By Khush Mark
It can be overwhelming when deciding on a course.
Moreso, if it involves a 'career' change and eye rolls by some family members and friends.
If I were to study again in these times, these are the questions I would be asking before investing in a course in nutritional medicine (with or without coaching). Having taught in most of the Nutrition Institutions in the country and some out side of the country, each institute has its own flavour and finding what suits you can be quite a 'challenge' especially when all we know is 'I want to become a nutritionist', but not really thought of the bigger picture.
To help you along with this decision and removing the overwhelm, here are a few questions you may want to ask when searching for a course in nutrition and/or coaching or both integrated.....Ready?
Is the curriculum relevant to the times?
What is the quality of the teaching like?
Those teaching, can they teach?
Do you have access to the lectures as in are they recorded?
If you have access to recordings of the lectures, how long for?
Are the students engaged?
Is there a sense of community?
What is the student support like?
How is the curriculum taught? Is it in ‘chunks’ or is it integrated?
When can you start to see clients?
Are functional tests taught in the curriculum if so, how are they taught? By the companies that provide the functional tests at the end of the studies? or are they integrated within the teaching sessions?
Which functional tests are covered WITHIN the curriculum? Are they relevant?
Is the course accredited and by who? If it is accredited is it accredited by an outside non-biased accreditation body?
Are there any exams, assignments, group projects, presentations, vivas?
Is there clinical training and how is that run? Who teaches the clinics? How long has the clinic trainer(s) been in practice, have they been in practice? Have they/or are they running a successful practice?
How do students leave, excited, inspired, confident or exhausted needing a year out?
How many qualified students go onto run a successful practice?
By the end of the studies what do you qualify as?
Is there a post graduate community where graduates can continue to learn and discuss cases with peers and a 'well seasoned' mentors? And continue to be part of a like-minded community?
Investing in a course is not only about time but the financial investment
Some courses encourage students to start to implement their learning as they progress through the course, in some cases this helps finance the course, this is a win-win. We at the New School encourage this, as the best way to learn is by doing and we provide a list of accredited supervisors to support our students.
Our curriculum is not set in stone. Times have changed and so has the forever expanding research. Previous to Covid, chronic illnesses like Lyme Disease were not taken as seriously, now there is a much deeper understanding and the traditional medical community has started to look into other chronic illnesses with a different lens too. This is good news for all of us.
It is not an easy 'job' to keep the curriculum updated as it involves continuous work and research on the part of the educational institute and their lecturers. So check that the curriculum, is up-to-date and relevant.
What do you plan on doing following the Nutrition course?
As a practitioner in Nutritional Medicine and Transformational Therapy, I have seen and been to conferences where there are plenty of qualified practitioners who are not practising. They do not feel confident enough to practice and some do not know how to build a practice. This is through no fault of their own, they did not get the adequate training. This is an area that is much ignored. How many nutrition therapists or practitioners in nutritional medicine or even doctors who switch over to nutritional medicine know how to build a practice? Not many. So check that the nutrition course you embark on provides this vital training. It should not be an afterthought, but integrated into the curriculum.
What happens once you qualify?
Having been in practice for just shy of 23 years, loneliness is no stranger in this industry. Most practitioners are out on their own, they feel they need to do it all, the reports, the sessions, the social media, the learning, the blogs, the web design, the webinars, the conferences etc etc. This should not be the case. We are social beings and social beings that are working with human beings on a daily basis, we need our own community that we can reach out to. Our connection with other practitioners and being part of an ongoing developing community is vital. This not only builds trust and sense of belonging, but life long friends who are like-minded and the community shares the load. One may share about the recent conference they attended, another may help out with writing blogs, another community member may be able to support with the social media side, another may teach on a topic that is new and emerging and I am not referring to a fading out 'whats app' group that started during the course, where people go for quick advise, I am referring to a collaborative hive post graduation and beyond.
These are just few of my thoughts that I wanted to share, and if it helps you avoid some of the 'pitfalls' that some students face, then this blog has done it's job. We also have a FAQs section which you may find helpful and we are constantly adding questions to this section as we receive questions from our followers and those looking to study with us.
We believe coaching is a key part of our Diploma, not only does it cover many of the areas mentioned above but we dive into human behaviour, neuroscience, behaviour patterns, being with the client, and importantly getting to know yourself with our year 1 inner coaching module.
If you are keen on finding out more about our School and the Integrated Nutrition Medicine and Coaching Diploma feel free to join one of our open online zoom sessions. We would love to connect with you. We are getting ready for our new students to join us in Sept 2023.
From the team at the New School Of Nutritional Medicine.
Learn about the Founder & Principal of the New School of Nutritional Medicine, Dr Khush Mark PhD HERE.