Program Focus  

The Cleveland Clinic Dietetic Internship is designed to prepare interns to manage the provision of nutrition services to a targeted population in nutrition therapy, community dietetics, foodservice systems or sales. This is consistent with the program philosophy in that effective management requires leadership, creativity, collaboration and the ability to make good decisions. The learning experiences planned for each rotation of the program gradually develop these competencies.

The learning experiences are also planned to promote interactions between interns and the supervising faculty. Direct supervision, with interns having a limited scope of practice, is begun in the introductory rotations. As skill increases, so does the level of responsibility, autonomy and the number and complexity of cases.

Throughout each rotation, the multidisciplinary approach is reinforced. The scope of colleagues expands as the level of responsibility increases. Interactions with direct care givers are first experienced in the clinical, foodservice and community rotations, however as the interns progress, support personnel in such areas as Human Resources, Public Affairs, Photography, Audiovisuals, Graphic Services, Purchasing, and Payroll are also incorporated into the working relationships which help to create the total picture from a management perspective.

The curriculum is planned to utilize the resources available to the interns to the fullest extent. Accessibility to educational and audiovisual resources, computer terminals, and the expertise of the internship faculty facilitate learning. Recognizing that individuals have different interests and priorities, the internship has also been structured to allow interns several choices of specialty experiences in all rotations as well as for four special projects. In this way, decision-making will be fostered and, hopefully, interns will enjoy and learn more from their training.

There is one fulltime class each year, starting in August. In 1997 a part-time option became available. The part-time option will be available again this year. Six fulltime and possibly two part-time interns are in each class. The length of the program is 45 weeks (10.5 months) fulltime or 73.5 weeks (18 months) part-time. The number of interns and the sequence of rotations have been planned to maximize the interactions among interns and faculty, to permit as much supervised practice as possible, and to efficiently communicate information which needs to be conveyed to each individual. For this reason, all 8 interns are scheduled at the same time for the orientation rotation, introductory sales/marketing rotation and all classes throughout the internship. For learning experiences which are primarily observational, with limited hands-on work, interns are scheduled in pairs. For learning experiences geared primarily to individualized instruction and supervised practice, interns are scheduled one-on-one with faculty.

Program Rotations Full-time Part-time
Orientation 2 weeks 2 weeks
Clinical 26 weeks 43 weeks
Introductory experiences with Dietetic Technician 1 week 5 days
Specialty areas 18 weeks 90 days
Managerial experiences & staff relief 3 weeks 15 days
Special Project 4 weeks 20 days
Foodservice Systems 8 weeks 14 weeks
Patient Food Service experiences (including management) 3 weeks 15 days
Retail Food Service experiences (including management) 3 weeks 15 days
Foodservice Project/Supervision/Administration 2 weeks 10 days
Community Dietetics 4.5 weeks 7 weeks
Introductory experiences 1.5 weeks 7 days
Advanced specialty experiences 3 weeks 15 days
Sales & Marketing 4.5 weeks 7 weeks
Introductory experiences 2.5 weeks 12 days
Advanced experiences 2 weeks 10 days
Total Days/Weeks 225 days or 45 weeks 225 days or 73 weeks
  Most clinical and foodservice experiences will be conducted at CCF. The scope and degree of clinical nutrition care provided at CCF will provide ample opportunity to achieve the competencies defined for an entry level practitioner: both routine and complex medical/surgical cases are treated; long term care and acute care is given; the health care team consists of a wide variety of specialists; and both hospitalized and clinic (outpatient) patients are cared for.
  In the foodservice areas, interns will be able to experience first-hand a conventional system as well as a convenience kitchen concept, patient care service as well as cafeteria service, and a variety of management resources both within the department and through support of the Human Resources Division, Sodexho Corporation, and AVI Food Systems, Inc.  
  The community dietetics affiliations have been selected to introduce the interns to a variety of public health nutrition positions. A combination of observational and supervised practice experiences at the local, regional and state levels are included in the program. The advanced community affiliations in the Greater Cleveland area have been selected for the depth of the job responsibilities and learning experiences. The focus of each affiliation is very different, providing interns an opportunity to work with the clientele of their choice.  

The sales and marketing rotation which includes the resources of nutritional sales companies, food distributors, food manufacturers, foodservice management consultants, corporate and sports nutrition, when available, and private nutrition practice will enable interns to learn strategies and put them into practice.

In the two weeks of advanced community and/or sales and marketing rotations, interns may select alternative rotation sites in a geographical location favorable to their preferred future employment. The option requires additional paper work, planning, and financial responsibilities on the part of the intern. Each situation will be discussed individually between the program director and the intern. 


Throughout the internship, classes are scheduled; topics include clinical, foodservice, community, management, sales and marketing issues. In an effort to foster networking opportunities for interns, several classes are provided in collaboration with MetroHealth Medical Center's Dietetic Internship Program.

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation Dietetic Internship is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Dietetic Education (CADE), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation and the United States Department of Education.


CADE may be contacted at:

The American Dietetic Association
Suite 2000
120 South Riverside Plaza
Chicago, IL 60606

Exam Results