dietitian, not to mention these dietetic internships? Why don't you ask some of the contributors to this site who are in fact RDs?! Clearly they are not blooming idiots! I am speaking of RDs such as Lonnie Lowery, Thomas Incledon, Christopher Mohr, Eileen Bonci, and Douglas Kalman. I am sure that MOST of them, though I could be wrong, would state that they would not want to re-live some parts of their internship.
Here are the rotations I have been through: community, long term care foodservice, school foodservice, inpatient clinical, outpatient clinical, long term care clinical, and a two week elective of my CHOICE which was sports. Do any of these besides the voluntary two week sports rotation have to do with sports nutrition? No! So again, why would you criticize professionals who are not even trained in a certain field?! Very few dietitians even desire to get into sports dietetics and therefore do not put themselves in positions where they would be called upon to even comment on this field.
Any dietitian worth his or her salt that I have inquired to about sports nutrition has honestly stated something along the lines of "I do not know much about it and I do not deal with it!"
Which leads me to another point. If the average T-Nation smart alec thinks they can look at an RD in the face and question their skill, talent, or knowledge, why don't you take a look at some of the classes I had to go through to get where I want to be? Here is a nice, enjoyable list for you from undergraduate studies:
Anatomy and physiology
General chemistry I & II
Concepts in nutrition
Cultural aspects of nutrition
Metabolism I & II
Medical Nutrition Therapy I & II
And then there were the graduate classes that I have taken:
Advanced metabolism I & II
Nutritional aspects of exercise physiology
Problems, issues, and trends in nutrition
Management in dietetics
Literature review thesis
And then there are the rotations I have just mentioned. Some RDs choose to go further and absorb themselves in their profession by earning the title of CDE (certified diabetic educator), CDN (certified dietitian-nutritionists, personal trainer, strength coach (yeah!), etc. Some have done unique reseach (Jeff Volek comes to mind) and become professors. Some have written books or for magazines.
As I stated before on this forum, YES, many RDs, like in all professions, are conventional, conformist, boring, uninnovative, uncreative, and comfortable. That is why these type of people thrive in a hospital and why someone such as myself wants to work in a hospital for knowledge and work experience and so that I can actually say I have come across all or MOST medical conditions that warrant nutrition intervention.
Speaking of body composition and dietitians not knowing about it, this is certainly true. But did anyone stop to think that RDs do know a thing (or in fact, MANY things) about the treatment of disease or health related conditions though nutrition, foodservice management, and community nutrition. Are you T-readers skilled in this? I am going to break out the infamous "Krause book" and will look through the table of contents to see if you people are in fact skilled in the following areas:
The gastrointestinal tract: absorption and digestion, the small and large intestine
Nutrition during pregnancy and lactation
Lab date in nutrition assessment
Food drug interactions
Integrative medicine and phytotherapy
Nutrition care process
Weight control (no, not athletes)
GI tract disorders
Liver, biliary, pancreas disorders
Food allergy and intolerance
Heart failure and transplant
HIV and AIDS
Sepsis, trauma, and burns
Well, well, well. I guess reading bodybuilding and powerlifting magazines, including T-mag, did not give the T-mag smart alecs here the education in these matters despite the fct that they might know a thing or two about body composition manipulation or sports nutrition. From my observation, the RDs that did CHOOSE to learn about these areas, do in fact know their stuff. Why don't you take a look at the physiques or clientele of RDs such as Colette Nelson (who can probably throw a good whipping on some males even), Lonnie Lowery, Thomas Incledon, and Christopher Mohr. It was in fact, an RD, Douglas Kalman, who founded the International Society of Sports Nutrition. SCAN is a subdivision within the American Dietetics Association.
I happen to not be a couch potato future RD myself. So far, in the past year, I have attended seminars by Elite Fitness Systems, Sebastian Burns of Metal Militia, and Joe DeFranco. I also plan on competing in powerlifting after I am through with all schooling.
Wow! I feel a lot better now! Why don't you critics of dietetics look into matters before you criticize them?!