5

votes

Career in Paleo/Nutrition

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 17, 2011 at 7:17 PM

Okay, I know this has been asked before, but I'd like to get a consensus on what this board thinks the best way to make a career out of nutrition (paleo/primal/WAP). Preferably, I'd like to become a provider in the arena of nutrition, but I'm noticing that there aren't too many options.

Some ideas out there are the NTA (nutritional therapy association) and perhaps going an RD route. or DC and "Functional Medicine Doc" or whatever. I'm my case, I'm already an RN, and do a ton of Diabetic Education (under ADA CW Bull). And everytime I go over the ADA literature it just makes me nuts. But I digress.

So the questions: Are any of you making a go of this as a career? And if so, what path did you take in terms of education and job/practice?

Any conventional medicine folks out there (NPs, MDs, PAs, RDs) who transitioned in to the evolutionary nutrition area as a career? I'd like to hear your thoughts on what it's like to practice.

Thanks, and sorry for the retread question, but I'm very passionate, and I'm feeling stiffled by the fact that there isn't just some university I can attend to get a degree in evolutionary nutrition (or something like that)

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 18, 2011
at 08:00 PM

The ADA uses the CDE to train professionals towards their CW but once you're licensed I think you're safe to recommend meal plans. Your general dietary advice is covered by insurers. What you specifically prescribe for nutrition is frankly none of their business. I would think if you prescribe drugs/medications, you'd be more closely monitored. If you prescribe vitamins or superfoods, you're free to do that but you the insurance company won't cover vitamins - only your counseling. So for things like that people pay out of pocket.

69a2a5deb24d5b8d3aae3d9652fac564

(1020)

on July 18, 2011
at 07:28 PM

Also, is there any concern, that the CDE essentially answers to the CW of the ADA? And what about the conflict in philosophy?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 18, 2011
at 04:13 PM

Not that I know of but I think that has less to do with the viability of such a plan than the forward-thinking it takes to be able to circumvent the insurer/hospital board cartel comprised of drug execs, insurance execs, food company reps and maybe a token retired surgeon. I don't want to toot my own horn but I tend to be able to problem solve on a very high level. I analyze puzzles, dissect their components and develop a course of action. CDE is the way to go. You MUST get those insurance dollars or you're going to struggle. Medical establishment doesn't make it easy.

69a2a5deb24d5b8d3aae3d9652fac564

(1020)

on July 18, 2011
at 04:06 PM

Concerning the CDE route...anyone you know of make a successful go of it?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 18, 2011
at 01:40 AM

With an MS, you are stilly relying on out-of-pocket patients. The MS is not necessary for private practice. I only want the MS to pad my credentials to give me a better shot at a book deal. I won't be happy confined to one practice or even a chain of diabetes and obesity care clinics. I'd want to educate and promote health on a national scale and the best way for me to reach a large audience is through print media. But with the CDE, you can escape the hospital setting and steer insurance dollars away from hospital boards and into your pocket. CDE is the 1st step to financial independence

69a2a5deb24d5b8d3aae3d9652fac564

(1020)

on July 17, 2011
at 10:55 PM

One thing, is that for me, an NP is a pretty logical step, as it already puts me in the realm of "Provider" and depending on the state, I can probably practice autonomously. Then, there's the potential to mix medical Dx and TX with a Nutritional Therapy modality.

69a2a5deb24d5b8d3aae3d9652fac564

(1020)

on July 17, 2011
at 10:04 PM

Great answer! Thanks, so my next question is, why do you think a CDE takes priortiy over the MS or MPH? Do you know of anyone who succefully followed this path? If I were to do that, I'd have to remain in the nursing field to make ends meet until the private practice takes off. I'd want to hedge my bets monetarily. Being in the diabetes niche is an interesting direction, as the ADA is SURE to keep us loaded with plenty of customers..(Sadly)

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3 Answers

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6
226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 17, 2011
at 09:28 PM

Start your own practice!

First, go for the RD!!! I'm studying Dietetics/Nutrition now and my prerequisite courses are the same as future RN's so you already have completed most of the coursework. You're looking at 1 more year of school for the dietetics concentration plus a 9-month internship.

I'm going to complete this and then apply for my CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) license.

You need 400 hours with the ADA within the past 4 years just to qualify for an application. Then you need 2 years as an RD and 600 more hours towards your CDE. 1000 hours total. I really feel the CDE takes priority over an MS or MPH.

