Program Strengths - UCSF Medical Center Dietetic Internship

STRENGTHS OF THE PROGRAM

1. A dietetic internship with a Nutrition Therapy concentration in a university medical center that values cultural diversity and provides a positive environment for learning.

2. Interns are treated as members of the professional staff.

3. The opportunity to work with a progressive staff representing a variety of academic and clinical experiences.  There are more than 40 Registered Dietitians in our Department who work in clinical specialties, outpatient counseling, food service and clinical management, and research. Interns are exposed to a variety of careers in dietetics.

4. Both clinical nutrition and management areas have strong support personnel.  Interns work with Dietetic Technicians Registered, Food Service Supervisors and Food Service Managers.

5. Interns are expected to think and problem-solve, not just apply facts.  Emphasis is placed on evidence-based clinical practice.

6. A wide variety of experiences in medical nutrition therapy for patients with complex medical and nutritional diagnoses. Interns are supervised by Registered Dietitians with advanced degrees and specialized certification and knowledge of nutrition problems associated with renal disease, cardiovascular disease, organ transplants, diabetes mellitus, cancer, diseases of children, and enteral and parenteral nutrition support.

7. Interaction with other health care professionals who are receiving clinical training.  UCSF has a medical school and residency program, schools of dentistry, pharmacy, physical therapy, and graduate nursing.

8. During the 7 week nutrition counseling and education rotation, interns have the opportunity to interact with clients outside the hospital setting in a variety of UCSF clinics and community nutrition programs or agencies.

9. Experiences in large volume patient and public food service. Interns work with Registered Dietitians who are in management positions and other food service managers. Food service activities are scheduled in the large production kitchen at UCSF Medical Center.  

10. Interns have opportunities to develop and implement solutions to actual problems encountered in management areas.

11. Opportunities to develop public speaking.  Interns do formal and informal presentations of patients, justifying care that is provided.  Interns formally present results of a management project.  Interns also provide nutrition education for an assigned target group in the San Francisco Bay Area, including public schools, worksite wellness groups and community health fairs.

12. Staff experience.  After demonstration of competence, interns complete staff experience in inpatient clinical nutrition. Staff experiences solidify interns’ knowledge, provide an opportunity to function independently and reinforce expected practices for an entry-level dietitian. Interns are required to complete a minimum of two weeks staff experience. Generally, most interns complete 4 to 6 weeks of staff experience.