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YNHH

Dietetic Internship

The Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) Dietetic Internship Program was founded in 1958 by past Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics President Doris Johnson, PhD, RD. We are excited to offer two internship tracks: the YNHH Clinical Emphasis Dietetic Internship and the Combined YNHH Internship/Masters Degree Program in affiliation with the Graduate School at the University of New Haven (UNH).

Dietetic Intern

Goals and Outcome Measures

Both internship tracks provide an intense graduate level experience for students who have earned at least a bachelor's degree. The internship also requires completion of a didactic program in the field of food and nutrition accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Typically this is done as your undergraduate major.

The practice-based YNHH internship program provides future professionals with real world experience at one of the best teaching hospitals in the country.
This progressive environment enables you to successfully meet the required Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Competency Statements for entry-level dietitians to be eligible to sit for the Commission on Dietetics Registration Examination for Dietitians.

The internship's mission is to "train competent, well-rounded entry-level dietitians to ensure the viability of the dietetics profession as the recognized leaders and experts in food and nutrition."

The Yale-New Haven Hospital Dietetic Internship is currently granted accreditation by ACEND of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Drive, Chicago, IL 60606, 312.899.0040, ext. 5400.

The goals and outcome measures are:

  Goals Outcome Measures
1. To prepare program graduates to become competent entry-level dietitians.

• >= 80% pass rate for first-time test takers during a five-year period of time on the Commission on Dietetic Registration Exam for Entry-Level Dietitians.

• >= 80% of the Competencies for entry-level dietitians are rated meets expectations or better by program graduates and employers.

• >= 70% of dietetic interns who sought emplyment were employed within 12 months of graduating over a five-year period.
 
• >= 90% of dietetic interns who applied to graduate school were accepted and attending over a five-year period.

2. To encourage and motivate dietetic interns to allow them to successfully complete the program. >=%90 of dietetic interns successfully complete the program. Viable suggested improvements by faculty and interns are implemented.
3. To effectively and efficiently use the program, department and hospital resources to support an open and positive learning environment. As evidenced by the monthly Internship Fund Report, financial resources are provided to support preceptor professional development, outside speaker honorariums, technology upgrades, payment of Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) fees, and programmatic changes dictated by ACEND and intern/preceptor feedback.
4. For the dietetic interns to collectively provide at least 75 hours of community service while at YNHH. The monthly Food & Nutrition Departmental report provides evidence that the goal is met for social responsibility.

Yale-New Haven Hospital has been the primary teaching institution for  Yale School of Medicine since 1826. As a dietetic intern at Yale-New Haven Hospital, you will find yourself in a learning environment where new opportunities are plentiful. The majority of your rotations take place in the hospital, providing a consistent learning environment and the opportunity to perceive how each section of the Department of Food and Nutritional Services works to provide quality services.

In addition to the supervised practice experience, you have the opportunity to enroll in the University of New Haven's Graduate Program in Human Nutrition. If you select this track, you will take two three-credit graduate level courses, one during the fall trimester and a second during the spring trimester. You will also earn an additional six master's degree credits for completing the internship.
 
Learn more about the University of New Haven's Graduate Program.

If you already have a master's degree, you can elect to earn a certificate in an area related to dietetics through UNH.

Note — You must apply to both programs. Given that the internship is limited to 12 students, being accepted into the Graduate Program at the University of New Haven does not guarantee an internship appointment.


Overview

Twelve appointments for the new class are made in April of each year. Because this internship is a practice-based training program, not only does it prepare you to successfully meet the ACEND Competency Statements for entry-level dietitians, it also provides you with the coping skills to successfully meet personal and professional challenges in the real world of today.

Upon graduation, you can expect to have a competitive advantage in obtaining employment in dietetics and/or completing your master's degree and successfully passing the registration exam.

