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Dietetic Internship Program

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VA Caribbean Healthcare System (San Juan)

We appreciate your interest in the VA Caribbean Healthcare System (VACHS) Dietetic Internship Program (DIP). We hope you can find all the information on our webpage, and if not, we will be honored to assist you by phone, email, or in person.

The VACHS-DIP is localized in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was established in 1950 and has graduated more than 700 nutritionists/dietitians from Puerto Rico and the United States. Our program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

The VACHS-DIP provides supervised practice experience principally in clinical nutrition. However, we offer experiences in other traditional (e.g., food service system management and community nutrition) and non-traditional settings (e.g., social media and communication & sports nutrition). The intern completes their rotations principally in our main medical center in San Juan. We also have opportunities to rotate in our outpatients' clinics in Arecibo, Ceiba, Mayaguez, and Ponce. 

The VACHS serves Veterans in PR and U.S. Virgin Islands. Our population is principally Hispanic male adults, but we have a growing community of women, and we provide supervised practice experiences in pediatric and community. We are an institution that strives for excellence, and our internship closely follows our VACHS core values I CARE Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence. 

Open House: TBD


***Since January 1, 2023, the VACHS-DIP requires a master's degree to apply to the program. Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master's degree to be eligible for the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). 

VA San Juan Facility

Check out this video where Dietetic Interns share their experience in the Dietetic Internship Program.

Comments from VA San Juan Graduates 

"This program offers a great chance for networking with preceptors, following a patient's case for an extended period of time to observe significant outcomes, and conducting patient interviews in English. The rotations are individual, which provides independent training, and there are regular training sessions for personal and professional development." DIP Graduate 2023

"Provides experiences in all clinical, administrative, and community settings; most preceptors are good teachers; interns have many experiences in connecting the clinical area with the food service area; being in one system provides the opportunity to adapt when changing clinical rotations rapidly. We had many resources to access helpful information for our practice and educational material for patients." DIP Graduate 2023

“Excellent preceptors, excellent facilities, the RDNs are very valuable for the patients and interdisciplinary team and are respected, the technology and programs, the autonomy given to Interns of visiting patients and doing Nutrition Assessments, Follow Ups, etc.” Devin Torres, 2021

“It pushes us out of our comfort zone. The discipline and fast paced environment prepare us for when we become RD. It prepares us very well on how to provide nutritional education: from education material to live cooking sessions to HTK and podcasts. Gives us the full experience of participating in a research project.  Preparing us all year round for the RD exam and providing us all the tools for our journey post internship”. Jose Rodriguez, 2021