Your dietary advice is not covered by insurers unless you have a CDE and your patient is diagnosed with diabetes.

Your private practice could crumble if you ever rely soley on out-of-pocket patients in this economy.

So think about RD first, then CDE over MS/MPH

I also wouldn't worry about finding partners who are open to Paleo. I've already met an young endocrinologist who knows the system is whack. He's working on his CDE because he can't wait to escape the hospital. You can start your own practice with an endocrinologist, CDE and I'm sure you should have no trouble meeting one who's into integrative medicine and open to your Paleo approach.

From there, your bread and butter is diabetics covered by insurers but you'd be able to accommodate out of pocket types: people diagnosed overweight, obese, morbidly obese, people with energy/sleep/psychological issues, people with degenerative diseases. You can take them on at a discount because you have the bulk of your money coming in through insurers. I'm not sure if insurers reimburse for patients diagnosed with prediabetes or metabolic syndrome or hypertension.

The hospital boards will hate you but fuck 'em!

I'm going to go that route, see how it goes and then apply to the Nutrition Education MS at Columbia University - then try to write a line of books that hit the USDA Food Pyramid square in the jaw.

I will be BAMBAM, MS, RD, CDE.

But I feel the correct timeline is 1)RD 2)CDE 3)MS

69a2a5deb24d5b8d3aae3d9652fac564

(1020)

on July 18, 2011
at 04:06 PM

Concerning the CDE route...anyone you know of make a successful go of it?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 18, 2011
at 04:13 PM

Not that I know of but I think that has less to do with the viability of such a plan than the forward-thinking it takes to be able to circumvent the insurer/hospital board cartel comprised of drug execs, insurance execs, food company reps and maybe a token retired surgeon. I don't want to toot my own horn but I tend to be able to problem solve on a very high level. I analyze puzzles, dissect their components and develop a course of action. CDE is the way to go. You MUST get those insurance dollars or you're going to struggle. Medical establishment doesn't make it easy.

69a2a5deb24d5b8d3aae3d9652fac564

(1020)

on July 17, 2011
at 10:04 PM

Great answer! Thanks, so my next question is, why do you think a CDE takes priortiy over the MS or MPH? Do you know of anyone who succefully followed this path? If I were to do that, I'd have to remain in the nursing field to make ends meet until the private practice takes off. I'd want to hedge my bets monetarily. Being in the diabetes niche is an interesting direction, as the ADA is SURE to keep us loaded with plenty of customers..(Sadly)

69a2a5deb24d5b8d3aae3d9652fac564

(1020)

on July 17, 2011
at 10:55 PM

One thing, is that for me, an NP is a pretty logical step, as it already puts me in the realm of "Provider" and depending on the state, I can probably practice autonomously. Then, there's the potential to mix medical Dx and TX with a Nutritional Therapy modality.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 18, 2011
at 01:40 AM

With an MS, you are stilly relying on out-of-pocket patients. The MS is not necessary for private practice. I only want the MS to pad my credentials to give me a better shot at a book deal. I won't be happy confined to one practice or even a chain of diabetes and obesity care clinics. I'd want to educate and promote health on a national scale and the best way for me to reach a large audience is through print media. But with the CDE, you can escape the hospital setting and steer insurance dollars away from hospital boards and into your pocket. CDE is the 1st step to financial independence

69a2a5deb24d5b8d3aae3d9652fac564

(1020)

on July 18, 2011
at 07:28 PM

Also, is there any concern, that the CDE essentially answers to the CW of the ADA? And what about the conflict in philosophy?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on July 18, 2011
at 08:00 PM

The ADA uses the CDE to train professionals towards their CW but once you're licensed I think you're safe to recommend meal plans. Your general dietary advice is covered by insurers. What you specifically prescribe for nutrition is frankly none of their business. I would think if you prescribe drugs/medications, you'd be more closely monitored. If you prescribe vitamins or superfoods, you're free to do that but you the insurance company won't cover vitamins - only your counseling. So for things like that people pay out of pocket.

0
43f469552cfd3be73fc88a9821b14986

on July 26, 2012
at 06:31 AM

BamBam, can you please email me? [email protected] dot com

I was just accepted into a RD program, but reading more about the CDE program I see that Nurses can also become a CDE. I am looking at different options. As a Nurse Practitioner I could prescribe, work independently without a doctor and bill insurance. I am very interested in learning more about CDE and insurance payment rates etc.

Thank you for a great answer.

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