Dietetic Internship Program
Michael E. DeBakey Houston VA Medical Center
What Our Graduates Are Saying...
The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Dietetic Internship provided me a well-rounded, up-to-date, and in-depth education and experience as a dietetic intern. This challenging program is extremely well organized and the rotations are structured so that the intern knows the learning objectives and what is expected of them right away. The preceptors excel in their role of teaching and helped me become confident in myself as a future RD – I felt very well equipped when I started my first job as a clinical dietitian. In addition, the combined Master’s degree from TWU is affordable and compliments the internship program, fully preparing you for the working world and new requirements to become a Registered Dietitian. I would recommend the MEDVAMC Dietetic Internship program to everyone pursing this career!
~ Camille Swan, Clinical Dietitian, 2016 MEDVAMC Dietetic Internship Graduate
The MEDVAMC Dietetic Internship offers an absolute student-centered development experience. The breadth of services provided at the facility paired with the high level of preceptor competency yields well rounded entry level professionals. The Masters degree alongside the rotations adds to a MEDVAMC DI graduates competitive advanatage in the job market. I highly recommend the MEDVAMC Dietetic Internship as a top choice for anyone looking to achieve great things in the field of dietetics.
~Moe Schlachter, Private Practice Dietitian, 2013 MEDVAMC Dietetic Internship Graduate
The Houston VA internship provided me with the knowledge and tools needed to be a dietitian. I entered into my first job confident and prepared. You will not regret choosing the Houston VA as your internship!
~ Kristen Kahler, Clinical Dietitian, Loma Linda VA Medical Center, 2009 MEDVAMC Dietetic Internship Graduate
The MEDVAMC dietetic internship provided me with the most elite and up to date training to become a successful RD in the workforce. The program provided me with extensive learning and practice experience in the clinical setting as well as the administrative setting, while providing variety with personally chosen elective rotations. Upon completion of this structured and demanding internship, I felt very prepared to enter the professional field of dietetics.
~Andrea Parada 2008 MEDVAMC Dietetic Internship Graduate
I felt the dietetic internship program at MEDVAMC was thorough and after the program completion, I was able to feel confident entering any position as a dietitian. The preceptors were knowledgeable and constantly improving their level of care with the most recent and updated research, demonstrating the highest level of care for their patients. Since most of the rotations are completed within the VA system, I was able to see how dietitians collaborated in the inpatient, outpatient, management, and food service to provide the best in nutrition care for their patients. The internship experience fosters a sense of community among the intern class and among preceptors that I still use several years after completing my internship.
~ Jill (Chandler), MS, RD, LD, Wickremasinghe, Outpatient Dietitian, Baptist St. Anthony Hospital Amarillo, TX, 2008 MEDVAMC Internship Graduate
"My internship at MEDVAMC prepared me for work as a registered dietitian by helping build a strong clinical base and thorough understanding of the many ways altered nutrition can affect the body. While the majority of my experiences occurred at the VA, elective, pediatric, and community rotations provided an alternative to working with the veteran population. I truly appreciated how organized the internship was, as I was provided my schedule for the entire year in the first month of the internship!"
~ Erica D. McBeth, RD, LD, Clinical Dietitian, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Associates, Houston, 2007 MEDVAMC Internship Graduate
Completing the dietetic internship at the MEDVAMC was the best decision I ever could have made. The internship is very organized and provided a great learning environment for me to expand my knowledge and receive hands on clinical training. Since the VA internship is known to be competitive, I think it also opened doors for me to obtain interviews and job offers. I am still very happy with my choice.
~ Bonnie Buzek, MS, RD, LD, Clinical Dietitian, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Houston, 2007 MEDVAMC Internship Graduate
The MEDVAMC Dietetic Internship offers a valuable and rewarding experience for those entering the exciting field of nutrition. This highly respected internship allows students to find their own niche within the world of dietetics whether it be clinical, community-based or beyond. As a former intern, I am thankful for my experiences among skilled preceptors who encourage critical thinking, advanced technology with electronic charting, and a variety of learning opportunities to become future leaders in nutrition.
