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Dietetic Internship Program

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James A. Haley Tampa VA Hospital

Educational Philosophy

The Anne Brezina Dietetic Internship education philosophy is to guide dietetic interns to become competent dietitians to meet the expanding education and scope of practice that today's dietitian requires.  The internship emphasizes evidence-based approaches to complex Veterans needs.  Each intern is provided opportunities to work with experienced clinicians who are treating patients with a variety of disease states and in a variety of healthcare settings.  Our highly qualified preceptors facilitate learning by role modeling, discussing evidence-based practice, providing feedback and by challenging the intern to accept increasing independence as the year progresses.  

Through our many projects and presentations, the interns develop a professional style that will easily translate into the professional environment.  Interns are expected to have a strong desire to learn and obtain new knowledge and skills that will help develop a meaninful career, therefore adult education principles are utilized.  It is our experience that additional learning in a new setting only expands the professional skillset, therefore credit will not be applied for prior experiences to meet a particular competency.  

Summary of Rotations:

Acute Hospital-Based Clinical Care:       15 weeks
Outpatient Clinic-Based Clinical Care:    11 weeks
Management and Food Service:              6 weeks
Elective Choice:                                        3 weeks
Public Health:                                            2 weeks
Vacation:                                                    2 weeks
Research:                                                  2 weeks
Orientation:                                                1 week

Clinical Care

Acute Clinical Rotations occur in 4 phases with each phase progressing to the next phase in level of difficulty and responsibility. 

Phase 1:  Introduction to Evidence-Based Nutrition Care

This is a short phase that exposes the dietetic intern to basic screening processes, medical team interaction and an introduction to the Nutrition Care Process.

Phase 2:  Basic to Intermediate Evidence-Based Nutrition Care

During phase 2, the dietetic intern will advance their level of difficulty and responsibility developing competency in the full Nutrition Care Process.

For Phase 1 and 2, the Dietetic Intern will have the opportunity of spending one on-one time with preceptors who are assigned to the following specialties:

General Medicine
Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
Polytrauma Rehabilitation

Phase 3:  Advanced Evidence-Based Nutrition Care

During phase 3, the dietetic intern will learn more specialized care focused on critical care, oncology, surgery and renal nutrition.  This phase will allow the dietetic intern to advance skills while working with Dietitians working in specialty areas.

Phase 4:  Clinical Staff Relief

The final phase in acute care  rotations will be working at near entry-level competency under the supervision of  an RDN. 

Outpatient Nutrition Counseling

Due to the strong clinical focus of our program, an additional 9 weeks will be spent working in our outpatient clinics gaining valuable exposure to motivational interviewing, healthy teaching kitchen, diabetes and many classes.
Additionally, time is spent with our MOVE! and Whole Health Programs. 


Interns will work with Food Service Dietitians gaining practice management competencies
Interns will learn computrition software
Interns will work with Clinical Managers, Program Coordinators and Directors

Public Health 

Women, Infants and Children Rotation
Community Outreach Rotation


Two full weeks devoted to practice-based research with an additional 100 hours of class time for research projects