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Frequently Asked Questions

 


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.

Answers to Questions:

1. What is your title is, and what are your job responsibilities?

My 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*!

I 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.

Currently, I no longer have a private practice in which I counsel patients individually. Now I focus on:

  • my public speaking,
  • keeping my web site updated,
  • writing my Email newsletter,
  • mentoring other oncology RDs,
  • consulting for research projects that focus on nutrition and cancer survivorship,
  • participating on the Executive Board for ADA's Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group (ON-DPG),
  • advocating for nutrition counseling for cancer survivors in their cancer centers, and also
  • marketing my book.

2. What training/education did you receive in order to get your job?

      • BS in Biology at Purdue University, W. Lafayette, Indiana
      • MS in Nutrition Sciences - University of Wisconsin, Madison
      • Dietetic Internship - University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Medical Center, Madison
      • Many years experience in clinical dietetics
      • Courage to go out on my own
      • Lots of business help and encouragement from Nutrition Entrepreneurs Dietetic Practice Group and also my husband who is my tech support!

3. Do you have any specialty certifications?

I used to have the Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian credential (CNSD) for my critical care work.

4. What made you decide to do this type of work?

A 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 population.

I 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.

5. What's the best aspect of your job?

Meeting inspirational cancer survivors and meeting dedicated cancer health care professionals and researchers.

6. What's the worst aspect of your job?

There 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.

7. With what other health professionals do you communicate?

All 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!!!

8. What advice do you have for someone entering this field?

Follow your passions, otherwise it is just a job with early burnout.

9. What do you see for the future of dietetics?

There 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."

10. If you were to start all over, would you select your career again?

I 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 :-)

11. Here is a question on my own..... Do you feel the ADA is doing enough to promote the profession of Dietetics?

More 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.

In 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 by complainers!

Finally, 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.

Good luck and welcome to the profession as a Student Dietitian!! Feel free to introduce yourself to me if our paths cross in the future :-)

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

faq posted 10/03, updated 2/04


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Miscellaneous

WBC Count What research studies have you funded with the proceeds from the sale of your book? posted 9/02, updated 9/05, updated 12/06
WBC Count Has your WBC count finally gone back up to normal?
WBC Count What do you think helped your WBC count finally get back to normal? posted 8/02
Lab Tests Can you recommend a web site or relatively user-friendly book that would explain the particular lab tests I am having done, results and what that means? posted 4/02
Coffee? Do you ever drink coffee? I just cannot give it up! posted 8/03
Black-outs What did you eat during the recent black-out? posted 9/03, updated 10/03
Cookbooks Diana, do you have a favorite cookbook? posted 9/03
Cookbooks 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. posted 10/03
Cookbooks Why don't you put calories and other nutrients on all of your
recipes? How can I figure this out myself?
 
posted 8/04
Cookbooks I could not get a flu shot this year. Are there immune-boosting foods that you can recommend? posted 11/04, updated 1/05
Cookbooks How do you know you are cured? posted 5/05
Cookbooks Can you give me some advice about self-publishing a book? posted 7/05

 

 


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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 condition.

Contact Information:
Phone/Fax: 734/996-9260

P.O. Box 130221, Ann Arbor, MI  48113

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