…for nutrition. Unless, of course, you’ve been bitten by the questionable neighborhood dog, have been struck by lightening, or you’re bleeding from your ears. Then, get your ass to the doctor. But, when it comes to nutrition, most doctors do not have the correct answers.
The average doctor might have taken 1 basic nutrition course in medical school. Nutrition is not their specialty. Some doctors invest more time in learning nutrition as a personal interest. But one class years ago is not enough to answer your questions. I’m not saying they’re all idiots. But they probably don’t have the most up-to-date, evidence-based information. And, hey! I’m not complaining. This is why I have a job. Doctors are not expected to know all about nutrition, we are!
I recently spoke with a co-worker who was just diagnosed with diabetes. I asked if the doctor referred her to a class or a dietitian. She said, “No. He just told me not to eat cereal, potatoes or corn and eat two eggs every morning.” WHAT? That’s the education provided to a newly diagnosed diabetic???? This doctor is essentially setting this patient up for failure by not providing her with the knowledge and tools necessary to successfully deal with diabetes.
Dietitians are THE nutrition professionals. We have countless nutrition classes throughout the course of our college careers. And we are required to earn 75 hours of continuing education for every 5 years to maintain registration. So, we are staying up-to-date on best practices.
So, if you are looking for nutritional guidance, either find a dietitian or ask your primary care doctor for a referral. Whether you are dealing with a disease or just want to learn about food and eat a little healthier, that’s what we’re here for!
To find a dietitian near you, visit www.eatright.org.