General InformationDietetic Internship

As member of the health care team, the dietitian is directly responsible for the nutritional care of individuals and groups. This care includes the application of the science and art of human nutrition in helping people select and obtain food for the primary purpose of nourishing their bodies in health or disease throughout the life cycle. Dietitians work in a variety of employment settings including health care, business and industry, public health education, research, and private practice.

The Dietetic Internship Program (DIP) of the School of Health Professions is a post-baccalaureate program that prepares specialists in nutrition and dietetics. It is an eleven-month program providing learning opportunities geared to integrating previously acquired knowledge, obtain new knowledge, build resources for personal and professional growth, and develop skills in the best procedures for carrying out nutrition and dietetic services with emphasis in Medical Nutrition Therapy. It provides the student with opportunities to apply and integrate the scientific knowledge of nutrition and foods in the nutrition-medical treatment of individuals and groups.

Program’s Mission, Goals and Outcomes

Mission

The Dietetic Internship Program mission is to prepare competent entry-level registered dietitian nutritionist able to meet different professional challenges and changes in the health care delivery system.  To meet these challenges, the academic activities, go beyond the traditional professional skills by developing entry-level registered dietitian nutritionist with human sensibility, ethical and moral values and the holistic view of the human being. The academic activities develop in the dietetic interns critical thinking skills that lead them to analyze situations, and make responsible decisions.

Goals and Objectives

The Medical Sciences Campus, the School of Health Professions and the Dietetic Internship Program (DIP) mission and goals serve as the basis for the development and revision of the DIP goals. During summer 2017 and March 2018, the DIP revised its goals in accordance with the 2017 Eligibility Requirements and Accreditation Standards for Dietetic Internship Programs. The new goals are:

Program Goal 1

The Program will prepare competent entry-level registered dietitian nutritionist who will promote and maintain the best health conditions for the community, as members of the interprofessional team.

Objectives:

  1. At least 80% percent of program interns complete program requirements within 18 months. (150% of the program length of 11 months).
  2. At least 85% percent of the dietetic interns judge that the Program prepares professionals in dietetics who will promote and maintain the best health conditions for the community as member of the interprofessional team.
  3. Of graduates who seek employment, 80% percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within twelve (12) months of program completion.
  4. At least, 80% percent of employers assessed will judge graduates as competent entry-level licensed dietitian nutritionist.

Program Goal 2

The program will provide supervised learning experiences geared to develop entry-level registered dietitian nutritionist with critical thinking skills, knowledge and attitudes in foodservice systems management and community dietetics, with emphasis in Medical Nutrition Therapy.

Objectives:

  1. 70% percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionist within 12 months of program completion.
  2. The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
  3. At least 90% of the graduates will successfully approve the Puerto Rico licensure on a first-time basis.
  4. At least 85% of the dietetic interns believe that the Program provides supervised learning experiences geared to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes in foodservice systems management and community dietetics, with emphasis in Medical Nutrition Therapy.
  5. At least 85% of the program graduates are satisfied with the clinical experiences received throughout the Internship.

The DIP has a Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) concentration area. The MNT goals are:

MNT1   Demonstrate the ability to critically appraise the scientific literature related to current MNT practice for chosen complex medical conditions.

MNT2   Perform Nutrition Care Process of patients/clients with complex medical conditions.

MNT3   Appraise enteral and parenteral regimens for complex medical conditions based on nutritional assessment.

MNT4   Apply communication skills in the counseling process, to integrate the nutritional needs of patients/clients with complex medical conditions.

Program Outcomes

The DIP identified appropriate measures for ongoing assessment of each of the program’s goals. The qualitative and/or quantitative outcome data obtained from internal and external stakeholders is gathered and analyzed in a timely fashion. Some of the graduate performance measures include: program completion, graduate employment, RD pass rate, graduate satisfaction, participation in community services, research activities and commitment to lifelong learning.

