5

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Any Dietetics/Nutrition students here?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 23, 2011 at 9:52 PM

I am studying Dietetics/Nutrition at Western Carolina University in North Carolina. Is anyone else studying to become an RD? If so, what do you think about your curriculum and text books in your nutrition courses? Do you feel like future RD's are getting a great deal of valid information or propaganda instead? I'm feeling like my classmates are digesting a high amount of bad info and will waltz out into the field and regurgitate it unknowingly of course.

Can anyone recommend any grad schools that are independent of the food lobby, the drug makers and the FDA? I'm looking at the MS in Nutrition Education at Columbia University and I'm hoping they're open to new nutritional science. Harvard's food pyramid (or whatever they call it) seems to be very un-Paleo.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 08, 2012
at 09:04 PM

Yeah, I don't know if doing exchange programs would be easy in an professional program like dietetics, pharmacy etc because the schools are really specific for accreditation, which varies by country and province. Most freshman courses are transferable for any university- you take the same physics, calculus, chemistry, and biology as most other schools. The only issue there might be is McGill combines Bio 1 and Bio 2 into 1 course, and chemistry is split into "general" and "organic" for 1st yr, which most uni's do only in 2nd year. Shouldn't be a problem though-freshman is really general.

F4c518ef36a08651947dd4b7c72b210f

on March 08, 2012
at 08:17 PM

Thanks! You have answered so many questions that I have been curious about. I might reconsider dietetics at mcgill because the idea of traveling and going on exchange programs are a big deal to me. One last question! Do you know if mcgill's freshman courses are transferable to ubc?

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 08, 2012
at 07:59 PM

Weather is standard east-coast, always around the same temperature as Ottawa, usually cooler than Toronto/Kingston area because of the proximity to the St. Lawrence and such. Summer is super humid and hot (feels 10 degrees warmer than the temperature gauge says year round if you are used to the west coast). Winter is dry, snowy, and cold but you just need a good jacket and it's fine. I don't mind it, and everyone told me I was going to die because I was from the WC. McGill produces and sells dairy, so they are tied to some cheese companies, but not much else that I know of.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 08, 2012
at 07:56 PM

Nice, I'm from BC too! There are courses abroad, but I haven't heard of anyone doing an exchange program- I think most of the professional programs like dietetics are specific enough that it's hard to go outside of the program for courses. It depends on the day, but most days are 8:30-5:30 right now, so I leave my appt at 7:15a,, get home close to 7:00pm. Long days, but it was like that when I was at my old university, pretty standard. I actually don't mind commuting, I'm a podcast addict so busing fuels the habit haha!

F4c518ef36a08651947dd4b7c72b210f

on March 08, 2012
at 07:07 PM

I've heard that UBC is a target school for Sunrise Foods, does McGill have something similar?

F4c518ef36a08651947dd4b7c72b210f

on March 08, 2012
at 07:02 PM

How's the weather anyways?

F4c518ef36a08651947dd4b7c72b210f

on March 08, 2012
at 06:59 PM

Oh wow FINALLY! Found someone who could answer my questions! I live in BC and UBC is a school I am also considering except you have to apply in third year. I was wondering if you heard of dietetic students who have done exchange programs? Since you live downtown, what time do you usually get back because I heard that some classes have labs that takes hours?

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 08, 2012
at 06:51 PM

I transferred into the program, so my GPA requirement is different. I had done 2 years of microbiology and applied with a GPA of 3.7. To stay in the dietetics program you have to maintain a GPA of 3. If your GPA goes below 3 you are given a year of probation to get your marks back up. Because you are placed in internships, they do not depend on applying with a certain GPA, which is nice gives more people opportunities I think. I'm also getting a minor, which is possible if you 1) aren't bent on graduating on time or 2) already have your electives covered (my transfer credit covered mostly).

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 08, 2012
at 06:48 PM

If you want to do your internship in the hospital, you have to be able to speak French. However, there are lots of other options for English-only internships, though they still strongly encourage you to take French electives and be able to hold a conversation in French. I wouldn't qualify the program as particularity challenging in itself- a lot of time is spent dealing with communication and building relationships with clients. All the hard sciences are still there, but those are usually the ones I like best :).