The internship is a 50-week program that begins each September and is divided into rotations of one to five weeks in length. For many interns, the program provides a much-needed transition from the academic world into the working world. You will receive hands on training as well as written and/or oral assignments that relate to your experiences. This provides you with the opportunity to apply nutrition concepts into everyday practice.

After completing each rotation, you will give and receive feedback on progress made. Feedback proves useful to both interns and the internship. The structure of the program enables you to learn much about your abilities as well as your interests. The hospital and university offer a wide variety of opportunities in dietetics, but the YNHH program is also flexible enough to allow interns the opportunity to explore professional interests outside of the medical center.

Interns are typically scheduled for both supervised practice experiences and class days. Class days may consist of a special lectures, presentations or field trips to association meetings, seminars, workshops, legislative conferences, or master's level courses. Lecture topics range from graduate level nutrition courses at UNH to nutrition support, labor relations and resume preparation.

The majority of weeks you will work Monday through Friday. Similar to other healthcare institutions, Yale-New Haven Hospital provides food and nutrition services 365 days per year. Therefore, like the management, professional and technical staffs, you will be required to work some weekends and holidays with days off during the week. Two weeks of vacation are given, with one week falling during the winter holiday period and the other week typically in the early summer. In addition, you will also have a total of five days to be used as personal and sick days.

If you choose to do the master's track, you will earn 12 credits towards your graduate degree. Classes are held on either Saturday or Sunday, one weekend a month at UNH. Once you successfully complete the internship, you can continue on in the UNH program to earn your master's degree in Human Nutrition. If you choose to complete your degree at another institution, you will need to see if the credits are transferable to their program.

Curriculum

Interns experience a wide variety of practicums providing a strong general foundation with a clinical emphasis as outlined below:

Clinical

Clinical rotations feature a one-on-one learning environment in which you will train with a registered dietitian in his/her area of expertise.

As an intern you will:

  • develop the necessary skills to recognize specific disease states and conditions throughout the life cycle
  • screen and evaluate patients for nutrition risk
  • assess specific nutrition needs
  • diagnose nutrition problems
  • provide recommendations for nutrition interventions
  • apply appropriate medical nutrition therapies
  • monitor and evaluate effectiveness of interventions
  • disseminate accurate nutrition information to patients, families and members of the healthcare team

Clinical rotations may include, but are not limited to:

• Cardiology • Psychiatry
• Critical care • Transplant
• Medicine • Surgery
• Oncology • Maternity
• Pediatrics/Newborn • Neurology


As part of your clinical experience, you will develop a working knowledge of how to adapt medical nutrition therapy to patients' preferences and actual food. You will be introduced to numerous disease states and diagnoses and investigate principles of medical and surgical treatment in order to fully comprehend how medical nutrition therapy and the Nutrition Care Process impacts patient care.

Management

In management rotations, interns develop skills in all facets of food and nutrition, service management and administration, from front line supervisor to department director.

You will:

  • Conduct financial analyses
  • Monitor patient satisfaction and performance improvement
  • Become proficient in purchasing and taking inventory
  • Attend department and hospital leadership meetings
  • Conduct audits
  • Modify recipes
  • Develop menus
  • Get involved in research planning and protocols
  • Experience quantity food preparation

Management rotations occur in numerous environments that may include the diet office, the patient tray lines, hospital retail units, department administration, and the National Institute of Health-Funded Yale Center for Clinical Investigation Hospital Research Unit that includes a metabolic kitchen.

Community

By completing outpatient nutrition rotations, interns learn to recognize and meet the demand for nutrition education for the community, clients and healthcare professionals.

You will gain experience in disseminating nutrition information for health promotion, disease prevention and disease treatment.

Your community experience includes a rotation in the outpatient nutrition clinic, medical oncology and radiation therapy and a variety of other outpatient clinics where you will develop nutrition counseling skills and experience with the Nutrition Care Process as well as an awareness of the reimbursement challenges in dietetics and health care today.

