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Career Profile: Dietitian and Nutritionist

Career Profile: Dietitian and Nutritionist

Gloria Stables, Ph.D., M.S., R.D., Dietician, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

National Institutes of Health: Office of Science Education

I chose this career because…

I chose to become a dietitian because I’ve always been interested in food and nutrition, especially in hospital settings. The undergraduate training provides for development of knowledge-based and interpersonal skills, that are crucial in being successful in a variety of careers. The potential career paths are many and varied.

As a sophomore in college, my advisor asked me to consider a new program the University was starting. It was a combined academic and internship 4-year program in nutrition and dietetics, instead of the 5-year traditional program. It was a good fit to my interests, and I was one of the 8 students selected. After completing all course requirements, I passed the certification exam to become a registered dietitian.

• Bachelor of Science, Food and Nutrition, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND
• Master of Science, Human Nutrition, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA
• Doctor of Philosophy, Adult Learning, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

More on Nutrition/Dietetics

Salary: $29,860 - $68,200
Min. Education: Bachelor's
Related Careers: Physician, Psychologist

My workday involves…

My typical workday revolves around my major tasks and my projects.

Major Tasks

• Acting as a science advisor to the 5 A Day program staff at the NCI. Currently I help review and synthesize the latest research to determine which interventions are effective in increasing vegetable and fruit consumption, to ultimately decrease cancer risk.

• Researching and synthesizing by topic. Each week, I review the current scientific publications on a particular topic. I analyze and summarize the new data from many sources and provide this information to the pertinent health authorities.

• Writing synthesis reports by topic based on current literature reviews

• Coordinating research dissemination. I work in collaboration with other major health organizations to disseminate the latest research results on nutritional topics to health care practitioners across the country. It’s taking government funded research and getting it out to the people.

What I like best and least about my work is…

What I like best about my job is the chance to work with scientists who are engaged in cutting-edge research. Collaborating with colleagues in interpreting research results and determining implications for the health of the nation is fascinating to me.

What I like least about my work is that there is never enough time to do all you want to do. Sometimes there are not enough resources to do what you think should be done.

My career goals are…

My career goals are to do more research. My dream job would include being part of a major research intervention program. I’d like to plan the protocol and methodology, and implement the research.

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