Mark McGill, RD, CSG (soon)
LONG TERM CARE & HOME CARE
for something nutrishus
Mark was recommended as a great male to include in the series, and as you'll see below, there are many reasons for that! You'll find Mark active on twitter as he enjoys helping people sort through the quackery and sees the need for dietitians to be in on social media conversations. He is also going to add a new and unique credential to his name soon.
Why did you become a RD?
I developed a passion for nutrition after stumbling upon it, really. I was studying Environmental Science at the University of Waterloo and I took a health elective that nicely fit my schedule. There was a nutrition component and soon, I found myself studying more about nutrition than my major. That Fall, I was enrolled in Nutrition and Food at Ryerson University in Toronto.
What area of dietetics do you work in?
I currently work in long term care (geriatrics) and home care.
How would you explain what you do?
I help people be at their best through food and a healthy lifestyle.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
Meeting with residents and their families at the long term care homes and going into clients’ homes for my home care job. Developing and implementing care plans based on individual needs. Meeting with other health care professionals with the common goal of improving the health of those we care for.
What has been your career path?
After completing my internship at the Ottawa Hospital in 2008, I worked in long term care and home care. I’ve come full-circle with positions in hospitals, family health teams and private clinics along the way.
What advanced education or special training do you have?
I am going to be Board Certified in Gerontological Nutrition (CSG) by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (*I wrote it but failed and will take the exam again. It's a tough exam. It was a good experience and I get another shot at it, so I’m not broken up about it.)
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
Less influence, lobbying by the food industry e.g. at conferences.
What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?
Men can be RDs too! (I have had contracts where I am referred to as “she”; “her”)
What would you like people to know about RDs?
We are not judging what you have for lunch last Tuesday at work in the staff room.
What are challenges you encounter as a RD?
People often feel the need to explain themselves if they are eating something unhealthy in front of me. I try and reassure them that a healthy diet includes all foods, even unhealthy ones!
What do people think that you do for a living?
People often assume I am a chef because of my nutrition expertise. Nope.
What are you passionate about in dietetics?
The use of social media to brand ourselves as the trusted nutrition experts.
What makes RDs unique/different from other nutrition/wellness professionals?
We have standards that we adhere to/are regulated by a professional college.
What is your favourite meal?
Ham, scalloped potatoes and corn is one of my favourites. Bacon, eggs and toast is also wonderful on a Sunday morning. I could go on…I love a lot of different foods/meal combinations.
What tip(s) would you give to our readers?
Keep an open mind in terms of what area of dietetics you may end up working in. Gerontology was not an area I thought I would be in back in university and during my internship.
More about Mark:
Instagram (just started with this): @markmcgillrd