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Dietetic Internship Program

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Central Texas Veterans Health Care System


The CTVHCS DI Program curriculum is developed by the DI Director with approval by the Nutrition and Food Services Clinical Nutrition Manager and/or Chief and will be reviewed annually. Dietetic interns will learn under the guidance of the experienced staff of CTVHCS Registered Dietitian Nutritionists as well as affiliate preceptors who exhibit a wide range of expertise and knowledge in specialties including:

  • Oncology
  • Diabetes
  • Nutrition Support
  • Renal Disease
  • Surgery
  • Primary Care
  • Long-term Care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Eating Disorders
  • Home-based Care
  • Weight Management
  • Food Service Management
  • Clinical Management
  • Women, Infants, and Children

Registered Dietitians also work as part of an interdisciplinary team including staff physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, psychologists, and clinical specialists of various services that will help to provide advice and information that is incorporated into the training experience.

Program Schedule

The intern will be on duty 40 hours per week with the exclusion of federal holidays (approximately 10 federal holidays per year). Mondays will be set aside for the weekly didactic review class with hands-on training via supervised practice set for Tuesday through Friday. The program begins in the beginning of August and ends in mid-to late June for a total of 46 weeks (including 1 week of vacation at Christmas).

Program Orientation: 2 weeks
At the start of the internship, interns will spend two weeks in orientation learning the policies and procedures of the program as well as familiarize themself with the VA, its facilities and charting systems. The orientation will also provide a review of evidence-based nutrition care and the Nutrition Care Process to establish baseline knowledge of medical nutrition therapy. During this time, interns will bridge their previous knowledge with hands-on training to aid in preparation for providing direct nutrition care to patients.

Food Service Management and Clinical Management: 10 weeks
During the food service and management rotations, interns will experience food production and procurement, learn about the facility’s food dining services, and complete various projects in areas of HACCP, waste management and sensory evaluations. As the food service rotation progresses, interns will begin to advance their knowledge and abilities by developing more managerial skills such as teaching in-service classes to food service workers and creating labor schedules while working alongside the food service site manager. The 2 week clinical management rotation will allow the dietetic intern to work hand-in-hand with the administrative clinical management staff. During the rotation the intern will be afforded the opportunity to understand the complexities of running a clinical nutrition service focusing on servant leadership while assisting with planning, directing, coordinating, and evaluating clinical nutrition and nutrition education programs.

Clinical Inpatient Rotations: 13 weeks
Inpatient clinical rotations will begin in long-term care and advance to more specialized care in the order of general medicine, cardiology and finally critical care with home tube feeding. The general medicine rotation is an intentionally longer rotation set at three weeks to ensure you have acquired all of the necessary skills and knowledge needed to provide superior medical nutrition therapy before advancing to specialized areas such as cardiology and critical care.

Community/Clinical Outpatient Rotations: 16 Weeks
For the community rotations, two weeks will be spent at each rotation and generally also progress into more specialized care with rotations such as oncology clinic and advanced diabetes management.  There is one 2 week block where each intern will be able to select from a list of rotations and choose the one which best fits their interest. Interns will learn patient-centric counseling while honing counseling skills in behavior change for Veterans with various comorbidities. 

Staff Relief: 3 Weeks
Finally, at the end of the internship, three weeks are dedicated to a staff relief experience where interns will be able to choose a rotation they had the most interest in (pending the discretion of the rotation preceptor and/or DI Director) and demonstrate their skills and ability to work as an entry-level dietitian upon completion of the internship. 

Wrap-Up: 1 Week
At the conclusion of the internship, interns will spend one week with the DI Director preparing for the Registration Examination for Dietitians.

Holiday: 1 Week
Interns will receive one week of paid leave for the Christmas Holiday.  


Sample Rotation Schedule

Planned Experience                                                            Length                   Example Program Rotation Schedule
Orientation                                                                          2 weeks                         Aug. week 2 - Aug. week 3 
Community/Clinical Outpatient Rotations (16 weeks)
General Nutrition Clinic                                                        2 weeks                         Aug. week 4 – Sept. week 1
Women, Infants and Children                                              2 weeks                         Sept. week 2 – Sept. week 3
Women’s Clinic                                                                    2 weeks                         Sept. week 4 - Sept. week 5 
Eating Disorder Clinic                                                          2 weeks                         Oct. week 1 - Oct. week 2
MOVE!                                                                                 2 weeks                         Oct. week 3 - Oct. week 4
Rotation of choice (Specialty Clinic  vs Home Based          2 weeks                         Nov. week 1 - Nov. week 2
                               Primary Care)
Diabetes Management                                                         2 weeks                         Nov. week 3 - Nov. week 4
Oncology Clinic                                                                    2 weeks                         Dec. week 1 - Dec. week 2
Food Service & Management (10 weeks)
General Food Service & Management                                8 weeks                          Dec. week 3 – Feb. week 2
Clinical Nutrition Management                                             2 weeks                         Feb. week 3- Feb week 4
Clinical Inpatient Rotations (13 weeks)
Community Living Center (CLC) and Hospice                     2 weeks                         Mar. week 1 - Mar. week 2
General Medicine                                                                 3 weeks                         Mar. week 3 - Mar. week 5
Cardiology                                                                            2 weeks                         Apr. week 1 - Apr. week 2
Critical Care                                                                         3 weeks                         Apr. week 3 – May week 1
Acute Psychology                                                                3 weeks                         May week 2 - May week 4
Staff Relief                                                                          3 weeks                         Jun. week 1 - Jun. week 2
Program wrap-up and RD Exam Review                         1 week                           Jun. week 4
Holidays                                                                             1 week                           Dec. week 4    (Christmas)

2024-2025 Expected Program Calendar:

  • August 12, 2024: Start of the CTVHCS Dietetic Internship Program
  • December 23-27, 2024: off for Christmas holiday
  • Other Federal Holidays: off for- 9/2/24, 10/14/24, 11/11/24, 1/1/25, 1/20/25, 2/17/25, 5/26/25, 6/19/25
  • June 27, 2025: Completion of CTVHCS Dietetic Internship Program