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Dietetic Internship Program

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VA St. Louis Health Care System

The VA St. Louis Dietetic Internship Program provides well-rounded, individualized, hands-on experiences in clinical settings, administration, food service management, and community dietetics while taking an in-depth look at health promotion, disease treatment, and disease prevention. Our concentration of "Health Promotion and Disease Prevention", with a sub-concentration of "Recognizing and Reducing Health Disparities", challenges interns to expand on their personal beliefs and biases, impacting patient care. Interns learn how to reduce risk for chronic disease through health promotion and to help those with chronic disease/illness better self-manage while developing clinical expertise, effective communication skills, and professional excellence. Interns learn how dietitians can contribute to improving the health of our citizens by understanding the social determinants of health which lead to health disparities/inequities. There are opportunities to become more culturally competent, provide advocacy across the profession, utilize evidence-based research, and learn the value of life-long education. As you explore our program website, you will discover that our program offers many unique learning experiences with highly skilled registered dietitian preceptors as well as a variety of other health care professionals at the VA St. Louis Health Care System.

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"The internship at the VA was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Not only did it get me ready for successfully passing the RD exam the first time, it also exposed me to a wide variety of medical conditions, including mental health issues and spinal cord injury, which are not normally part of a dietetic internship. The dietitians, kitchen staff and support personnel in the VA were very committed to enabling the intern to have a successful internship. I was able to go to just about anyone and ask questions and get the help I needed. The internship director is a great example and is so committed to her interns. Her door is always open. The atmosphere of the internship class was one where I did not feel intimidated by others and felt that I was always heard in any discussion."                                                           -Pamela Russell, RD, LD, Clinical Dietitian/Health Educator, St. Louis County Department of Health, Class of 2006-2007

"The St. Louis DVAMC internship program prepared me well for both the RD exam and working in the field of dietetics. It provided me with a strong clinical background and also great experiences in administrative and community dietetics. The hands-on nature of the rotations gave me the confidence and skills that allowed me to jump right into my position as a RD. The focus on health disparities was a huge benefit, as it is something I work to improve every day in my current position."
- Lisa Buck, MPH, RD, LD, Cox Monett Hospital, Center for Health Improvement, Class of 2014-2015 

"In reviewing other internships attended by fellow RDs, I feel my internship was of higher quality than their internships. The St. Louis DVAMC is a rigorous program which enabled me to perform at a higher level at my first job as a dietitian. The preceptors at the St. Louis DVAMC were excellent! By attending a VA internship, I discovered that the VA was my preferred employer. Being a VA intern greatly improved my chances of getting a dietetic position at the VA. I LOVE working at the VA as an outpatient dietitian --best job ever!"
- Gloria Treis, MS, RD, LD, Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center, Class of 2014-2015