What are DPGs?
Dietetic practice groups (DPGs) are communities of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics members based on professional interests. There are 26 DPGs spanning specialty areas from pediatrics to geriatrics, clinical nutrition to public health. In this guide, you can learn about what the DPGs offer, how to join, and why students can benefit from these communities. Not sure if you want to join a group? We also list all of their social media platforms so you can get to know them!
Are you a member of a DPG? Share what you think we should add to the info about your DPG! Email us at email@example.com.
How do I join a DPG?
You can join a DPG by logging into your Academy account, scrolling down to “Membership Information,” and clicking “Add Groups.” You will also be given the option to join DPGs anytime you start or renew your Academy membership.
Are there fees to join the DPGs?
Yes, there are additional fees on top of your Academy membership dues. The fees vary depending on the DPG but are usually about $20 per year for students.
What are some benefits to joining a DPG?
DPGs are communities where you can network, gain access to special webinars and publications, and apply for scholarships and awards. Every DPG is different, so read below for more benefits!
Find the DPG for you! Click on your interests: addiction treatment, cancer nutrition, clinical leadership, culinary nutrition, data and informatics, developmental disabilities, diabetes, eating disorders, entrepreneurship, functional nutrition, geriatrics, GI disorders, health professions education, hunger, infectious diseases, long-term care, management, mental health, MNT, nutrition education, nutrition media, nutrition support, pediatrics, public health, renal nutrition, research, school nutrition, sports nutrition, sustainability, vegetarian nutrition, weight management, women’s health
Behavioral Health Nutrition DPG
The Behavioral Health Nutrition (BHN) DPG is a group of dietetics professionals who work with patients with eating disorders, intellectual and developmental disabilities, addictions, and mental illness.
Some of their special benefits include webinars, a mentorship program, and access to case studies. They also have unique leadership roles known as Resource Professionals. Resource Professionals serve a one-year term and provide unlimited free guidance to members in their specific area of practice. The four Resource Professionals include the Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Resource Professional, the Eating Disorders Resource Professional, the Addictions Resource Professional, and the Mental Health Resource Professional.
The BHN DPG also has a student-specific Facebook group and blog. Additionally, a student is elected each year to serve as the Student Liaison on the Executive Board.
Clinical Nutrition Management DPG
The Clinical Nutrition Management DPG is for those interested in leadership in clinical nutrition. Their members are passionate about “developing and implementing nutrition programs that keep pace with the changing health care environment,” according to their website.
This DPG also has three subunits: Food and Nutrition Informatics, Quality and Process Improvement, and Pediatric Management. These subunits are available to all members and provide specialized resources, news updates, and leadership opportunities.
The Diabetes DPG is a group of dietetians and students who are interested in “quality diabetes care and education for people with diabetes and their families and for those at risk for developing diabetes.” The Diabetes DPG has several special publications for members, including research and free patient educational materials. The group is also involved with several national taskforces and alliances to improve diabetes care and prevention.
Dietetics in Health Care Communities DPG
Professionals in the Dietetics in Health Care Communities DPG serve in acute and long-term-care facilities, correctional facilities, home care companies, healthcare agencies, and the foodservice industry.
The DHCC DPG has a new Student Member program which includes a student webpage on the DHCC site, opportunities to serve as Student Editor or a feature writer for the DPG newsletter, and reduced registration for the special DHCC workshop at FNCE.
Dietitians in Business and Communications DPG
The Dietitians in Business and Communications (DBC) DPG includes a variety of professionals “working for or consulting with local or global corporations, businesses, or organizations in the food, nutrition communications, public relations, and healthcare industries, or who are self-employed or business owners,” according to the Academy website.
“From an educational perspective, three reasons to join DBC are for the group’s (1) flexible educational options — you can choose to watch webinars live or to watch the recordings at a time convenient for you, (2) educational opportunities that support what members need — webinars match desired learning needs codes that members rank as a top need in their Professional Development Portfolio with CDR, and (3) relevant resources that you can apply to your current work as a dietitian or dietetics student,” says Tori Schmitt, MS, RDN, LD, DBC’s 2018-2021 Education Chair, in an email.
The DBC group offers members access to free professional mentoring, a members-only LinkedIn, an online discussion board platform, and regional networking events. Omar Guerrero, MS, RD, LDN, CSCS, an Executive Committee Member, says, “The mentoring program allows for students to gain first hand experience in social media, business, and many other unique RD fields.” Additionally, “Students are always welcomed and encouraged to get involved with numerous committees that DBC has. They are also able to get more involved with the student committee gaining valuable social media and leadership skills,” Omar says.
Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine DPG
The DIFM DPG focuses on professionals interested in holistic health and “promotes the integration of conventional nutrition practices with evidence-based alternatives through education, research and practice.”
Membership in DIFM gives you access to free digital subscriptions to three integrative health journals: IMCJ Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, ATHM Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, and Advances in Mind-Body Medicine. (Valued at $193 annually.) Additionally, all DIFM members have access to the Natural Medicines Database, an online resource that compiles all of the evidence for hundreds of supplements.
DIFM also has a private Facebook group for students who are interested in integrative and functional nutrition.
Students can serve as Student Membership Chairs on the DIFM committee. Former Student Membership Co-Chair (and now DIFM Membership Chair) Anita Davila, BS, NDTR, says, “Joining the DIFM DPG, and more specifically, volunteering for their leadership team has been an amazing experience!”
Current Student Membership Co-Chair Sarah Elster adds, “The DIFM DPG is a wonderful community filled with passionate practitioners. It is one of the largest DPGs and offers many free resources to its members.”
Dietitians in Nutrition Support DPG
The DNS DPG is for those who work in “nutrition support therapy to individuals encompassing adults, pediatrics, inpatients, outpatients, home care and transplantation.” They provide access to webinars, volunteer opportunities, and scholarships/grants.
Additionally, DNS publishes their own bi-monthly peer reviewed journal called Support Line, and members have access to all archived copies as well.
DNS offers a Student Coordinator position on its Executive Committee. “Serving as the Student Coordinator for DNS has been incredibly rewarding so far,” says Haley Hubbard. “I am currently working on a project to start up an Instagram page for the practice group, and I feel very supported by the committee.”
Haley also shares that “one of the best member benefits, in my opinion, is the DNS store. The DNS store has a variety of courses and toolkits about all kinds of topics such as malnutrition, cancer, etc. For example, I just downloaded a 3-part course on IV lipids for free. Without DNS membership, this would have cost $90. Also, the DNS membership fee for students is $5, the cheapest fee of all DPGs.”
Food and Culinary Professionals DPG
This DPG is a community of “culinary educators, food writers, cookbook authors, chefs, marketing professionals, PR executives, food scientists and media reporters.” They also offer the subunits: Agriculture, Food Safety, Restaurant and Hospitality, and Supermarket/Retail. Some unique programs in the FCP DPG include culinary trainings and recipes contests, in addition to educational opportunities and networking
Healthy Aging DPG
The Healthy Aging DPG is for those interested in supporting older adults in “community nutrition programs, government agencies, assisted living settings, university settings, hospitals and health care facilities, and private practice.” In addition to the typical resources offered by DPGs, the HA DPG offers its members support in obtaining the Certified Specialist in Geriatrics (CSG) credential, with “the CSG Help Desk, flashcards and resources.”
The HA DPG also has student members of their Executive Committee. Ronna Robbins, PhD, RD, LD, a recent Student EC member, shared her experience: “The Healthy Aging DPG is very open minded, progressive, and forward-thinking, which provides students the opportunity to use their skills or area of interest to contribute to the DPG. The student before me worked on improving the HA-DPG’s social media presence, and I worked on the development of a possible HA-DPG app.”
“[The Student EC position] really is a wonderful opportunity to see “behind the scenes” in a DPG, network and get involved early in your career!” adds long-time member Melanie Betz, MS, RD, CSR, CSG, LDN. “We [also] have a student resources section on our website which has some education materials/tips for working with older adults. There are also tips for interviewing and navigating the DICAS system.”
Hunger and Environmental Nutrition DPG
The HEN DPG is a community of “nutrition experts in food and water security, health, agriculture, and the environment to foster thriving sustainable and accessible food and water systems.” They offer benefits such as access to the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, a special student section of the website, and the opportunity for students to write for newsletters, among others.
Management in Food and Nutrition Systems DPG
The MFNS supports professions in “advanced level positions of management and leadership, employed in areas including health care and food service.” They offer their members continuing education and networking opportunities.
Dietitians in Medical Nutrition Therapy DPG (formerly Medical Nutrition Practice Group DPG)
The DMNT is for dietitians working in clinical practice, especially those interested in the subunits: Cystic Fibrosis Nutrition, Dietitians in Gluten and Gastrointestinal Disorders, Dietitians in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Infectious Diseases Nutrition.
Nutrition Education for the Public DPG
The NEP DPG is those interested in working in education for non health professionals – from kids to seniors, individual patients to whole communities. They have many resources, including scholarships for students to attend FNCE and continuing education.
