Program Information

The Department of Food and Nutrition Services plays a vital role within the facility as one of the largest support service departments. About 150 employees work in a variety of positions to serve patients, visitors and hospital staff. With a conventional, cook-serve operation and centralized patient food service, the main kitchen, patient service kitchen, and cafeteria serve approximately 1,200 patient meals and 3,800 customers daily. The Henry Ford Hospital Dietetic Internship is committed to the development of dietetic interns as beginning Registered Dietitian practitioners in the profession and as members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The program is designed with a nutrition therapy concentration. Competency statements specify what every dietitian should be able to do at the beginning of his/her practice career. The core competency statements build on appropriate knowledge and skills necessary for the entry level practitioner to perform reliably.

Communication, collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking skills are developed through both didactic and practice related experiences.

Program mission

The mission of the Henry Ford Hospital Dietetic Internship Program is to provide experiential education in Dietetics for graduates of dietetic education programs approved by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The Henry Ford Hospital dietetic internship program is a 42-week educational program in dietetics with a nutrition therapy concentration. The Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

ACEND strategic goals:

To achieve its mission and vision, the ACEND board has established strategic goals.

  • ACEND assures the quality of dietetics education through a peer review process
  • ACEND effectively communicates the accreditation process and expectations
  • ACEND fosters innovation in dietetic education.

ACEND has chosen to be recognized as an accrediting body by the federal government, through the United States Department of Education (USDE), which recognizes the quality and effectiveness of ACEND as the accrediting body for dietetics education programs.

The address and phone/FAX number of ACEND are:

120 South Riverside
Plaza Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
FAX: (312) 899-4817   PHONE:  800/877-1600 X 5400

Program goals

GOAL 1: Prepare competent and caring and motivated entry level dietetics practitioners

Outcome Measures:

  1. Graduates achieve a pass rate of 80% or greater for first-time test takers, over a 5 year period.
  2. Graduates seeking employment will be employed within 6 months of program completion.
  3. 80% of students achieve a satisfactory rating from preceptors for all entry level competencies.
  4. The program will maintain a 85% completion rate within 15 months of entering the program.
  5. 100% of employers returning surveys indicate that graduates are prepared for entry level practice and graduates exhibit competent care and professional motivation.
  6. 100% of program graduates indicate they are competent for entry-level practice.
  7. 85% of current students evaluate learning experiences as meeting competencies as outlined in the module.

GOAL 2: Develop leaders or contributing members in the profession of dietetics

Outcome Measures:

  1. 85% of graduates and current students indicate that staff guidance was satisfactory during the internship.
  2. The Allied Health Interdisciplinary Series is given a satisfactory rating for content, effective teaching methods, and overall importance to professional development.
  3. 90% of graduates and current students rate didactic classroom experiences as worthwhile to the curriculum and to professional development.
  4. 75% of graduates evaluate learning experiences, field trips and activities as satisfactory for overall helpfulness to their professional development.

GOAL 3: Contribute to the excellent patient care reputation of Henry Ford Hospital

Outcome Measures:

  1. 100% of Henry Ford Hospital staff/administrators who employ DI graduates, rate the graduate's knowledge, skills and professional characteristics as important for provision of quality patient care.
  2. 100% of the Henry Ford Interdisciplinary Health Care team, rate current intern's knowledge, skills and professional characteristics as important for provision of quality patient care.
  3. 100% of Dietetic Internship preceptors rate current intern's knowledge, skills and professional characteristics as important for provision of quality of patient care at Henry Ford Hospital.
  4. 100% of graduates and current students rate their development of critical thinking skills, organizational skills, customer service skills and communication skills as satisfactory and important for the provision of quality patient care at Henry Ford Hospital.

Program schedule

Each year the program is scheduled to begin the first Monday of October and graduation is planned for the 3rd week of July (42 weeks later).

