Diana, I am a student entering the field of dietetics. One of my assignments
is to find a Registered Dietitian on-line, view the web site, and ask
a few questions. I am very impressed by your web page. I do hope you
have a few minutes to answer a few questions? I thank you for taking
the time to read my email. I know you are very busy. However, I hope
you will have time to respond. Thank you.
What is your title is, and what are your job responsibilities?
business is simply called Diana Dyer, MS, RD. I have no *title*
per se except I guess you could call me owner or President. They
both sound so lofty :-) I am also the *janitor*!
no longer work in the hospital in the ICU with critically ill patients,
which I did for the bulk of my career as a clinical dietitian. I
left that position before I started my private practice in 1997,
in which I exclusively focused on people with a cancer diagnosis.
I did that from 1997-2000.
I no longer have a private practice in which I counsel patients
individually. Now I focus on:
my web site updated,
my Email newsletter,
other oncology RDs,
for research projects that focus on nutrition and cancer survivorship,
on the Executive Board for ADA's Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice
for nutrition counseling for cancer survivors in their cancer
centers, and also
What training/education did you receive in order to get your job?
in Biology at Purdue University, W. Lafayette, Indiana
in Nutrition Sciences - University of Wisconsin, Madison
Internship - University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Medical Center,
years experience in clinical dietetics
to go out on my own
of business help and encouragement from Nutrition Entrepreneurs
Dietetic Practice Group and also my husband who is my tech support!
Do you have any specialty certifications?
used to have the Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian credential
(CNSD) for my critical care work.
What made you decide to do this type of work?
newspaper article was written about me in 1997 as an RD-cancer survivor
that instantly created a private practice for me, put me on the
*speaking circuit*, and motivated me to write my book. My children
were the ones that told me I *must have* a web site! I have since
stopped seeing private patients and instead use my energy and time
to advocate on higher levels for access to counseling for this patient
now feel very strongly that all cancer patients should be receiving
pro-active, individualized, and in-depth nutritional assessments,
education or intervention, and monitoring by RDs at their cancer
treatment facilities instead of from private practice RDs (or worse,
from the health food stores) in order to optimize their comprehensive
cancer care. As such, I have become an advocate for nutrition counseling
for cancer patients - advocating both for RDs and patients. I do
this through my web site, marketing my book, speaking, funding nutrition
and cancer survivorship research from the proceeds of my book sales,
and writing letters to legislators.
What's the best aspect of your job?
inspirational cancer survivors and meeting dedicated cancer health
care professionals and researchers.
What's the worst aspect of your job?
appears to be no end in sight; ie no *cure* for cancer in the near
future and a long struggle to obtain the recognition of the importance
for and the financial resources or insurance reimbursement of nutritional
counseling services for cancer patients.
With what other health professionals do you communicate?
kinds: social workers, pharmacists, oncologists, surgeons, nurses,
psychologists, acupuncturists, Reiki healers, traditional Chinese
medicine doctors, herbalists, massage therapists, music therapists,
yoga instructors, exercise physiologists, etc, etc, etc!!!
What advice do you have for someone entering this field?
your passions, otherwise it is just a job with early burnout.
What do you see for the future of dietetics?
is no end of opportunities for RDs who are hard working, life-long
learners, creative, and have the courage to say "I can do that!"
along with the courage to say "I don't know the answer to that,
but I will find out and get back to you right away."
If you were to start all over, would you select your career again?
have loved everything I have ever done, so yes. The bigger question
is whether I should have gone on/stayed in a PhD program - much
harder to answer :-)
Here is a question on my own..... Do you feel the ADA is doing enough
to promote the profession of Dietetics?
can always be done by ADA, but much more also needs to be
done by individual RDs. I see too many RDs who are content
to let ADA do everything and then complain about the shortcomings.
My advice is to BE INVOLVED - be a part of the action - be
a part of the solutions :-) I have always liked the phrase "If
it is to be, it is up to me!"
I admit my advice here may seem a bit daunting to a student dietitian.
:-) So I suggest that you also ask this same question of the RD's
who are your current educators and clinical supervisors, and also
your colleagues at your first professional position. Listen to
their words of wisdom and perspectives.
addition, I highly recommend that you jump into your local
dietetic association, your state association, even a dietetic
practice group. Observe the RDs who are the *movers and shakers*,
volunteer to work with them on any type of project, ask if
you can mentor with them, in other words hook your star to
theirs. In every walk of life, don't let yourself be surrounded
remember that the ADA is much more than the staff people who
work at the headquarters. Indeed, *you* are the ADA. :-) Decide
what aspect of your chosen profession you would like to promote
to the world, and then become part of that solution. As a seasoned
dietitian, I can honestly say that nothing gives me more pleasure
than seeing the enthusiasm of students just entering the profession,
and I feel a personal responsibility to helping future RDs
optimize their professional impact.
luck and welcome to the profession as a Student Dietitian!! Feel free
to introduce yourself to me if our paths cross in the future :-)
Dyer, MS, RD
10/03, updated 2/04
These questions and answers
are intended to be of a general informative nature. Please consult with
the Registered Dietitian in your cancer center or your health care provider
for nutritional advice that can be individualized to your specific medical