The University of Chicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial Dietetic Internship Program accepts nine interns each year. Our mission statement is to provide quality education and practical experience to our dietetic interns so that they will become competent entry level registered dietitian nutritionists dedicated to improving the health of the communities they serve.
The dietetic internship offers two concentrations: The Medical Dietetics Concentration and the Wellness Nutrition Concentration. Four interns will be selected into Medical Dietetics Concentration, and five interns will be selected into the Wellness Nutrition Concentration. The Medical Dietetics concentration provides additional experience in Medical Nutrition Therapy, while the Wellness Nutrition concentration provides additional experience in Wellness and Community Nutrition.
The program will ensure that dietetic interns follow the standards established by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and the Accreditation Council in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) in regards to education and professional conduct. The internship will prepare graduates to work with culturally diverse groups and serve their communities as highly qualified professionals in the field of dietetics.
To be eligible for the Dietetic Internship Program, one must first complete a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) that grants at least a bachelor's degree and that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). After you receive your degree and verification statement, you are then eligible to complete a supervised practice experience in an ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship Program (such as the UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial Dietetic Internship). Upon successful completion of a 1200-hour supervised practice program, each intern will be eligible to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians to become credentialed as a RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist, through the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Learn more about RD examination requirements.
About Our Program
Since its founding in 1923, UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial has remained a not-for-profit institution, committed to fulfilling its mission of improving the health of the communities we serve. Today, we continue on that path and remain committed to providing quality education and experience.
UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial can provide an experience that allows an intern to learn in an environment that has the sophistication of a big city hospital and the personalized care of a community hospital. In this unique setting, interns work in an atmosphere where a free exchange of ideas and learning is encouraged and at the completion of the program have developed the perspective and skills to be an asset in health care organizations and community wellness settings. Although most of the training will be provided at UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial, up to 14 weeks may be provided by affiliating organizations within the Chicago area. With the exception of one week of Special Practice, the internship director will locate all supervised practice sites for the interns.
The UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial advantage offers
- Outstanding reputation
- Intensive learning
- Sophisticated surroundings
- Personalized quality care
- Community health promotion
The UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial Dietetic Internship Program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Continuation of full accreditation was granted in February 2017 for a term of seven years.
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
Phone: 312.899.0040 (ext. 5400)
ACEND is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE). This affirms that ACEND meets national standards and is a reliable authority on the quality of nutrition and dietetics education programs.
Goal 1: UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial Dietetic Internship will prepare graduates to competently perform professional positions in the area of food and nutrition as a entry-level registered dietitian nutritionist.
- 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 nutritionist is at least 80 percent.
- 85 percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionist within 12 months of program completion.”
- Of graduates who seek employment, 85 percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation
- After first year of employment, 75 percent of employers will rank “above average” in professional knowledge and skills as compared to other entry level dietitians.
- After first year of employment, 75 percent of program graduates will rank themselves above average in professional knowledge and skills as compared to other entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists.
- At least 80 percent of program interns complete program requirements within 15 months (150 percent of the program length)
Goal 2: UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial Dietetic internship will prepare graduates to become leaders in the communities that they serve.
- An average of 50 percent of graduates will report that they are employed in a management or director position; have been appointed or elected to a leadership position in a dietetic-related organization; or serve as preceptor within a five-year period.
All program outcomes are available upon request.
Cheryl Bacon, MS, RDN, LDN
Director of the Dietetic Internship
The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), and UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial cooperate in the responsibility of training dietitians and does not discriminate against any applicant because of race, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin or ancestry. The UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial Dietetic Internship protects student civil rights and complies with institutional equal opportunity programs.
This intense 43-week learning opportunity, which begins the Monday prior to Labor Day, will give the dietetic intern practical experience in medical nutrition therapy and food service management as the core. In addition, options of two concentration tracks are available: medical dietetics or wellness nutrition.
The program has a long history of solid preparation for entry level registered dietitian nutritionists. In addition to the core training for all interns, eight weeks of concentrated experience will be completed in the medical dietetics option or the wellness nutrition option.
The medical dietetics option includes advanced nutrition support, outpatient renal nutrition, acute rehab, outpatient nutrition counseling and community nutrition.
The wellness nutrition option incorporates community and wellness in various settings, including park districts, schools, wellness centers, and community centers. The wellness nutrition option provides an in-depth opportunity to enhance education skills and program planning.
Seminars, field trips, conferences and lectures will be included to enhance practical skills and give the intern an overall view of dietetics and the role of the dietitian in a multi-disciplinary health care setting. Although most of the training will be provided at UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial, up to 14 weeks may be provided by affiliating organizations within the Chicago area.
To complete the program, interns must complete a minimum of 1200 hours supervised practice and complete all ACEND requirements and demonstrate competency by completing all learning objectives in a satisfactory manner. Upon completion of the program, the intern will receive a verification statement and will be eligible to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians to become credentialed as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), through the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
Class of 2019
August 20, 2018 through June 5, 2019
Class of 2020
August 19, 2019 - June 5, 2020
Each dietetic intern will be entitled to take two weeks of vacation time during the program. Typically there is a winter and spring vacation. However if an intern has a specific request, accommodations may be possible. Additionally, each intern has two personal days to use throughout the internship.
