January 2022 Issue

Editor’s Spot: Looking Forward to 2022
By Judith Riddle
Today’s Dietitian
Vol. 24, No. 1, P. 6

As dietitians, are you looking forward to the new year ahead? A year of new possibilities to explore and new milestones to reach? If so, you’re not alone. We’ve been in the throes of a deadly pandemic for almost two years now, which has turned everyone’s life upside down—both personally and professionally. But there are times in life when some good can result from a crisis. The pandemic enabled dietitians to learn about a new, complex disease (granted, an illness you and millions of others wish they never had to deal with) and venture into uncharted, though daunting, territory. COVID-19 has compelled RDs to delve deeper into research to help clients boost their immunity via healthful foods and supplements to avoid infection and use MNT to help nurse clients back to health who may have contracted the virus and now have lingering symptoms. And most importantly, RDs have developed creative ways in which to work to carry out these duties in the face of quarantines and social distancing mandates. Whether you owned a private practice, worked in media relations/communications or in clinical health care settings, or provided nutrition services in your community, you continued to make a living.

Dietitians in private practice quickly transitioned from in-person to virtual nutrition counseling; others working in doctor’s offices, academia, and various health care companies did so from home or significantly decreased in-person office hours to participate in video conferencing and perform other duties. RDs employed at hospitals and long term care facilities also worked from home and performed nutrition assessments with patients virtually or over the phone. And these trends will remain well into the future, providing greater career opportunities for nutrition professionals.

Now that it’s the beginning of a new year, dietitians may be thinking about different ways to acquire continuing education credits and/or certifications. Many already know the value of obtaining certifications. They enable RDs to specialize in other areas of health care, and boost their credibility, marketability, and annual salaries within the medical field.

In this month’s issue, Today’s Dietitian discusses the value of certifications, including examples of those RDs can pursue through the Commission on Dietetic Registration and outside organizations, and tips for getting started, in the article “Specialty Certifications” on page 24.

Also in this issue are articles on popular weight loss apps, meal planning software for RDs, the gut-lung axis, and psychoactive plants. Please enjoy the issue!

— Judith Riddle, Editor