Graduate Certificate Program
University at Buffalo (SUNY)
School of Public Health and Health
Department of Exercise and Nutrition
This handbook is a compilation of materials regarding policies and procedures
involved with the Dietetic Internship (DI) and the Graduate Certificate Program
(GCP). The Handbook is meant to assist interns and faculty in the process of
handling these procedures and it was designed to supplement the Exercise and
Nutrition Science Department Web Site and the Graduate School Web Site. If
answers to any of your pertinent questions cannot be found in any of these
sources of information, please consult with the Dietetic Internship Program
The Nutrition Program, University at Buffalo acknowledges the contribution of
the following in developing this edition of the DI/GCP Handbook:
Mary Platek, PhD, R.D., C.D.N.
Candi Possinger, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., C.D.E.
Lois Wodarski, Ph.D., R.D.
Melissa Chabot, M.S., R.D.
Liz Raleigh M.S., R.D., C.D.N.
Leah Caruso M.S., R.D., C.D.N.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Program Mission and Goals……………………………………… 3
Accreditation Status……………………………………………… 4
Competencies/Learning Outcomes………………………………. 5
Code of Ethics…………………………………………………… 9
DI/GCP Requirements…………………………………………… 12
Assessment of Prior Learning…………………………………….. 12
Program Calendar………………………………………………… 13
Certificate Course Description…………………………………… 14
Student Support Services………………………………………… 15
Financial Assistance……………………………………………… 16
Policy & Procedures for the Dietetic Internship
Liability Insurance………………………………………… 17
Health Certificate & Medical Insurance…………………… 17
Equal Opportunity………………………………………… 17
Privacy of Information & Access to Personal File………… 17
Grievance Procedures……………………………………… 18
Withdrawal and Refund of Tuition & Fees………………... 18
Necessity to Repeat DI/GCP Requirements……………….. 18
Appropriate Lines of Communication…………………….. 19
Intern Advisement…………………………………………. 19
Registration Examination Preparation…………………….. 20
Practice Site Policies
Intern Replacement of Employees………………………… 20
Professional Dress and Conduct…………………………… 20
General Definitions of Expectations in Clinical Activities….22
Injury or Illness during Supervised Practice………………. 23
Pre/Post Internship Practice Registration Examination
for Dietitians……………………………………………………….. 23
PROGRAM MISSION AND GOALS
The mission of the Dietetic Internship Program is to provide supervised dietetic experience to
students of ADA-approved undergraduate programs so that they achieve the performance
requirements of entry-level dietitians. The Program emphasizes the interaction of students,
faculty and staff who act with integrity and seek personal and professional excellence. The
mission further reflects the research, service and training missions of the University, School and
Exercise and Nutrition Sciences Department in that it intends to train health practitioners who
will provide leadership in research and clinical settings in the region, State and nation.
Moreover, its chosen area of emphasis, “Nutrition and Community Wellness,” addresses the
service need in Buffalo and the Western New York area for practitioners who are trained to
utilize research and technology in the prevention and amelioration of illness.
The Dietetic Internship program at the University at Buffalo will provide an opportunity to
develop competencies in dietetic practice. Further, through graduate course work offered in
conjunction with the clinical practice, interns will acquire and maintain state-of-the-art
knowledge reflecting the rapidly changing technology and modes of practice in health care. For
eligible participants desirous of continuing their studies, the 15 required semester hours of course
work may be transferred into the Master‟s program in Nutrition or Exercise Science.
Graduates of the University at Buffalo Dietetic Internship will be equipped to provide quality
services to their clients defined by the American Dietetic Association Standards of Professional
Practice for Dietetics Professionals as follows:
a. Develop, implement and promote quality service based on client expectations
b. Effectively apply, participate in or generate research to enhance
c. Apply knowledge and communicate effectively with others.
d. Use resources effectively and efficiently in practice.
e. Systematically evaluate the quality and effectiveness of practice and revise
practice as needed to incorporate the results of evaluation.
f. Engage in lifelong self-development to improve knowledge and skills that
promote continued competence.
The Dietetic Internship is currently granted initial accreditation status by the Commission on
Accreditation for Dietetic Education of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) 120 S.
Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000 Chicago, IL 60606 (312) 899-4876
Upon successful completion of the Dietetic Internship, including the 15 hours of graduate course
work, the intern will receive a verification of completion of the dietetic internship and will be
eligible to sit for the Registration Examination for Dietitians.
COMPETENCIES/LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR THE
1.Scientific and Evidence Base of Practice: integration of scientific information
and research into practice.
