Clinical Summary: To highlight our clinical nutrition concentration, dietetic interns (DIs) will spend three weeks each with a medicine, surgery and oncology dietitian learning the basics of the specified population. The DI will also spend one week with the renal dietitian and three weeks in a surgical or medical intensive care unit (ICU) with one of the nutrition Team Leaders. The nutrition care process will be utilized in all populations with emphasis on nutrition assessment, reassessment, enteral nutrition, parenteral nutrition and diet education. Working within a team in the nutrition department, as well as with various disciplines within the hospital setting, is an integral part of the clinical experience. During this time, the DI will be scheduled to work two weekends under the direction of the clinical dietitians primarily providing diet education to patients. All of the clinical rotations are sequential, building upon the knowledge and experience from the previous rotation. During the ICU rotation, the DI will present a medically and nutritionally compromised patient they followed to the inpatient clinical staff and our physician colleagues at Metabolic Support Service rounds. Finally, the DI will function as an entry-level clinical dietitian during four weeks of staff relief, managing their own patient load.
Clinical Nutrition Independent Study (CNIS): This rotation is a combination of research and clinical nutrition. With the guidance of the Director of Nutrition and support from one of the staff dietitians, the DI will investigate a nutrition topic by researching the most current articles and evidence-based practices. The DI will synthesize the data, draw conclusions and summarize the findings in a research paper, as well as a present these findings at Metabolic Support Service rounds to the nutrition staff and our attending physicians.
Outpatient Rotations: Motivational interviewing and other counseling techniques are merged with evidence-based nutrition recommendations to provide the DI with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills for the outpatient nutrition setting. Here is an overview of the diverse opportunities provided during the internship:
BWH Nutrition and Wellness Service: The DI will be exposed to various medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, obstetrics, eating disorders, and cardiovascular disease. Dana Farber Cancer Institute: The DI will merge clinical nutrition knowledge and outpatient counseling techniques to provide nutrition therapy in the oncology setting. Bariatric Surgery: The DI will be exposed to pre and postoperative multidisciplinary care of the surgical weight loss patient. This includes viewing an actual bariatric surgery. WIC (Women Infants and Children): The DI will have the opportunity to learn about the requirements and resources provided by this federally funded program. Community or Long Term Care: The DI will experience the integration of nutrition care and other health services in a long term care or community setting.
Food Service: This four week rotation provides experience with the creation, development, production and marketing of a nutritious food item(s) that meet established nutrition parameters in a hospital setting. Management, human resources exposure, safety and sanitation in relation to food service are also part of this experience.
Research: This one week experience rotates the DI to three Harvard Catalyst research sites within Boston (BWH, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) to gain exposure of dietitians in the research setting.
Pediatrics: Two weeks are spent at Boston Children’s Hospital in either the inpatient or outpatient setting to provide the DI with a glimpse of the functions of a pediatric dietitian.
Special: Two weeks out of the 11-month internship the DI has the opportunity to arrange an experience of their choice (this can be two different special weeks or the same special for two weeks). With the assistance of the Associate Director, the DI will establish their own goals and objectives. Examples of current special areas of interest established are Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), eating disorders, private practice/entrepreneur, culinary arts, pediatrics, community, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Business Plan: DIs are split into groups of three to develop and present a business idea or concept during a one week rotation. Examples of past business plans are a healthy food truck, community focused weight management clinic, National Nutrition Month promotion in a hospital setting, cancer focused cookbook and developing a cooking class series.