Wendimere Reilly, RDN
THE HEALTH CHIC, DIRECTOR OF CLINICAL NUTRITION & WELLNESS
for something nutrishus
Wendimere reached out as she has a unique full-time position in an primary care doctor’s office that she wanted to share. Since she doesn’t know of other RDs doing this, she wanted to start promoting it as a potential career path. Her work fits with some dietitians’ wishes for annual ‘check-ups’ or more focus on preventative/primary nutrition care.
Why did you become a RD?
I initially became an RD because I owned a natural health store and day spa. My customers kept asking me to create meal plans for them which I didn’t feel qualified to do, nor was it legal to do in my state (Florida). At the time there were no private practice dietitians practicing in my area and there was an influx of medical weight loss clinics popping up all over the place promoting crazy eating plans. So, I sold my shop and went back to school to become an RD.
What area of dietetics do you work in?
Primary Care Dietitian.
How would you explain what you do?
I work in a doctor’s office providing the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit. Additionally, I provide MNT (Medical Nutrition Therapy) for Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease. These services are covered under insurance. For a small fee any of our patients can see the dietitian, so I am highly involved in providing nutritional interventions for those with chronic diseases. I also teach classes and am working closely with our medical director to design an integrative functional medicine program for our office.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
Before leaving work, I check my appointment calendar for the next day. The office opens at 8am so I arrive at work between 7:45-8:30am depending on my schedule. When I get to work I open up our charting software and review notes for my first client and get my room set-up. Medicare Annual Wellness and MNT visits are my first priority. In between scheduled appointments the providers will fill up my day with mini nutritional (fee for service) patients. We have an in-house DEXA machine that is equipped for whole body composition scans which is an additional service that we offer. I review all of these with both the patient and the providers. I attend the weekly provider meeting and suggest nutritional interventions for high risk patients. I handle our social media profile and teach a wellness class each Wednesday. Sometimes I teach classes outside of the office.
What has been your career path?
My first job as a dietitian was in a hospital, where I worked for one year and then transferred to a position in rehab/LTC (long term care) after moving back to Central Florida. I am currently the Director of Clinical Nutrition and Wellness for a primary care medical office.
What advanced education or special training do you have?
I am working on my master’s degree in nutrition at the University of North Florida.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
A dietitian working in a primary care medical office in every major city of the US. The concept of having a primary care or family dietitian will begin to become just as standard as having a primary care doctor. When choosing a primary care doctor, patients will look for offices that have an in-house dietitian. You heard it first, right here on “What Do RDs Do!”
What would you like people to know about RDs?
That they shouldn’t “fear” talking to an RD. I think our profession has changed and we are more open to teaching intuitive and mindful eating versus strict caloric control diets. I find that many of my patients are surprised by our visits. I am passionate about building long term relationships and trust with my patients. People shouldn’t have their first interaction with an RD when they are in the hospital. We need to be involved much earlier. It can save everyone money and improve lives.
What is your favourite meal?
I love food so this is a really hard question for me. One of my favorite foods is homemade ice cream made with real cream direct from my local farm and whatever fruit is in season. Since I am in Central Florida this is usually strawberries or blueberries that I get from a u-pick farm. Many of my patients are vegan so I also have a terrific dairy free recipe using young Thai coconuts.
Anything else you’d like to add that you feel would be valuable:
If you are a dietitian that is interested in working in primary care please reach out. I would love to help others join me as we carve out a new dietitian career path.
More about Wendimere:
LinkedIn: Wendimere Reilly, RDN LDN
Podcast: The Health Chic Podcast
Facebook: Wendimere Reilly
Research: Wendimere Reilly