We’ve wrapped up Preceptor Month and moved into May, signaling your chance as a dietitian to renew your membership with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Not a member yet? Or perhaps debating on whether you should renew? Read this first to learn all about the benefits you can receive through your membership!
Guest blogger Nikki Nies walks us through the many benefits – she breaks it down so you don’t have it! Read more below to see why an Academy membership can help you advance your career in dietetics.
Can you believe we’re already a quarter through 2017? It’s hard to believe. That also means that we’re wrapping up National Preceptor Month, which has flown by. If you’re a Preceptor, thank you for all your guidance, patience, mentoring and teaching. If you’re a dietetic intern, thank you for taking the time show your appreciation to your preceptor(s).
With that said, let’s end April by reviewing the mutually beneficial DPGs and MIGs. Dietetic Practice Groups (DPG) and Member Interest Groups (MIG) are an additional resource offered through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. They serve as a community for dietitians to come together. For roughly $25 to $40, your membership pays for itself. For students, dues can be as little as $10.
What is a DPG and MIG?
- DPG: interest groups that provide career development, networking and leadership
- MIG: look beyond just geographic location and practice of dietetics
You may notice a lot of RDs are members to multiple DPGs and that’s because there are so many that serve a wide variety of interests and specialty practice areas. You don’t have to limit yourself to just one!
How do I renew or add a DPG or MIG?
You don’t have to wait to be a RD to join. As a student, I was able to connect with other RDs across America with the same passions and interests. When you’re renewing your Academy membership, you can easily add on a DPG/MIG at checkout! Just remember, you must first be an Academy member before you gain the ability to join these other groups.
Already a member? Just sign in, and once you’ve reached the landing page click on ‘My Academy Toolbar’ under the drop down menu. Click on ‘My Groups’ and then ‘Add Groups.’ Your page should look similar to mine below.
Personal Experience with DPGs and MIGs
One of the most helpful DPGs in my career has been Nutrition Entrepreneurs (NE). While I don’t intend to open my own private practice, for now, this DPG has provided me the most insight in how to market myself, see first hand what other RDs are working on and has the most inviting, responsive electronic mailing list I’ve seen. Whether you’re in a clinical setting or wanting to share your services, knowing how to best convey your thoughts, how to be part of the decision making conversations, this DPG empowers and educates dietitians how to put best foot forward.
Additionally, I have been a member of the MIG Chinese Americans in Dietetics and Nutrition (CADN), which has been a great resource and opportunity to serve my fellow Chinese Americans. While it’s a smaller DPG, the desire to educate and empower is apparent. I have had the opportunity to create flashcards of fruits and vegetables to share with colleague’s Chinese population and spearhead the eMentoring program. Like many, technology has connected me to many more dietitians than my immediate radius.
I’m impressed with the array of DPG/MIGs. If there isn’t already a DPG or MIG that exists for your needs, create it. Others will benefit from your initiative and you can spearhead the vision and direction of the DPG.
Breakdown of DPGs and MIGs
You may hear of the following DPGs and MIGs by their acronyms, but how familiar are you with what they fully encompass? The breakdowns of the DPGs and MIGs are based on interests or current work and how they can further support you.
|If you work in and/or have an interest in:||This DPG:||Can support you by:|
|Addictions, eating disorders, intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health||Behavioral Health Nutrition (BHN)||Optimizing physical and cognitive health of those that we serve through nutrition education and behavioral health counseling|
|Managers, practitioners and students in acute, subacute, long term care, outpatient settings and home health||Clinical Nutrition Management (CNM)||Provides members with the knowledge and skills to advance clinical nutrition practice; 2 subspecialty units: Food and Nutrition Informatics and Quality Management and Process Improvement|
|Diabetes education||Diabetes Care and Education (DCE)||Empowering DCE members to be leaders in food, nutrition and diabetes care and prevention|
|NDTR, dietetic technician educators and those interested in NDTR practice||Dietetic Technicians in Practice (DTP)||Help educate colleagues, employers and public about scope of practice, skills and competencies of NDTRs|
|Employed or contracted to work in rehab units, correctional facilities, home care companies, health care agencies, foodservice industry, long term hospitals, acute and long term care facilities||Dietetics in Health Care Communities (DHCC)||Provides up to date info and resources to stay abreast on changing environments and needs; sub unit: Corrections and Transitional Care|
|Local/global corporations, businesses or organizations in food, nutrition communications, PR, healthcare, self employed or business owners||Dietitians in Business and Communications (DBC)||Focus on effective communication and business skills|
|Holistic ‘Food as Medicine’ approach to wellness; targeted supplements; mind body modalities||Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine (DIFM)||Empower members to be leaders in evidence based practice including healing with whole foods, holistic healthcare and personalized genomics|
|Enteral and parenteral nutrition||Dietitians in Nutrition Support (DNS)||Optimizing health who require nutrition support|
|Culinary educators, food writers, cookbook authors, chefs, marketing professionals, PR executives, food scientists, media reporters and anyone that loves food||Food and Culinary Professionals (FCP)||Advance culinary issues and intitiatives;subgroups: supermarket/retail; restaurant/hospitality; food safety; agriculture|
|Aging through food and nutrition||Healthy Aging||Promoting life long wellness; CSG tool box, resources and help desk|
|Promote nutrition and wellness through a food system approach||Hunger and Environmental Nutrition (HEN)||Empowers members to leaders in sustainable, accessible food and water systems; school to farm program for dietetic students and interns|
|Managers of health care, college and university, corrections, LTC, hospitality, business, retail, industry and educations||Management in Food and Nutrition Systems||Combine management and leadership expertise with knowledge and skills in financial management,QA, human resource management, food service systems and food science and safety|
