Hamilton Health Sciences
Student Placements

Hamilton Health Sciences Dietetic Internship Program

To become a Registered Dietitian in Canada requires 3 steps: 

  1. Graduation from a Dietitians of Canada Accredited Undergraduate Program in Nutrition/Dietetics
  2. Successful completion of a program of supervised practical experience, accredited by Dietitians of Canada (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. 

Applicants to this program must apply through Dietitians of Canada. Hamilton Health Sciences accepts 10 Interns through Dietitians of Canada.  Please refer to the Program description and Selection process outlined below.    

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."


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


The Program begins the day after Labour Day.  Placements will be scheduled in the Hamilton-Niagara-Halton region and across all Hamilton Health Sciences sites:  McMaster Hospital, Children's Hospital, Chedoke Hospital, General Hospital, Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, and St. Peter's Hospital.  While most placements are within the Hamilton community, please be aware that you will be required to travel to your placement site.


# of weeks



Management/Food Service


Nutrition Care:

   Pre-Clinical Placement (3 weeks)
   Outpatient (7 weeks)
   Diabetes for 3 weeks + other choice for 4 weeks
   Inpatient Clinical (12 weeks) 3 choices for 4 weeks each
   Consolidation (4  weeks)


Nutrition Health Promotion (Community)


Research Project


Health Literacy Project














Management / Food Service

Hamilton Health Sciences offers a unique environment for interns to develop skills in Food Services/Management.  Dietetic interns are exposed to:

  • Food service related project
  • Food service operations in various hospitals 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

 Outpatient Placements (examples) 

  • Bariatrics
  • Cancer Centre
  •  Cardiac Health and Rehabilitation
  •  Children’s Exercise and Nutrition Clinic
  •  Eating Disorders Clinic
  •  Diabetes (Hamilton Health Sciences, Stoney Creek Community Health Centre, Halton Diabetes Program)
  • Hamilton Family Health Team
  • Niagara Family Health Team
  • Pediatric GI clinic
  • Special Immunology Services Clinic (HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis C)
  • Stonechurch and West End McMaster Family Health Team

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 (examples) 

These experiences are provided in a variety of settings, including Public Health offices and Community Health Centres. The Internship experience at Hamilton Health Sciences is further enhanced through our affiliation with a number of agencies in the community, including:

  • City of Hamilton – Public Health Unit
  • Guelph Community Health Centre
  • North Hamilton Community Health Centre
  • Oneida First Nation of the Thames
  • Region of Halton – Public Health Unit
  •  Region of Waterloo – Public Health Unit
  •  Quest Community Health Centre

 Research and Health Literacy Projects

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 choose a research and a health literacy project from the respective list.  Research projects are completed in pairs.  Health Literacy projects are completed individually.




The Research topics for 2013-2014 are:

  • Craving Change program review 
  • Comparison of the Enteral nutrition regime prescribed by the RD vs documented in eDoc (our computerized chart) vs the amount infused as indicated on the enteral pump in adult and pediatric patients  
  • Is there a relationship between eating behaviours (restrictors, internal and external eaters) and nutritional intake in obese children
  • Do Hamilton’s small food retail stores offer healthy food options?
  • What are the long term outcomes of those patients with Type 2 Diabetes who participated in the Glucerna weight loss study?

 The Health Literacy (patient education) projects for 2013-2014 are:

  • Carb crash (for children and teens)
  • High cal,  low Na (for cystic fibrosis and/or heart failure patients)
  • Reintroducing foods FODMAP Diet
  • PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)
  • An oral diet when you have Short bowel syndrome

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 3rd
  • 70% or greater cumulative average in the courses required for the undergraduate degree in Dietetics (including any transfer credits from a previous degree)
  • Package is complete



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 volunteer placements.
  • Transcript of marks – please send all university level transcripts
  • Contact information sheet
  • A signed Confirmation of Completion of Academic Program form
  • 3 Confidential reports – An 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 

Complete application packages will be reviewed by the Selection Committee and assessed for:

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

Only 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
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Interpersonal and team skills


Final ranking is based on performance in the interview 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.  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 Health Sciences WHMIS and fire training quizzes
  • Completed Hamilton Health Sciences immunization form
  • A sealed undergraduate transcript to verify completion of academic program
  • 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)
  • $3000 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.

For further information, contact:

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

Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

Disclaimer: Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) offers Google Translate to better facilitate access for our community. However, HHS makes no claims regarding the accuracy of translations. Any and all health information should be verified by a health care professional.