Explore our dietetic internship curriculum
This 43-week internship program exposes participants to a variety of practice settings. See all rotations.
Intern learning experiences generally fall within these key areas:
- Medical nutrition therapy concentration
- Food and nutrition management
- Community, business and professional associations
Medical Nutrition Therapy Concentration
The term “medical nutrition therapy” (MNT) was introduced in 1994 by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) to better articulate the nutrition therapy process. It is defined as the use of specific nutrition services to treat an illness, injury or condition and involves two phases:
- Assessment of the nutritional status of the client, and
- Treatment, which includes nutrition therapy, counseling and the use of specialized nutrition supplements
Our dietetic internship program provides 23 weeks of learning (more than 50 percent of all rotations) in the area of MNT. Students will learn to apply the nutrition care process to provide in-depth, individualized nutrition assessment and care for disease management.
Interns will be working in a variety of patient care units including cardiology, oncology, critical care, ICU, acute rehabilitation unit, behavioral units,organ and marrow transplant, bariatrics, pediatrics, etc. During MNT rotations, interns will be able to:
- Perform assessments/ reassessments for patients in a wide variety of settings and complexities.
- Diagnose nutritional problems, create nutrition diagnosis statement (PES statement) .
- Plan and implement nutrition interventions (including patient education), formulate a nutrition prescription, establish goals.
- Monitor and evaluate the nutritional problem, its causes, signs and symptoms and the effect of the nutritional interventions.
- Provide patient-centered, age-specific and culturally-competent nutritional care for patients in an acute care/outpatient setting.
- Chart in electronic medical records.
- Work with a multi-disciplinary teams.
Three weeks of staff relief in the acute care setting will be required at the end of all MNT rotations as a capstone project.
Food and Nutrition Management
Dietetic interns participate in all facets of food and nutrition management, including food production, food service, retail operations and human resource management. Approximately 20–25 percent of the supervised practice experiences are in food and nutrition management.
Capstone project includes the planning, marketing and implementation of a theme meal in the retail area. Staff relief is also included during this rotation.
Community, Business and Professional Association Rotations
Community experiences include rotations at wellness programs, Extension offices, WIC program (for women, infants and children), Open Arms of Minnesota, St. Paul Public Schools—school lunch program, as well as National Nutrition Month activities. Approximately 25 percent of the supervised practice experiences are in community nutrition. Capstone community nutrition projects include wellness-related activities within Fairview.
The internship also offers a one week rotation at the state and district dietetic associations: MAND (Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) and MAND-TC (Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics-Twin Cities).