Upon completion of the DI, graduates are able to:
DI 1.1 Select appropriate indicators and measure achievement of clinical,
programmatic, quality, productivity, economic or other outcomes
DI 1.2 Apply evidence-based guidelines, systematic reviews and scientific literature
(such as the ADA Evidence Analysis Library, Cochrane Database of Systematic
Reviews and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for
Healthcare Research and Quality, National Guideline Clearinghouse Web sites) in the
nutrition care process and model and other areas of dietetics practice
DI 1.3 Justify programs, products, services and care using appropriate evidence or data
DI 1.4 Evaluate emerging research for application in dietetics practice
DI 1.5 Conduct research projects using appropriate research methods, ethical
procedures and statistical analysis
2. Professional Practice Expectations: beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors for
the professional dietitian level of practice.
Upon completion of the DI, graduates are able to:
DI 2.1 Practice in compliance with current federal regulations and state statutes and
rules, as applicable and in accordance with accreditation standards and the ADA Scope
of Dietetics Practice Framework, Standards of Professional Performance and
Code of Ethics for the Profession of Dietetics
DI 2.2 Demonstrate professional writing skills in preparing professional communications
(e.g. research manuscripts, project proposals, education materials, policies and
DI 2.3 Design, implement and evaluate presentations considering life experiences,
cultural diversity and educational background of the target audience
DI 2.4 Use effective education and counseling skills to facilitate behavior change
DI 2.5 Demonstrate active participation, teamwork and contributions in group settings
DI 2.6 Assign appropriate patient care activities to DTRs and/or support personnel
considering the needs of the patient/client or situation, the ability of support personnel,
jurisdictional law, practice guidelines and policies within the facility
DI 2.7 Refer clients and patients to other professionals and services when needs are
beyond individual scope of practice
DI 2.8 Demonstrate initiative by proactively developing solutions to problems.
DI 2.9 Apply leadership principles effectively to achieve desired outcomes
DI 2.10 Serve in professional and community organizations
DI 2.11 Establish collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders,
including patients, clients, care givers, physicians, nurses and other health
professionals, administrative and support personnel to facilitate individual and
DI 2.12 Demonstrate professional attributes such as advocacy, customer focus, risk
taking, critical thinking, flexibility, time management, work prioritization and work ethic
within various organizational cultures
DI 2.13 Perform self assessment, develop goals and objectives and prepare a draft
portfolio for professional development as defined by the Commission on Dietetics
DI 2.14 Demonstrate assertiveness and negotiation skills while respecting life
experiences, cultural diversity and educational background
3. Clinical and Customer Services: development and delivery of information,
products and services to individuals, groups and populations
Upon completion of the DI, graduates are able to:
DI 3.1 Perform the Nutrition Care Process (a through d below) and use standardized
nutrition language for individuals, groups and populations of differing ages and health
status, in a variety of settings
DI 3.1.a. Assess the nutritional status of individuals, groups and populations in a
variety of settings where nutrition care is or can be delivered
DI 3.1.b.Diagnose nutrition problems and create problem, etiology, signs and
symptoms (PES) statements
DI 3.1.c. Plan and implement nutrition interventions to include prioritizing the
nutrition diagnosis, formulating a nutrition prescription, establishing goals and selecting
and managing intervention
DI 3.1.d. Monitor and evaluate problems, etiologies, signs, symptoms and the
impact of interventions on the nutrition diagnosis
DI 3.2 Develop and demonstrate effective communications skills using oral, print, visual,
electronic and mass media methods for maximizing client education, employee training
DI 3.3 Demonstrate and promote responsible use of resources including employees,
money, time, water, energy, food and disposable goods.
DI 3.4 Develop and deliver products, programs or services that promote consumer
health, wellness and lifestyle management merging consumer desire for taste,
convenience and economy with nutrition, food safety and health messages
DI 3.5 Deliver respectful, science-based answers to consumer questions concerning
DI 3.6 Coordinate procurement, production, distribution and service of goods and
DI 3.7 Develop and evaluate recipes, formulas and menus for acceptability and
affordability that accommodate the cultural diversity and health needs of various
populations, groups and individuals
4. Practice Management and Use of Resources: strategic application of principles
of management and systems in the provision of services to individuals and
Upon completion of the DI, graduates are able to:
DI 4.1 Use organizational processes and tools to manage human resources
DI 4.2 Perform management functions related to safety, security and sanitation that
affect employees, customers, patients, facilities and food
DI 4.3 Apply systems theory and a process approach to make decisions and maximize
DI 4.4 Participate in public policy activities, including both legislative and regulatory
DI 4.5 Conduct clinical and customer service quality management activities
DI 4.6 Use current informatics technology to develop, store, retrieve and disseminate
information and data
DI 4.7 Prepare and analyze quality, financial or productivity data and develops a plan
DI 4.8 Conduct feasibility studies for products, programs or services with consideration
of costs and benefits
DI 4.9 Obtain and analyze financial data to assess budget controls and maximize fiscal
DI 4.10 Develop a business plan for a product, program or service including
development of a budget, staffing needs, facility requirements, equipment and supplies
DI 4.11 Complete documentation that follows professional guidelines, guidelines
required by health care systems and guidelines required by the practice setting
DI 4.12 Participate in coding and billing of dietetics/nutrition services to obtain
reimbursement for services from public or private insurers
Nutrition and Community Wellness Competencies/Learning Outcomes
NCW 1.0 Develop, conduct and evaluate individual counseling and group education
programs for patients and clients with nutrition related diseases and disorders
NCW 2.0 Manage nutrition care within primary and secondary prevention care
programs for diverse populations across the lifespan
NCW 3.0 Participate in and critique community based or prevention based research
NCW 4.0 Participate in comprehensive community wellness programs in Western New
York. Plan, integrate, conduct and evaluate education sessions within these programs.
