VA San Diego Healthcare System - Dietetic Internship Program
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Dietetic Internship Program

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VA San Diego Healthcare System

Becoming a Registered Dietitian (RD)

Becoming an RD is a three-step process. The dietetic internship is step 2.
  1. You must first complete an undergraduate or graduate ACEND-accredted Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). The DPD provides all of the prerequisite and core dietetics courses needed to prepare for the supervised practice portion of the RD training. 
  2. Apply for, match, and complete an ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship (supervised practice), which qualifies you to take the national Registration Examiniation for Registered Dietitians (RD Exam). The VASDHS dietetic internship is the second step in the process.
  3. After completing the dietetic internship, you must pass the RD Exam, which is adminstered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
Note: California does not have licensure for RDs, but if you will be moving to a state with RD licensure, you will need to contact that state's board of licensure for information regarding their licensing requirements.

For more information, see https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend/students-and-advancing-education/information-for-students.

Program Admission Requirements:

After matching with the program, the following admission requirements must be met before the beginning of the program.
  • Proof of physical exam documenting satisfactory condition to meet the requirements of the program.
  • Documentation of TB test within the last 12 months.
  • Immunization records that document immunity to MMR (measles, mumps & rubella), Tdap, and varicella (chicken pox).
  • Documentation of the Hepatitis B vaccine (or declination waiver).
  • After the start of the program, the flu vaccine is required no later than November 30. (It will be available free-of-charge through VASDHS Occupational Health.)
Program Completion:
  • Successfully complete at least 1,200 hours of supervised practice.
  • Successfully complete the required Core and Medical Nutrition Therapy in Inpatient and Outpatient Settings concentration competencies. (No rotation waivers for previous work experience will be granted.)
  • Successfully complete all supervised practice rotations.
  • Successfully complete all projects, as assigned.
  • Achieve a passing rate on the Administrative and Clinical Oral Examinations.
  • Achieve a rating of 4 (Performs at Entry Level) on the Clinical Staff Relief evaluation.

Visiting VA San Diego Dietetic Internship Program

We offer an annual open house in December or January to coincide with students' winter breaks. We are not able to accommodate individual appointments or tours for Southern California students. Southern California students are encouraged to attend our Open House. If you are visiting the area from out-of-state during the summer months, you may contact the Dietetic Internship Director to discuss her availability to schedule a brief meeting with you. If possible, you may want to plan your visit to San Diego to coincide with our annual Open House. (Note: Due to COVID-19, at present we are unable to provide an onsite open house or any onsite meetings.)

VA San Diego Open House 

  • What:
    • Learn more about the VA San Diego Dietetic Internship Program.
    • Find out if the VA San Diego Dietetic Internship will accommodate your future goals.
    • Learn what former and current interns have to say about the program.
    • Learn what it is like being an intern at VA San Diego.
    • Meet our preceptors and current interns.
    • Get tips and pointers from the Internship Director on completing and submitting your DICAS application.
  • When:          
  • Where: 
    • Due to COVID-19, the VA San Diego Dietetic Internship Open House was held virtually this year.
    • The virtual open house was held via Webex. 
    • An RSVP was needed to receive access information.
    • Parking - N/A