The University of Virginia Health System Dietetic Internship Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education and Nutrition in Dietetics (ACEND). The program is a 9-month clinically-focused internship with an emphasis in both pediatrics and nutrition support. The rotation experiences and class days provide interns with over 1000 hours of supervised practice and 250 didactic training hours. The UVA Health System Dietetic Internship participates in the Spring DICAS and D&D Digital Matching process. As of Fall 2023, the internship will also participate in the Fall DICAS and D&D Digital Matching Process. Each year our program accepts a total of 12 dietetic interns. Interns matched to the program in the spring will begin in early September and conclude in May. For interns matched in the fall, the program will begin in January and end in September.
A typical week for an intern includes four days of rotation and one day devoted to lectures and simulations. Throughout the week, interns may also be working on rotation assignments, participating in community events, and completing tasks related to their capstone project. Interns are required to partake in four presentations and/or events in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area. This allows interns the opportunity to hone their leadership, community service, and public speaking skills. Additionally, interns are required to complete a capstone project that involves a literature review along with data collection or program development. Interns are matched with a preceptor project based on interest. The project culminates with a presentation of the results to peers, preceptors and other members of the healthcare team or community. Interns are encouraged to present their capstone project findings at the Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting Poster Session.
Graduating interns consistently rank the location of our internship as one of the top reasons for applying. The University of Virginia Health System is located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Charlottesville is situated within the rolling hills of the Piedmont Plateau and the Blue Ridge Mountains.The health system was recently ranked as the No.1 hospital in Virginia by U.S. News & World Report with several specialty areas ranking in the top 50 or as high performing. It is also recognized as one of the National Cancer Institute's designated cancer centers, American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognition hospital, and as a Baby-Friendly hospital.
Charlottesville is also home to the University of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson founded the public university in 1819, which was designed to advance human knowledge, educate leaders, and cultivate informed citizenry.
Charlottesville is easily accessible to major cities such as Richmond, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The city is also within driving to distance to major points of interest: Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, Skyline drive, Colonial Williamsburg, and Virginia Beach.
The city has an appealing climate. Winter is usually mild and the last frost typically occurs the first week of May. The blooming dogwood trees introduce the coming of Spring. Summers tend to be hot and humid. Shortly after the start of the internship year, the leaves begin to change, leading to beautiful panoramic views of the Fall foliage.
Our program takes pride in our 70 (plus) preceptors. The preceptors include both clinical and community Registered Dietitians as well as our foodservice management staff. Interns will also learn from other highly qualified healthcare providers during their rotations and class day lectures.
- Advanced degrees - Over half of our RDN preceptors have Master's degrees
- Specialty training and certification- Dietitians at UVA Health System specialize in particular disease states and patient populations including pediatrics, nutrition support, diabetes, renal, oncology, and obesity and weight management. Over 2/3rd's of our dietitians hold certifications in these areas.
- Speaking and presenting at the local, state, national and international level - Many preceptors have presented at national conferences such as Clinical Nutrition Week, the Academy's Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, and National Kidney Foundation meetings. Several of our interns will also present posters at these meetings as well.
- Professional writing in peer-reviewed publications - Our preceptors routinely publish their work in well-known peer-reviewed publications, such as Nutrition in Clinical Practice, Practical Gastroenterology, and The Journal of Parenteral and Enternal Nutrition.
- Leadership - In addition to serving on hospital committees, numerous preceptors hold leadership positions on local, state, and national level boards and committees.
- Awards - Our preceptors are, time after time, recognized for their outstanding achievements in the field of nutrition and education on the state and national level.