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Dietetic Internship Program



Non-credit classes are generally scheduled on Monday mornings from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. They are presented by a variety of professionals who are experts in their field. Topics may include renal disease, transplantation, metabolic nutrition, school nutrition, oncology, public policy, ethics, diversity, equity and inclusion, interviewing, food service management, and others. Classes are frequently combined with other internships in the Atlanta area. Classes may be held at Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Georgia State University, and occasionally at other off-site locations.

Monday afternoons are usually reserved for intern presentations and other internship-related activities. Interns each present one formal clinical case study, a seminar, a leadership project, and other oral presentations as assigned. When presentations are not scheduled, time may be used for meetings with the Director or coordinator or for work on special team projects.


Planned Rotations

Interns are scheduled in rotations Tuesday through Friday. In the event that no classes are scheduled on a Monday, interns will be assigned to rotations that day. When in rotations, interns keep the same schedule as the preceptor, or as directed by the preceptor. Times will vary during the food service rotation from beginning at 5:30 a.m. to leaving at the close of the dinner shift. Hours for most clinical and external rotations also may vary but are generally 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Given the numerous specialties within dietetics, our supervised practice program provides interns flexibility in selecting some of their rotation experiences.  The rotations planned for 2024-2025 include 20 weeks of clinical, 6 weeks of food service management, 6 weeks of community, and 4 weeks of elective rotations. The first 2 1/2 weeks of the program are devoted to orientation and skills development. Some rotations may be completed partially or fully remotely. In these instances, all technology needed for completing the rotation will be provided onsite at Emory University Hospital. However, an individual laptop and access to the internet would allow more flexibility.

The Emory Healthcare system is a teaching medical enterprise providing basic medical nutrition therapy and progressing to more advanced concepts.  During your time here, you will learn:

Clinical (20 weeks): bariatrics, cardiology, general medicine, general surgery, oncology, rehabilitation medicine, renal/transplantation, nutrition support, and a four-week clinical staff experience.

     Acquired Basic Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Appropriate bedside manner:  speak confidently, respectfully, and compassionately with patients
  • Cultural awareness in patient care interactions
  • Interpretation of lab trends
  • Basic pharmaceutical analysis
  • Malnutrition diagnosis and treatment
  • Alternative means of nutrition support (enteral)
  • Situational awareness to provide individualized diet education
  • Building confidence in conferring with other practitioners

     Acquired Advanced Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Fluid and electrolyte management
  • Advanced pharmaceutical analysis
  • Micronutrient deficiency assessment
  • Refeeding syndrome management
  • Malnutrition diagnosis and treatment
  • Alternative means of nutrition support (enteral and parenteral)
  • Complex patient care needs such as chyle leaks, CRRT, ECMO, oncology, neurocritical care, and neurology
  • Assessment, care, and education for transplantation of kidney, liver, heart, pancreas, lung, and bone marrow

Food Service Management (6 weeks): Management of patient meal delivery systems; development and marketing of new recipes for retail food service operations; production, purchasing, human resources, quality improvement, and management experience.

     Acquired Basic Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Utilize food service equipment, and participate in daily production operations of the culinary team
  • Use software applications in procurement processes:  inventory, purchasing, receiving, and reconciling products
  • Conduct mock health/safety inspections, using HACCP principles
  • Participate in daily retail cafe operations including daily financials of running reports and balancing cash room
  • Discuss sustainability and identify opportunities for future implementation in the department
  • Develop appropriate communication styles based on situational leadership

     Acquired Advanced Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Analysis, synthesis, and presentation of patient menu data
  • Recipe development, use of software applications to modify recipes to fit nutritional guidelines
  • Use of social media platforms and/or videos to demonstrate recipe-building
  • Development of multi-platform marketing/promotion materials for new retail/patient dining recipes
  • Analysis of monthly and year-to-date spending as it relates to the annual budget
  • Relating productivity reports to full-time equivalent distribution
  • Human Resource processes:  talent acquisition, disciplinary processes, employee scheduling, payroll verification
  • Plan and present departmental in-services

Community (6 weeks): May include maternal and child health, Open Hand, health and wellness, adult diabetes, Atlanta Community Food Bank, school nutrition, senior citizen programs, or other selected rotations.  Our community partnerships exist to immerse interns in dynamic experiences characterized by service to people of different ages who are frequently nutritionally underserved.

Elective Rotation (4 weeks): Allows the intern to pursue an area of interest in-depth or explore an area not covered in the program. Examples of elective experiences interns have chosen in the past include pediatrics, private practice, culinary school, sports nutrition, federal government, neonatal intensive care unit, and genetics. Some interns elect to spend an additional 2 weeks in one of the regular clinical rotation areas that they would like to explore in greater depth.

Interns may, with prior approval of the Director and Coordinator, consider a rotation not on the list. Because a legal agreement or a contract must be signed with any non-Emory elective rotation prior to the start of the rotation, interns are encouraged to consider one of the previously approved elective sites. It is understood, however, that an alternate rotation may bring greater value to some interns and therefore consideration of an alternative site can be discussed. Interns must notify the Internship Coordinator no later than October 25, 2024, where they would prefer to spend the elective rotation. Notification does not guarantee the preferred elective will be approved, since scheduling must be considered. Once approved, interns are responsible for coordinating the rotation with the site preceptor and are expected to submit objectives and learning experiences to the Internship Coordinator no later than 2 weeks prior to beginning the rotation. The objectives and learning experiences must be approved in advance of beginning the rotation.

Skills Development (2.5 weeks): Includes an orientation to the hospital and the program as well as a review of different clinical specialties in nutrition.


Assessment of Prior Learning

The Emory University Hospital Dietetic Internship program does not have a policy for granting credit in supervised practice hours for prior learning but utilizes prior experience to enhance previously acquired skills and knowledge. The program engages in self-assessment probing to determine prior learning and knowledge.


Graduation Requirements

Graduation is contingent upon the intern successfully completing all requirements of the program as outlined below:

  • Competency demonstrated at a level of "Meets Expectations" (score of 3) or higher for all ACEND competencies (known as CRDNs).
  • Pass all rotations
  • Successfully complete and submit all assignments
  • Submit all required documents/forms including:
    • Required evaluation documents submitted (evaluations of rotations and preceptors; final evaluation of the program and personal assessment of readiness to practice, etc.)
    • RD/RDN and RDE use documents signed and returned for the file
    • All forms required to be completed for submission to CDR completed and returned to the Director
  • All fees paid in full
  • Complete the dietetic internship program within 57 weeks of beginning the program

Interns who have not successfully completed all program requirements by the graduation date will not be permitted to graduate until all requirements are met.  Successful completion must occur no later than 57 weeks after the start date of the program year in which the intern is enrolled (150% of the original program length).

A verification statement will be issued only after all requirements have been met. The required documentation will then be submitted to CDR to allow interns to take the registration examination.