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From: Mark Rifkin (
Subject:         Re: Advice on career direction
Date: December 14, 2005 at 10:11 pm PST

In Reply to: Advice on career direction posted by bree on December 14, 2005 at 12:26 pm:

Hi Bree,

Good choice of MS degree. I understand what you mean re: being an independent practitioner w/o orders from others.
I was exposed to research opportunities in school, but I wasn't too interested in research.

I started teaching inexpensive veg'n education workshops 8 years ago in natural food stores. This provides some income, but the marketing benefit is most significant. Workshops can also be conducted at local libraries, through adult boards of education, non-credit courses at community colleges, cooperative extension etc.
Recently, I also started tabling at a farmers market, a great place to meet health-focused clients.
Other parts of my practice are based on relationships formed during my internship, in which I rotated among 8 different settings. Other ideas are based in reading about various aspects of the "health care" crisis; this has led me to the conclusion that whoever helps reduce health care costs will be much in demand. The primary tool, of course, is healthy plant-based diets.
The last critical tool is networking: not only with other veg'ns and nutrition professionals, but also with practitioners of other modalities, local professional associations, and enviro-oriented groups.
Eventually, I also plan to work with physicians in various specialties which cover conditions potentially treatable with diet (e.g., cardiologists).

Hope that answers your questions.
Mark Rifkin, MS, RD

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