The Dietetic Internship prepares students for professional practice in hospitals, clinics, public health agencies and food service management. During this program, learning experiences allow interns to:

  • Assess the nutritional status of patients with complex medical conditions; diagnose nutrition problems; plan and implement nutrition interventions; and monitor and evaluate problems, etiologies, signs and symptoms, and the impact of nutrition interventions
  • Establish collaborative relationships with patients, caregivers and health professionals
  • Use effective education and counseling skills to facilitate behavior change
  • Develop time management and critical-thinking skills
  • Function as the clinical staff dietitian in various areas to assess nutritional status and to develop and implement an appropriate care plan for each client
  • Develop and demonstrate professional characteristics expected of a dietitian
  • Develop, conduct, supervise and evaluate a community nutrition intervention project
  • Provide nutritional care for individuals and groups in community-based settings
  • Develop and provide food and nutrition services in a health care setting
  • Perform management functions related to safety, security and sanitation that affect employees, customers, patients and food
  • Demonstrate and promote responsible use of resources, including employees, money, time, food and disposable goods
  • Select and design a learning experience in a special interest area of dietetics

Learning experience distribution

Program length: 44 weeks

  • Two weeks of orientation
  • Thirty weeks of clinical nutrition (five weeks of this time is staffing experience)
  • Seven weeks of community nutrition
  • Five weeks of food service management

Each week, the intern spends 36 hours in supervised practice rotations and four hours in didactic classes during October through May. Between June and August, the intern spends 40 hours each week in supervised practice rotations.

Vacation and holidays

Interns are granted two weeks of vacation around the Christmas and New Year holidays as well as one week of vacation in the spring. Interns work two holidays a year.

Didactic coursework

Weekly classes cover current nutrition and dietetics-related knowledge and principles to supplement the supervised practice learning experiences. Lectures, workshops, in-service training, case studies, field trips and informal discussions will help interns pass the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics registration examination.

Rotations to other sites

Through the community service rotations, interns have the opportunity to work with people of different ages and socio-economic conditions. There are placements in public schools, skilled nursing facilities, public health departments, and area community hospitals and clinics.

Interns also present nutrition programs to community audiences, which increases their skills in public speaking and working with community groups.

Grading or evaluation

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences uses these evaluative tools:

  • Written examination
  • Demonstration of skills
  • Self-assessment exercises
  • Faculty reviews

Mayo Clinic's system of evaluation provides students and faculty with a comprehensive look at individual performance. This allows faculty and administrative staff to direct students who are experiencing academic difficulty to the appropriate support resources, including tutoring programs and counseling opportunities.

Curriculum enhancements

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences is committed to developing and maintaining the very best education programs. Changes may be made to the curriculum and other aspects of this program as necessary to assure the highest quality training.

Jan. 31, 2017