Specifically, graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the registered dietitian and for the PR licensure exam. Outcome data demonstrate graduates have a high passage rate, at least 90%, on the PR licensure exam, passage of which is required to practice in Puerto Rico as a professional in nutrition and dietetics. The program pass rate of the RD exam is currently less than 80% for the first takers. The Internships graduates have a good success rate of obtaining.

*DIP outcome data is available on request*

Steps becoming Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

Include:

  • completing a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a U.S. regionally accredited university or college and course work accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND),
  • completing an ACEND accredited supervised practice program called a Dietetic Internship (DI) (consisting of a minimum of 1200 hours), and
  • passing a national examination administered by Pearson Vue under the guidance of the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). CDR has mandated that beginning January 1, 2024, a minimum of a graduate degree will be required to sit for the RDN Exam. In addition, RDNs must complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration (75 hours/5 years) and many states require that RDNs be licensed or certified.

In order to practice the profession in Puerto Rico, it is necessary to obtain the RDN exam or the LND local examination and become an active member of the College of Nutritionists and Dietitians of the Puerto Rico. Since, 2016 after approving the Registration Exam the candidates receive recognition to the LND local exam.

Program Cost

Tuition, fees and other charges applicable to the Program are described in the Medical Sciences Catalog. The expenses related to tuition and fees can be found in the webpage at the Medical Sciences Campus.

Dietetic Interns are registered at a post-baccalaureate program.  Interns will pay a rate of $2,300.00 approximately per year. * This amount excludes other fees as:  construction, and graduation fee.  Students without medical insurance must additionally pay approximately $800.00 annually to the institution to subscribe to the student’s health plan. Upon acceptance, the dietetic interns must pay a reservation fee which is deducted from the tuition cost on registration day.

Dietetic Interns expenses during the internship, for PR residents are estimated to be approximately $7,000.00 (Personal, traveling and housing expenses required for rotation sites outside metropolitan area are not included). For further information:

(Please click here to download the cost in PDF format)

Admission Requirements

All academic requirements must be completed not later than the end of the second semester of the academic year preceding admission, excluding the summer session of that year.

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, with courses that meet the academic requirement prescribed by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • A general grade point average of 2.50 minimum and an area of specialization grade point average of 2.50 minimum are required. The calculation of the grade point averages must include academic year’s first semester grades.
  • The applicant must have complete proficiency of the Spanish language; and also knowledge and comprehension of the English language.
  • An interview with the Student’s Selection Committee of the Dietetic Internship Program.

The following documents have to be submitted:

*Application form to the Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico: 

Solicitud Uniforme Para Realizar Estudios en el Recinto de Ciencias Médicas

These forms may be obtained from:

Admissions Office
Deanship of Students
Medical Sciences Campus
PO Box 365067
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-5067

Telephones:  Area Code (787) 758-2525 Ext.5228, or
directly from the web site:

https://sistemas.rcm.upr.edu/Admisiones/

*Official credit transcripts of all the universities in which the applicant has

studied. The transcripts must include the current academic years first
semester grades;

One (1) sent to Admissions Office
c/o Dietetic Internship Program
Deanship of Students
Medical Sciences Campus
PO Box 365067
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-5067

One (1) sent to Dietetic Internship Program
School of Health Professions
Medical Sciences Campus
PO Box 365067
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-5067

A catalog or Bulletin describing all the courses in Nutrition and Dietetics
must accompany the application form.

*Declaration of Intent to Complete Degree/DPD-Verification Statement and
the Academic Requirements of a dietetics didactic program.

  • All documents must be submitted in original.

IMPORTANT:

  1. January 15 is the deadline to submit completed application; Solicitud Uniforme Para Realizar Estudios en el Recinto de Ciencias Médicas.
  2. Applicants are encouraged to process the application, the transcripts and the required documents prior to the last day of the first semester of the current academic year.
  3. There is a non-refundable fee to be submitted with the application.
  4. Interview sessions for applicants will be notified by E-mail.
  5. Orientation sessions for accepted candidates will be notified by letter.

