00:02 - Speaker 1
Welcome to the Dietitian Boss podcast. I'm Libby Rothschild, creator of Dietitian Boss. After almost four years of sitting in my dimly lit, windowless clinical office, I had enough. I wanted to feel like my work mattered, so I did something about it. I created a program that empowers dietitians and nutritionists to create their own private practice from scratch, following my proprietary system. Before I did this, I had a private practice of my own while working a full-time job, and I learned a lot about building relationships, marketing and sales, and I'm so excited to be able to share my proprietary framework with you.
So you still haven't started your business as a dietitian and, quite honestly, you're not even sure where to start. You might be asking yourself am I even a social media person? If you can relate? I want you to stay tuned. I'm Libby Rothschild, founder of Dietitian Boss. In today's video, I want to show you how to get started in your private practice so that you can achieve the flexible lifestyle that you desire, making the amount of money that you want to create. You might already know that only 8% of registered dietitians own a business, according to the statistics from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and my business is created with an intention to transform that statistic and increase more private practice operators. And we can do so by spotlighting stories of your peers who are starting and growing their business and by following the Dietitian Boss method, a framework that I created that shows you, step by step, how to start and grow your virtual private practice so that you can achieve your dreams and make the amount of money and achieve the amount of flexibility that you want on your terms, living anywhere in the world. Now, if this sounds like just what you're looking for, I want you to hit that subscribe button, because I release videos every Tuesday to inspire, motivate and educate you to get started in your dietitian private practice. Now if you're wondering, is it worth it to become a dietitian? I want to remind you and have you comforted to know that it's absolutely worth it to become a dietitian.
Dietitians are not just career path intended for those who want to work a 9-5 clinical trajectory, despite that being the statistic where the highest amount of dietitians work. Dietitians can work in many different career paths, such as corporate management, private practice, you can consult, you can work as a sports dietitian, you can work in media. There are so many different options, even though in school we're often only taught about the clinical trajectory. There's a variety of different jobs in dietetics and that's what keeps this field so interesting and fun. Not only are there so many different topics in the field of nutrition, but there's so many options for different types of work, and well, that keeps things really interesting.
I would say the biggest disadvantage of being a dietitian, in my opinion, is the cost it takes to go to school. So many of us who don't have an opportunity to self fund schooling have to take out loan to pay for school, whether it's undergrad or now the master's degree is required and then our non-paid dietetic internship. So the cost of schooling can vary and there are studies and websites and information cited that the cost of school can be up to $80,000. Yet we're paid and we're offered a baseline salary, typically less than $60,000 annually. So that just doesn't make sense. The average clinical dietitian, the average dietitian salary, is actually around $63,000 from the labor of pure and statistics. But many dietitians who are getting that first job that people actually need to pursue can legally fund their unit. So that's what we do Hydrop Pleasure yes, Chevyilly Ochon job without any experience outside of their internship or offered a much lower salary. So again, there's a really big gap between the amount of money that we're required to pay in the years of investing in education and an unpaid internship which is basically a mini residency within what we're offered. If we do take that typical nine to five clinical job, that's quite often underpaid and most often those jobs are offered lower at baseline, with an opportunity possibly to make more after you've completed, let's say, a thousand hours and you sit in as a sort of a diabetes educator or anything that maybe management that's going to require that you crew more hours and experience and that is a very typical trajectory in the field of dietetics.
