It's safe to say this has been my busiest 'relaxing' summer ever. As I head into my 1000+ hours of supervised practice here are the summer highlights and some words of advice:

  • I graduated from the big purple and gold dog house in the South.
  • Moved out of the college apartment and house hunted across the countryside.
  • Adopted a dog with a food name. (It was meant to be.)
  • Got Lyme disease, took doxy, felt briefly terrible.
  • Enjoyed being engaged and planning a fall foodie wedding while deciding what veggies to put in the bouquet.
  • Continued social media consulting in the nutrition world while educating myself on making my dreams of private practice a reality.

And that's just the non-internship related things.

To those undergrads in the match mix, this post is a reminder that just because you got that coveted slot in a program, you've still gotta' get your Kashi flakes in a row ASAP.

Internship pre-season is all about being organized. While each individual program varries in how they use the time between match day and orientation day, many have a long to-do list.


Where there are interns and real patients (no paper patients this time), there will be contracts. Your program may have you sign confidentiality waivers, complete HIPPA training, do a background check,send proof of insurance, proof of ADA membership, send transcripts and proof of DPD completion. These things take time to process, so start on this list as soon as you receive it from your director. For example, requesting your transcript the day after your graduation may not result in an actual transcript until 3 months later. Or more. I'm still waiting.

The Medical Mystery Tour

To steal a line from the Beatles, that's what this section can feel like if you wait until the last minute! Since you're working in a health care facility, you need to show your medical history to the hospital and program. This usually includes vaccination history, a drug screening, a TB skin test, and a physical. Just like with the forms I mentioned above, schedule your appointments as soon as you can. Doctor's offices can have month long waiting lists for physicals right around school and sports camp season. Also be prepared for the unexpected. For some reason I ended up with a questionable TB skin test and had to have a chest x-ray done to be on the safe side. That's another appointment that needed to be scheduled and results to be sent!

Worksheets and Case Studies

Some programs have modules, others have worksheets to be done. Programs like to have interns review relevant information (formulas, diet plans, etc...) before jumping into your rotations. Not only will this help you feel more confident, but it gives you time to learn and not re-learn data on location. The previous interns from my program gave us this kernel of wisdom: Space out your summer worksheets and schedule yourself to complete 1 a week so you're not rushed.  Don't try to cram in the 100 page worksheet right before your first day! Talk about a bad start.

Meet and Greet

This is the fun part! You may be asked to schedule a time to meet with your director and first rotation preceptor before the start date. Give these RD's plenty of time to fit you into their schedule; You'll learn a lot about each-other and how you can make this nutrition experience berry awesome.

Let's get this internship started! Hope your pre-season is sweet!