A Book Review: Launching Your Dietetics Career
Launching Your Dietetics Career (American Dietetic Association, 2011) is everything I love in a book (especially for the nutrition nerd in me). It is a fabulous all-encompassing guide to becoming a registered dietitian (RD) with an abundance of real-life inspirational success stories from professionals in the field. This book is a great resource for individuals considering the dietetics field, students along the education spectrum, and even new professionals looking for career-path guidance.
As the tour guides of this book, Kyle W. Shadix, MS, RD, CCC and D. Milton Stokes, MPH, RD, CDN provide a pseudo-hand to hold through the whole dietetics career launch sequence. In my undergraduate nutrition studies, two of my required classes were one-credit classes that literally taught chapters one through four (about the profession, academic requirements and pathways, the dietetic internship and even some of the “RD Exam”). While I had that wonderful guidance from day one, not everyone does. Those chapters take the seemingly crazy, confusing path that is the dietetics field and make it a clear and concise pathway. The information is vital for people considering the nutrition field in order to understand the hurdles and unbelievably rewarding outcomes that lay ahead. And for those that are career-changers, they don’t always get the clear guidance that Kyle and Milton provide. The detail and direction that this book provides brought back the vivid memories of going through the process and made me realize just how much I’ve accomplished over the years. Now, I know what it feels like to not have the time to read anything that isn’t school assigned, but this book is easy to read and provides great motivation for those tough days. As someone who has recently gone through this process, I can testify that it is incredibly accurate and makes for a very helpful reference.
Now don’t even get me started on the advice they give…. This book is filled with “insider” tips on how to make yourself stand out as an applicant, where to go for resume help and how to prepare for an interview. They also offer directions to other great resources like All Access Internships, a website I utilized often when researching dietetic internships. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the advice spread throughout Launching Your Dietetics Career.
One of the things I loved the most about Launching Your Dietetics Career is the inspiration it provides. Individuals go into the nutrition field not just to find a job, but in order to do something they are in love with. The “Movers and Shakers” featured and the “A Closer Look” sections highlight RDs with great career stories and guidance. I was especially excited to see several RDs featured that I’ve had as preceptors, heard as speakers, or met along my journey. In this diverse profession, it helps to take a look at the many directions you can take your career. This book provides a window into various dietetics career paths and offers steps to take to get there.
A quote from Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, CSSD made me laugh. After being introduced to someone as a nontraditional dietitian, she said, “It made me smile but also made me think, ‘Is the definition of nontraditional becoming traditional?’”I have to admit; I do consider myself a nontraditional dietitian and recognize how many registered dietitians are in fact “nontraditional” as well. Perhaps there is no “traditional” dietetics career path anymore. Maybe that’s due to the ambitious and entrepreneurial qualities in us dietitians.
Bottom Line? Students, professors, advisors and mentors should familiarize themselves with this publication as it’s a great tool for students considering dietetics, as well as those embarking on, or in the middle of their dietetics education.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book to review. I have not received payment for this post and all thoughts and opinions are my own.