So dietetics is competitive and it's really hard to get placed into an internship. And it's also hard to even make your grades count enough to be eligible to get placed in internship. So dietetics is not an easy track. There's a tremendous amount of schooling and that's a big reason why I'm a fan of not putting down people who don't actually become a registered dietitian, because we have to remember that it's very competitive and expensive to finish your schooling and get matched in an internship, not to mention have the time and energy dedicated to sit in for the exam. So I'm a big fan of saying as long as somebody stays within their scope of practice, if they're a nutritionist and not yet a registered dietitian, there's absolutely space for all of us as long as we stay within our scope of practice, and so I'm an advocate of being able to work together with other people in like-minded professions, even nutritionists and those who aren't registered. And just keep in mind some empathy for how challenging it is to complete the career trajectory to be eligible to sit in as a dietitian. Now, when we're talking about scope, keep in mind that we are a regulated profession and here at Dietitian Boss we have a free guide created by our team lawyer to help you understand about licensure. So make sure to grab that link that's listed below in the description box if you want to get our free guide to help you navigate licensure laws and scope of practice with regard to our very highly regulated profession. Now I do want to say, despite the several years of education required and the expensive you know the cost required to be eligible to sit in as a registered dietitian, I do feel it's worth it. The career, the field, is extremely rewarding. There's a ton of opportunities in the field of dietetics, even though they're not so widely known, and that's a big reason why, here at Dietitian Boss, we try to spotlight the unknown opportunities, to inspire you to explore and navigate professions that, within dietetics, that you didn't even think were possible.
One other disadvantage of being a dietitian is boredom. So if you are working in a clinical job, then you might have struggled with what I struggled with and that's the boredom that you face as a clinical dietitian. Now I'm not talking about specialized positions like certified diabetes educator. I'm talking about general, inpatient or even outpatient positions where the line of work is just not extremely stimulating. And for me, I didn't particularly enjoy that as a clinical dietitian. So if you look at the job description I pulled this just from a job spec on the internet what's required of clinical dietitians is, to me, not extremely rewarding or stimulated. Now, if you're really into that line of work and you think that this job description looks stimulating, perhaps that would be a great route for you to investigate. And if you want to go down the clinical route, there's a ton of resources. But if you want to go down the clinical route with the idea of starting your private practice or you want to skip the clinical route, then I definitely stay tuned for the rest of the video because I have some great tips for you.
Now I will say another con of being a dietitian is there's a tremendous amount of judgment, especially in a clinical position. So when you're working in clinical, oftentimes in my experience Not saying this is true across the board, but in my experience dietitians and I've worked at about four or five different clinical, inpatient, outpatient types of jobs and dietitians are seen as the weight staff. We're also called the food police. People don't really understand our role and there's not, I would not say that we are respected across the board. Not the same if you're working in ICU or if you're specialized. I don't think that's the case if you're a certified diabetes educator or if you're in management For entry level registered dietitians. In a clinical setting we face a tremendous amount of judgment and we also are not really seen or respected as the you know frontline of defense.
And that's how I felt as a clinical dietitian and I was exhausted from constantly advocating for a profession that wasn't seen as important or wasn't seen as you know, something that deserve the same amount of time and energy as other topics in the healthcare space. And that was hard for me because I didn't like to spend all this time in education and money invested in nutrition, to then go to work and not feel like nutrition mattered. So that was really disheartening for me when I worked as a clinical dietitian and it really, you know, took an impact on my confidence level. I would say that the biggest challenge that dietitians face when it comes to working a nine to five job especially in clinical because most dietitians go in that clinical route would be low pay and low respect. So entry level jobs are underpaid and the amount of respect, unless if you're working in a specialized position is typically low because a lot of the other healthcare professionals don't typically see dietitians as being billable or the frontline of defense. And this is my experience and I know some people are going to disagree. This is how I felt working as a clinical dietitian and I've talked to a lot of our clients and a lot of dietitians around the world and there have been a lot of people that feel the same way. So of course, we'll have our unique experiences.
I was very disheartened to go into several different jobs in different departments and see nutrition just time and time again being dismissed and not seen as something that was as important as other departments. Now, part of the reason that dietitians in a hospital setting might not be seen as important as other different, you know, positions in the hospital could be due to the culture, right, the culture of the hospital. Now, there could be a couple reasons as to why dietitians, I hypothesize, are not seen as super important in a hospital setting. One of those reasons is workplace culture. So does your workplace see nutrition or the Department of Nutrition as a vital component to the interdisciplinary team? Now, if they do, then you're probably going to be in a better position, and if they don't, then that's going to feel really frustrating and demeaning. So that's a good question to ask yourself when looking at jobs, or even when you're in a current job, to see how nutrition is treated, how the department is treated.