|State of the art medical nutrition care||Medical Nutrition Practice Group (MNPG)||Subunits: Cystic Fibrosis Nutrition, Infectious Disease Nutrition, Dietitians in Gluten Intolerance Disease and Dietitians in Physical Medicine and Rehab|
|Public education in areas of education, food industry, business and management, nutrition consulting and private practice, communications/PR, clinical dietetics, health promotion||Nutrition Education for the Public (NEP)||Empowers members to leaders in educating and communicating evidence based nutrition information|
|Provide nutrition education for other health professionals—medical, dental, nursing, etc.||Nutrition Educators of Health Professionals (NEHP)||Interaction with other educators and empowers RDs to be values source of nutrition education|
|Achieve professional and financial potential to build and maintain successful nutrition related business; includes authors, coaches, speakers, media consultants, corporate health and private practice RDs; students seeking entrepreneurial endeavors||Nutrition Entrepreneurs (NE)||Business tool kit, technology and social media tools, 10 FREE webinars annually; advertising of member’s services and products|
|Promotes quality practice in cancer treatment, prevention, survivorship and education||Oncology Nutrition (ON)||Nutrition care in cancer center; library of PowerPoint slides; raise status and visibility of oncology nutrition and CSO credential|
|Promoting nutrition well being for infants, children and adolescents||Pediatric Nutrition (PNPG)||Specialty groups: Children with Special Health Care Needs; Diabetes, Wellness and Weight Management; Eating Disorders, Adolescents; Failure to Thrive, Gastroenterology, Food Allergy; Infant Nutrition, Breast Feeding and Neonatology; Nutrition Support Services|
|Program planning and evaluation, education, direct care and consultation services, policy and research||Public Health & Community Nutrition||Formulating nutrition criteria for public health, guiding legislation and public policy; setting nutrition standards for care and professional practice|
|Provide MNT in dialysis facilities, clinics, hospitals, university settings, industry, consultative services and private practice||Renal Dietitians (RDDPG)||Advance nephrology nutrition clinical practice, education and research|
|Universities, academic research centers, governmental departments, non profit research agencies and food industry; part of Academy projects including Evidence Analysis Library and Position Paper authorship and review||Research (RDPG)||Be valued source for conducting, interpreting and apply research|
|Child nutrition programs at local, state and national levels; researchers; educators; corporate dietitians supplying services and/or products to food service operations; healthier school environments||School Nutrition Services (SNS)||Empowers members to nation’s experts in school nutrition|
|Sports, physical activity, cardiovascular health, wellness, disordered eating and eating disorders||Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN)||Innovative professional development; subunits: Sports Dietetics; Wellness/Cardiovascular RDs; Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders|
|Concise reliable information on plant based diets; members work in private practice, education, health promotion, media, research, clinical settings, community programs and foodservice||Vegetarian Nutrition (VN)||Alliances: Seventh Day Adventist Dietetic Association; Vegetarian Resource Group; development of a Vegetarian Nutrition Evidence Analysis Library; represented at annual Public Policy Workshop|
|Science and application of weight management prevention and treatments||Weight Management (WM)||Links public, organizations and industry to RDs; Subunits: Bariatric Surgery and Pediatric Weight Management|
|Optimize women’s health of all ages and stages from preconception to menopause||Women’s Health (WH)||Development of Academy position papers; Alliances: Sex and Gender Women’s Health Collaborative and United States Breastfeeding Committee|
Benefits of DPGs and MIGs
The list of benefits is a lengthy one, which just goes to show how much you can get out of your Academy membership! The top benefits cited by dietitians include:
- Advocacy work with Academy and other DPGs and MIGs
- Annual Symposiums (e.g. SCAN, WH, NEP, ON, CNM and DNS) where attendees can obtain at least 15 CEUs or more
- Authoring or reviewing JAND Position Articles
- Book clubs
- Discounted materials
- Focused content to build desired skills
- Free subscriptions to magazines (for example, DCE members can obtain free Diabetic magazines) and newsletters that include education opportunities, tips, resources, references, book reviews, and more
- Insight into specialized areas or niche subspecialties of dietetics
- Improved job performance, usually related to increased knowledge, proficiency, and confidence
- Information about colleagues’ works through Member Spotlights
- Electronic Mailing Lists (EML)—obtain answers on resources, recommendations without recreating the wheel. There is a wide network of experienced dietitians who are happy to support young or less experienced dietitians!
- Local, national and virtual networking—many DPGs have LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest pages, Twitter chats and events
- The ability to market you practice and services to consumers, clinicians and organizations
- Networking relationships with professional organizations (e.g. DIFM network includes American Botanical Council, Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, Center for Mind Body Medicine and The Institute for Functional Medicine)
- Opportunities for Awards, Grants, Scholarships and Stipends
- Opportunities for leadership through serving on Executive Board
- Participation in Academy’s Council on Future practice
- Pre FNCE® Workshops and/or Dinners
- Reduced rate or free webinars to obtains CEUs
- Representation in Academy House of Delegates
- Training and Culinary Workshops—particularly FCP
- Writer’s Mentoring Program (for example, DNS)
If you’re thinking about joining a DPG, don’t wait! Membership renewal is open through the end of May. Again, when you renew your membership, adding a DPG and/or MIG requires just a couple of extra clicks. After being prompted to renew active membership, the DPGs and MIGs can be found under ‘Membership Additions.’
While the fees can add up for these ‘additions’, don’t feel you have to join them all to receive the aforementioned benefits. Ask fellow dietitians which groups have been most helpful, ask your employer to cover the fees and see which DPG would most align with future goals.