NCW 5.0 Analyze and critique the mission, goals and operational management of a
community wellness program
NCW 6.0 Identify underserved populations and design a food and nutrition wellness
program for this population
NCW 7.0 Design a health promotion/disease prevention intervention project that
integrates with the wellness program designed in NCW 6.0
NCW 8.0 Develop tools and conduct community based food and nutrition program
outcomes assessment and evaluation
CODE OF ETHICS FOR THE PROFESSION OF DIETETICS
The American Dietetic Association and its credentialing agency, the Commission on Dietetic
Registration, believe it is in the best interest of the profession and the public it serves to have a
Code of Ethics in place that provides guidance to dietetics practitioners in their professional
practice and conduct. Dietetics practitioners have voluntarily adopted a Code of Ethics to reflect
the values and ethical principles guiding the dietetics profession and to outline commitments and
obligations of the dietetics practitioner to client, society, self and the profession.
The Ethics Code applies in its entirety to members of The American Dietetic Association who
are Registered Dietitians (RDs) or Dietetic Technicians, Registered (DTRs). Except for sections
solely dealing with the credential, the Code applies to all members of The American Dietetic
Association who are not RDs or DTRs. Except for aspects solely dealing with membership, the
Code applies to all RDs and DTRs who are not members of The American Dietetic Association.
All of the aforementioned are referred to in the Code as “dietetics practitioners”. By accepting
membership in The American Dietetic Association and/or accepting and maintaining
Commission on Dietetic Registration credentials, members of The American Association and
Commission on Dietetic Registration credentialed dietetics practitioners agree to abide by the
1. The dietetics practitioner conducts himself/herself with honesty, integrity, and fairness.
2. The dietetics practitioner practices dietetics based on scientific principles and current
3. The dietetics practitioner presents substantiated information and interprets controversial
information without personal bias, recognizing that legitimate differences of opinion exist.
4. The dietetics practitioner assumes responsibility and accountability for personal competence
in practice, continually striving to increase professional knowledge and skills and to apply
them in practice.
5. The dietetics practitioner recognizes and exercises professional judgment within the limits of
his/her qualifications and collaborates with others, seeks counsel, or makes referrals as
6. The dietetics practitioner provides sufficient information to enable clients and others to make
their own informed decisions.
7. The dietetics practitioner protects confidential information and makes full disclosure about
any limitations on his/her ability to guarantee full confidentiality.
8. The dietetics practitioner provides professional services with objectivity and with respect for
the unique needs and values of individuals.
9. The dietetics practitioner provides professional services in a manner that is sensitive to
cultural differences and does not discriminate against others on the basis of race, ethnicity,
creed, religion, disability, sex, age, sexual orientation, or national origin.
10. The dietetics practitioner does not engage in sexual harassment in connection with
11. The dietetics practitioner provides objective evaluations of performance for employees and
coworkers, candidates for employment, students, professional association memberships,
awards, or scholarships. The dietetics practitioner makes all reasonable effort to avoid bias in
any kind of professional evaluation of others.
12. The dietetics practitioner is alert to situations that might cause a conflict of interest or have
the appearance of a conflict. The dietetics practitioner provides full disclosure when a real or
potential conflict of interest arises.
13. The dietetics practitioner who wishes to inform the public and colleagues of his/her services
does so by using factual information. The dietetics practitioner does not advertise in a false
or misleading manner.
14. The dietetics practitioner promotes or endorses products in a manner that is neither false nor
15. The dietetic practitioner permits the use of his/her name for the purpose of certifying that
dietetics services have been rendered only if he/she has provided or supervised the provision
of those services.
