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.
Loren Cordain is a professor at Colorado State
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
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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 :)
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.