Disti’s Motivating Story: New Dietitian Immigrant from India (2020)
- February 3, 2021
- Posted by:
- Category: Educated Dietitian
Like many others, I immigrated to Canada with high hopes and I was astonished to learn about the complicated and long process to become a Registered Dietitian. My name is Disti Shah, and let me give you a brief introduction about myself – I’m a Postgraduate in Clinical Nutrition And Dietetics, Certified Diabetes Educator and like this article describes, an avid blogger and content writer. With almost 6+ years of experience in the field of Nutrition from India and a yearn to treat people with clinical issues, learning and incorporating more about alternative medicine has got me where I am.
Today, I would like to guide you through the struggle that Internationally Educated Dietitians including myself, face after immigrating to Canada. It already sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? Such information is not to scare you, but rather to create awareness and help you prepare better for your future dietetic career! So let’s bump into some of the most common ones –
Language, Communication and Unfamiliarity with the Canadian Workplace Culture – Lack of official language fluency being used in the workplace, be it English, French or both, can act as a communication barrier with patients as well as colleagues. Differing cultural norms, values, and beliefs among Dietitians and patients can have an impact on treatment methods, and may influence treatment choices too. To add on, standards of medical professionalism in one’s home country can be different from those in Canada.
Underemployment and Unemployment – I can totally relate to this one, since the entire process of getting registered in Canada is so elaborate that most of the trained dietitians, including me, start with survival to earn their living. Not all of us migrate at a young age where we can dedicate time for this process, and eventually with family, expenses, household work and studies can lead to giving up on everything and unemployment. This is surely not the way you want your immigration journey to look like!
Financial Struggles – With underemployment or unemployment comes financial struggles and dietitians end up continuing either survival jobs to sustain themselves or end up giving up completely. The outcome is sheer dissatisfaction and grief of leaving the home country and struggling to earn their living with jobs that do not satisfy mentally nor financially.
Unfamiliar with Evidence and Knowledge – To add on to the list, all Internationally trained dietitians in Canada should comply with the College regulations and legislations. But the fact is that the practice can be different in each country and without having proper knowledge, one can fall in trouble making unintentional mistakes. Trust me, it isn’t as simple as it sounds; there are a lot of things to remember, learn and incorporate before you start your Dietetic practice.
Difficulty Understanding the Process – Being a complicated process, it often gets overwhelming for dietitians to understand it thoroughly. Above all, I was totally unaware whom I should reach out to for a mentor to help me sail through the process. The first time I saw the references attached for KCAT preparation, I realized I did not have a single resource or book matching. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, libraries were closed and I did not have anyone from the same field to reach out to for help. The next option was to purchase them, and just like many others I happened to check the ebook first and I realized that nearly each book was 1000+ pages. Even if I had to read them and not study, it was practically impossible to get through all the books that were mentioned in the reference section.
Upgrading knowledge – Each country and university has a different course outline and one might or might not be familiar with all the subjects or topics covered in the references for the registration process. Getting reference materials and books along with studying each one of them in detail is quite a time consuming and staggering process to complete.
Well, I tried my best to cover it all but each one of us might face different obstacles in this process. Does that mean that we give up our career? The answer is NO. The reason for writing this article is to not only make you aware about the hurdles, but also help you get prepared for the process. It is to make you believe that the time is “NOW”!
I’m sure you are wondering where I stand right in terms of my Career in Canada. Luckily, I’m working as a Medical Administrative Assistant with Nutritionwize Consulting Services and also continuing my career as a Nutritionist in an Indian company, along with preparing for my KCAT examination. I did start my career in Canada with survival jobs but here I am today, doing what I simply love and working towards fulfilling my dream of becoming a Registered Dietitian in Canada. I got to know career options from IE Dietitians of Canada and working on my short term goals and long term goals. I hope hearing a bit about my experience has inspired you to stay firm with your dreams, and know that you are not alone throughout the struggle in this career-building process! So start your groundwork and you will be able to live your dream career.
IE Dietitians Network of Canada is here to support you in your dietetic career! We aim to to support, engage and empower internationally educated dietitians and dietetic students across the globe. This will enable them to be well-positioned to have meaningful career paths in Canada. Members of IEDNC can gain international exposure in the field of dietetics, as well as enhance standards for good practice while continuing education with the various online courses we have to offer. Familiarity with the regulated professional practices in Canada is crucial for a successful dietetic career; achieved through education and establishing credible partnerships through a strong dietitian network, IE Dietitians Network of Canada can help you bridge that gap, especially if you are planning to come to Canada to build your career. You can reach out to IEDNC at email@example.com for or assistance, or to find out more about all the perks IEDNC membership offers which are a great asset to your dietetic career! IE Dietitians Network of Canada would love to help you. All the best !