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From: Mark Rifkin (
Subject:         Re: Field clarification
Date: December 23, 2005 at 11:32 pm PST

In Reply to: Re: Field clarification posted by vicki on December 23, 2005 at 12:55 pm:


It seems as though you already have many of the necessary skills required to succeed at fulfilling RD requirements.

Although food service courses would be required, and they ARE somewhat boring, you may only need to complete the core nutrition courses, which could be as few as 8-10 classes. As I've mentioned in other posts, some states don't require a degree in nutrition, they simply require any degree + the core courses. With the science background you already have, you could be finished in a year or two.

For the most part, we share career goals. When I started out, I intended to simply take a nutrition course or two. But as someone pointed out to me, that doesn't imply a lot of credibility.

Another possibility for you could be Health Education, which generally provides training in design/planning, conduction and evaluation of seminars & workshops, as well as education in research & statistics. It usually lacks significant content in nutrition, so no food service courses would be required, but (the downside is), the material is very general and not nutrition-specific.
After you complete the req'ments, you can take a test to get certified as a CHES (Cert. Health Ed. Specialist), which is legitimate, but not well known.

In sum, I'd recommend the RD track.

I hope that helps.
Mark Rifkin, MS, RD, LDN

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