Participating in community health fairs, conducting group classes, responding to consumer phone calls and creating nutrition education materials are also components of your community experience. As part of the community rotations, you may be involved in various specialty clinics such as pediatric cystic fibrosis, genetics, gastroenterology, nephrology and WIC.

You may also get a glimpse of private practice through various entrepreneurial experiences in the surrounding areas.

Special interest rotations

Interns will have the opportunity to initiate a rotation with an RD in a setting of their own choice.

This can include but is not limited to:

  • Dialysis
  • Long-term care
  • Rehabilitation
  • School food service
  • Cooperative extension services
  • Assisted living centers
  • Marketing/Sales
  • Elderly feeding programs
  • Food industry
  • Public health
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Private practice
  • Local and sustainable food systems
  • Clinical concentrations

Only interns who successfully demonstrate completion of ACEND Core Competencies for Dietitians by passing program rotations to date are eligible. 

For more information on the graduate or certificate program curriculums, visit Human Nutrition at the University of New Haven.

Application and Costs

Costs and financial aid

Interns are responsible for the costs of tuition, books, lab coats, health insurance, supplies needed for assignments, field trips, room, board, parking and travel expenses. Due to the intensity of the internship program, outside employment is not encouraged as an additional source of income.

All financial aid is handled through the University of New Haven. If you qualify, you must enroll in either their master's or certificate program. Financial aid is not available if you choose just to do the Dietetic Internship.

See the estimated costs.

Application process


Application instructions

A student who can demonstrate maturity and an eagerness to learn and who can adapt to the rapidly paced environment of a world-class, progressive teaching hospital, will thrive in our program.

Admission to the program is extremely competitive. Nationwide, the match rate is 50% for applicants applying to internships. Minimally, you will need to have completed an ACEND Accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics and have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university.

The average GPA for incoming interns is 3.4 with a 3.6 average in major courses. However, GPAs have ranged from 3.0 - 4.0. GRE scores are required, and scores typically range from 150-170 for verbal, 142-166 for quantitative and 3.5-6.0 for analytical writing. Letters of recommendation, as well as life and work experience, are considered equally important selection factors in determining who will most likely succeed in our program.

It is not a requirement that you have work experience in dietetics, nor is there any recency of education requirement. The selection committee carefully considers all portions of your application in making their decision. However, we do like to know about any other paid work experience as life/professional skills can transfer to dietetics supervised practice programs.

For more information on improving your chances at matching an internship, visit this page at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Intern Success

Intern success is measured by your ability to demonstrate mastery of the required competencies for entry-level dietitians as defined by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Traditionally, interns graduating from the Yale-New Haven Hospital Dietetic Internship have been well prepared for various careers in dietetics.

By the end of the program you will demonstrate your skills by functioning in place of a staff member on one or more clinical, community, or management services.

The internship has an 90 percent pass rate for first-time test takers on the registration examination for dietitians in the past five years.

In the past five years, all graduates seeking employment after program completion have found jobs within six months. Program graduates are prepared for, and accept, positions with competitive salaries in health care, business and industry, academia, government agencies and the media.


Tours/About New Haven

Scheduling a visit

Though not required, prospective interns can visit the hospital. Generally, group tours are given with a current dietetic intern, who will give you the opportunity to learn first-hand about the internship experience. Every effort will be made to be flexible, but, times and days depend upon our current interns' schedules. To schedule a tour, please contact the program director by e-mail.

Life in New Haven

Yale-New Haven Hospital is located in New Haven, Conn., considered the "Gateway to New England." This culturally diverse city is situated between Boston and New York.

New Haven is home to Yale University, numerous fine restaurants, museums and theaters. UNH is located less than three miles from YNHH. Interns can get there by taking the YNHH/West Haven VA Shuttle buses.

For more information on New Haven and all it has to offer, visit the Greater New Haven Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Bringing a Car

It is recommended that interns have their own transportation, but it is not required. Parking can be limited and expensive.

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