United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Dietetic Internship Program

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. My DPD-Director told me it's very hard to get into a VA internship program because they are too competitive, and I shouldn't even bother applying. How competitive is admission to your internship program?

  2. Why train at the VA?

  3. What is your patient population?

  4. Do VA Internships offer opportunities to work with other populations?

  5. Do you really provide a stipend? Are there any strings attached?

  6. I am not a U.S. Citizen. Can I still apply to your program?

  7. How much is your application fee?


1.   My DPD-Director told me it's very hard to get into a VA internship program because they are too competitive, and I shouldn't even bother applying. How competitive is admission to your internship program?

VA Internship Programs have earned a reputation for being "too competitive". All Dietetic Internship Programs are competitive, and VA Dietetic Internship Programs are not more competitive than most internship programs throughout the country. VA Internship Programs are in teaching hospitals, provide a variety of hands-on experiences, have state-of-the art resources, and the VA pays a stipend. Candidates interested in applying to a VA Dietetic Internship Program should find out about the program, and see if the program matches the candidate's goals, mission, and philosophy. All interested persons should apply to a VA Dietetic Internship Program.

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2.   Why train at the VA?

The VA Healthcare System had a major overhaul in the mid 1990’s.  In addition to being recognized as having the most advanced computerized medical chart system in the United States, an annual consumer survey conducted by the National Quality Research Center at the University of Michigan has found that the VA has consistently outranked the private sector in regards to patient satisfaction for the past six years. Please see this Business Week article and Fulfilling America’s Pledge Poster

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3.  What is your patient population?

The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (DVAMC) provides health care to men and women who have served our country. Our patient population is made up of Veterans from World War II, Korean Conflict, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf Wars, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Our patient population is 90 - 97% male and 3 - 10% female. Dietetic interns in VA internship programs develop strong clinical skills from working with a variety of patients with complex medical and social needs.

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4.  Do VA Internships offer opportunities to work with other populations?

Yes. All of the VA dietetic internship programs have affiliations within their communities that allow interns to work with other patient populations. Examples of other populations encountered through VA internship programs include working with women and children in the Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC); pediatric populations in school, community, and hospital settings; and exposure to men and women of varying race, culture, and other demographic factors through community and health promotion rotations and field trips.

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5.  Do you really provide a stipend? Are there any strings attached?

Interns accepted into a VA internship program will be paid a stipend throughout the course of the rotation. Interns are not required to work for the VA, the government, or the military upon graduation. Although employment with the VA upon graduation is not a requirement, many graduates of VA Dietetic Internship Programs desire to continue to work for the VA Healthcare System.

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6.  I am not a U.S. Citizen. Can I still apply to your program?

All applicants to VA Dietetic Internship Programs must be a U.S. Citizen at the time of application.

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7.  How much is your application fee?

There is NO APPLICATION FEE for any of the VA Internship programs.

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Program Locations
Bay Pines, Florida
Bronx, New York
Cleveland, Ohio
Chicago, Illinois
Houston, Texas
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis, Minnesota
San Diego, California
San Juan, Puerto Rico
St. Louis, Missouri
Tampa, Florida