Internship Program

Duke University Hospital Dietetic Internship Program

General Information

The dietetic internship is an 10 month post-baccalaureate program Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The address and telephone number of ACEND is 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 312-899-0040 (ext. 5400).


Duke University Hospital is a full-service tertiary and quaternary academic medical center, licensed for 957 beds, accredited by JCAHO and is known for providing cutting edge research and medical care. The Nutrition Department at Duke University Hospital is committed to ensuring the highest quality education through a full-time supervised practice experience that prepares graduates as entry-level dietitians and lifelong learners.
In a tertiary care medical center, the program emphasizes evidence- based, compassionate, and innovative nutrition therapy to improve the health of individuals and the community. Interns are trained incorporating all aspects of the dietetic curriculum in a supportive learning environment that celebrates the diversity and dignity of all patients and staff.


The program commences in August of each year and concludes in June providing dietetic interns with 1528 hours of supervised practice experience in clinical, community, food service and administrative areas as well as 152 hours of didactic training. The Department of Nutrition Services and the Department of Food Service partner to optimize all areas of patient nutrition services. The internship program will provide interns with a range of opportunities in a tertiary care, multidisciplinary teaching hospital. The interns will have the opportunity to provide clinical nutrition care to high acuity patients across the lifespan from neonates to geriatrics and to obtain food service competencies in diverse settings.
 

Program Mission

The mission of the Dietetic Internship Program at Duke University Hospital is to provide the highest quality education through a full time, supervised practice experience, which prepares graduates as entry level registered dietitians and life-long learners. The interns will learn evidence-based, compassionate, nutrition therapy to improve the health of individuals and the community. The program attains its core values through innovative scientific research, rapid translation of breakthrough discoveries, educating future leaders in clinical dietetics, advocating and practicing evidence-based medical nutrition therapy.
 

Realization of a successful internship program will demonstrate evidence of the following goals established by Duke University Hospital Dietetic Internship program to full fill program mission and meet ACEND required objectives.

Goals and Outcome Measures

Goal #1: The Duke University Hospital Internship Program will prepare competent graduates who are ready for entry-level positions in the field of nutrition and dietetics.
  • Program's one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attmept)on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
  • At one year after program completion 80% of program graduates surveyed will rate their preparation for an entry-level position as satisfactory or above.
  • Eighty percent of employers who respond to the survey will rate graduate's job performance as entry level or above.
  • Ninety percent of graduates will rate the program and the preceptors as satisfactory or above at graduation.
  • At least 80% of program students will complete program requirement within 15 months (150%  of the program length)
  • Of graduates who seek employement, 75% are employed in the field of dietetics and nutrition twelve months of program completion.
  • 80% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.


Goal #2: The Duke University Hospital Internship Program will graduate dietetic interns who will be life-long learners and future leaders.

  • Fifty percent of the graduates will be members of a committee or hold office in a professional or community organization.
  • Fifty percent of the graduates will provide at least one nutrition education session to a community or professional group.

 

Upon request the information on outcomes data will be made available to the interns, prospective interns, public and ACEND reviewers.
 

Program Concentration and Competency Statements

The Duke University Hospital Dietetic Internship Program will offer two concentrations one in Clinical Nutrition Therapy and one in Clinical Pediatric Nutrition.
Duke University Hospital offers a unique opportunity in the region for interns to work with medical professionals from all disciplines at a top-ranked hospital. The institution's large number of inpatient beds and clinics allow ample opportunities for interns to interact with highly complex patients and clinicians who have advanced training and extensive experience in every health care discipline. Interns will receive advanced training in classes and practicum so that they can independently manage nutrition care for patients of the highest acuity and conditions that are only treated at a few regional medical centers.
Competencies for the concentrations

Clinical Nutrition Therapy::
 

  • CNT 1: Learn in-depth assessment and management of high acuity patients across the lifespan.
  • CNT 2: Independently oversee nutrition care for diverse population groups including metabolic disorders, transplant and oncology.
  • CNT 3: Learn and practice nutrition education and nutrition counseling for patients with diverse languages and cultural backgrounds.
  • CNT 4: Integrate pathophysiology into nutrition therapy recommendations for specific patients with advanced needs at Duke University Hospital.
     

Clinical Pediatric Nutrition

  • CPN 1: Demonstrate thorough nutritional assessment of infants, children, and adolescents with acute and chronic disease states. 
  • CPN 2:Develop and implement strategies for monitoring interventions and evaluating nutrition diagnosis.
  • CPN 3:Conduct counseling and education for complex and diverse pediatric patient population

Program Rotations

The internship is a full-time 42 week program; interns are scheduled to work Monday through Friday. The program commences in August and concludes in June.

