I move for a name change to the ADA dietetic internship program.

The title of 'dietetic intern' is certainly causing me a lot of explanitory grief with friends and family. Since I graduated from my undergrad in May, I've been getting the "So what are you doing now?" from everyone I run into. To declare yourself an intern to someone outside the nutrition world conjures images of coffee runs for the boss lady and general humilitation without pay.

I've had to explain so many times that this isn't really an 'internship' of that sort. Actually, I've taken to basically saying "It's like a mini med-school for people in nutrition".

To obtain a dietetic internship is in fact prestegious! With only a 50% match rate in the United States, I have never felt the immense stress and eventual tidal wave of relief that came with oppening my positive match web page this past spring.

So here's how to give your friends and family the fast 411 on the dietetic 'more-than-an-internship':

  • To be placed in an internship, you could apply to as many programs as you wanted, but in the end you are matched to ONE or NONE via ranked match.
  • This is a supervised practice period so you can earn credentials. Yes, you pay them, but think of it as continuing education/grad school.
  • It is the ONLY way to become a registered dietitian.

That's how I've edited down the explanation since April. I hope you can save yourself some time and use this abbreviated version for nutrition 'outsiders'.