16. The dietetics practitioner accurately presents professional qualifications and credentials.
a. The dietetics practitioner uses Commission on Dietetic Registration awarded
credentials („RD” or “Registered Dietitian”; ”DTR” or “Dietetic Technician,
Registered”; “CSP” or “Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition”; “CSR” or
“Certified Specialist in Renal Nutrition”; and “FADA” or “Fellow of the
American Dietetic Association”) only when the credential is current and
authorized by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. The dietetics
practitioner provides accurate information and complies with all requirements
of the Commission on Dietetic Registration program in which he/she is
seeking initial or continued credentials from the Commission of Dietetic
b. The dietetics practitioner is subject to disciplinary action for aiding another
person in violating any Commission on Dietetic Registration requirements or
aiding another person in representing himself/herself as Commission on
Dietetic Registration credentialed when he/she is not.
17. The dietetics practitioner withdraws from professional practice under the following
a. The dietetics practitioner has engaged in any substance abuse that could affect
b. The dietetics practitioner has been adjudged by a court to be mentally
c. The dietetics practitioner has an emotional or mental disability that affects
his/her practice in a manner that could harm the client or others.
18. The dietetics practitioner complies with all applicable laws and regulations concerning the
profession and is subject to disciplinary action under the following circumstances:
a. The dietetics practitioner has been convicted of crime under the laws of the
United States, which is a felony or a misdemeanor, an essential element of
which is dishonesty, and which is related to the practice of the profession.
b. The dietetics practitioner has been disciplined by a state, and at least one of
the grounds for the discipline is the same or substantially equivalent to these
c. The dietetics practitioner has committed an act of misfeasance or malfeasance,
which is directly related to the practice of the profession as, determined by a
court of competent jurisdiction, a licensing board, or an agency of a
19. The dietetics practitioner supports and promotes high standards of professional practice. The
dietetics practitioner accepts the obligation to protect clients, the public, and the profession
by upholding the Code of Ethics for the Profession of Dietetics and by reporting alleged
violations of the Code through the defined review process of The American Dietetic
Association and its credentialing agency, the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
Dietetic Internship (DI)
Graduate Certificate Program (GCP) Requirements
Requirements for the DI/GCP include the satisfactory completion of the 1040 hours of
supervised dietetic experience and the successful completion of 15 credit hours of graduate
course work (see the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences Web Site.). The 15 credits
are obtained through enrollment in the following courses:
Energy/Protein Nutrition (NTR 500) - 3 Credits
*Vitamins & Minerals (NTR 501) or Pre-Approved
Elective - 3 Credits
*Nutrition Assessment (NTR 523) or Pre-Approved
Elective - 3 Credits
Nutrition Assessment Instruments (NTR 524) - 1 Credit
Principles of Nutrition Intervention (NTR 603) - 2 Credits
Pathophysiology of Nutrition Related Diseases (NTR 600) - 3 Credits
Students who are currently enrolled in the Master‟s program, or who may already possess a
Master‟s degree, are required to enroll in the same number of comparable graduate course hours
to ensure recency of graduate training in nutrition. These alternate courses are selected in
consultation with the Program Director. In order to transfer credits to the M.S. degree Program in
Nutrition or Exercise Science, a grade of “B-” or better is required. If an intern decides to pursue
a M.S. degree in the Exercise and Nutrition Science department once the internship is completed,
the intern must make an appointment with the Director of Graduate Studies for the department
and then proceed based on the Director‟s advice.
*Students who do not intend to complete the MS degree at the University of Buffalo, may select
a pre-approved elective in place of NTR 501. Students who do intend to stay on for the MS
degree are required to take NTR 501.
*Students who determine that they have had sufficient upper level undergraduate nutrition
assessment course work may opt to register for a pre-approved elective in place of NTR 523.
Prior to the start of the internship, incoming interns are asked to compare their undergraduate
curriculum in nutrition assessment with the current course syllabus and lecture schedule for NTR
523 to make this determination.
ASSESSMENT OF PRIOR LEARNING
The Dietetic Internship program and Graduate Certificate Program (GCP) will take into
account prior graduate course work and experiential learning as follows:
Prior Graduate Course Work:
Graduate course work previously taken must have been taken within 3 years of the
start of the internship program
Official transcripts, syllabi for all courses, and course descriptions must be
available for review prior to the start of the internship year
Grades for all course work being submitted for review must be “B” or better
The Program Director and Clinical Director will only review materials submitted by
Interns that meet the above criteria. Course work that is similar to the designated course
work necessary for the GCP will be accepted. The Program Director and Clinical
Director will meet with the prospective Intern prior to the start of the Internship to select
alternate course work to be taken to meet the GCP requirements of the Dietetic
Prior Experiential Learning:
Prospective Interns who believe that they have achieved competency through previous
experiential learning are encouraged to plan their supervised practice rotations to
demonstrate their ability to meet the related core or emphasis-related competencies as
soon as possible during the rotation. The Program Director will determine if the Intern
has demonstrated competency through consultation with the Preceptor and Clinical
Director. If competency is demonstrated, the Intern will be given the opportunity to
dedicate required supervised practice hours to the advancement of their knowledge and
experience in the respective areas. The Program Director along with the Clinical Director
and Intern will mutually plan these additional experiences.