~ Kristen Tidwell RD, LD, Clinical Dietitian, River Oaks Hospital, Houston, 2006 MEDVAMC Internship Graduate
The VA internship was a very challenging yet rewarding experience for me. I loved being in on the "cutting edge" of health care and enjoyed being exposed to various health conditions to see what area interested me the most. The best part, I was able to complete both my Masters and internship in a little over a year! Being honest, the internship was sometimes stressful, but looking back now it was well worth it. It made me better equipped to handle tough MNT problems, as well as difficult patients. Plus, I made some great friends and got to be trained by awesome dietitians!!
~ Adrienne (Ferguson) Jacobs, MS, RD, LD, Dietitian, Chickasaw Nation Health System, Oklahoma, 2005 MEDVAMC Internship Graduate
The MEDVAMC internship is in all-inclusive experience in a world-class medical center. It prepared me to enter the dietetics field as a competent professional. In the MEDVAMC Dietetic Internship, you truly learn the skills to advance quickly in your field; you just have to know where to look and not be afraid to do so. The MEDVAMC Dietetic Internship also prepared me to pursue my PhD in a research project at MEDVAMC. Now I am proud to promote healthy living to our nation€™s Veterans as a Program Manager for one of largest VA facilities in the nation.
~ Anne Utech, MS, RD, LD, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Program Manager, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, 2004 MEDVAMC Internship Graduate
I started my dietetic internship at the VA with very little nutrition experience, so I was very nervous. When I showed up the first day, there were 7 other interns just as nervous as I was. We instantly bonded! I learned all the ins and outs of the hospital and felt very comfortable with charts, staff, and procedures. I liked staying at the VA for most of my rotations because I did not have to learn new procedures with each rotation, which allowed me to focus on learning the nutrition aspect of patient care. The patient care was definitely "hands-on" which is the best way to learn. After I was done with each rotation, I felt confident that I could go to any hospital and be ready to take on a job as a RD. I also felt totally prepared for the RD exam after the internship. Having my Master's degree has been an important aspect in my career, so it was definitely worth the extra studying. The stipend also helped make ends meet since we were too busy for outside work. Although it was challenging, the overall experience was great and the knowledge I gained was invaluable. I have felt confident in my abilities since day one as an RD and I have the VA internship/Masters Degree program to thank!
~ Cassie Dimmick, MS, RD, LD, CSSD, Owner- Achieving Your Best, LLC Private Practice, Pearland, Texas, 2002 MEDVAMC Internship Graduate
The education and training that I received at the Houston VA provided me with the necessary skills to have a successful career as a registered dietitian. I also have been a preceptor to interns from non-VA facilities and worked with recent grads from the Houston VA as well as non-VA. I can say without a doubt that the Houston VA interns have stronger clinical skills and a higher proficiency level than other interns.
-Athena (Towns) Evans, MS, RD, LD, CDE, Chief, Nutrition and Food Services, Denver VA Medical Center, 2002 MEDVAMC Internship Graduate
2011-12 Colorado Dietetic Association President
Houston VA internship provided me with a very strong clinical background and critical thinking skills to be able to excel in any position after graduation. The opportunities and doors that have opened to me are at true testament. I worked as a staff member for 7 ½ years and now I am the Clinical Nutrition Manager of a large health care system and I credit this to my excellent training and education I received at the Houston VA internship. As the Clinical Nutrition Manager for Central Texas, I can say that VA interns are more prepared coming into the workforce. They possess many of the skills that managers are looking for. I strongly encourage any student in the field of dietetics to pursue a VA internship.
~ Awbrey Lovrien-Moore, MS, RD, Clinical Nutrition Manager, Temple, Texas, 2001 MEDVAMC Internship Graduate
The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Dietetic Internship provides students an excellent opportunity to learn a well-rounded skill set in a learning-centered atmosphere. My experience from this internship program prepared me for diverse positions - from writing orders for nutrition support in leading hospitals in the Texas Medical Center to positions in school food service administration to private consulting
~ Teresa (Kiser) Lane, MS, RD, LD, Food Service Dietitian, Klein Independent School District, Houston, 2001 MEDVAMC Internship Graduate