And the second aspect I would say to look at would be the stages of change where the patients are currently right. So are they in that? If you think of stages of change, model and theory, are they in pre contemplation or contemplation? Or are the patients actually looking for action and maintenance when it comes to their nutrition goals? And if you're dealing with a population that is still in contemplation stage and you're also working in a position where nutrition is not seen as a vital component to the interdisciplinary team. Those two combined can be a recipe for you not feeling like a valued member of the team, and that's how I felt in every single clinical position that I worked and that inspired me to become a private practice consultant and ultimately, through multiple revenue streams, start dietitian boss right from my clinical office.
So you might be wondering like are dietitians even happy, especially as I'm discussing predominantly my experience as an unhappy clinical dietitian? And I would say the answer is very mixed. We don't have robust data on the happiness of dietitians, although we do have robust data on where dietitians work and how much they're paid. So we know for a fact that dietitians are underpaid and only 8% go into business. And we know for a fact those that go into private practice make top tier salary compared to those that don't, so the highest paid dietitians are, in fact, in private practice and in higher level academia and education. Now at Career Explorer, I have this on this chart here that you can see registered dietitians rated their career happiness at 2.9 out of five stars, which puts them at the bottom 26% of careers. Now I wanna note this was only one study and again the data is not robust here, but it's something to consider.
So then I talk amongst your peers and colleagues and ask yourself what does happiness mean to you and how can you build that life, Whether it's creating a revenue stream on the side or whether it's creating a private practice full time. And if you are happy as a clinician and you found a home in a clinical setting and that makes you happy, then good for you. That wasn't my case. I was a very unhappy clinical dietitian and I felt extremely broke. I mean, I was broke and I also felt like I wasn't really being treated as a vital component to the healthcare team. So I left right. So I turned my unhappiness into a business to help dietitians find their level of happiness and flexibility, and a business that they can create for themselves and become financially independent. So the last thing I wanna bring up is being a dietitian hard. So I just wanna remind you.
We talked earlier about student loans and for those of us that aren't self-funded, education is expensive. Internships are not paid. I think there might be one or two that I know of in the US that pay you. So let's just say, 98% or more of internships. They don't pay you right, Unless if that's changed but still most of them you have to pay. So we know that it's expensive to become a dietitian, but is it challenging? And I will say that being a registered dietitian is not as simple as knowing about a healthy diet.
Becoming a registered dietitian and understanding what nutrition means is extremely complex. It's a highly regulated profession and most states do require a license to practice. So what that means is that in order to become licensed, you have to have a secondary degree. So there's a lot of work and dedication that goes into becoming a registered dietitian. So there's a high barrier to enter to become a dietitian. The pay rates are extremely low was indicated by the statistics of labor and bureau. And then, once you get a job, the culture in my experience doesn't always prioritize dietitians as being the first line of defense if you are not in a specialized role like ICU, certified diabetes educator or even management.
Now, the hardest part that I did not talk about in today's video so much is. One of the biggest challenges that our clients face is that they are required or told or instructed to practice or support lifestyle changes that they might not agree with. For example, if a dietitian is working in a clinic and they're required to teach weight loss, but they don't align with that philosophy. Perhaps their weight neutral by positive and they don't want to support or talk about low calorie diets. That's a disconnect that a lot of dietitians really don't like and that does inspire them to start their own business so that dietitians that believe in a philosophy that isn't necessarily fostered in their current environment they can practice that on the internet and they can create a business and a stream of revenue that supports their nutrition philosophy and that feels very aligning and rewarding and satisfying to practice the way that you believe.
If you found this video helpful, I want you to check out a day in the life of a private practice dietitian and make sure to stay tuned, because every Tuesday we hear a dietitian boss release new videos to keep you inspired and educated about what's going on in the life of a dietitian who's in private practice and or an aspiring dietitian boss. We'll see you next time. If you're looking for support to start, grow and scale your dietitian private practice, I want to invite you to work with me and my team. We have a few different options Head over to dietitianbosscom and apply to have a conversation with somebody from our sales team to discuss your options for your budget and stage of business. Head over to dietitianbosscom and we look forward to connecting.