Thursday, March 5, 2009

How to start a career as a Dietitian (in India)?

A lot of students who have earned their degrees in Nutrition have no clue as to what should be their next step(I was one among them,not so long ago). For this very reason I approached none other than the President of the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA),Mrs Dharini Krishnan.

Ms. Dharini Krishnan
Ms.Dharini Krishnan is the current National President of the Indian Dietetic Association(IDA). She has several years of experience as a Dietitian, a teacher and as a research assistant. She consults at her clinic at Mylapore,Chennai. She has also developed a personalised diet software called 'Digest' which is being used by many dietitians and also in several hospitals. Her website www.edigestdoc.com helps individuals and patients maintain good health through analysis of exercise and diet regimens.

1. What is your advice for a student of nutrition who has just graduated and is interested in becoming a Dietitian?
The need for India is in preventive nutrition being the global capital for diabetes and cardiac disease
Any graduate should take at least 2 years experience in the field she or he is interested in pursuing, then branch of on their own. There is huge scope for independent consultant dietitians in various fields such as obesity, diabetes, cardiac disease, sport's nutrition and normal nutrition.

2. What are the requirements to sit for the Registered Dietitian(RD) exam?
Please check the website www.idaindia.com under the heading 'Registration' for all details related to RD, eligibility, when application forms are issued and so on.

3. Do you have a list of some of the hospitals in India which offer internship for the RD course?
The list will soon be up on the same website. As of now,here are some of the hospitals in:
Chennai:
Sundaram Medical Foundation
Ramchandra Medical College and Hospital
Bangalore:
Sagar Hospitals
Ludhiana:
Christian Medical College and Hospital

4. Other than hospitals, where else can the candidate look for jobs?
Fitness centres, centres which offer corporate counseling, diet clinics which are mushrooming under the corporate banner and private clinics, pediatric clinics and obstetric clinics.

5. Can a candidate look to the IDA for help in finding vacancies?
It is good to be a life member of IDA. Once any student finishes graduation, one should become a life member of IDA and take part in the activities of the local chapter. Every chapter announces the vacancies which they hear about in the monthly meetings.

6. Is it mandatory to become a member of the IDA?How does one benefit by becoming a member of the IDA?
It is not mandatory to become and IDA member to get a government job. In the private sector it is well recognised and a Registered Dietitian is also given some weightage. When students go abroad especially to the UAE and related countries registration is compulsory after a particular level. Membership in Dietetic Associations where you studied is compulsory. IDA is also aligned with International Confederation of Dietetic Associations(ICDA) and we also have one of our members on the ICDA board. These alignments call for promising future to be an IDA member. Finishing an RD gives the skill sets to practice as a dietitian.

7. Who all can become a member(can the general public join)?
Generally, a life member of the association should be a person who has studied nutrition and dietetics. We have other kinds of membership associate members, corporate members. Soon all this will be updated on the website with the fees for the same.

8.How many chapters does the IDA have?
IDA has 17 chapters scanning across the country. All details are available on the website with address, email contacts of each chapter

9. Are there any programmes/meeting conducted by the IDA at the national level as well as locally?
At the National level, every year we have a Annual National Conference which is usually held during the month of December. Local chapters are welcome to hold symposiums regional workshops and other such activities which is convenient to them.

15 comments:

Gayathri Murali said...

I have done my B. Sc chemistry and I am planning to pursue PG diploma in dietetics and clinical nutrition. Am I eligible to sit for Rd exam after completion of my internship and experience?

Gayathri Murali said...

Hi,
I have done my B. Sc chemistry and I am planning to pursue PG diploma in dietetics and clinical nutrition through medvarsity this year. Am I eligible to sit for Rd exam after my internship and experience gained?

Sweta (My Indian Dietitian) said...

Hi Gayathri,
Great to know that you are interested in a career in Nutrition. You may have to get in touch with the IDA chapter in your State/area to find out whether you can sit for the RD. Or you can shoot them an email at the contact us page of the IDA: http://www.idaindia.com/contactus_v1.jsp

Sangeeta Hugar said...

Hi I have completed MSC in clinical nutrition and dietetics from distance learning and now working as a dietitian in medical college since 6 months can I apply for rd exam... Whats the criteria for it...please let me know..

Sangeeta Hugar said...

Hi I have completed MSC in clinical nutrition and dietetics from distance learning and now working as a dietitian in medical college since 6 months can I apply for rd exam... Whats the criteria for it...please let me know..

Sangeeta Hugar said...

Hi I have completed MSC in clinical nutrition and dietetics from distance learning and now working as a dietitian in medical college since 6 months can I apply for rd exam... Whats the criteria for it...please let me know..

Sweta (My Indian Dietitian) said...

Hi Sangeeta,
Please contact your local IDA chapter. They will evaluate your case. Also make sure that you are working under a Registered Dietitian. That is a pre-requisite for sitting for the RD exams.
All the best.

Niti Patel said...

Hi I am a student n I am pursuing my Bsc in dietetics I would like to know if we become a registered dietitian in India n thn would like to go to USA.. So does this certification as a RD in India be accepted there?

Sweta (My Indian Dietitian) said...

Hi Niti,
Unfortunately the Indian RD is not recognized in the US. After your BSc, you will need to study further in the US which will then qualify you to sit for the RD exam there.
All the best :)

bintul huda kazmi said...

hello maam,I have done graduation from life sciences now i m pursuing M.Sc dietetis and food services management from IGNOU.
As per criteria for RD exam i am not eligible since it ask for having four year studies in Nutrition and Dietetics.
do non registred dietitian get job in hospital and other places as registred dietitian??please help me regarding this situation.

Sweta (My Indian Dietitian) said...

Hi Bintul,
Contact you local IDA chapter-they will guide you. As for jobs-it depends on the HR of the hospital if they employ Dietitians without RD. I know weight-loss clinics are not particular that Dietitians have to be RD-so you can always try there!

Girija Damle said...

hello ma'am, I am a FY student of food,nutrition and dietetics at SNDT university mumbai. I came across this facility for students to be a member of the IDA. Is it advisable for a FY student to apply for the student membership?

Sweta (My Indian Dietitian) said...

Yes-absolutely! You'll learn a lot from the meetings and you'll also get to meet the other dietitians and you can start networking with them. Networking will help you get ideas on how to plan your future in Nutrition & Dietetics and also can help in finding jobs once you have completed your studies.

chika said...

Hello ma'am I am doing bsc microbiology and I am planing to do msc in nutrition and dietetion. Will I be eligible to give RD exam in future.

Sweta (My Indian Dietitian) said...

Hi Chika-please contact your local IDA chapter. For RD exam-you will also need to do a 6 month internship first.

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