Common to both tracks- Clinical Nutrition Therapy and Clinical Pediatric Nutrition:

Orientation (2 week)

The primary purpose of orientation is to educate the interns about program expectations, policies and procedures and provide the interns with baseline clinical nutrition therapy education. The dietetic interns will be introduced to the campus, program preceptors and fellow interns. Interns will receive Duke University Hospital general orientation to policy and procedure as well as our core values and behavioral expectations along with requisite training to Maestro Care, Duke University Hospital's electronic health record.

 

Food Service (5 weeks)

  • Patient food service
  • Production
  • Purchasing
  • Human Resources
  • Food service/management project
  • Retail food service
  • Financial management

 

Enrichment (2 weeks)

During the 2 weeks of their enrichment rotation, the interns will do an in-depth study of clinical nutrition management of a specific disease of their choice as identified earlier in the program. The interns will be assigned a preceptor who specializes in that area of expertise. While doing the in-depth study the interns will continue to gain clinical expertise by working with that group of patient population. The in-depth study process may include bench marking with other hospitals, literature search, case analysis etc. The students will prepare a report of the study and present it to fellow students and dietitian staff.

 

Staff Relief (2 weeks)

Dietetic Intern Class Days
Class days are held on second Wednesday of every month following 2 weeks of orientation in August.
 

Vacation (1 week)

Dietetic interns receive 1 week of vacation during Chrismas/New Years.

Interns may also participate in time away from work for Duke University Hospital designated holidays: Thanksgiving day, Christmas day, New Year's day, Martin Luther King Jr. day, Memorial day, Independence day and Labor day.

 

Specific to Clinical Nutrition Therapy

Clinical/Inpatient rotations (19 weeks)

Interns will have an opportunity to provide nutrition therapy for high acuity patients across the life span, from neonates to geriatrics.
The experience will include:

  • General Medicine/Surgery  (10 weeks)
  • Critical Care/Nutrition Support (7 weeks)
  • Pediatric (2 weeks)

Ambulatory/Community (11 weeks)

  • Transplant clinic (2 weeks)
  • Adult Oncology clinic (2 weeks)
  • Community Wellness (5 weeks)
  • Diabetes clinic (1 week)
  • GI clinic (1 week)

Elective

  • Gastric Bypass Surgery/ Integrated Medicine/Research (1 week)

 

Specific to Pediatric Clinical Nutrition 

Interns will have an opportunity to provide nutrition therapy for high acuity patients across the life span, from neonates to geriatrics.
The experience will include:

Adult Inpatient (11 weeks)

  • General Medicine (3 weeks)
  • Surgery (3 weeks)
  • Critical Care/Nutrition Support (3 weeks)

Pediatric Inpatient (8)

  • General Peds ( 4 weeks)
  • Peds Critical Care (4 weeks)

Peds Specialty (4 weeks)

Adult Ambulatory/Community (6 weeks)

  • Transplant clinic (1 weeks)
  • Adult Oncology clinic (1 weeks)
  • Community Wellness (3 weeks)
  • Dialysis/Endo clinic (1 week)

Peds clinic: (4 weeks)

Rotation schedule may vary.


Graduation Requirements

Interns must meet graduation requirements within 15 months of the start date. Interns must pass all rotations and complete all competencies by scoring 80% or a grade of 3, complete all assignments, turn in all evaluation forms and sign the memorandum of agreement in order to graduate. Upon successful completion of the program the verification statement will be given on the final day, indicating that the intern is eligible to become an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, to sit for the national registration exam for dietitians administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) and obtain state licensure required by North Carolina Board of Dietetics and many other states.Visit https://www.cdrnet.org/state-licensure for further information on state licensure.

Open House

To provide an opportunity to learn more about the program and to help determine if our program is right for you, we encourage you to attend an open house in January 3, 2020 9:00-11:00am - Duke North Main Hospital Room 2003.

Please RSVP to dietetic internship@dm.duke.edu no later than December 31, 2019 for the January Open House 
 

Program Contact Information  

Duke University Hospital Dietetic Internship Program
Duke University Hospital
DUMC Box 3655
Durham, NC 27710

dieteticinternship@dm.duke.edu

Seema Desai MS, RD, LDN 
Director of Dietetic Internship
Phone: 919-668-6136
Fax: 919-681-9575