  • Orientation - 1 week
    All interns are scheduled one week comprised of didactic learning experiences planned to introduce the dietetic intern to the basic knowledge and skills needed throughout the program, including policies and procedures and skills associated with the practice of medical nutrition therapy. Interns complete a basic clinical skills test to assess foundation knowledge and skills. Interns also attend the one day Hospital Orientation which covers:  HFHS Mission, Vision, Values and Key System Goals, Marketing, Quality Customer Service, Managed Care, Benefits, Retirement, Employee Relations, Infection Control, Employee Health and Risk Management.
  • Basic Clinical Skills - 3 weeks
    Dietetic Interns are each assigned with one Registered Dietitian faculty member to begin work toward the Basic Competencies for Dietitian Education and become familiar with the specific Nutrition Therapy Competencies. The 3 weeks are comprised of hands-on clinical supervised-practice experiences and didactic classroom experiences. After observation of the supervising RD completing these tasks, the student will be observed and evaluated completing the Nutrition Care Process as per Policy:  "Nutrition Screening, Assessment and care Plans"; completing documentation in the medical record as per policy "Recording in Patient's Medical Record"; completing a Nutrient Intake Analysis (Diet Diary) as per policy "Nutrient Intake Analysis, Limited Diet Diary"' completing patient visitation rounds (meal rounds) as per policy "Patient Visitation"; and completing the patient education process as per policy "Patient Education Nutrition Instruction". In addition, the students become familiar with HFH approved abbreviations, Medical Records, Computer functions, Nutrition Team Schedules, Instructional materials and Documentation Forms.
  • Cardiology / Patient Education - 2 weeks
    During this clinical supervised practice learning experience emphasis is on medical nutrition therapy using the nutrition care process specific to the Cardiology patient population. Some assignments include: Observation and repeat demonstration of a low cholesterol, no added salt (NAS) diet instruction with appropriate documentation in patient education record, individualized care planning, definitions of medical terms; common medications used and their nutritional implications, tests/procedures and their nutritional implications, discussion of the DASH Diet (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension), professional reading/discussion, such as "Executive Summary of Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III), mini case studies regarding Congestive heart failure, Cardiomyopathy, Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, Aortic Valve or Mitral valve replacement, Heart Transplant, Ventricular Assistive Device, and participation on interdisciplinary team rounds.
  • Internal Medicine / Infectious Disease / Transplant - 3 weeks
    During this three week clinical supervised practice learning experience a Nutritional Care Process Review is completed with the supervising dietitian for each patient, reviewing the plan of care, documentation and use of PES statements. The review also includes Meal Rounds, Collaborative Rounds, and discussion/evaluation of additional Professional reading. Reading includes but is not limited to: Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Nutrition; Adult Wound Care; Inpatient Management of Diabetes and Hyperglycemia; Nutritional Management of Liver Disease; Diverticular Disease; Prebiotic Fibers; and Motivational Interviewing: Guiding Clients Through Behavior Change.
  • Oncology / Hematology - 2 weeks
    During this two week clinical supervised practice learning experience emphasis is on medical nutrition therapy using the nutrition care process specific to both the in-patient and out-patient Oncology patient population.  Some assignments include: Out-patient experiences for radiation oncology, tumor board, and Downriver Clinic discussing both Palliative Medicine and Hospice Care;  Observation of an in-patient bone marrow transplantation with discussion of nutritional consequences including graft-versus-host disease; an A.N.D. evidence analysis library assignment; a case-study, a complementary/alternative medicine assignment; and discussion of nutritional management of side effects of Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy.
  • Pediatrics - 2 weeks (at Children's Hospital)
    Dietetic Interns attend their Pediatric supervised practice experience at Children's Hospital of Michigan in both in-patient and out-patient nutrition services.  They complete a comprehensive Pediatric nutrition project; an assessment on patients in different stages of the life-cycle (infant, toddler, adolescent); they collect and evaluate food intake data from children/families; they counsel patients/families and research/write and present a critical analysis of a current peer-reviewed scientific article.  The Henry Ford Hospital Dietetic Internship program maintains a contract with Children's Hospital of Michigan.
  • Neurology / ALS - 2 weeks
    During the Neurology / ALS clinical supervised practice experience the interns participate for two days with the interdisciplinary health care team in the ALS clinic, spend time with Speech Language Pathologists and Rehabilitation Services, and are again audited on Patient visitation, Nutrition Notes, Nutrition Care Process Nutrient intake analyses, Nutrition Histories, and Nutrition Educations.  Extensive practice with the provision of medical Nutrition Therapy for patients with dysphagia, stroke and epilepsy is also provided.
