Settling in as an internationally educated dietitian in canada

Settling into a new country comes with its own set of challenges, especially when one is seeking employment in a regulated profession with perplexing legislation and timelines.

Some challenges faced by Internationally Educated Dietitians (IED):

Regulated Profession: Lack of familiarity with the professions’ regulations and the necessity of liability insurance to ensure protection against lawsuits.

Exam Orientation and Self Assessment Tools: Competencies are assessed in all dietetic exams and individuals need to demonstrate proficiencies in major areas of competencies and performance indicators.

Provincial Regulations: Each province has its own Dietetic Regulatory body and individuals must register with their province; practicing outside the province they are registered in is not permitted.

Evidence Based Practice: In Canada, Dietitians root their practice in evidence and knowledge which may not be the practice followed in other countries.

Canadian Workplace Culture: Workplace culture in Canada expects individuals to be strong communicators and respectful of co-workers. Furthermore, despite being eligible to work as Food Service Supervisors, IED’s struggle to find and acquire jobs in Hospital and Long Term Care settings because of their unfamiliarity with Canadian food suppliers.

Underemployment: The process of becoming a Registered Dietitian may take 2-5 years. Throughout this process, many individuals work on survival jobs. However, it can sometimes even be difficult to find survival jobs and thus leading to financial problems.

At IE Dietitians Network of Canada, we understand the gap that exists between an Internationally Educated Dietitian and their aspirations to continue their practice in a new environment. We believe in maintaining international standards of education and enhancing standards for good practice. IE Dietitians Network of Canada and our available resources mentor, support and empower internationally educated dietitians as they embark on their fulfilling journey to pursue Dietetics in Canada.

Written by: Amrit Arneja, Marketing Co-ordinator, IEDNC
Reviewed by: Manmeet Behl, President, IEDNC
Updated on: Dec 4, 2020

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