Lately I have been receiving a tonne of emails from aspiring dietitians and foodies asking how I became a Dietitian, do I like it, where did I study etc. So I’ve pulled together the most questions and made a guide for everything you need to know about becoming a Dietitian.
How did you become a Dietitian & where did you study?
How long was your degree?
My degree was 4 years, full-time at UOW (at some universities it can take 5 years plus). It’s done face-to-face meaning you can’t do the degree online as it involves practical elements like lab experiments & work experience in hospitals. The degree includes a 4th year Honours thesis, including research in practice. I also hold the title Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) which means I complete continuing professional development each year to stay up to date with all the latest nutrition research. APD is different to a health coach, nutritional therapist, naturopath etc as its the only national credential recognised by the Australian Government, Medicare, the Department of Veterans Affairs and most private health funds.
Do you recommend studying certain subjects at school for your uni degree?
Yes, maths and English are prerequisites for the degree. I would also recommend chemistry. I also studied food tech at school which I found helpful.
What does a Dietitian do?
Dietitians can work in all different settings including hospitals (clinical), in the community, conducting research, for a food company, in the media or in a private practice.
What does a typical day as a Dietitian involve?
I own a private practice dietitian consultancy “Rebeca Gawthorne – Dietitian & Nutritionist” that operates through homevisit appointments. This means I travel to people’s houses and conduct appointments there. A typical appointment would involve assessing a clients medical history, lifestyle, current eating and exercise, and then making a meal plan tailored to their individual needs to help them achieve their goals.
I also run the Instagram @nourish_naturally so, between clients, I style & take photos, conduct product reviews, create recipes, write articles for the media, blog & attend various food and fitness events.
Have you always worked as a private practise Dietitian?
No. While I was setting up my private practice business, I worked for The Royal Flying Doctor Service for a year. Each fortnight I flew across rural NSW, Australia to work with Aboriginal communities. I helped these communities set up fruit & vegetable gardens, conducted cooking classes & ran individual nutrition appointments.
Do you like being a Dietitian & would you recommend it?
Yes, I love being a Dietitian! Like every job, it has its busy and stressful times, especially as I own my own business, but overall I love it! When my clients tell me how amazing they feel from making healthy changes, or that they haven’t felt this good in year and thank me saying they love feeling healthy & fit, I can’t help but love my job. Yes I would recommend the degree but be prepared to put in hard work!
*Editor’s Note: This is an independent post and all views are my own.