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Dietetic Internship Program

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VA St. Louis Health Care System

REQUIREMENTS:
•A minimum Science and Total GPA of 3.3

•Letter of Application/Personal Statement:
Your letter should include:
1.  1000 word or less describing your career goals and reasons for applying to our program.
2.  Elaborate on relevant work and volunteer experience. Experience is a factor that is weighted in the selection of candidates. Non-dietetic related work experience may also be included on your application. If the bulk of your work experience is not related to dietetics, you may wish to explain in your personal letter of application how it transfers to dietetics.
3.  Describe extracurricular activities related to dietetics. These may include volunteer experiences, food drives, student dietetic club membership, nutrition educational materials and/or classes you have developed, mission work, etc. Describe how these activities/experiences have affected you. Do NOT include Practicum experiences as required by your school program.
4. As part of the Personal Statement, applicants MUST explain their reasons for entering the dietetics profession AND write a response for EACH of the following 5 questions:

    Q1. What do you see yourself doing 5 years from now as a practicing dietitian?

    Q2.  How have your experiences prepared you for that role/job?

    Q3. What areas of professional and personal growth would you like to enhance during the internshp? (i.e. what are your strengths and weaknesses?) Please explain.

    Q4. What rotations or projects listed on our website interest you the most and the least? Please explain your answers.

    Q5. Identify characteristics or components of our program that you feel will help you achieve your career goals. (i.e. why are you applying to our program?) Please explain.

•Letters of recommendation:
A total of three letters of recommendation should be submitted to DICAS. Two should be from college professors/instructors and one should be from a work or volunteer supervisor. Letters must have been written within the past 12 months. DO NOT send more than three letters.

•Citizenship and Education:
Applicants must complete the minimum academic requirements set forth by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). All applicants must be a U.S. citizen at the time of the application submission. If selected, proof of citizenship, such as a passport or birth certificate, is required as part of Federal Government paperwork. Applicants must be able to read, write and speak English fluently and clearly. The applicant must hold a bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited college or university and must have completed the requirements of an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). Official transcripts indicating the date of confirmation of your degree plus a Verification Statement of Program Completion or a Declaration of Intent to Complete a Degree and Didactic Program in Dietetics are required prior to the start of the internship. Please note that NO CREDIT will be given for previously obtained learning or work experiences prior to entering the internship program.
 
 
   APPLICATION PROCESS: 
The VA St. Louis Dietetic Internship Program participates in the SPRING on-line centralize internship application process, DICAS, which may be accessed at https://portal.dicas.org. There is NO SEPARATE APPLICATION FEE for our program.

Applicants must also register online* for computer matching at www.dnddigital.com and rank your dietetic internship priority choices per the deadline established by D & D Digital Systems. There is a computer matching fee. (NOTE: Please check with D & D Digital and DICAS regarding correct procedures, Spring Match application dates and fees).
 

    INTERNSHIP APPLICATION DEADLINES - SPRING:

DATE  ACTIVITY 
 Mid-February  Submit application to DICAS and register with D & D Digital. The Program Codes for the St. Louis VA Dietetic Internship are:  DICAS-82.       D&D Digital-353.
Please refer to the DICAS and D&D Digital websites noted above for specific dates and times. 
 Early April  MATCH/Appointment day 
Please refer to the DICAS and D&D Digital websites noted above for the specific date. Applicant matching results will be posted on the D & D Digital website. 
 Early April  Last day to confirm acceptance of the MATCH with Program with the Internship Director both by telephone and email. Please refer to the DICAS and D&D Digital websites for the specific dates and times. Please refer to the Appointment Procedure below for specific Program instructions.  

APPLICANT REVIEW: 
A maximum of six interns are appointed/matched annually. A Selection Committee, which consists of the dietetic internship director and staff dietitians who serve as preceptors, will review applications and interview the final candidates. The Committee looks for well-rounded individuals with a solid dietetics knowledge base, awareness and understanding of our program concentration, professional goals that match our program, well developed verbal and written communication skills, and who have demonstrated maturity and a solid work ethic. Applications of qualified candidates will be reviewed and scored on GPA, work experiences, volunteer experiences, letters of recommendation and the personalized statement/letter of application. The top candidates will be contacted and interviewed by phone using the Performance-Based Interviewing method. No in-person interviews are conducted. 
 

APPOINTMENT PROCEDURE: 
Matched applicants to the VA St. Louis Dietetic Internship Program MUST CONTACT the Dietetic Internship Director, Kim Matwiejow, MS, RD, LD, via telephone at 314-894-6631 or 314-652-4100 ext. 64594 by the established deadline to confirm acceptance of the MATCH. It is recommended to call before 11:00 a.m. CST but no later than 4:30 CST. DO NOT LEAVE A VOICEMAIL MESSAGE. After this time, the program is under no obligation to hold the opening for the matched applicant.

Appointees MUST ALSO RESPOND IN WRITING via email to kim.matwiejow2@va.gov or fax 314-845-5023 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/match.

Appointees must be both physically and mentally able to safely and efficiently perform the responsibilities of a dietetic intern. Appointees will be given a physical examination at a Department of Veterans Affairs facility prior to reporting for duty, at no cost to the intern. The physical examination must be satisfactory in order to be accepted into the Dietetic Internship Program. Should the physical examination be unsatisfactory, the intern will be dismissed and no part of the expense involved in reporting to St. Louis or returning home can be borne by the Federal Government. As part of the Federal Government's paperwork and appointment process, the following is required at no cost to the intern: (a) a background check ; (b) TB testing; (c) Hepatitis A vaccination; and (d)  random drug screening may also be done. A flu vaccination is also required and provided free of charge upon arrival.

FOR THE 2019-2020 ACADEMIC YEAR, THE PROGRAM WILL BEGIN ON AUGUST 14, 2019. GRADUATION WILL BE ON JUNE 5, 2020.

NOTE: At this time, an additional background check and drug testing is mandatory for admission to some affiliate community rotations. The intern will be contacted by the affiliate site and is responsible for completing the desired tests. The cost is paid by the affiliate site and the results sent directly to the affiliate site. The VA St. Louis Health Care System is not involved in this process and does not receive the test results. However, if the intern is not allowed to participate in the rotation due to the test results, the intern may be dismissed from the internship program. This will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.