As I mentioned at the end of my last post, I had to be at the convention center at 6 am to help set up for a breakfast. To kick things off, the American Overseas Dietetic Association (AODA), along with the Academy, welcomed special guests at a special breakfast. Although Julie, our fundraising chair, organized this lovely breakfast, she was unable to join us in Sydney, so I offered to be the contact person for AODA here (I'm the nominating committee chair so I was going to be there anyway). Our Australia country rep (we call them CRs) did all of the work here to get this to be the success that it was.
The breakfast really was beautiful. Everything looked great.
They served these lovely fruit kebabs.
Then we had some yogurt on muesli.
They also served eggs, toast and bacon (which I passed on, of course).
Here is our CR introducing speakers.
Naomi Trostler, a very important person not only in dietetics all over the world (and her home country of Israel), but within AODA, gave a nice presentation about AODA. Many people do not know we exist, but we have quite a few (I believe over 700 now) members spread out over 70 countries, and we are all Academy members living and working in various places around the world, even in the US.
Ethan Bergman, the current president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also spoke.
I managed to head into the expo and quickly grab a few goodies, like these Quaker cookies. You can see they have some fiber and less saturated fat, and include Australian oats. They were not very big cookies either, about 2-3 bites per cookie, so that helps keep the portion reasonable.
To kick off the conference, ICDA (International Confederation of Dietetic Associations) spoke about their findings from a survey of all the dietetic associations around the world that are ICDA members. One thing I did not know was that only 1 dietetic association per country can be a member, and therefore be that countries representative in ICDA. It may sounds strange because we only have 1 dietetic association, but in other countries it seems they have multiple groups that dietitians are members of.
I took some pictures of the slides so I could share some things that I found interesting. As far as a title or credential, like RD, which we use in the US (APD in Australia, Accredited Practicing Dietitian), that is protected by law, over the past 4 years this has increased in countries around the world. So for the protected title, in 2012, 72% of the dietetic associations that are members of ICDA, have a protected title in their country. It is up a little from 69% 4 years ago, but the other difference is that more countries are ICDA members and therefore more responded to the survey. Around 73% have a credential, like RD.
Here is a breakdown of the education required in order to become a dietitian or equivalent. Most are like the US where the Bachelors degree is the minimum requirement.
Here is the infomration on length of years for education, and most fall in at 4 years, which is what the US has. Some countries where a dietitian earns an undergrad degree may still not translate to our 4 year degree in the US, as they can earn that same undergrad degree in 2.5 years.
This is a slide about the practicum, which was have as an internship in the US. There are 3 countries that have no practicum at all. Most fall in with 11-30 weeks of a program. If you are an RD, how long was yours? I think mine was about 40 weeks, but in the US it is the hours total, not the weeks, that matters. Mine was about 10 months, 4 weeks each, but I guess we had vacation at Christmas time. I am pretty sure this is about the norm in the US.
As for maintaining registration, this is required in 14 countries, and continuing education is mandatory in 21 countries. You can see that 13 out of the 14 countries with maintenance, 13 also require continuing education, which is what we have in the US.
As far as where the dietitians in other countries are working, you can see the data. Let me explain this a little. So, the percentages mean that the countries that responded said they have at least 1 dietitian working in that area of dietetics. For hospitals, 100% of the countries surveyed have dietitians working in the hospitals. This is the most traditional setting, so that makes sense. The information continues on the next 3 pictures.
Lunch was eaten standing up, so I couldn't get a picture, but it was sandwiches. I did grab some mixed nuts (hot nuts too!) for my afternoon snack. I love that at this conference they served morning and afternoon tea. During that time coffee and tea were available at the expo and the booths were open to give up samples and information.
After the day ended, we headed outside to the harbor to enjoy the sunset. Here is a sculpture out by the convention center.
Across the harbour you can see the Pyrmont bridge, which I walked across a few times.
Then I went to the mall to use the pay computers there so I could get some work done. Most everyone else went to the opening welcome reception, but I paid my registration as a student (to save a few hundred dollars, and yes, I am a student...doctoral that is!) and this did not include the reception. If I wanted to attend it would cost me another $65 and I just wan't that interested. I guess I didn't miss to much, or so I was told. Once it was over, I met back up with my friend Charmain, the AODA IT person and Hong Kong country rep. We took a walk towards China town and the train station since she needed to catch a train that night back to her uncles house (great way to save money...stay with relative!). I just loved the colors on this building so I took a few pictures.
QUESTIONS: Have you ever been to a conference where meals are served? Did you know there were so many countries with similar RD credentials out there?