Hamilton Health Sciences
Office of Student Affairs - Student Placements

Hamilton Health Sciences Dietetic Internship Program

To become a Registered Dietitian in Canada requires 3 steps: 

  1. Graduation from an accredited Undergraduate Program in Dietetics
  2. Successful completion of an accredited program of supervised practical experience (Dietetic Internship, Integrated Undergraduate program, or combined Masters/Practicum)
  3. Successful completion of the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE). 

The Dietetic Internship Program

The Dietetic Internship program at Hamilton Health Sciences is a comprehensive program designed to provide hands-on professional educational experiences which encourage critical thinking and a problem-solving approach.  Fully Accredited by Dietitians of Canada (DC), this competency-based program provides Dietetic Interns the opportunity to develop professional judgment, while acquiring the skills necessary to meet the College of Dietitians of Ontario’s entry-level requirements.  Hamilton Health Sciences accepts 10 Interns.

Applicants to this program must apply through Dietitians of Canada. Please refer to the Program description and Selection process outlined below and on the Dietitians of Canada website.

What is the Dietetic Internship experience at Hamilton Health Sciences? 
(real quotes from past Interns)


“I think HHS is a great teaching hospital and all the people I worked with were sensitive to the fact that I was a student and they wanted to help me learn. I enjoyed working with the people in each rotation. I think the variety of rotations we get to experience is beneficial and I enjoy the education sessions in order to be able to connect with the other interns, but also expand on knowledge in new areas.  Flexibility with rotations was good - where we got to have some input into where we would like to go.” 


"The entire internship program has allowed me to develop the necessary skills and build the necessary confidence to start a career in dietetics. The program allowed me to think critically and use previous knowledge to help solve problems and apply the necessary skills to perform in the RD role.” 


“This was a very challenging year, however the challenges have been an excellent experience to prepare me for the 'real world' of practicing in dietetics.  The skills gained will be used and built upon greatly as I start out working in the field as an RD - priceless.” 


“The intern centered approach, very understandable and patient group of RDs and other health professionals to work with. Amazing learning environment and a large amount of diverse opportunities to learn and thrive in the nutrition and dietetic field."


“I definitely picked the right internship program. It lived up to all of my expectations and blew many of them out of the water! I am very proud to be able to say I graduated from the HHS internship. I know that RDs outside of Hamilton look upon it as a very comprehensive program that produces high-level RDs.”


“The greatest strengths in the program for me are the great preceptors, and very understanding teams. The fact that they are teaching hospitals means that the health professionals are very used to learners, so they don't mind waiting an extra second in rounds for you to calculate and answer, and they are willing to let you practice on your own.”

  Program Outline
(please note that our program is reviewed annually and is subject to change)





Pre-clinical – education sessions that cover topics from adult to pediatric, inpatient, outpatient to population health


Nutrition Care (23 weeks)

  Inpatient 1


  Inpatient 2


  Inpatient 3




  Diabetes (mandatory)




Management & Food Service


Nutrition Health Promotion


Patient Education Project


Research Project















All HHS Dietetic Interns have the opportunity to submit their top placement choices to their Dietetic Education Coordinator based on their personal learning interests and goals.  2 of the 10 Dietetic Interns will have the ability to have a pediatric focused experience through a variety of population specific placement and project options.

The HHS Dietetic Internship program has placements available across all Hamilton Health Sciences Hospital sites as well as with our partners in learning in the Hamilton-Halton-Niagara region.  Please be aware that you will be required to travel to your placement site.

Management / Food Service

The Food Service Management placement will provide Dietetic Interns with the opportunity to engage in many different aspects of food service and management functions which reflect the evolving role of dietetics in the hospital and long term care food environment.  

Dietetic interns are exposed to:

  • business case development
  • food service operations in hospital and long term care
  • central cook-chill production
  • centralized tray assembly
  • out-sourcing
  • decentralized re-thermalization
  • hot- and cold-plating systems
  • human resources management
  • budgeting
  • working in a unionized environment
  • utilization of computer systems

Nutrition Care

The Nutrition Care experience will provide Dietetic Interns with the opportunity to engage in the assessment of nutrition-related risks and needs, develop nutrition care plans, manage implementation of nutrition care plans, and evaluate and modify nutrition care plans across a variety of patient populations, in both inpatient and outpatient settings, and in the context of patient-centred care.

 Outpatient Placements (examples) 

  • Bariatrics
  • Cancer Centre
  • Cardiac Health and Rehabilitation
  • Children’s Exercise and Nutrition Clinic
  • Eating Disorders Clinic
  • Diabetes
  • Hamilton Health Teams
  • Pediatric GI clinic
  • Special Immunology Services Clinic (HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis C)
  • Community Health Centres

Clinical Placements (examples) 

  • Burns/Trauma Unit
  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Hematology
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Medicine
  • Neuro-Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics
  •  Pediatric Oncology
  •  Pediatric ICU
  •  Neonatal ICU
  •  Rehabilitation
  •  Renal (St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton)
  •  Surgery
  • Orthopedics

Nutrition Health Promotion 

Nutrition health promotion experience will provide Dietetic Interns with the opportunity to engage in the assessment, promotion, protection and enhancement of health, and the prevention of nutrition-related diseases for groups, communities and/or populations using population health and nutrition health promotion approaches and strategies that focus on the interactions among the determinants of health, food security, and nutritional and overall health (Pan Canadian Task Force on Public Health Nutrition Practice, 2007, page 23).


