Thoughts from a registered dietician
I have been a registered Dietitian since 2007; I have an MSc in Nutrition, BSc in Psychology and a PgDip in Dietetics. I have worked in a variety of roles during my career so far. The areas in which I have had most interaction with medics are eating disorders and bariatric surgery, both of which I have specialised in for a long time. I have found in both these areas that the medical staff involved have had a good insight into nutrition and have been very open to learning more from me, as I am from them.
However, I am aware that doctors actually get very little training in nutrition during their degrees, so it takes special interest and an ability to pick through the massive amounts of misinformation in the media, for anyone to be able to put their own biases and views on nutrition to the side and focus on the evidence base that is available.
In the same way I refer to consultants and GPs when something is outside my scope of practice, or experience, it definitely works better when GPs and consultants do the same the other way around. If more nutrition training is included in medical training, ultimately patients will get much better care. Usually someone will go to their GP initially, and whilst I know appointment times are very limited, if that GP knows about how nutrition could positively influence someone’s clinical condition, they can make sure the correct referrals to the dietetic service are made.
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