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 08, 2012
at 06:45 PM

Program is good- its a very small campus which I really like (small student body, smaller class sizes etc). I chose it over UBC (the other one I applied for) because there is more diversity in the coursework and the internship is spread out over the whole program instead of just lumped in the last year. Sainte Anne is a nice town, but I live downtown so I commute (~40 minutes on the free shuttle). The campus is mixed with plant science, animal biology etc. but it is a bit unique being on a campus that only has science students- everyone is in the same freshman courses, so it feels very teamish

F4c518ef36a08651947dd4b7c72b210f

on March 08, 2012
at 09:20 AM

I know this is completely off topic but I was wondering if you could tell me how you like the program at McGill (if you had the chance to start over again would you still choose dietetics and or McGill?), if you found it challenging and how you like the campus and sainte Anne de bellevue? Also if you don't mind telling me what average did you get accepted with for dietetics? Please and thank you :)

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on February 18, 2012
at 05:51 PM

Im gonna be watching this! I'm Nutrition Science Pre-Med at Auburn!!!!

C7fa1bf712d466cf7e9f2a404d5f0e34

(40)

on February 18, 2012
at 04:39 PM

I go to McGill too

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on June 25, 2011
at 09:55 PM

So you can goto med school, not do a residency, and still call yourself a M.D.? Didn't know that.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 24, 2011
at 10:59 PM

Sabrina! Loved the link. LOL'd at: You will learn all about how to be a hospital dietitian and calculate how much corn syrup and soybean oil based liquid food sick people should be administered, you will probably have to teach a class on the food pyramid (that was not fun—the curriculum told me to tell people that soybean oil is good because it lowers cholesterol. I think I said it really fast so no one heard me)."The American Diabetes Association hired me to work at a diabetes camp. You need 1000 hrs for the CDE and then you get the insurance $$ you need to survive in private practice.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 24, 2011
at 01:56 AM

That's a tough one. There's so many different routes, and many paleo gurus didn't take any of them. Physical therapy wouldn't seem to be the best route though, unless you're more into paleo movement and exercise.

E48833ca4e98b24f35191a02e84cc262

on June 24, 2011
at 01:35 AM

Kamal, BAM BAM, and anyone else, i asked a similar question "Paleo Doctor?"(you can check my page). but unlike BAM, i basically starting fresh(thank god i quit that out of state school) back home in VA/DC area and would like to know what undergrad/grad programs or routes can take me the closest to anything relatively paleo or having the background to make claims in its name? nutrition and exercise are two realms i feel go hand in hand, and ive been leaning towards kinesiology, but what can a physical therapist say about nutrition that would be respected as something credible?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 24, 2011
at 12:04 AM

I don't know, but I'll definitely consider stealing an idea from paleohacks.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 23, 2011
at 11:49 PM

Well, if an R.D. gets a CDE license then he/she can survive with his/her own practice and break free from the shackles and chains of the hospital bad guys. True it's 1000 hours of service in private practice or hospital to get there but once you're there it's the quickest and cheapest road to independence in the field of health and healing. R.D.'s get book deals. You're golden as a PhD though and you can write that book without the M.D. What will your write about?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 23, 2011
at 11:36 PM

Also, I realize this is kinda outside the question, as you are in the midst of pursuing an RD. But after being in classes with a couple unsatisfied RDs, I had to speak for them!

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 23, 2011
at 11:26 PM

Jeff, that most be frustrating for you. I'm going throw the same thing with my undergrad work. I have to discard most of it but simultaneously drill it into my cranium so I can pass the national exam to get my license to be an R.D. Everything I need to know I learned from a book by Mark Hyman. I assimilate all new information into that frame. If it doesn't fit, I dump it. 99% of what I'm studying through this college curriculum is worthless. I just don't want this trend to continue into my grad school work. 3.5 years of hell is bad enough.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 23, 2011
at 10:37 PM

That's a great recommendation. Thank you! I have my heart set on Columbia University for some reason. I'd hate to overindulge in that fantasy and then have to scramble to research other schools if Columbia rejects me.

