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


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VA San Diego Healthcare System


The VA San Diego internship is a 41 week program (full-time, 40 hours/week or more). It begins annually in mid-August with graduation in late May or early June. A one-week vacation is, typically, scheduled the week between the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Interns are scheduled five-days per week. They spend four to five days per week in their assigned rotations and one day in planned didactic class activities every week or every-other week. In addition to the rotations, there are many projects unrelated to the rotations, which, typically, must be completed in the evening and on the weekends. The program provides over 1,200 hours of supervised practice.

FEDERAL HOLIDAYS: Interns may be scheduled off for Federal holidays, depending on the assigned rotation. 


  • Orientation2 weeks (first 2 weeks of the program)
  • Management Rotations - 8 weeks 
    • Food Service Systems Management/Food Production (5 weeks)
    • Nutrition and Food Service (NFS) Chief (1 week)
    • NFS Assistant Chief (1 week)
    • Clinical Nutrition Manager (1 week)

Image of Interns in an office setting

  • Clinical Rotations - 20+ weeks 
    • DTRs (1 week)
    • Medicine (Med/Surg) (3-4 weeks)
    • Spinal Cord Injury/Community Living Center (long-term care/rehabilitation unit) (2 weeks)
    • Critical Care (ICU/Surgery/Nutrition Support, Pulmonary) (3 weeks)
    • Outpatient/Bariatric (2 weeks)
    • Outpatient/Primary Care (2+ weeks)
    • Diabetes/Metabolic Unit (2 weeks)
    • Renal/Dialysis (2 weeks)
    • Oncology and Inpatient/Outpatient Coverage (1-2 week)
    • Home-Based Primary Care (1 week)
    • ASPIRE Center (Residential treatment) (1 week)
  • Community Rotations - 5 weeks
    • Public Health (2 weeks)
    • Women, Infants and Children (1 week)
    • School Nutrition (2 weeks)
  • Specialty Rotation - 1 week
  • Clinical Staff Relief (inpatient and outpatient) - 4 weeks
  • Classes - Didactic classes are scheduled every week or every-other week, and the topics, often, correspond with the clinical and management supervised-practice experiences.
  • Projects:
    • Clinical Research Study
    • In-depth Clinical Case Study
    • Clinical Seminar
    • Staff Inservice
    • Fad Diet Presentation
    • Theme Meal
    • Menu Development
    • Sustainable Food Product Evaluation
    • Plate Waste Study
    • Cooking Demonstration
    • National Nutrition Month Event
    • and more