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Program Overview


Internship and Health System Mission

UVA Health System Dietetic Internship Mission 

To provide students with a comprehensive nutrition and dietetics education through the promotion of innovative and evidence-based patient care; the education of patients, clients, health care professionals, and the community; and the creation and sharing of nutrition knowledge.

Our program's mission is in accordance with the mission of the University of Virginia Health System:

To provide excellence, innovation and superlative quality in the care of patients, the training of health professionals, and the creation and sharing of health knowledge within a culture that promotes equity, diversity and inclusiveness.

Program Highlights

  1. Rotations - Interns have 19-22 weeks of clinical rotations with well-trained Registered Dietitians in a variety of specialty areas. They also have 8 weeks of training in foodservice and clinical management. Interns spend 8-10 weeks in community rotations, including public health, clinical research, health promotion, and long term care.
  2. Classes - Dietetic interns attend their clinical, community, or foodservice management rotations 4 days per week and attend class one day per week, usually on Wednesdays. Class days consist of 5-6 didactic hours and are conducted by clinical dietitians, foodservice managers, and other health care professionals including physicians, nurses, clinical pharmacists, and therapists. Classes are held on a variety of topics including pathophysiology and nutritional management of a variety of life stages and diagnoses. The UVA Health System Dietetic Internship provides a rigorous and challenging didactic learning component along with supervised practice in order to fully prepare interns to move from the "pre-professional" to competent entry level practitioner. Interns complete 8 tests per year on class day materials.
  3. Community Leadership and Volunteerism - Interns will have the opportunity to hone their leadership, community service, and public speaking skills through active involvement with organizations in the Charlottesville community. Interns are required to give 4 nutrition-related presentations or activities in the community. Examples including working with the PKU Picnic, presenting a cooking demo to senior citizens, or giving an interactive session to pre-school students.
  4. Elective Week - Interns will be scheduled for an "Elective Week" where they can pursue training in areas of interest within the community or in another pre-approved area of choice. Past experiences include working in other area hospitals, sports nutrition, and food styling and blogging.
  5. Capstone Project - Interns complete a capstone project that involves a literature review, research study or program development, and presentation of results to peers and RDs. Interns are encouraged to present their major project findings at the Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting Poster Session.