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9 Answers

best answer

4
Aee6ae87bea622a255b598368bd2fe2b

(75)

on June 23, 2011
at 10:24 PM

Loren Cordain is a professor at Colorado State

http://hes.cahs.colostate.edu/faculty_staff/cordain.aspx?sm=a

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 23, 2011
at 10:37 PM

That's a great recommendation. Thank you! I have my heart set on Columbia University for some reason. I'd hate to overindulge in that fantasy and then have to scramble to research other schools if Columbia rejects me.

best answer

4
B952863fcaea35e6fd926ddb1f88123b

(130)

on June 24, 2011
at 09:16 PM

I graduated about a year ago with a Master's Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Bastyr University. I wrote a long blog post about the pros and cons of paleo plus the ADA here: http://plumhealth.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-to-become-paleo-dietitian-and-is-it.html

Good luck!

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 24, 2011
at 10:59 PM

Sabrina! Loved the link. LOL'd at: You will learn all about how to be a hospital dietitian and calculate how much corn syrup and soybean oil based liquid food sick people should be administered, you will probably have to teach a class on the food pyramid (that was not fun—the curriculum told me to tell people that soybean oil is good because it lowers cholesterol. I think I said it really fast so no one heard me)."The American Diabetes Association hired me to work at a diabetes camp. You need 1000 hrs for the CDE and then you get the insurance $$ you need to survive in private practice.

5
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 23, 2011
at 11:28 PM

I'm a nutrition PhD student who thinks having an RD is not always the right career choice. Unpaid year-long internship in a hospital? No thanks!

But it does force you to learn nutritional biochem and medical nutrition therapy, so it's not all bad.

Harvard's nutrition program is not really a "nutrition" program. It's an epidemiology program in disguise. An alternative to getting an RD is getting an MPH/MSPH/MHS in Public Health with a nutrition concentration.

By far the ballsiest option is going to med school, not doing a residency, then writing a nutrition book. Looking back, I wish I had done that. Even though it's expensive, an MD is worth several RDs or Masters degrees in the public eye. This option is only affordable if one goes to a state school though.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 23, 2011
at 11:36 PM

Also, I realize this is kinda outside the question, as you are in the midst of pursuing an RD. But after being in classes with a couple unsatisfied RDs, I had to speak for them!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 24, 2011
at 12:04 AM

I don't know, but I'll definitely consider stealing an idea from paleohacks.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 23, 2011
at 11:49 PM

Well, if an R.D. gets a CDE license then he/she can survive with his/her own practice and break free from the shackles and chains of the hospital bad guys. True it's 1000 hours of service in private practice or hospital to get there but once you're there it's the quickest and cheapest road to independence in the field of health and healing. R.D.'s get book deals. You're golden as a PhD though and you can write that book without the M.D. What will your write about?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 24, 2011
at 01:56 AM

That's a tough one. There's so many different routes, and many paleo gurus didn't take any of them. Physical therapy wouldn't seem to be the best route though, unless you're more into paleo movement and exercise.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on June 25, 2011
at 09:55 PM

So you can goto med school, not do a residency, and still call yourself a M.D.? Didn't know that.

E48833ca4e98b24f35191a02e84cc262

on June 24, 2011
at 01:35 AM

Kamal, BAM BAM, and anyone else, i asked a similar question "Paleo Doctor?"(you can check my page). but unlike BAM, i basically starting fresh(thank god i quit that out of state school) back home in VA/DC area and would like to know what undergrad/grad programs or routes can take me the closest to anything relatively paleo or having the background to make claims in its name? nutrition and exercise are two realms i feel go hand in hand, and ive been leaning towards kinesiology, but what can a physical therapist say about nutrition that would be respected as something credible?

3
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on June 23, 2011
at 11:21 PM

I'm getting a master's in nutritional science and plan on becoming an R.D. I feel the program is a joke and I can honestly say I've learned more from this site, let alone all of the other great online resources like Whole Health Source, Chris Kresser, etc.