  • Public Health Units in Hamilton, Halton
  • Community Health Centres

 Research and Health Literacy Projects

Dietetic practice, like that of other health disciplines, must be supported by a strong research base, which leads in discovery of nutritional findings and is responsive to outcome evaluation of services and programs.  The practice-based research project is designed to foster critical thinking, questioning and research activity that will strengthen the profession’s research base. 

Health Literacy refers to the ability to access, understand and act on information for health.  The patient education project will provide Dietetic Interns with the opportunity to engage in communication strategies, materials development and environment building processes that support health literacy for all patients. 

Research project and Healthy Literacy project topics are submitted annually by Registered Dietitians at Hamilton Health Sciences and from our partners in learning.  The final list of topics are driven by the priorities of Hamilton Health Sciences Dietetics  and/or the organization who submitted the topic.  Dietetic Interns rank their top research and a health literacy project choices from the respective list.  Research and Health Literacy projects are completed in pairs.




The Research topics for 2014-2015 are:

  • Describe the bowel practices and results of these practices in a pediatric ICU.  The results from this study will help inform potential bowel protocol development in this unit.
  • Do eating behaviours (external, internal, restrained) affect success in a weight control program.  Patients over the last year have completed the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire which evaluates maladaptive eating behaviours but it is not known if these behaviours affect success in a weight control program. 
  • To review the implementation of the SNAP (Supplementation Nutrition Program for Malnourished Adult inpatients) on wards at HHS in regards to product usage, wastage and administration.
  • What is the diet tolerance and patient food preferences of patients enrolled in the “Enhanced Recovery After  Surgery” protocol ?  The findings and recommendations for enhancements will help inform the evolution of this protocol.

 The Health Literacy (patient education) projects for 2014-2015 are:

  • Maximizing Calcium and Vitamin D intake in pediatric patients
  • Vegetarian diet for adult patients with chronic renal disease or on hemodialysis
  • Potential negative effects of a self-diagnosed gluten-free diet in an overweight child
  • Diet for adults with esophageal cancer
  • Maximizing Nutrition in pediatric patients with burns

Candidate Selection Process

Please forward your Dietetic Internship application package to:


Dietetic Education Coordinator
Hamilton Health Sciences, General Site
Nutrition 1-214 C
237 Barton Street East
Hamilton, ON   L8L 2X2



Application packages that meet the following criteria will be reviewed by the Selection Committee: 

  • Package is received before 12pm (noon) on February 2nd
  • Your  average is 75% or greater in your 3rd and 4th year courses for your undergraduate degree in Dietetics (including any transfer credits from a previous degree)
  • Your package is complete…we want to read your package so please be sure to follow our instructions (below).


A complete package contains the following items:

  • Personal letter – 1 page, single spaced, 1” margins, 12 point font, professionally written to express your interest in the profession and in the Hamilton Health Sciences Dietetic Internship Program
  • Resume – 2 page maximum, reverse chronological format, 1” margins, 12 point font.  Please indicate the length of each experience including the total number of hours for all work AND volunteer placements (That is, we are looking for either; # hours per week, # hours per month, or total # hours of each work and volunteer experience).
  • Transcript of marks – please send all university level transcripts
  • Contact information sheet
  • A signed Confirmation of Completion of Academic Program form
  • 3 Confidential reports – One academic reference is required.  Other references can include a previous or current employer, or a supervisor of a volunteer experience.  References from Registered Dietitians are preferred, but not necessary.   References from family members will not be accepted.

Application Package Review 

The packages that meet the criteria outlined above will be reviewed by the Selection Committee. 
We assess your package based on your:

  • Dietetic related and professional experience
  • Time management and organizational skills
  • Written communication skills
  • Content of confidential reports

Those candidates who meet the package review criteria may be invited to participate in an in-person interview (preferred).  Telephone interviews may be offered to those who cannot come in person.  Candidates will be notified about the interviews via email. 


Interviews will be held at a Hamilton Health Sciences site in late February.

The interviews will be a combination of group and one-on-one activities using a Multiple-Mini Interview format.



Interviews will assess the candidate’s:

  • Application of knowledge
  • Critical thinking
  • Professionalism and program fit
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Interpersonal and team skills

Final ranking is based on the interview experience only.

Hamilton Health Sciences will submit it’s candidate ranking form to Dietitians of Canada. Offers of Internship placement are made through the Dietitians of Canada process.

 Successful Candidates


Those who accept our offer of placement within our Dietetic Internship program will be asked to complete and forward the Dietitians of Canada Dietetic Internship Acceptance form to the Dietetic Education Coordinator as soon as possible.  Scanned and emailed copies of the form will be accepted.  Original copies must follow.


By July 1st – those who have accepted our offer of placement must submit:

  • Completed WHMIS and fire training quizzes
  • Completed immunization form
  • A sealed undergraduate transcript to verify completion of academic program, if applicable
  • Documentation for adjustment to the program based on prior learning experiences, if applicable
  • Verification of professional liability insurance coverage (available through Dietitians of Canada membership)
  • $3200 registration fee (divided post dated cheques). Please note that our fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change.
  • Additional VISA and Practical Training student fees apply. Please note that our fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change.

The Hamilton Health Sciences Dietetic Internship program is recognized by the Human Resources and Development Canada.  We will issue you an annual T220a tax receipt for your registration fees.

For further information, contact:

Dietetic Education Coordinator
Hamilton Health Sciences
Phone:  905-521-2100 x44923
Email:  studentaffairs@hhsc.ca

Updated:  May 21, 2015

Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

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