clinical dietitian

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Friday, 29-Apr-2011 06:54 Email | Share | | Bookmark
The benefits of Being a Specialist

The trip I had to take yesterday to have some pre-cancerous actinic buggers removed from my skin made me think of life, in general, and reminded me of some important things I almost forgot. First of all, people should always wear efficient sun-screen, when exposed to the sun(thing which I didn’t do when I was growing up in Florida – we were using back then baby oil to get a real good tan) and second of all, I understood the importance of being a specialist instead of a generalist.


As professionals in a certain field, we are faced every day with many challenges-while staying the same, we must constantly fight with different weapons. The marketing ammunition, while a key factor in any business of any kind, is often posing the greatest challenges to businessmen and professionals. There are many marketing mistakes worth mentioning, but one of the most critical is not identifying the target for selling your products and services.


Most business owners struggle with determining who the best market for their products or services is. They often are happy to sell to anyone that will buy; in other words, they’re going after the classic “low hanging fruit.” There is often a palpable fear that if you narrow your focus, you will miss opportunities. Ironically, when you narrow your focus, you will actually create and attract more opportunities.


PCP versus Dermatologist

The concept is easy to understand when you think about doctors – enter my experience yesterday. Finally deciding to take care of these little skin blemishes, I contacted a dermatologist in my health insurance network and was abruptly told that they wouldn’t even consider allowing me to schedule an appointment without a referral from a primary care physician (PCP). So after a few choice words to myself for having to take my time to go see my PCP for what I know are pre-cancers (hey, I have the “internet” and a couple of physicians in the family too), I scheduled an appointment with him. At my appointment yesterday, it took me a full hour to get taken care of and get my precious hall pass (aka referral), and my PCP was also already one hour behind schedule (at 10:15 in the morning mind you). Now I have my dermatologist appointment … in six months! So what did I learn from this?


There are many generalists just like my PCP. The PCP receives visits from patients with all kind of disorders and illnesses. On the other hand, there are also doctors who have specialized in a certain area- like the dermatologist. Let’s mention a couple of differences between the two. First of all, generalists earn way less money( around $160,000per year), have a lot more patients to attend to every day( an average of 50/day) and have to work more hours(53 hours/week usually). On the other hand, specialists make far more money(an average of $250,000 per year, not to mention the spinal surgeon, who earns up to $600,000), they receive fewer patients(maximum 20 a day) and work less(45 hours per week) and all their business comes from referrals.





What Model suits your business best?

Now, adapt that information to your own business. Would you act according to the generalist model or the specialist’s one? Would you rather do a little something of everything or do you think it’s best to specialize in what you’re best at? Your final target here is not just to become a specialist as opposed to a generalist, but also get to be an expert in your field. Only by doing so you can eliminate the competition and dominate the market-therefore, make more profit and make your market strategies simple and to the point.


Attorneys are better remunerated when they specialize in a certain field like tax law or personal injury. Accountants as well, as long as they work only in fields like construction or banking, their salaries rise even higher. Psychiatrists are also highly compensated when they only focus on patients with certain mental disorders like schizophrenia or depression.


People want to deal with the best experts in a certain field, and most of the times money is not important. Let’s take, for instance, a situation where you need heart surgery- would you look a surgeon in directories like the yellow pages? I’m sure you wouldn’t . You seek recommendations from friends, family and people you trust. You may conduct your own research, if it’s necessary, in order to obtain the best results. Money is not even discussed when facing such a problem.


How to Specialize as a Dietitian

Being in charge of staffing hospitals, nursing homes and healthcare institutions with Clinical Dietitians or Food Service/Certified Dietary Managers, every day I come across new opportunities of specializing as a dietitian in a certain field, eliminate the competition and earn more money than before. What about becoming a successful Regulatory Performance Improvement Doctor, a Food Stylist, Herbalist, Nutritional Genomics expert or a copywriter that writes relevant and conscious health-related material. These are only a few of the plethora of opportunities you can take advantage of.

Enhance your dietetics career, tailor your career to your interest areas, zero in on your strengths, and be a sought after specialist. Believe me, it’s much better than running an hour behind before you even get to lunch! Also, find out more about Contract Dietitian.


Build a strong dietetics career, focus on developing your strong points, try to push your limits and become the best in your field. It’s actually the best chance to a fulfilling life you have!


Tuesday, 29-Mar-2011 02:30 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Protect Your Dietitian Job in the Face of Recession

Did you hear Recession is over? Or so say the “experts” who obviously don’t live in the real world and speak with the scores of nutrition professionals I speak to every week. While every normal human being would realize we still live in a very fragile economic environment, some of us can choose not to be a part in the downturn. The good news for Registered Dietitians is that the profession is considered one of the most recession-proof jobs out there.


If we were to read the article” The 150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs Overall” (http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1858773,00.html#ixzz1FfLnS8Nq), dated Nov. 13, 2008, from Time Business and Technology magazine, we will find Registered Dietitians occupying an honorable number 112, between Anthropologists and the upper School Bus Drivers. In fact, every profession that’s involved in any way with healthcare is ranked higher than others. If we were to define a recession-proof job, it would have to be insensitive to economic crisis, to potentiate work force growth and to bring profit.


As professionals in hiring nutrition specialists in healthcare centers to perform tasks as clinical dietitian and Food Service/Certified Dietary Managers, our first advice to the customers is to conduct a vast and thorough research in order to find the right Dietitian. And, if they want to survive the recession, Dietitians should follow the same advice.


Let’s try and return to basics, because less is more. We should learn about the past generations’ methods and means to survive the crisis they’ve been through. For example, the Greatest generation and Baby Boomer generation have survived by creating this impenetrable wall of moral values, optimism and determination. We should understand the necessity of being spiritually strong in the face of the crisis.


As a professional, your measurable value is more important now than ever before. How can you remain valuable?

Cross train. Never say "That is not my job."


Stay in touch with reality. Keep up to date on current practices and be a resource for those around you.





Exceed your limits. Take additional responsibilities, especially if they are long-term projects.


Create new professional relationships. Always act friendly and get along with the other members of your staff.


Stay focused. Concentrate on carrying out work duties and try to ignore unpleasant incidents around you.


Be creative. Always think of ways to make more profit for your company or to help it save more money.


Be in line with your company's mission statement. Know where your company is going and help it succeed in getting there.


If these things seem obvious to you then take them as a reminder and an opportunity to reflect; take a personal inventory of your actions. If what you have read work as motivation for you to personally and professionally improve, do start right away. Meantime, it is best to stay prepared. Keep your C.V. current and available for immediate presentation if needed. The truth is that no job is 100% recession-proof.


Mark M. Deutsch, MBA is the Director of Sales & Marketing for Dietitians On Demand. Dietitians On Demand was founded by a Registered Dietitian to match Registered Dietitians and Certified Dietary Managers with hospitals, nursing homes, and other organizations who need their services. Dietitians on Demand is now an organization comprising of more than 3, 500 nutrition professionals who signed up for our network. If you are interested in learning more about Dietitians on Demand, visit their website. Mark can be contacted at (800) 545-1208 or mark@dietitiansondemand.com.


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