The hospital observes the following holidays. There will be no internship related activities scheduled for the following days:
- New Year's Day
- Independence Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Memorial Day
- Labor Day
- Christmas Day
Supervised practice experiences are typically scheduled Monday through Thursday. Hours may vary each day depending upon the rotation. The intern will usually be scheduled to work the same hours as the preceptor. The majority of rotations take place from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The intern will be working some weekends during the program — primarily during administrative staff relief and some community events. Homework assignments are completed in addition to the time spent in the units.
One day a week (typically Friday) is designated as didactic class time. This day will consist of seminars, workshops, lectures, and tours and will take place at either UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial or other facilities.
Both medical nutrition therapy and food service management rotations will serve as the core for both concentration tracks. Interns in both concentrations will learn disease process and lifestyle change in relation to the diet. Interns will acquire this knowledge in a fast-paced medical environment keeping them well informed of the latest medical practices.
The intern will progress through various clinical rotations such as cardiology, renal nutrition and enteral nutrition. All interns will learn how to accurately assess a patient's nutritional status through data collection, patient interviews, physical assessment and consultation with members of the health care team.
Interns will also counsel outpatients and teach nutrition education classes. The clinical rotations end with staff relief in which the intern will assume total responsibility as the RDN (under the supervision of a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist).
All interns will further their knowledge and managerial skills in food production, food distribution and cafeteria operations as well as enhance food marketing skills as they progress through the food service management rotations. UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial provides the opportunity to manage a large diverse food service operation, employing over 80 food service workers serving patients and employees, including catering functions.
Appointment is based upon academics, work experiences, references, and communication skills (in descending order of importance). An overall grade point average of 3.0 is encouraged. Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an acceptable agency. Application materials will be accepted using the centralized application process. A $60 non-refundable application fee and form to denote specific concentration desired must be mailed to the program by the established deadline. See Application and Appointment section below for form. Application materials will not be returned.
Upon entrance into the program, applicants must provide an original transcript confirming a bachelor's degree or official letter from the Registrar or Dean of the Graduating School or original Foreign Degree Equivalency Report and two (2) original Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Verification Statement. If the date of the DPD Verification Statement is more than five years prior to the starting date of the internship, the applicant must retake at least three credits in a Medical Nutrition Therapy course from an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) or Coordinated (CP) program.
All expenses including housing, meals and transportation are the responsibility of the intern. UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial does not provide a stipend but does provide meal allowance for one meal per day in the UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial cafeteria.
Each intern will receive a list of fellow interns to assist in arrangement for sharing housing expenses. A car is essential.
Dietetic Internship Cost Estimate
Tuition for Class of 2020 (no financial aid is available), $11,500.00
Fees (for Professional Seminars), $300.00
Additional Costs, Malpractice Insurance, $24.00
Lab Coats (2), approximately $20.00 each ($40.00 total)
Books up to $200.00
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Student Membership, $58.00
Living Expense Estimate
Living expenses will vary based on where the intern chooses to live. Sharing a two-bedroom apartment on the Northside of Chicago may cost approximately $10,000 throughout the duration of the program.
Transportation cost will vary depending on living location and assigned rotation site. The intern is responsible for the cost of their transportation to and from rotation sites and other assigned program related activities.
Attendance at our open house is recommended, if feasible, and may help answer many questions about our program and what makes it unique.
Frequently Asked Questions
UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial is a large modern community hospital with many specialized rotations including renal, oncology, gastrointestinal/surgical nutrition, cardiology, enteral, and parenteral nutrition. Because of the breadth of our facility, most of the learning experience can be completed at UChicago Medicine Ingalls. This allows the intern stability in a physical location to learn in-depth the areas that are being taught.
The staff has a high level of expertise and autonomy which is utilized by the medical staff. For instance, diets and enteral feedings are primarily managed by dietitians.
Our food service management team provides skills necessary to work as qualified managers. Activities in the units will allow you to use your creativity in areas such as recipe development, team enhancement and employee education.
The hospital serves a community of many socio-economic levels and cultural backgrounds, providing learning experiences in the counseling and education of patients and employees in these populations.
Our affiliations and field experiences also give the intern an opportunity to work in other health care systems and within the community throughout the Chicago area.
Special practice is a unique opportunity to spend time in an area of dietetics that best meets the goals of the individual intern. Examples include business, public health, or specialized medical nutrition therapy.
Registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) on staff at UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial include: six clinical, two administrative, the dietetic internship director, and one in the diabetes and wellness center. In addition, interns work under the direction of RDNs at our affiliate healthcare and community sites.
Clinical dietitians are responsible for patient care including nutrition assessment and education. They are a critical part of the medical team. Utilization of the nutrition care process is part of daily clinical activities.
Administrative dietitians, along with food service managers, operate the patient and non-patient food services utilizing tools and techniques of one of the largest food service management companies.
Many interns live with friends or relatives within the surrounding communities and commute to UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial and other rotation sites. Those interns who need to rent housing in the area usually share apartments with fellow interns. Information on living areas and interns needing roommates will be provided after you have accepted an appointment at UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial.
Yes, over the past 5 years 97.5 percent of our graduates have successfully passed the CDR Registration examination within one year following first attempt. Over the past five years, 97 percent have found employment in dietetics or began graduate studies within one year of graduation.
No, UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial does not provide graduate credit.
No, UChicago Medicine Ingalls does not offer financial aid. Loan deferment requests are honored.