Students, interns, and many professionals often ask me “How can I get more involved?” and “How can I learn about specific aspects of the field?”

My answer: “Take full advantage of your Academy membership.”

Whether you are a pre-professional or professional, it is a great idea to become more familiar with specific aspects of the dietetics field.  A couple of the best ways to do that is to get involved with DPGs and/or MIGs.

DPG = Dietetic Practice Group

From behavioral health nutrition to business and communications, there are a variety of specialized practice groups within the Academy.  For a nominal fee, you can become a member and not only learn about the sector, but connect with professionals in that sector.  Take advantage of the volunteer opportunities to get further involved.

Check out the DPGs at http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/membership/academy-groups/dietetic-practice-groups

MIG = Member Interest Group

MIG’s focus on common characteristics and/or interests of Academy members.  From Asian Indians in Nutrition and Dietetics (AIND) to Thirty and Under in Nutrition and Dietetics (TUND), these groups provide the opportunity to hone cultural competency skills.  They also encourage members with similar cultural backgrounds and interests to network.

Hint: You are not required to fit the descriptive title of these groups to become a member.  For example, female members can join the National Organization of Men in Nutrition (NOMIN) to support men in the field. 

Check out the MIGs at http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/membership/academy-groups/member-interest-groups

You must be a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics prior to joining these groups. However, these smaller groups make it easier to connect and get involved. Get the most out of your Academy membership by checking these groups out.

Not only will you obtain newsletters and be on an email listserv, but you can volunteer to get involved nationally or locally. It is very rewarding to get involved in aspects of the field that align with you passions. This is one avenue that can get you there.