Nutting out the nutrition issues: the dietitian’s call for dialogue – Dietitians for Professional Progress is launched!

At My Health Career, we couldn’t help but notice when Dietitians for Professional Progress came onto the scene via social media recently. So we thought we’d ask founders Skye Marshall and Hannah Mackay why they started DPP and what they are looking to achieve with the movement. Here is their response….

Dietitians for Professional Progress“Dietitians for Professional Progress (DPP) was founded by Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs) Skye Marshall and Hannah Mackay, who believe that Australia’s dietitians are highly intelligent, ethical, caring and effective; and work hard to improve the health of Australia. Despite the great value of dietitians as individuals, we discovered that we had similar concerns for the future of our profession. When we started to voice these concerns to others, we heard diverse opinions and ideas, and the flow of conversation began!

Hannah Mackay Dietitians for Professional Progress

Hannah Mackay

We were inspired to keep up this dialogue and we wanted our voices to be heard, so what better way to do this than on social media? DPP was created as a platform to facilitate dialogue between Australian dietitians on topics of importance to the profession. We aim for increased awareness of these impacts, and we hope this will build in momentum as we gain support, ultimately leading to changes which help progress our profession as a whole. We can’t say we have the answers, but we sure have some questions, as well as suggestions to consider for improvement.

We have seen the popularity of nutrition “gurus” and celebrity “nutritionists”, and wondered why there is a huge audience for these people. This audience is keen to learn about nutrition and make lifestyle changes, however seemingly not so keen to hear it from dietitians. In addition, we have seen governments cut funding for accredited nutritionists and dietitians across the health service, instead of increasing nutrition and dietetics services to meet the minimum acceptable standards.

Skye Marshall Dietitians for Professional Progress

Skye Marshall

We have tried to nut out why this is the case; do we need to market ourselves more effectively? Do people understand our qualifications and our role? Do they question our integrity? Does our current model of corporate sponsorship affect our credibility in the eyes of the public? Are dietitians receiving the support they need to achieve their full potential?

Not only is the public perception of dietitians a concern, but also our support from government, professional associations, and other health practitioner and colleagues. We discuss topics such as public health policy, employment opportunities, gender equality, ethics, expansion of scope of practice, support on re-entering the workforce after maternity leave, and access to continuing professional development.

We are only two dietitians and even our opinions are varied and occasionally conflict, but variety and diversity is a benefit to the profession, and we embrace the different roles, opinions, ideas and needs of dietitians. We see daily the value of open communication, so want to encourage this in regards to our profession! So speak up, and also listen to each other, and lets work together to progress our profession!

Thank you for reading about DPP, we hope to hear from you soon!

Skye & Hannah

Engage with us here:
Email: Australian_DPP@outlook.com
Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/dietitiansforprofessionalprogress
Find us on Twitter: @Aus_D_P_P
Website with blog coming soon!

 

About Skye Marshall and Hannah Mackay
Skye and Hannah have been APDs for five years. Although they studied and graduated together, their careers have taken them in very different directions. Skye has a background in rehabilitation, private practice and research, while Hannah has worked in various acute care settings in Australia and Canada.”

 

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