Subject Credit Hours
Nutrition Assessment (NTR 523) or Pre-Approved Elective 3
Energy/Protein Nutrition (NTR 500) 3
Field Experience (312 hours)
(Emphasis: Clinical Assessment-acute/long term care)
Subject Credit Hours
Vitamins and Minerals (NTR 501) or Pre-Approved Elective 3
Pathophysiology of Nutrition Related Diseases (NTR 600) 3
Field Experience (280 hours)
(Emphasis: Food Service/Management)
Subject Credit Hours
Principles of Nutrition Intervention (NTR 603) 2
Nutrition Assessment Instruments (NTR 524) 1
Field Experience (448 hours)
(Emphasis: Individually designed Community Wellness and Research rotations.)
CERTIFICATE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
NTR 500 ENERGY/PROTEIN NUTRITION (3) Covers sources, absorption, availability,
metabolism and functions of major nutrients, i.e., carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. The
regulatory role of enzymes and hormones in absorption and metabolism of these nutrients will be
examined. Methods used to estimate the requirements and Recommended Dietary Allowances
for protein and energy will be discussed.
NTR 501 VITAMINS AND MINERALS (3) Will examine in depth the sources, absorption,
availability, metabolism and functions of micronutrients (minerals and vitamins). The
interaction between minerals and vitamins will be discussed. Methods used to determine
requirements, Recommended Dietary Allowances or amounts recognized as safe for these
nutrients will be discussed.
NTR 523 NUTRITION ASSESSMENT (3) Considers the scientific basis and methods for
determining nutritional status of individuals throughout the lifespan. The lecture series includes
(1) nutritional assessment methods (laboratory indices, anthropometric and dietary methods and
standards) (2) nutritional assessment in maternal and child populations at risk; and (3) the
epidemiologic and clinical basis for assessing and monitoring major nutritional risks in adult
NTR 524 NUTRITION ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENTS (1) Uses basic principles of
evaluation and measurement research to have the student: (1) identify a problem relative to
nutrition services for a given population, (2) determine how to evaluate the problem, (3) choose,
design and pilot test measurement instrument.
NTR 600 PATHOPHYSIOLOGY OF NUTRITION RELATED DISEASES (3) Examines
the physiologic and metabolic alterations in chronic and acute illness and trauma requiring
modifications in nutritional care; the current scientific basis for nutrition intervention measures;
and the interrelationships between diet, other treatment modalities, and nutritional status.
NTR 603 PRINCIPLES OF NUTRITION INTERVENTION (2) Covers advanced individual
and group nutrition intervention principles and techniques. The focus includes factors
influencing and methods affecting change to positive food selection and eating behaviors to
promote health as well as treat disease.
STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES
UB has (6) major libraries, two of which are located on the South Campus (Health Science
Library and Math/Chemistry Library). The Health Science Library is located within walking
distance from the main offices of the Nutrition Program. The Health Science Library houses
approximately 205,500 bound volumes and 3,000 current periodicals in the fields of nutrition,
medicine, dentistry, health-related professions, pharmacy, and nursing. Computerized
bibliographic research is available for faculty and students through several systems such as Bison
and Hubnet which are accessible through terminals in the libraries, the Nutrition Program
Computer Laboratory, or off-campus. The computerized bibliographic services are available
without cost to faculty and students. Articles and books can be obtained through interlibrary loan
without cost to faculty and students. In addition, the Health Sciences Library participates in a
consortium with other state and out-of-state libraries to further enhance available resources.
UB maintains mainframe systems that are accessible from the Internship room (90 Farber), the
Graduate Student room, and from off-campus. There are also numerous microcomputer facilities
located around the university.
Teaching resources include overhead projectors, slide projectors, and some lecture halls are
equipped with high technology delivery systems, including on-line presentations. In addition, the
University offers some undergraduate classes by distance learning. This includes one course in
The Center for Educational Resources and Technologies (CERT) has a Data Analysis Laboratory
which offers consultation on research design, measurement and data analysis, as well as facilities
and equipment for both quantitative and qualitative analyses of data. The Computing and
Information Technology (CIT) Department serves students and faculty by providing information
and support regarding instructional technology.
