Registered Dietitian

The field, the training, and what it takes to succeed

It’s a more nutrition-conscious world than ever before. Registered Dietitians, who have always been trusted for nutritional care, are finding increased opportunities for active roles in agencies, healthcare facilities, and private practice. Many frum women are discovering that working as an RD can be lucrative, rewarding, and flexible. Is there an “RD” post-nominal in your future? Read on to discover more.

What do RDs do?

A Registered Dietitian provides expert nutritional guidance. As an RD, your client can be a new mom seeking healthy weight loss, a medically fragile child with developmental delays, or a diabetic who needs to manage his condition. Each of these people have unique nutritional needs, and as the RD, you’d identify what those needs are and plan a diet accordingly.

RD vs. Nutritionist?

BIG difference. While just about anyone can hang out his/her shingle as a nutritionist (with dubious credentials, or even no credentials at all), Registered Dietitians are the real deal. To become an RD you need to study a rigorous combination of maths and sciences, complete supervised fieldwork in medical settings, and pass the registration exam for dietitians. As an RD, you can fill clinical positions or privately bill insurance companies for the services you provide, neither of which can be done by a nutritionist.

Who should become an RD?

People choose this field for many different reasons. If you’re passionate about health and nutrition, have a strong academic record, and are highly self-motivated, this field can work for you.

Q: What does the program entail?

 A: It’s a 4-year program, including 3 years of online courses like Medical Nutrition, Microbiology, Anatomy & Physiology, and Food Science, followed by a 1-year internship*. You are then eligible to sit for the registration exam to get your RD License.

Q: Who should apply?

A: If you’re interested in the field of health, we definitely encourage you to apply! At the same time, you should be aware that it’s a demanding program, and you’ll need to meet minimum grade requirements in order to complete the program. We try to only accept people who have the drive, discipline, and academic skills necessary to succeed.

Q: What would you tell people reading this who are interested in learning more?

A: I’d recommend that you reach out sooner rather than later. Starting January 2024, anyone registering for the RD exam must have a master’s degree. That means this is the last year someone can join, complete the program, and sit for the exam without a master’s degree. When the requirement change goes into effect, RD salaries are expected to increase, so if you get in now you can have the best of both worlds.

“For me, it was an easy decision. I’d always wanted to be a doctor, but as a frum woman, I wasn’t ready for the intensive schooling and 16-hour work shifts. Being an RD gives me a place in the medical field that is flexible enough for my lifestyle.”

“I work in a nursing home and have a private practice as well. Watching clients reach their nutrition goals is the most rewarding part of my day-to-day. This field is great for a frum woman, because you have the flexibility to work part time and create your own schedule.”



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