I have learned (and continue to learn) about special populations, diseases, etc. even though the root causes like sugar, inflammation, and auto-immunity don't seem to be discussed much. Also things like hospital protocols and biochemistry are good to know.

I plan on 'powering through' while learning as much as I can independently.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 23, 2011
at 11:26 PM

Jeff, that most be frustrating for you. I'm going throw the same thing with my undergrad work. I have to discard most of it but simultaneously drill it into my cranium so I can pass the national exam to get my license to be an R.D. Everything I need to know I learned from a book by Mark Hyman. I assimilate all new information into that frame. If it doesn't fit, I dump it. 99% of what I'm studying through this college curriculum is worthless. I just don't want this trend to continue into my grad school work. 3.5 years of hell is bad enough.

2
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 18, 2012
at 04:15 PM

I'm a dietetics student at McGill University in Canada! I really like my program because instead of killing you with a year long unpaid internship, they break it up by having just 1-3 month long internships every year. You can select English-only internships too, which is nice if you don't speak French. There is a fair amount of bullshit in the program, but I find it lies more with the students then with the teachers. We get taught by a very diverse group of profs- anthropologists, animal biologists, biochemists, microbiologists, economists, physiologists etc, and that whole bunch seems much more open to different styles of eating and ratios of macronutrients. The head of our dietetics program was also the guy that halted the recommendations that Canada was going give for a low-fat diet for children, so that was pretty bad ass of him. There is one paleo professor in our school that I know of, she is an animal biologist however not a dietitian.

Though I considered giving up and switching to my minor (math & statistics), I agree with the comments above that it will be WORTH IT to have PALEO RDs, and we will never get there if we all just throw our hands up in our air and say "they will never get it".

Plus, I think that if you get through the undergrad "mud", it only is going to get better in grad school. I've been trying to keep my options open so I can go into epidemiology for grad school (hence the statistics/math minor), but the possibility of going into dietetics grad school is the original reason I chose this school. Grad school is about research, and research is about making new discoveries that change conventional wisdom- or so it should be.

C7fa1bf712d466cf7e9f2a404d5f0e34

(40)

on February 18, 2012
at 04:39 PM

I go to McGill too

F4c518ef36a08651947dd4b7c72b210f

on March 08, 2012
at 09:20 AM

I know this is completely off topic but I was wondering if you could tell me how you like the program at McGill (if you had the chance to start over again would you still choose dietetics and or McGill?), if you found it challenging and how you like the campus and sainte Anne de bellevue? Also if you don't mind telling me what average did you get accepted with for dietetics? Please and thank you :)

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 08, 2012
at 06:51 PM

I transferred into the program, so my GPA requirement is different. I had done 2 years of microbiology and applied with a GPA of 3.7. To stay in the dietetics program you have to maintain a GPA of 3. If your GPA goes below 3 you are given a year of probation to get your marks back up. Because you are placed in internships, they do not depend on applying with a certain GPA, which is nice gives more people opportunities I think. I'm also getting a minor, which is possible if you 1) aren't bent on graduating on time or 2) already have your electives covered (my transfer credit covered mostly).

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 08, 2012
at 09:04 PM

Yeah, I don't know if doing exchange programs would be easy in an professional program like dietetics, pharmacy etc because the schools are really specific for accreditation, which varies by country and province. Most freshman courses are transferable for any university- you take the same physics, calculus, chemistry, and biology as most other schools. The only issue there might be is McGill combines Bio 1 and Bio 2 into 1 course, and chemistry is split into "general" and "organic" for 1st yr, which most uni's do only in 2nd year. Shouldn't be a problem though-freshman is really general.

F4c518ef36a08651947dd4b7c72b210f

on March 08, 2012
at 06:59 PM

Oh wow FINALLY! Found someone who could answer my questions! I live in BC and UBC is a school I am also considering except you have to apply in third year. I was wondering if you heard of dietetic students who have done exchange programs? Since you live downtown, what time do you usually get back because I heard that some classes have labs that takes hours?

