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Sophie Hou
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Supporting Dietitians in Practice: Professional Development Activities of Dietitians of Canada in the Past 30 Years
Names, Organizational Affiliations, and Locations of all Authors
S. Hou1, R. Krieger1, M. Uppal1, M. Wyatt2, L. Dietrich3, P. Brauer1, J. Randall Simpson1 1 Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario; 2London, ON, 3Haliburton, ON
Dietitians of Canada (DC) was established in 1997 from the Canadian Dietetic Association and the provincial associations. At present, there is no comprehensive historical account of the professional development (PD) initiatives DC has provided since its inception; the last history of dietetics was published in 1993.
Objective(s)/Process or Summary of Content
The aims of the present study are to synthesize a timeline of PD events since 1993, understand the context that led to their development, and to understand their impact on the profession.
Method(s)/Systemic Approach Used
A draft timeline was prepared with data gathered from the literature review. Eleven key informants were initially identified; 6 additional informants were identified by snowball sampling. Informants were recruited by email and semi-structured interviews were conducted with those who consented to participate. Transcripts were analyzed thematically, and a final timeline was developed.
Thirteen participants contributed to the final timeline. Six themes were found: 1) the use of technology in PD tools, e.g. online courses, Learning on Demand; 2) conferences and workshops , e.g. national conference, Coast-to-Coast workshops; 3) initiatives that placed DC as a leader in health and nutrition, e.g. Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition (PEN); 4) informal discussion about emerging issues in dietetics, e.g. PEN Current Issues, Practice Blog; 5) DC actively sought member input to inform PD strategy, e.g. members issues forums; and, 6) DC PD events demonstrated their support for research and dietetic education, e.g. relationship with CFDR, public health online course. Key concerns for the future included: declining DC membership and funding and dietetics not keeping pace with other professions on PD.
Dietitians of Canada developed a robust portfolio of PD activities for their members over the past 30 years.
Significance to Dietetics
The successes and failures of initiatives in this time period can inform the development of DC’s PD strategy for the coming decades.
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