NEP maintains databases of recipes and past educational webinars, as well as a discussion board for members. All members, including students, are invited to contribute to NEP’s quarterly newsletter, according to NEP board member Henna Muzaffar PhD, RD, FAND.
“Students are also welcomed to provide volunteer services while gaining leadership skills,” adds fellow NEP board member Bridgit Corbett, EdD, RDN, LD.
Nutrition Educators of Health Professionals DPG
The NEHP DPG is a community of “professionals providing nutrition education for medical, dental, nursing and other allied health students, residents and practitioners.” They provide a variety of tools for teaching and resources for pursuing the peer review or tenure process.
Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG
The Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG is a community of students and professionals who are interested in or currently run a nutrition-related business. There are also seven subunits accessible to members: Authors and Writers, Coaches, Corporate Wellness, Private Practice, Second Career Dietitian, Speakers and Media, Technology and Social Media. The NE DPG provides continuing education, recognition and awards, a mentoring program for members, and a members-only Facebook group.
Nutrition Informatics DPG
Nutrition Informatics is the use of data and technology to improve care processes, and the NI DPG supports members in “sharing knowledge and insight, learning cutting edge technology, implementing and improving current processes, and collaborating in ways never possible.” It also provides a list of resources for non-members interested in informatics. Members work in areas such as electronic health records, telehealth, foodservice IT systems, apps/wearables, nutrition communications and knowledge management, and more.
“Regardless of interest area, understanding the most effective and efficient ways to utilize technology to enhance dietetics practice and personal career growth is essential, ” says Kathleen Pellechia MS, RDN, a member of the NI DPG Committee. “Career opportunites in the field of health information technology are only going to grow. A big part of informatics is data. Whether small data sets or ‘Big Data,’ students can only benefit from knowing how data collection, data visualization, etc. can further the field (and value of) of nutrition and dietetics.”
Additionally, NI is just now entering its second year and will be recruiting student leaders for their Committee in the 2020-2021 year.
Oncology Nutrition DPG
The ON DPG is for anyone specializing in cancer treatment or prevention. They also have two sub-units: Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Pediatric Oncology. Members have access to ON’s quarterly, peer-reviewed publication and free access to the Natural Medicines Database.
Pediatric Nutrition DPG
The Pediatric Nutrition DPG supports dietitians who work with kids of all ages in both clinical and community settings. They provide resources for continuing education and a mentoring program in which members with at least three years of experience in pediatrics are paired with those who need career guidance.
Public Health/Community Nutrition DPG
The PNCN DPG is a community of dietitians who work in various areas of public health nutrition, including “program planning and evaluation, education, direct care and consultation services, policy, and research in the United States and abroad.” They have several student-specific resources, including a list of dietetic internships that focus on community nutrition and opportunities to serve in student leadership roles.
Renal Dietitians DPG
The Renal Dietitians DPG is for professionals who specialize in “medical nutrition therapy in dialysis facilities, clinics, hospitals, university settings and private practice.” The DPG offers scholarships, stipends, research updates, and patient education materials to its members.
The Research DPG supports members who engage in all types of research and its applications. The DPG provides many opportunities for funding and presenting research. They also offer a mentoring program for those interested in advancing their research career.
School Nutrition Services DPG
According to their website, “School Nutrition Services dietetic practice group members are involved in child nutrition programs at every level.” This DPG provides resources for child nutrition programs, mentorship within this field, and special student resources, including a list of dietetic internships that focus on school nutrition.
Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition DPG
The Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition DPG (known as SCAN) is a community of dietetics professionals who work in “sports performance, fitness and health, cardiovascular health, wellness, and the prevention and treatment of disordered eating.” SCAN is the largest DPG in the Academy. They offer robust programming, including a special conference each year. Additionally, they offer a range of scholarships, awards, and stipends.
Vegetarian Nutrition DPG
The VN DPG supports professionals who are “interested in plant-based diets and provide support to individuals following a vegetarian lifestyle.” They provide research scholarships and have a student facebook group. Additionally, they maintain a network of state coordinators who help members on a more local level.
Weight Management DPG
The Weight Management DPG is for professionals who work in evidenced-based weight management prevention and treatment. They have three subunits: bariatrics, pediatric weight management, and weight and wellness coaching. The WM DPG offers regularly scheduled educational webinars, leadership opportunities, and stipends for continuing education.
Women’s Health DPG
The Women’s Health DPG focuses on “health, nutrition, and policy issues that are unique to women including preconception, prenatal, postpartum, lactation and menopause.” The WH DPG publishes newsletters about the latest research in the field and provides members opportunities for networking, mentorship, and leadership. They have an elected Student Liaison on their board and offer an annual Outstanding Student in Women’s Health Award.