Dietetic Internship Program Clinical Assignments

Clinical Dietetics

The dietetic intern receives experiences in providing nutritional care to patients in the following services:

Clinical Nutrition Service (35 Weeks) – This service is responsible for the nutritional care of approximately 2,393 hospitalized patients (846 at the Weill Cornell Medical Center, 720 at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, 244 at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, 196 at The Allen Hospital, 131 at Lower Manhattan Hospital and 256 at the Westchester Division) who present various diseases and disorders requiring different types of nutritional intervention.  Dietetic interns gain experience in assessing the nutritional requirements of hospitalized patients, planning and implementing nutritional care plans for these patients, and evaluating the effectiveness of these care plans on patients’ nutritional status.  An orientation to the utilization of electronic medical record and diet office systems in clinical dietetics is also provided.  Each dietetic intern is scheduled to receive experience under the supervision of a Registered Dietitian in each of the following clinical specialty areas:

Clinical Specialty Areas

  • Adult Nutrition Support/GI
  • Behavioral Health
  • Burn Center
  • Cardiology/Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Endocrinology
  • General Medicine/Surgery
  • Geriatrics
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology/Rehabilitation
  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics/Obstetrics
  • Transplantation

Research (1 Week) – Dietetic interns are assigned to receive this experience at the Weill Cornell Medical College Clinical Translational Science Center or the Columbia University Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.  Both centers coordinate the nutritional management of adult and pediatric research patients with the clinical investigators’ research studies.  Dietetic interns review research protocols and learn the principles and procedures for providing diets to patients participating in research studies.  An orientation to the utilization of data base programs used in research studies is also provided.

Food Service Systems Management

The dietetic intern receives experiences in all phases of foodservice:

Foodservice (3 Weeks) - This area is responsible for the production and delivery of meals for patients and the Hospital’s retail operations, and all activities related to menu processing and the service of meals, nourishments and enteral feedings to patients.   Dietetic interns gain experience in systems related to food production, distribution and service operations, the maintenance and sanitation of the serving pantries and equipment, managing human resources and quality assurance and continuous quality improvement. 

Finance and Procurement (Integrated into Foodservice rotation) – This area provides the dietetic intern with experiences in the ordering, purchasing, receiving, storage, distribution, cost accounting and record keeping of food and supplies as well as an orientation to the financial management of foodservice operations.

Dietetic interns also gain exposure to food service operations during their Medicine/Surgery and Behavioral Health rotations in Clinical Nutrition Services.

Ambulatory Nutrition

The dietetic intern receives experiences in ambulatory nutrition:

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Ambulatory Nutrition (3 Weeks) – Outpatient Nutrition services emanate from the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Ambulatory Care Network. The Ambulatory Care Network (ACN) clinics, with locations at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the Weill Cornell Medical Center, provide health care, including medical nutrition therapy to adult, geriatric, prenatal, gynecology and pediatric patients. Dietetic interns observe Registered Dietitians provide medical nutrition therapy including nutrition counseling and instruction to patients referred by private physicians. The Ambulatory Nutrition Rotation affords dietetic interns the opportunity to learn to integrate ambulatory medical nutrition therapy within a framework of financial management and marketing. In addition, during this rotation, dietetic interns gain experience with the NYP BeHealthy Program, a hospital-wide initiative which promotes healthful diet and exercise habits with the staff, employees and students of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Precepted Staff Experience

Learning experiences in clinical unit assignments are planned to progress the dietetic intern from observation and performing under supervision to independently assuming all of the responsibilities of a staff dietitian.

Each dietetic intern is scheduled for a three-week precepted staff experience.  In addition, the conclusion of each three-week clinical unit assignment may be designated as a precepted staff experience.  These experiences provide the dietetic intern with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during clinical unit assignments and to demonstrate competence in assuming full responsibility of a staff dietitian’s position.  For Dietetic Internship faculty, precepted staff experiences provide the opportunity to evaluate previous teaching and to observe the intern’s progress and professional growth.

Responsibilities within precepted staff experiences are individualized according to the dietetic intern’s level of demonstrated competence.

Professional Development Experience

Each dietetic intern is scheduled for a three-week Professional Development rotation during the second half of the Dietetic Internship Program year. During this rotation, dietetic interns are able to  plan their own learning objectives and experiences in relation to meeting program competency requirements and based on individual  interest, self-assessed learning needs and professional goals.  Dietetic interns utilize the vast resources of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for their experiences in this rotation.

Disclaimer:  Clinical rotations and learning experiences are subject to change due to operational changes in the Department of Food and Nutrition.


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