F4c518ef36a08651947dd4b7c72b210f

on March 08, 2012
at 07:07 PM

I've heard that UBC is a target school for Sunrise Foods, does McGill have something similar?

F4c518ef36a08651947dd4b7c72b210f

on March 08, 2012
at 07:02 PM

How's the weather anyways?

F4c518ef36a08651947dd4b7c72b210f

on March 08, 2012
at 08:17 PM

Thanks! You have answered so many questions that I have been curious about. I might reconsider dietetics at mcgill because the idea of traveling and going on exchange programs are a big deal to me. One last question! Do you know if mcgill's freshman courses are transferable to ubc?

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 08, 2012
at 07:56 PM

Nice, I'm from BC too! There are courses abroad, but I haven't heard of anyone doing an exchange program- I think most of the professional programs like dietetics are specific enough that it's hard to go outside of the program for courses. It depends on the day, but most days are 8:30-5:30 right now, so I leave my appt at 7:15a,, get home close to 7:00pm. Long days, but it was like that when I was at my old university, pretty standard. I actually don't mind commuting, I'm a podcast addict so busing fuels the habit haha!

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 08, 2012
at 06:45 PM

Program is good- its a very small campus which I really like (small student body, smaller class sizes etc). I chose it over UBC (the other one I applied for) because there is more diversity in the coursework and the internship is spread out over the whole program instead of just lumped in the last year. Sainte Anne is a nice town, but I live downtown so I commute (~40 minutes on the free shuttle). The campus is mixed with plant science, animal biology etc. but it is a bit unique being on a campus that only has science students- everyone is in the same freshman courses, so it feels very teamish

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 08, 2012
at 06:48 PM

If you want to do your internship in the hospital, you have to be able to speak French. However, there are lots of other options for English-only internships, though they still strongly encourage you to take French electives and be able to hold a conversation in French. I wouldn't qualify the program as particularity challenging in itself- a lot of time is spent dealing with communication and building relationships with clients. All the hard sciences are still there, but those are usually the ones I like best :).

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 08, 2012
at 07:59 PM

Weather is standard east-coast, always around the same temperature as Ottawa, usually cooler than Toronto/Kingston area because of the proximity to the St. Lawrence and such. Summer is super humid and hot (feels 10 degrees warmer than the temperature gauge says year round if you are used to the west coast). Winter is dry, snowy, and cold but you just need a good jacket and it's fine. I don't mind it, and everyone told me I was going to die because I was from the WC. McGill produces and sells dairy, so they are tied to some cheese companies, but not much else that I know of.

2
Medium avatar

(2923)

on February 18, 2012
at 07:18 AM

Amy Kubal, one of Robb Wolf's consulting RDs, answered a similar question a couple weeks back, short version: it's gonna be a long hard slog regardless: Paleo by Profession - Is It Possible?

2
E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on February 18, 2012
at 05:02 AM

I am a Registered Dietitian and am glad I completed my BS and MS before I knew about the Paleo diet because I believe it would have been very difficult otherwise.

However, I do believe the effort is worthwhile. Make you own research, read scientific articles, educate yourself through conferences (i.e. Ancestral Health Symposium) and keep your mind open with podcasts. Question everything you are taught!

If you feel brave, question your professors to hopefully show the another side of the nutrition story to your classmates.

We need more Paleo RDs!

0
65bba2aa1de77b31c373c1a390c43ca8

(423)

on March 08, 2012
at 02:35 PM

I'm actually planning on going back to get my second bachelor's in Dietetics. I'll probably start the pre-req's this fall, and start coursework Fall of 2013. I'm looking forward to seeing what is taught vs. the various things I have researched on my own. I plan to continue eating Paleo, so I think it'll be interesting.

0
F4c518ef36a08651947dd4b7c72b210f

on March 08, 2012
at 09:20 AM

I know this is completely off topic but I was wondering if you could tell me how you like the program at McGill (if you had the chance to start over again would you still choose dietetics and or McGill?), if you found it challenging and how you like the campus and sainte Anne de bellevue? Also if you don't mind telling me what average did you get accepted with for dietetics? Please and thank you :)

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