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Dietetic Internship Program

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VA Caribbean Healthcare System (San Juan)

Selection Criteria

  • Applicants must have a master's degree or have completed all the graduate degree requirements to apply to the program.
  • A maximum of eight interns are appointed annually.
  • Applicants must have graduated from an accredited college or university with a curriculum meeting the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' D.P.D. academic requirements.
  • Must have completed an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (D.P.D.) and obtained an official Verification Statement of Completion.
  • Must have an official Verification Statement of Completion from an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (D.P.D.).
  • Applicants must have earned a minimum 3.2 GPA in overall and nutrition-specific courses at D.P.D. to be eligible.
  • Must be a citizen of the U.S.A.* Appointed under the authority of 38 U.S.C. 4114(a)(1)(A).
  • The candidate must have fluency in both written and spoken Spanish and English.
  • Applicants who meet the minimum criteria will receive an invitation to attend an interview either in person or virtually with the D.I.P. Director and Nutrition and Food Service Staff. After the interview, applicants must complete the written section with open-ended questions. Our holistic review considers the candidates' academic metrics, unique backgrounds, diverse attributes, and experiences.
  • There is no application fee for our program.

*VA specific requirements: males living in the US between the ages of 18 and 26 must have registered for selective service or be exempt to be eligible to apply to this program, must have a US social security number, must be up to date on vaccinations including COVID-19 vaccine


Application Process

1) Dietetic Centralized Application System (DICAS)The program will start using the web-based centralized application service, Dietetic Centralized Application System (DICAS). DICAS is an online portal for application to dietetic programs (dietetic internship, coordinated programs, future education model programs), managed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. You can access DICAS here; the program will open to applications up to April, 2024. The fee to use DICAS is $50 for the first application submitted and $25 for each additional application.

2) Personal Statement (note: please limit to 1,000 or less). 

Please address the following questions in your personal statement:
  • What motivated you to select this internship?
  • Which area(s) of dietetics do you find most interesting and why?
  • What personal attributes do you possess that make you uniquely qualified for this internship?
  • Can you describe any relevant jobs, leadership roles, volunteer work, skills, or research projects you have been involved in?
  • How does this internship align with your long-term goals?

3) Official transcript or transcripts of credits from all colleges and universities attended (DPD and graduate program). Only original transcripts are accepted. Transcripts must be addressed to DICAS and must be mailed by your registrar to the following address:

DICAS Transcript Processing Center
PO Box 9118
Watertown, MA 02471

***Note from DICAS: In rare cases, if your institution cannot submit official transcripts by mail or electronically from Credentials Solutions or Parchment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we can accept official transcripts sent via email from the Registrar directly. Your institution can contact the Customer Service team for more information.

4) Three letters of recommendation uploaded to DICAS. At least two letters should be from a DPD's or master's degree professor and one reference from a work or volunteer experience supervisor. You must include the name and contact information (valid email address) for each reference. DICAS will then send an email message requesting the completion of an electronic reference form.

5) DPD Verification Statement- The Verification Statement signed in original by the DPD representative confirming completion of academic requirements.

6) Applicants must also register online for computer matching at D&D Digital at* and select dietetic internship priority choices by the deadline posted by D&D.

Important information:
  • All internship appointments are made during February and March, following the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Veterans Affairs Standards.
  • Recruitments and selection practices are non-discriminatory based on race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), religion, disability, political affiliation, marital and parental status, military service or another non-merit factor, or age (Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964).

Appointment Procedure

  • Appointees to the VA Caribbean Healthcare System must contact the Dietetic Internship Program Director (Roxana Torres) by telephone (787-641-7582, ext 110333) or by email (, to accept or reject the appointment. The program is under no obligation to hold the opening for any applicant who does not accept the appointment by the required date/time.
  • Appointees must be physically and mentally able to perform the responsibilities of a dietetic intern safely and efficiently.
  • Before reporting for duty, all appointees must undergo background checks and physical examinations at a Department of Veterans Affairs facility.
  • As part of the Federal Government's paperwork and appointment process, the following is required at no cost to the intern:
(a) Background check
(b) TB testing
(c) Hepatitis A and/or B vaccination
(d) random drug screening may also be done

  • Immunization records for MMR, Tdap, chickenpox and COVID-19 vaccines are required. Flu vaccine is provided at no cost before flu season.
  • Males must have registered for Selective Service or be exempt from admission into the program. Males will be required to verify status through Selective Service Online Registration Search (link).

For any question and more information about our program, you can contact the Program Director at:

Roxana Torres-Cruz DCN, RDN LND
Nutrition and Food Service (120)
VA Medical Center
10 Casia St.
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00921-3201
Tel:787-641-7582 ext.110333- 110321

Additional Note:
“Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023.

For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website:* In addition, CDR requires that individual’s complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN click here.”

*Links above will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs Website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites.