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Internship Rotations

The internship is a full time, 10-month program, and interns are scheduled to work approximately 40 hours per week, usually Monday through Friday. Classroom time and field trips may be scheduled within the 40 hours or outside of the regular daily schedule. Interns are also scheduled to work some weekends and holidays. Please refer to the Summary of Supervised Practice Didactic Hours for the internship schedule. The clinical rotation will have two different tracks with varying inpatient units/floors at our hospitals to accommodate 10 dietetic interns.


  • The official start date of the UC San Diego Health Dietetic Internship is the fourth week of August
  • The first week of the internship is called Orientation
  • During Orientation, dietetic interns are introduced to the UC San Diego Health's four hospitals, program preceptors, and fellow dietetic interns
  • The primary purpose of Orientation is to educate dietetic interns about program expectations, policies, and procedures and provide dietetic interns with baseline medical nutrition therapy education
  • Dietetic interns can expect to receive individual rotation schedules for the year at the end of Orientation week

Clinical Nutrition

  • A strong clinical nutrition department allows for opportunity to provide nutrition care for complex patients across the life span
  • The Medical Nutrition Therapy concentration offers experience in management and supervision of virtually all medical conditions
  • Dietetic intern will spend 14 weeks in inpatient clinical rotation and 2 weeks of clinical staff relief

Experiences will most likely include, but are not limited to, the following specialty areas:

  • Cardiac
  • Telemetry
  • Transplant
  • Orthopedic
  • General Surgery
  • General Medicine
  • Family
  • Maternal Care Center
  • Oncology
  • IMU/Step Down
  • Bone Marrow Transplant
  • Neonatal Intensive Care
  • Medical Intensive Care
  • Surgical Intensive Care
  • Critical Care
  • Burn Intensive Care
  • Diet Office

Food Service Management

  • Dietetic Interns will spend 6 weeks in food service management rotations

Experiences will most likely include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

  • Patient Food Services
  • Production
  • Cafeteria
  • Human Resources
  • Financial Management
  • Food Service/Clinical Nutrition Management projects

Ambulatory/Community Nutrition

  • Dietetic interns will spend 10 weeks in Outpatient/Community Nutrition rotations

Experiences may include but are not limited to the following specialty areas:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Bariatric Metabolic Institute
  • Center for Integrative Medicine
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Diabetes and Pregnancy
  • Dialysis
  • Eating Disorders
  • Endocrinology
  • General Outpatient Nutrition Clinic
  • Moore’s Oncology
  • Pediatric/Adult HIV
  • Transplant


Dietetic interns will spend one week between the hospital’s Clinical and Translational Research Institute, UC San Diego Health Sciences and/or the UC San Diego Department of Family and Public Health.


Dietetic interns will spend one week in an elective rotation of their choice (within UC San Diego affiliations).

Staff Relief

Dietetic interns will spend approximately three weeks in staff relief during their food service management and clinical nutrition rotation.


Dietetic interns receive one week of vacation the week of Thanksgiving and two weeks of vacation at the end of December for the 2021-22 year. Each dietetic intern may be expected to work some of the UC San Diego designated holidays (excluding Christmas, New Years and Thanksgiving).

Rotation Completion

Satisfactory completion of all rotations in the UC San Diego Health Dietetic Internship is required in order to receive a Verification Statement. Satisfactory completion is defined as completing all rotations with greater than or equal to 3.0 ratings on a 4.0 scale. A detailed description of minimum acceptable performance as an intern can be found in the Policy and Procedures Manual once accepted into the program.

Following successful completion of the program, a Verification Statement of Completion will be provided the last week of internship. Interns are then eligible for “Active” membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Graduates are well-prepared and eligible to complete the Registration Exam for Dietitians through the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).

Policy and Procedures Handbook

Policies and Procedures

Policy and Procedures Appendices A-E


  • The majority of internship experiences will take place at our three hospitals, including: UC San Diego Medical Center - Hillcrest, Jacobs Medical Center, and Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center
  • UC San Diego Health Medical Center – Hillcrest is a 390-bed hospital
  • Jacobs Medical Center, is a 364-bed hospital located in La Jolla, and includes the Thornton Pavilion
  • Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center provides inpatient heart and stroke care in a single location