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Dietetic Internship Program

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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

Admission and Selection Criteria

For admission to the internship, an individual must complete the minimum academic requirements set forth by ACEND and be a U.S. citizen. There is NO application fee for this internship program. The GRE is NOT required. 

The following criteria must be met:

  • Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution earned prior to starting the internship/graduate program.
  • Applicants must possess an official Verification Statement of Completion from an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), with original signatures issued within the last 5 years.

A maximum of six interns are appointed annually. Appointment notifications are made in April according to the procedures established by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). A selection committee will review your application.

Your application will be scored on the following selection criteria:

  • Grade Point Average:  Candidates should have a GPA of 3.0 or greater.
  • Work and volunteer experience:  (excluding practicum experience) which show exposure to the field of nutrition and dietetics.
  • Extracurricular activities:  These may include student nutrition and dietetics or other service organization memberships, athletics, development of nutrition education materials and/or classes. Please be sure to highlight any leadership roles served. 
  • Letters of recommendation:  We are interested in how your college professors/instructors and work supervisors evaluate you and your work. Please choose professors/supervisors who can adequately assess your abilities to perform in a dietetic internship and as a registered dietitian nutritionist. Please submit only 3 letters of reference.

Video interviews are conducted for highest scoring candidates.

The following steps outline the application process. There are 2 parts, both of which must be completed for review by the committee:

  1. DICAS Application Procedures

The program is using the online centralized internship application, DICAS, which may be accessed here for the Spring Match; or for questions email DICAS. The online application must be completed for our program by 11:59 p.m. Central Time by the February 15 deadline. The fee to use DICAS is $50 for the first application submitted and $25 for each additional application. 

As part of the DICAS application process you will be asked to complete a personal statement in 1,000-1,500 words that address the following questions. We are looking for candidates who have overall goals that match what we can provide.

Key points to include in your personal statement are:

  • Why are you interested in the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System Dietetic Internship Program?
  • Why do you want to enter the nutrition and dietetics profession?
  • What are some experiences that have helped to prepare you for your career?
  • What are your short-term and long-term professional goals?
  • What are your strengths and areas you are seeking to improve?
  • Provide an example where you served in a leadership role and describe what skills you demonstrated. 

Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be sent to:
DICAS Transcript Dept.
PO Box 9118
Watertown, MA 02471

When completing the DICAS application form, applicants must include the name and contact information (specifically an email address) for each reference. This will trigger an email message requesting completion of a reference form. The form will be completed online.

Applicants must register online at D&D Digital for computer matching and submit program ranking by D&D's established deadline. The BPVAHCS Dietetic Internship program code is No. 874. There is a $65 computer matching fee.

  1. University of South Florida (USF) College of Public Health Application Procedures 
  • Begin the SOPHAS application process. Be sure to read all instructions carefully. Select USF College of Public Health, Masters of Public Health, concentration in Nutrition and Dietetics and choose registration for the fall semester. Be sure to upload all required application materials. This must be completed by the DICAS deadline. Do not hit submit until your match to the Bay Pines Dietetic Internship is confirmed. Please visit here for application fee information. 
  • Once match to the Bay Pines VAHCS Dietetic Internship is confirmed, you must submit the SOPHAS application and USF supplemental application to complete your application to the graduate portion of the program. This must be done by April 22, 2024. The SOPHAS application will be verified by SOPHAS (allow two to four weeks after application is submitted). Please use this link to complete the USF supplemental application for the fall semester. (Select College of Public Health, Masters of Public Health, concentration in Nutrition and Dietetics). The application fee is $30.
  • Both SOPHAS and USF applications must be submitted by April 22, 2024.
  • Once verified by SOPHAS, the application will be sent to USF and entered into the Graduate University System.
  • You will receive an email confirming your verified SOPHAS application has been received by USF. Once the USF application is completed and the fee has been paid, and all required College of Public Health supporting documents received, the application will be forwarded to the committee for review (allow two to four weeks).
  • Monitor your e-mail for decisions and other communications and be responsive to all requests.

Please note: All applicants must upload all application materials to SOPHAS by the deadline for computer matching (February 15). Incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the BPVAHCS Dietetic Internship Selection Committee. Upon completion of match (April 8, 2024), the SOPHAS and USF application must be completed by April 22, 2024.

Appointment Procedures

D&D Digital Systems will provide all applicants their personal matching results via posting on the D&D Digital Systems website on notification day (April 7, 2024). Matched applicants to the BPVAHCS Dietetic Internship Program are to telephone the Dietetic Internship Director no later than 4 p.m. (EST) on appointment day (April 8, 2024) to accept or reject the appointment at (727) 398-6661, extension 14449. Additionally, matched applicants must also respond in writing within 24 hours of the telephone communication of their acceptance or rejection of the appointment. A letter will be sent to appointees confirming the dietetic internship appointment. Before starting the internship program in August, the incoming intern must submit official transcripts and the DPD Verification Statement to the Dietetic Internship Director.

Appointees must be physically and mentally able to safely and efficiently perform the responsibilities of a dietetic intern. Appointees will need to provide proof of immunization status and complete a physical examination (at the appointee's expense). The physical examination will include documentation of vaccinations for healthcare workers as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) including the COVID-19 vaccination. The physical examination must be satisfactory in order to be accepted into the Dietetic Internship Program. Should the physical examination be unsatisfactory, no part of the expense involved in reporting or returning home can be borne by the Federal Government. The Federal Government does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, age or disability. As part of the Federal Government's onboarding process, a background check is completed at no cost to the appointee. Males must have registered for Selective Service or be exempt to be eligible to be admitted into the program. Males will be required to provide verification of status through Selective Service Online Registration Search

Please note: As part of your training program requirements as a dietetic intern, you may be required to complete rotations at affiliate sites. The affiliates reserve the right to dismiss any trainee from a non-VA health care facility or agency assignment for unsatisfactory educational performance, noncompliance with the policies and procedures of the non-VA health care facility or agency, or for cause. The Dietetic Internship Director will provide you with a list of specific requirements for each affiliate site. These may include requirements for drug screening or other specific requirements that are not provided or required by the VA and for which the dietetic intern will be personally responsible.

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