Starving Dietitian

The Dark Side of Doctors

Nutrition Dietitian Doctor

Growing up, a quarter of the kids I knew had visions of becoming famously wealthy doctors.

A noble profession in and of itself. Helping people, saving lives, good pay.

A childs logic has little to argue against such a career.

I myself had grand delusions of being a doctor, or surgeon, or something along those respected lines. At least, until I started working in healthcare.

I’ll paraphrase this by stating I am not a doctor. As much as dietitians picture themselves as nutrition doctors, we are not. We are very knowledgeable about food, and diets, and how they interact with the body.

starving dietitian enteral nutritionBut when it comes to saving a life, prescribing medication, diagnosing diseases, that’s simply not our specialty.

For the same reason doctors are not experts on nutrition, dietitians are not experts on medications, procedures, or injections.

What I can tell you is what I’ve seen as a Dietitian.

You may not realize, but healthcare is largely about liability and reimbursement. A Doctor can save someones life, but if the procedure isn’t insurance approved, the hospital and doctor will be absorbing the costs.

Doctor banging his head realizing a mistake

On the same note, lesser healthcare experts like Dietitians help diffuse some of the “blame” off the doctor, in the event something doesn’t go as planned. This is how healthcare functions.

Which brings me to the modern Doctor.

If I had to put a number on how many doctors I’ve overheard arguing with insurance over the phone, I’d say it’s anywhere from 15-25%. Think how many more actually waste their days doing it!

This is one of the saddest things I’ve come to realize about MDs, the vast majority of them didn’t go into the profession to play the legal insurance game. They wanted to help people, save lives, create change. When the majority of your day is taken up with phone calls, little time is left for the patients.

So after 8+ years of post-high school education, a noble profession becomes bogged down with tedious arguments over reimbursement and liability.


Throw into the mix a constantly changing field, stronger regulations, larger law-suits, and you begin to see why the profession, in my opinion, is becoming more hassle than it’s worth.

One of the more significant revelations from my generation, is that all these “noble” professions of our childhood, lawyers, doctors, financial experts, have become diluted and impacted. New lawyers can scarcely find firms and new doctors are hardly paid an IT Administrators salary.

I am not saying we should think any less of Doctors. Far from it, I have more respect for them now than I’ve ever had in my entire life.

I am saying, as a generation, as a society, we need to think rationally about what we want to do, what we want to be doing in 10 years, and what everyone else is already doing.

Only then do I think we’ll see professions in science, technology, engineering, and maths get the recognition they deserve.

Do what you love, do what keeps you interested, do what pays the bills. 

One without the other will fail you in a matter of time.

Be good to each other.

– Joshua Iufer, RD

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