On The Reel: Join a DPG

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If you’re a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you know that spring marks membership renewal time.  If you’re not a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, then get on top of that NOW!  Your future dietetics career depends on it…really, it does!  But more on that in a minute.

First, let’s talk spring!

I’m lovin’ the vibe of renewal that spring brings.  The days are longer, clothing is lighter, and everything is in bloom!  People and food, more specifically produce are at their best during this time of year.  People tend to be more lovey-dovey, have an at ease attitude, and are movin’ and shakin’ it more in the great outdoors.  Produce on the other hand, tastes sweeter, looks gorgeous, and is bountiful.

Yesterday, I took advantage of the spring weather by adding another 2 miles to my #100MoMiles challenge once again at Carondelet Park.  Also, a couple of weeks ago I ventured to the farmer’s market, which is one of my favorite spring and summer pastimes.

Now that I’ve gushed about spring renewal.  Let me move on to a renewal of another kind…

The deadline to renew, or the best time to start a membership with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is on or slightly before June 2nd, which marks the beginning of the 2014/2015 membership year.

Who is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics? 

In short, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) is the governing body over all things dietetics.  Cough…cough!  RD2BE, and that’s why you should join!

purple-quotation-mark-thThe Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) was founded in 1917, and is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.

Mission — Empowering members to be the food and nutrition leaders
Vision — Optimizing health through food and nutrition purple-quotation-mark-right-th

-Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

The AND has many functions. It’s most important function is the credentialing of RDs.  One of the benefits offered to its members are DPGs.

What is a DPG? 

A Dietetics Practice Group or DPGs are special interest groups for AND members with similar passions or practice specializations in nutrition and dietetics.  It allows AND members to rally and share their professional interests such as culinary, school nutrition, or entrepreneurship to name a few.   A full list of DPGs can be found here. 

Does it cost to join a DPG? 

Yes, membership to a DPG is a fee that is in addition to the general AND membership, however there is a student discount.  I know y’all this educational process is draining emotionally and to your pockets, but hear me out!  Its worth it and may add to your value at match time.

 5 Reasons to join a DPG

  1. Shows commitment to the field/passion for dietetics  

    Phrases similar to these were sprinkled throughout the application process.  In the personal statement and during the interview process, dietetic internship selection committees want to ensure that you’re dedicated to the profession and that you have an idea of your niche within the field.  First, they want to know that you’re goal oriented.  Second, its all about your goodness of fit with the dietetic internship program.  Joining a DPG can help you develop your research interests, professional goals, and solidify your educational plans.  Having this knowledge, you can confidently answer those questions about your short-term and long-term goals.

  2. Leadership  

    Leadership is a big part of the DICAS application.  DPG leadership positions are not limited to RDs.  There are leadership opportunities for students too.  Several DPGs have student committees that act as a liaison to RDs.  These type of partnerships are valuable.  After all we students are the future of the AND.  RDs are interested in knowing and understanding the needs, concerns, and interests of students.  Other leadership opportunities for students may be in the form of social media manager, blogger, event photographer, or newsletter contributor.

  3. Scholarships

    I don’t think this needs an explanation?! 😀 If you’re already on the road to RD you know about the need for $$$!  I will say that there are more than educational scholarships.  Last year, I was awarded with a student stipend by the PHCNDPG to attend FNCE® 2013 in Houston, TX.

  4. Networking

    When you join a DPG you gain access to a member directory of professionals that specialize in an area that you may consider pursuing.  You may be able to establish a mentoring relationship with an RD, come across a volunteer or job opportunity,  or you may meet a future preceptor.  Really, you never know?  But you’ve heard the saying, “its not what you know, but who you know.”  Additionally, these groups typically have Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin groups to stay connected.

  5. Educational Resources

    When you’re a member of a DPG you gain access to webinars, PowerPoint presentations, and a video library.  These resources can be valuable to you as you complete school assignments, but it also ties in to number 1 on this list.  During your internship interview you may be asked a question similar to this,  “Tell me about an article you recently read in the Academy Journal.”  Of course you have to actually take advantage of the resources to easily rattle off an answer, but you’re already ahead of the game because you’re here reading this! 😉

I hope that this post is helpful and displays the value of joining a DPG.  Currently, I am a member of the Public Health/Community Nutrition Dietetics Practice Group (PHCNPG) and plan on continuing my membership for the 2014/2015 year.

So tell me…

What have you gained from professional memberships? 



2 thoughts on “On The Reel: Join a DPG

  1. Pingback: New Blog Post Series! On the Reel: Your RD2BE cheat sheet | THE REEL RD2BE OF STL

  2. Pingback: On the Reel: 3 Ways to Re-think Your Job Search & Land a Job in School Food Service | THE REEL RD2BE OF STL

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