The Research Consultation Service is available to students, faculty and staff. Librarians assist in
developing an appropriate research strategy for term papers, doctoral dissertations, publications
and grant proposals. This service also provides recommendations for locating relevant resources,
developing a sound search strategy and choosing appropriate print and electronic indices.
Statistical consultation is available at the Statistical Consulting Laboratory.
Internship Fee $3,200/Semester* (Fall, Spring, Summer)
Tuition and Fees $400-600/Credit*
Health Insurance $1,300** annually
Liability Insurance $35
Medical Exam $100**
Manuals, Books, Uniforms $200/Semester**
Program Application Fees (DI/Graduate) $50 (Non-refundable) for each program
Computer Matching Fee $50
ADA Student Membership $49
WNYDA Membership $10.00**
Erie-Niagara County Nutrition Committee $7.00**
RD Exam Required Review Materials $300-400**
GRE Exam by August 1 $150**
Transportation is the responsibility of the student. A car is required.
Estimated mileage to clinical sites = 20-30 miles. Parking fees vary by clinical site.
*Internship fee and Tuition/University fees are billed separately to you by the University and late
fees established by the University apply to both the Internship fees and Tuition/University fees
Interns enrolled in The Dietetic Internship program are eligible for financial assistance from a
variety of sources depending upon financial need and enrollment status. The American Dietetic
Association (ADA) offers some scholarships for students in internships and graduate studies.
Please see the Dietetic Internship Program Director for current information regarding
applications and deadlines. Interns may search the Internet for this information also. The
address is: http://www.eatright.org/scholelig.html.
Upon completion of the fall semester in the Dietetic Internship, all successful interns (3.00
GPA and “Pass” for internship activities) are eligible to apply for University at Buffalo,
Nutrition Program scholarship monies available through the Annette Rachman Fund. See
Program Director for this information and application form.
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR
THE DIETETIC INTERNSHIP
PROFESSIONAL (MALPRACTICE) LIABILITY INSURANCE
Prior to the commencement of the Dietetic Internship, individuals must document that student
liability insurance has been purchased. See Program Director for further information.
HEALTH CERTIFICATE AND MEDICAL INSURANCE
Individuals beginning the internship experience should be in good health. Interns are responsible
for the cost of all personal medical care which is needed during the internship. Interns are
required to carry adequate medical insurance.
Evidence of health insurance and a physical examination are required to participate in clinical
settings. All interns are required to show evidence of required immunizations and tests. The
University monitors compliance to the health insurance mandate and determines the requirements
for students in health related programs such as the dietetic internship program.
All individuals who meet the eligibility requirements outlined above and in the University
Graduate Policies, have equal access to the DI/GCP program. The University at Buffalo does not
discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, creed, color, disability, national origin, religion,
sexual orientation, marital or veteran status in the admission to the Graduate School or in any
activity related to the Graduate Program in Nutrition, including the DI/GCP program.
PRIVACY OF INFORMATION AND ACCESS TO PERSONAL FILE
Information obtained during the application process to the DI/GCP program, grades, and
performance evaluations are confidential and will not be released except on written request by
Individuals may request to see materials in their file except for letters of recommendation where
the individual has signed a waiver forfeiting their right to see these documents.
Refer to the Graduate School Web Site for policies and procedures governing grievances.
If the program director and/or clinical instructor determine that an intern is not meeting the
DI/GCP program standards (clinical or academic), the matter will be discussed with the intern
and a record of the discussion will be entered into the intern‟s personal file. Any additional
infraction may lead to dismissal from the program. Examples of infractions which could lead to
dismissal are: plagiarism, cheating, or other forms of academic dishonesty, insolence,
absenteeism, habitual tardiness, refusal to cooperate, academic or supervised practice
deficiencies or leaving the practice site before assigned time (without notice).
If an intern enrolled in the DI/GCP is unable to fulfill the clinical and academic requirements due
to reasons of health or other extenuating circumstances, a grade of “I” may be assigned. If an “I”
grade is assigned, the individual may re-enter to the DI/GCP program at a later date and complete
the unfinished academic experience as well as practicum experience as necessary. Refer to the
Graduate School Web Site for deadlines concerning “I” grades. There will be no fee for
continuation of the program after re-entry in the case of extenuating circumstances.
WITHDRAWAL AND REFUND OF TUITION AND FEES
The University determines policies regarding withdrawal and refund of tuition and fees. The
current schedule of classes lists deadlines. The same calendar applies for withdrawal with refund
of Dietetic Internship fees.
