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Dietetic Internship Program


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VA San Diego Healthcare System


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Dear Applicant,

Welcome to the VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) Dietetic Internship website. We hope you will find the answers to all of your questions while reviewing our site. You must be a U.S. citizen to participate in our dietetic internship program.

The VASDHS Dietetic Internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). It was established in 1973, one year after the hospital opened. Our medical center is located 10 miles north of downtown San Diego and two miles north of downtown La Jolla. The VASDHS provides a wide range of inpatient and outpatient health services in the 236-bed medical center in La Jolla, and at the five community clinics located in Chula Vista, Escondido, Imperial Valley, Mission Valley and Oceanside. We are affiliated with the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and provide training for over 1,400 medical interns, residents and fellows, as well as many other clinical trainees such as nursing, pharmacy and dental. Our Nutrition and Food Service (NFS) provides quality nutritional care through its efficient foodservice section, highly respected clinical nutrition care, and extensive outpatient education programs. Dietitians are consultants to professional, administrative, and medical staff. They coordinate nutrition intervention services with total patient care in both acute and primary managed care environments by assessing nutritional status, developing nutrition care plans, and recommending modalities for achieving nutritional goals.

The internship is a very rigorous 10-month program with a concentration in Medical Nutrition Therapy in inpatient and outpatient settings. Successful completion of the dietetic internship program qualifies you to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians, which is administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. The internship provides didactic and supervised-practice experiences that begin in the classroom and continue in the kitchen, at the patient's bedside, in the outpatient clinic, and in the home setting. As a hospital-based internship, more than one-half of the supervised-practice is spent in clinical rotations (inpatient and outpatient), about one-fourth of the rotations are in food service management/administration, and less than one-fourth are in the community. Also, as a VA hospital, our patient population is very homogeneous - it is made up of primarily adult men. Interns have very little exposure to women and children, and little, if any time, time is spent in non-traditional rotations such as sports nutrition, private practice, etc. If non-traditional areas of practice and women and children are areas of interest, you might find that this internship is not a good fit for you. Applications are only accepted via the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS). Applicants must also register online for computer matching through D & D Digital. Details about the application process may be found on the VA San Diego Internship "Application Information" page. If you have any questions unanswered by our website, you may contact me by phone at (858)552-8585 ext 2407 or send an e-mail to The San Diego Dietetic Internship Program begins in August and ends in May.

Thank you for your interest in our program.


Robyn Osborn, PhD, RD
Dietetic Internship Director
Nutrition and Food Service (120)
VA San Diego Healthcare System
3350 La Jolla Village Drive
San Diego, California 92161-0002
(858) 552-8585 ext. 2407