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How Do I Choose the Best Dietitian Clinic?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

If you need to choose a dietician clinic, you may want to start with a recommendation from your physician. This is particularly true if you are seeking dietary advice to address a specific medical problem. Otherwise, it is important that you verify the credentials of the professionals that work in a dietitian clinic. Keep in mind that not all jurisdictions regulate the practice of giving nutritional advice, so you will want to make sure that you are working with professional, licensed dietitians. Other considerations include cost, insurance coverage and whether the dietitian clinic and its employees are able to provide you with the care and assistance that you need.

In some countries, the regulation of those offering nutritional counseling is quite lax. As such, it is important to consider the qualifications of those who work in nutritional clinics or centers. This is particularly true if you are choosing a dietitian clinic to assist with weight loss, as many so-called “diet clinics” employ nonprofessionals to provide diet support and to sell programs and special foods. Find out what the law in your jurisdiction is governing the licensing of dietitians. Ask each dietitian clinic that you contact if it employs a licensed or registered clinical dietitian on staff and verify these credentials with your jurisdiction’s licensing board.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Seek recommendations from trusted health care professionals. Friends and family may also be able to give good advice on finding a dietician clinic, but it is also important to verify the credentials of dieticians recommended by non-professionals. When contacting a dietician clinic, ask about their services: if you need special guidance, such as managing diabetes, find out of the clinic’s employees have experience in working with diabetics. In some cases, you may need to find a specialist clinic, particularly if you have multiple medical conditions or are seeking help for a child or elderly person.

Other questions to ask include information about cost, clinic hours and insurance coverage. Ideally, you'll want to find a dietitian clinic that is convenient to where you live or work and that is open during times when you are free to visit the clinic. You should also ask about the cost of all of its services: you may be required to pay more for an introductory visit during which a dietitian may spend a great deal of time with you, and less for subsequent follow-up visits. If you have health insurance, ask the clinic, as well is your insurance company, if dietitian services are covered under your policy.

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