The Registered Dietitian in Primary Care:The Hamilton Experience
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The Hamilton Health Service Organization Nutrition Program integrates nine registered dietitians (RDs) into the offices of 80 family physicians (FPs) at 50 sites in Hamilton, Ontario. The program is based on a shared care model, in which FPs and RDs work collaboratively to provide nutrition services aimed at prevention, treatment, and management of nutrition-related problems. In addition to their clinical role, dietitians in the program are involved in health promotion, disease prevention and early intervention strategies, interdisciplinary collaboration, building links with community services, and research. The RDs' specialized knowledge, skills, and experience allow them to provide a wide range of services that complement and augment those of the FP. This model is consistent with Canadian health care reform recommendations and offers significant benefits for both health care providers and consumers.
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