We’ve written plenty of blog posts about starting a private practice, from which forms are necessary to what you should be looking for in an office space, and for good reason: starting your own business, in or out of the dietetic community, is difficult and a little scary. Today, we’ve decided to compile advice for beginning your own practice from some of our favorite RDs. These seasoned professionals have plenty of pro tips and resources that can get you started in no time.
One thing nearly all the RDs said was to find a mentor. Leslie Edmunds, MPH, RDN, CDE, CLT founder of Healthy Hearts LLC, got started because of the help of experienced mentors. “Two other local private practice dietitians guided me through the process of starting my private practice, from helping me set up the business and the process of insurance credentialing. They could have easily declined my questions for fear of competition. I am forever grateful for their willingness to help.”
Another tip for starting your dietetic career is to network with other members of the community. We love this quote from Zach Breeding, MS, LDN, RDN: “Network and connect with dietitians in your area. Being able to bounce ideas, case studies, and operating practices helps to hone your own personal skills as a dietitian while promoting a community of like-minded health professionals.”
When you’re starting out, try to learn as much as you can. We love this piece of advice Catherine Frederico MS, RDN, LDN gave us in an interview: “Be a sponge. Read everything you can get your hands on about digital health, take a nutrition tech course, download a few health apps, or try a small digital health device. Get in the conversation and join the over 1100 members of the Academy’s Nutrition Informatics Community. Read the materials in the “Library.” The Academy is planning additional, exciting nutrition technology initiatives. Look for them at FNCE, online, and in publications. Attend local and national digital health conferences. Write and speak at conferences and with consumer and regulatory groups when you can. Be inquisitive, be leaders, and support and inspire others. This is a career-long process.”
In our opinion, the best advice you can get when starting out is to just jump into the field and participate in plenty of activities! As Lauren Minchen RDN, CDN said, “expose yourself to different nutrition environments. Clinical work gets a lot of press, but the nutrition world is growing, and the opportunities are becoming more varied. Volunteer as much as possible, and determine where you fit best. I know volunteering with so many different places taught me how to work with different types of people and helped me determine what I wanted to pursue.”
Last but not least, make sure to stay true to your passion and close to your roots. As our good friend Barbara Baron MS, RD, CDN said, “Follow your passion, persevere and pay it forward networking and volunteering with your local and state Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics! It will return tenfold.”
We’ll finish with this incredible quote from Dalina Soto MA, RD, LDN: “Go for it! It’s an amazing feeling to help others on your own terms.”
If you have other cool tips for up and coming RDs, leave them in the comments! We’d love hearing what you have to say. 🙂