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 know from talking to interns in other dietetic programs that I'm lucky to have done my internship at HHS, just based on what kind of experiences are offered here and how well organized it is.” 


"This program has met and extended beyond my expectations. I have grown personally and professional and feel totally confident to tackle any RD position that's thrown my way!  Thank you so much for an unforgettable year!!” 


“The Dietitians at HHS are so knowledgeable and so willing to teach that they make learning an exciting experience. They also have fostered such amazing interprofessional relationships that it's exciting to see the respect a Dietitian can have in a hospital. It gives me something to strive for in my future professional practice."


“The greatest strengths of the program are how well-rounded it is, with real experiences in each placement that I've never had or truly understood before; how each placement challenged me and helped me grow as a professional and push myself to enhance my knowledge/skills throughout the entire program; and how challenging and supportive (and patient!) all my preceptors/supervisors were.”


“Strengths….Variety of placements, RD's that are passionate about dietetics and work hard with interns to help them succeed, education weeks prior to placement was so helpful- great refresher, good to orient ourselves to the hospitals and get to know some of the RD's before our rotations. This also facilitated relationship building among the Interns.”


 "I think this internship is such a strong program. I would recommend it to anyone.  I especially liked the number of clinical placements and the areas we had the opportunity to complete them in! I loved having 9 other interns to share the experience with. I like the balance of group work and independent work."

  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















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.

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.

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
  • Community Health Centres

Clinical Placements (examples) 

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

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 2015-2016 are:

  • What is the experience with a previous RD, at another setting, before attending an hospital based pediatric obesity treatment program? 
  • A systematic review and critical analysis of definitions of food literacy and nutrition literacy found in the academic literature using systematic review methods and the use of NVivo data analysis. Measures of food literacy and nutrition literacy will also be examined. 
  • What are the caloric requirements in IBD (Crohn’s) patients who are receiving exclusive enteral nutrition as a primary treatment for active IBD?
  • Impact and implementation of the Malnutrition Screening Tool on medicine floors.  

 The Health Literacy (patient education) projects for 2015-2016 are:

  • Healthy eating in stroke
  • Nutrition Myths in Cancer
  • Food elimination diet in a pediatric population
  • Re-introducing feeding after tube feed in pediatrics
  • Short Bowel Syndrome in the NICU

Candidate Selection Process

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.

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 4 pm on February 1st
  • Your cumulative average is 75% or greater across completed core dietetics 3rd and 4th year level undergraduate courses (that is, business, science, social science and health-related, courses).  We will also include any 3rd and 4th year level credits in business, science, social science and health-related courses from a previous degree in your average calculation
  • 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:  September 22, 2015

Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

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