NECESSITY TO REPEAT DI/GCP REQUIREMENTS
In the event an intern must repeat a rotation, an additional fee will apply. (Fees will vary
depending on the rotation.) Please note that if the need to repeat the rotation is of no fault of the
intern, this fee will be waived. In the event that an intern must repeat a graduate course, then the
tuition fees set by the University will apply. The timeline for completion of the academic courses
is consistent with deadlines set for the “I” grade as stated on the Graduate School Web Site. This
deadline applies to courses taken at the University or other academic institutions.
APPROPRIATE LINES OF COMMUNICATION
1. Interns who wish to express a complaint or concern about courses, faculty, other
interns/students, existing policies and procedures, etc. should follow appropriate lines of
a. Courses: The intern(s) should first request an appointment with the instructor of
record to discuss and attempt to resolve the concern/complaint. Faculty have office
hours posted on the doors of their offices. A request for an appointment may be made
in writing (a note left in the faculty member‟s mailbox, or with the secretary), in
person, by phone, voice mail or email.
b. If the problem remains unresolved (or if the intern(s) feel they are unable to approach
the instructor of record about the matter), the intern(s) should then request an
appointment with the Program Director. The intern(s) should be prepared to list: 1.
the nature of their concern(s); 2. what steps he/she has already taken to resolve the
matter; and 3. what their expectations are regarding how the matter should be
2. If the complaint/concerns/allegations involve the conduct of a fellow intern or a faculty
member, the complaint should be documented and include verifiable facts (dates, description
of incidents, persons involved, etc.).
3. If the matter involves the time schedule or content of a course, resolution may require input
from all Nutrition Program faculty as well as other branches of the University organization.
This means resolution of a problem may not occur within the semester it is identified.
However, interns are encouraged to call faculty attention to such concerns as faculty are
constantly adjusting clinical and didactic course content and schedules to comply with ever-
changing accreditation and university requirements.
4. Interns are expected to comply with appropriate standards of confidentiality and ethical
behavior with regard to faculty, fellow interns or students, university staff, clinically based
employees and patients during their matriculation through the Dietetics Internship. (See
confidentiality/HIPAA, p. 20)
The Program Director of the Dietetic Internship advises all interns enrolled in the DI/GCP
program. If an intern decides to pursue a M.S. degree in the Exercise and Nutrition Science
department once the internship is completed, the intern must make an appointment with the
Director of Graduate Studies for the department and then proceed based on the Director‟s advice.
REGISTRATION EXAMINATION PREPARATION
The Program Director will identify the required RD exam preparation materials/programs at the
beginning of the internship year. It is expected that interns will study and fully prepare to pass the
RD exam on the first attempt.
PRACTICE SITE POLICIES
DI students must abide by facility policies regarding dress code, grooming requirements,
scheduling and completion of paperwork. The following policies and procedures are to be
observed at all facilities:
INTERN REPLACEMENT OF EMPLOYEES
Interns will not routinely replace regular employees except for specific professional staff
experience that is necessary to complete the prescribed learning activities.
PROFESSIONAL DRESS AND CONDUCT
Facilities have developed dress codes to promote safety and present a professional appearance to
clients and staff and the dress codes are to be followed. Professional attire in the clinical area
consists of a clean and pressed white lab coat worn over business attire. Business attire is
defined as dresses, skirts, and dress pants, shirts and ties. Stretch or casual pants, for example,
jeans, corduroy, leggings, denim skirts and skorts are not acceptable. Closed shoes (no clogs,
boots or sandals) as well as stockings are required. Light make-up and a small amount of jewelry
may be worn. Hair should be pinned to collar length in all clinical areas and hairnets must be
worn in areas where food is present. (Plastic gloves, provided by the facility, are usually required
when handling food.) Males are to be clean shaven. Mustaches, if worn, are to be neatly
trimmed. Interns who are not considered to be properly attired by the clinical instructor or
preceptor will be dismissed from the clinical area and required to make up the lost time. Other
decisions regarding dress or conduct may be made on an individualized case basis per the
discretion of the program director. Interns will wear nametags at all practice sites.
Unless asked to do otherwise, use the formal form of address: Mr., Ms., Mrs., Dr., etc. rather
than the first name when addressing faculty, clients/patients, facility personnel, supervising
dietitian/preceptors and other members of the health care team.
The client‟s right to privacy must be observed. Information about the client obtained from the
medical report, other health care personnel, the client or his family is confidential and is not to be
repeated or discussed other than in the process of providing nutritional care to the client or during
health team evaluation.
Information regarding the client, which is not pertinent to the nutritional care you are providing
the client, is not to be revealed to the client or his family.
