So you’re almost an RD, now what? This question keeps ringing in my head as I quickly approach the end of my internship and I think to myself, “Where do I go from here?” The typical answer I provide is “Yes, I want to work in a hospital” partially because I think trying to explain that a dietitian can work in more than just a hospital is confusing to the average person. Explaining what dietetics is in general can be a daunting task, but I continue to ask myself, where do I really want to be?

During my undergraduate I kept an open mind about finding my niche in dietetics. During my medical nutrition therapy class I found the information to be fascinating, but a 9-5 clinical shift seemed to put a bitter taste in my mouth. I felt that I didn’t quite fit the mold of a typical “Type A” dietetic student personality. That is when I started to search for other options that still encompass the field of dietetics. As of January 2017, there are almost 100,000 registered dietitians in the United States.(1) Fear not my fellow type B personalities, not all of us can fit into just hospitals and long-term care facilities.  Even for those that are already RD’s who seek exploration, there are several opportunities for you to combine the science of dietetics with your other passions.

Take for example, Today’s Dietitian wrote a few articles about RD’s who have taken non-traditional paths; including becoming a food stylist/food photographer, online telehealth dietitian, farmer, and even mixing the art of theatre with nutrition education to create a production called FoodPlay! (2) (3) As I continued my search of other potential dietitian jobs I found lactation consultant, grocery store dietitian, sports team dietitian, corporate wellness dietitian, overseas dietitian working through WIC or the military, and I even talked to an RD who works for NASA (Yes… SPACE FOOD!) the list seems endless. Finding this information encouraged me to explore the social media realm of being an RD; leading me to reach out to The Sarcastic Nutritionist and have them take me under their wing as an intern and teach me the ropes of being an online dietetic personality.  

What I have learned is this: we need “Type A” dietitians in this world, but we also need to encourage our “Type B” dietitians that they can still be RD’s while integrating other passions for health and nutrition. So for those of you that aren’t thrilled with the clinical setting, or just want to explore your creative side with other opportunities, the field of dietetics is waiting for more visionaries for the future!

Written by: Haley Gostanian, California State University, Fresno Dietetic Intern


  • Donna

    As one of the older RDs out there, we strongly encourage type Bs to explore and push forward to their visions, then make it their mission to accomplish it. All of you, make the field so much stronger, relevant, fluid and vibrant. We need you to keep striving forward, otherwise the field will slowly stop growing, and lapse into disuse, as nonrelevant.

  • abiola

    I am a Nigerian and people are not aware of what Dietetics is, even in the Teaching Hospitals it’s a challenge.
    another challenge is people who are no close to dietetics post different junks online making it difficult for us to thrive

    In this situation how do I find my niche

  • Kristen Wright

    This is so well put! As a new dietitian it can be hard to find your passion and place in the field. As an undergrad I was actually able to work for NASA making the space food for the astronauts and I absolutely loved it! I am still in contact with everyone I used to work with and I hope to work for them some day, but that’s just not my path right now. During my internship I got to work closely with the CDE at my hospital and I was hooked! I currently work at the same hospital I interned at and I’m working on getting my CDE now. I don’t think the hospital will always be for me but it really is a good starting point! The best piece of advice I can give you is to take every opportunity you can get and say YES to everything! Once you find something your really passionate about go for it and you will never work a day in your life! Good luck you will do great!

  • Elizabeth Hogrefe

    I completely agree with article! I’m a new registered dietitian and still not sure what I want to do. As I job search I’m still trying to figure out if I’m a type A, B, or both. Good luck with the rest of your internship!

  • Elizabeth Hogrefe

    I completely agree with this article! I’m a new registered dietitian and as I’m job searching I’m not sure what I want to do. I’m still trying to figure out if I’m a type A or B or a little of both. Good luck to you in the rest of your internship!

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