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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
  • 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 the 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 familiarizing themselves 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: 12 weeks
Inpatient clinical rotations will begin in long-term care to include our Community Living Center and Acute Psychiatry/Residential Behavioral Health units. Rotations will then advance to include more specialized care including a 5 week acute care inpatient rotation which will comprise of our general medicine, surgical, and cardiology units and end with a 2 week nutrition support rotation.

Community/Clinical Outpatient Rotations: 17 Weeks
For the community rotations, two-three 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 Experience: 3 Weeks
Finally, at the end of the internship, three weeks are dedicated to a staff 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 (17 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 
MOVE!                                                                          2 weeks                Oct. week 1 - Oct. week 2
Oncology Clinic                                                             2 weeks                Oct. week 3 - Oct. week 4
Rotation of choice (Eating Disorder Treatment  vs       2 weeks                Nov. week 1 - Nov. week 2
Home Based Primary Care vs Domiciliary)
Diabetes Management                                                 2 weeks                Nov. week 3 - Nov. week 4
Dialysis Clinic                                                               3 weeks                Dec. week 1 - Dec. week 3
Food Service & Management (10 weeks)
General Food Service & Management                         8 weeks                Dec. week 5 – Feb. week 2
Clinical Nutrition Management                                      2 week                 Feb. week 3- Feb. week 4
Clinical Inpatient Rotations (12 weeks)
Community Living Center (CLC) and Hospice             3 weeks                Mar. week 1 - Mar. week 3
Acute Psychiatry/Residential Behavioral Health          2 weeks                Mar. week 4 – Apr. week 1
Acute Inpatient Care                                                    5 weeks                Apr. week 2 – May week 2
Nutrition Support                                                          2 weeks                May week 3 – May week 4
Staff Experience                                                         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)


2025-2026 Expected Program Calendar:

  • August 11, 2025: Start of the CTVHCS Dietetic Internship Program
  • December 22-26, 2025: off for Christmas holiday
  • Other Federal Holidays: off for- 9/1/25, 10/13/25, 11/11/25, 11/27/25, 1/1/26, 1/19/26, 2/16/26, 5/25/26, 6/19/26
  • June 26, 2026: Completion of CTVHCS Dietetic Internship Program