All interns must complete the HIPAA training course. The course is available online and at no
cost to the intern. Interns must complete this training prior to the end of the Fall Orientation.
Documentation of completion will be verified by the Program Director prior to clinical
assignment of the Intern. In the case that HIPAA regulations change during the course of the
training year, interns will be required to complete the updated HIPAA online training course.
Cars are required for the internship. All interns are responsible for arranging their travel to and
from the clinical site. Owners of cars are responsible for travel liability for themselves and riders
in their car. Students using public transportation assume personal responsibility for their safety.
Instructors and fellow interns can usually provide advice about parking at different facilities.
Interns have the responsibility to personally notify their clinical instructor(s) or preceptor(s) if
they will be late or absent from the clinical area during their scheduled rotation, as well as the
Program Director or Clinical Director. Any arrangements for changing clinical days, hours or
assignments must be approved in advance by the Program Director or Clinical Director and the
clinical instructor(s) or preceptor(s). An intern who is persistently late or absent from the clinical
area may be dismissed from the program. Being persistently late is defined as arriving five
minutes later than the scheduled time more than once a week.
In both clinical and didactic courses any intern who does not complete assignments on time,
shows little effort to participate in classes, post-conferences or discussion groups and is absent
more than two times from classes/clinical experiences for reasons other than illness can be
dismissed from the program.
Interns have the responsibility to complete clinical assignments within the time allotted at clinical
sites. Interns unable to complete their assignments on time will review their time management
skills with the Program Director and/or Clinical Director. If significant improvement by the
intern is not demonstrated within a time frame, a warning will be issued to the intern. After two
warnings the Program Director will decide whether the intern is given the option to continue in
the program or will be required to repeat the experience the following year.
Interns found using supervised experience time for assignments other than those assigned for the
supervised experience will be issued a warning. Further disciplinary action will be taken if this
behavior is continued after the warning.
It will be necessary to make up any days that are missed in the clinical area in order to comply
with contractual requirements of DI/GCP. Personal, medical, or dental appointments should be
scheduled at times that do not conflict with class or clinical hours. Holidays observed by the
University are not observed at the clinical site unless the site observes the holidays. Holidays
observed by the clinical site and not by the University may be used for class experiences at the
discretion of the Program Director.
GENERAL DEFINITIONS OF EXPECTATIONS IN
CLINICAL/SUPERVISED PRACTICE ACTIVITIES
Preceptor A person in active practice who serves as a role model and as a liaison between the
University and site clinical staff in guidance of student experiences.
Role Model A person in active practice who shares his/her duties, experiences, and concerns
with a student.
Attachment Learning Placement of a student with clinical personnel who continue normal
duties, act as a role model, and guide student experiences.
The following is a brief resume of expectations for individuals involved in clinical/supervised
Clinical Director/DI Clinical Instructors (Role Model)
1. Informs site clinical staff and preceptor of appropriate information about abilities and
limitations of student and assures that the student performs professionally.
2. Collaborates with preceptor in establishing procedures and activities in the clinical
area for the student.
Preceptor (Role Model)
1. Collaborates with the site clinical staff in establishing procedures and activities in
clinical area for the students.
2. Assigns work schedule for students that correlates with the department‟s usual
3. Serves as liaison for communication between Clinical Director, site clinical staff and
4. Coordinates student evaluations.
Site Clinical Staff (Role Model)
1. Share experiences and allow the student to participate in usual activities as much as
possible (may request student to perform an activity)
2. Communicate problems that may arise to student, Preceptor and Clinical Director
3. Perform as informal professional advisors.
4. Provide input for student evaluation.
1. Performs assigned duties, as requested, in a professional manner.
2. Makes “professional use” of time in clinical area.
3. Communicates effectively with the Clinical Director/DI Clinical Instructors,
Preceptor and site clinical staff.
INJURY OR ILLNESS DURING SUPERVISED PRACTICE
Policies regarding injury or illness at work in force at the supervised practice site will be
observed by the intern. Interns will be advised of those policies by their site preceptors. The
Program Director or Clinical Director should also be notified concerning any injury or illness that
occurs at the supervised practice site.
Evaluation of interns, clinical instructors and preceptors are completed at the midpoint and end
of each rotation. The purpose of all evaluations is to enhance professional development and self-
improvement. Thus the evaluation process should be viewed as a learning experience. All intern
evaluations are to be discussed with the evaluator, signed and dated where indicated and returned
to the Program Director. Preceptor and/or Clinical Instructor evaluations are to be returned to the
PRE/POST INTERNSHIP PRACTICE EXAMINATION
During orientation and immediately following completion of the practice experience interns are
required to take the practice Registration Examination for Dietitians.