I am a Registered Dietitian and I absolutely LOVE my job. Some people like their work, some tolerate it, but I don’t think a lot of people end up pursuing what they LOVE. So I consider myself among the fortunate minority. Why do I love my work:
- I love working with people
- I love talking about food
- I love helping people find healthier and happier relationships with food
- My work feels meaningful, challenging, stimulating, and fun
I’m often asked “what’s the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?” (Note, this is common because RDs in the field of eating disorders are often referred to as “nutritionists.”) Here’s the bottom line:
- “Nutritionist” is not a licensed or credentialed term. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist: you, your Mom, your local GNC salesperson, a person with a 4 year nutrition degree, even someone with a doctorate in nutrition! It’s a bit of a gamble since the term isn’t regulated.
- In order to call yourself a “Registered Dietitian” you have to complete a 4 year accredited degree in nutrition and dietetics, complete a year long dietetic internship, pass a national exam, and maintain your licensure with sufficient continuing education credits. Essentially, when you meet an RD, you are at least guaranteed that they have met those minimum standards.