Program Schedule

The Dietetic Internship Program, is an eleven (11) months program (45 weeks). Starting during the first week of August and ending in June. It provides the dietetic intern with supervised practice experiences suitable for developing skills in the best procedures for carrying out nutrition and dietetic services.

  • Introductory Course (4 weeks)
  • RDN Exam Practice Week (2 weeks)
  • Supervised Practice Experiences (38 weeks)
    • Medical Nutrition Therapy (19 weeks)
      • General (10 weeks)
      • Concentration (9 weeks)
    • Food Service System Management (10 weeks)
    • Community Dietetics (9 weeks)

Supervised Practice Experiences

The Dietetic Internship Program has scheduled a rotation of thirty-eight (38) weeks of practice experiences at various institutions within and outside the Puerto Rico Medical Center where the Program is located.

The DIP is designed to be completed in 11 months. In order to comply with the institutional policies and procedures, the DIP graduation requirements must be completed within the established maximum time limit 24 months.

An additional week dedicated to vacation, comprise the forty-five weeks’ rotation schedule of the Program.

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate, students must complete the Dietetic Internship Introductory Course and approve all clinical experiences as specified by the Program.

The DIP is designed to be completed in 11 months. In order to comply with the institutional policies and procedures, the DIP graduation requirements must be completed within the established maximum time limit 24 months.

Financial Aids Available

The Financial Aids Office is located at the Deanship of Student Affairs in the second floor of the building of the School of Pharmacy of the Medical Sciences Campus. The working hours of this office are 7:30 am to 12:00 pm and from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm Monday to Friday. Financial aid programs available for graduate students at the Medical Sciences Campus. For further information, visit:

http://de.rcm.upr.edu/AsistenciaEconomica/AsistenciaEconomica.aspx

Computer Matching Information

All applicants to Dietetic Internships listed in the instruction booklet from D&D Digital Systems must participate in computer matching. Applicants should request instructions https://www.dnddigital.com/. Applicants must register with the D&D online at https://www.dnddigital.com/, pay the computer matching fee and enter their prioritized list of selected dietetic internships online to D&D Digital before the designated deadline dates. The deadline for the February match is generally during the 2nd week of February.

Applicants are responsible for:

  • Notifying D&D Digital, in writing, of a decision to withdraw from matching process if circumstances will prevent them from accepting a match that may occur.
  • Telephoning D&D Digital if they cannot access the D&D Digital Internet site to view their personal matching results on Notification Day.

Applicants who receive a computer match DI appointment are responsible for accepting or rejecting the match by telephone or mail by 6:00 pm (of the program’s time zone) on Appointment Day.

Accreditation

The Dietetic Internship Program of the School of Health Professions, Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico is currently granted accreditation by the:

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)

Email: ACEND@eatright.org

Phone: 800/877-1600, ext. 5400; 312/899-0040, ext. 5400

Mail: 120 South Riverside Plaza
Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995

       https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend

Program Faculty

Prof. Sonia I. Serrano Serrano
Dra. Luz Alba Ruiz Sánchez
Prof. Alicia Díaz Boulon

Physical Address

Medical Center Complex
Monacillo Area, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico
School of Health Professions, Medical Sciences Campus, 6th floor, Office # 616

Further Information

For additional information please contact the

School of Health Professions – Office of Students Affairs 787-758-2525 ext. 4000 or 4001, SHP web page http://eps.rcm.upr.edu or alicia.diaz1@upr.edu Dietetic Internship Director 787-758-2525 ext. 4503/04

The information provided is effective upon publication date.  It is the students responsibility to be fully acquainted with the current admission requirements before submitting the application.  Students admitted must meet all of the admission requirements before proceeding with registration.

Medical Sciences Campus Non-discriminatory Policy

The Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate against any University employee or candidate because of sex, color, place of birth, age, physical or mental handicap, origin or social condition, political or religious beliefs.

(Please click here to download the Dietetic Internship Manual in PDF format)

 

Revised/lar

10/2/2018