  • Nephrology - 2 weeks
    During the Nephrology clinical supervised practice learning experience interns:  Define Nephrology terms and medications; complete Nephrology pre-test; complete 2 biochemical case worksheets by interpreting lab values related to nutrition intake; observe RD complete minimum of one nutrition history and one diet instruction; complete a minimum of one Pre-Renal or Renal (HD) diet instruction supervised by RD; Calculate meal plans for diabetic and non-diabetic renal patients with pre ESRD, on HD and CAPD; follow a Renal, hemodialysis diet for one day (3 meals); write a reflection on their experience; complete the questions for two renal case studies; Take and be able to pass the Nephrology post test with 80% accuracy.
  • Dialysis - 1 week
    During the Dialysis out-patient supervised practice learning experience the dietetic interns:  Define and use medical terminology related to chronic hemodialysis; describe the different types of vascular access and the risk/benefit of each; explain the interrelationship of serum calcium, serum phosphorus, and vitamin D, secondary hyperparathyroidism, and parathyroidectomy; review 6 assigned professional articles and be able to incorporate knowledge into practice; describe Intradialytic Parenteral Nutrition: components, calculation, and appropriateness of use; complete a nutritional assessment and care plan on assigned client and assess for use of nutritional supplements or Intradialytic Parenteral Nutrition; discuss nutrition related laboratory values and determine appropriate recommendations; review appropriate forms necessary for application to various agencies for nutritional supplementation; counsel patient and/or family on diet for hemodialysis, with sample meal plan included; and complete a case study as their post-test review.
  • Mid-Term Review - 1 week
    During the Mid-Term review clinical supervised practice learning experience Dietetic Interns address the nutritional needs and the educational needs of all patients on modified diets and/or receiving enteral nutrition.  This learning experience is a mid-program evaluation of basic competencies for dietitian education and the nutrition therapy competencies.  This is accomplished through the use of the audit process to evaluate the intern's ability to complete/individualize the nutritional Care Process, ability to calculate and document nutrient intake analyses, initial nutrition notes and follow-up notes with nutritional plans of care, the ability to gather and assess pertinent information during patient visitation/meal rounds, the ability to take diet histories and the ability to perform patient/family education.  A mini peer review audit is also completed along with a re-take and evaluation of the Basic Clinical Skills Test.
  • Critical Care - Surgical - 2 weeks
    During the Critical Care-Surgical clinical supervised practice learning experience the dietetic interns complete patient/family education regarding:  Discharge tube feeding instructions, post-gastrectomy diets, esophageal diets, ileostomy diets, colostomy diets, and diets for diverticular diseases.  The interns also describe and/or observe a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy or jejunostomy procedure, attend weekly rounds with the INTERDISCPLINARY team on assigned patients, and attend daily rounds on assigned patients with faculty.  Two days of this experience are dedicated to Bariatric Surgery Services, where the intern participates in all activities of the Registered Dietitian faculty and interdisciplinary health care team.  Students have the option of observing the actual surgical procedure.
  • Critical Care - Medical - 2 weeks
    During the Critical Care-Medical clinical supervised practice learning experience the dietetic interns spend a day with Nutrition Support Services, complete sample problems regarding feeding regimens and complications, complete medication information and how it relates to medical nutrition therapy, and complete several case studies as an evaluation tool to assess competencies.
  • Diabetes Self-Management Program - 2 weeks
    During the Diabetes Self-Management out-patient supervised practice learning experience the dietetic interns have the opportunity to participate in several of the system's Diabetes care Centers.  The interns participate in professional reading; observe and assist in the normal operational functions of the diabetes care center including the Patient Encounter Process and perform calculation of diet instructions; attend the Diabetes Self-Management Education Program sessions taught by the R.D. CDE. and the Nurse Diabetes Educator training a patient on:  Self-monitoring of blood glucose, measuring and injecting insulin, recording of self-monitoring and insulin injection, and depression screening; observe Gestational Diabetes teaching by the R.D.; observe the diabetes education coach teach a patient on intensive diabetes management methods; assist the educator and patients with carbohydrate counting from food labels or menus as appropriate; observe diabetes insulin pump therapy; observe and assist with diet instructions and documentation; and learn about proper glucose monitor use and injection technique.
  • Clinical Management - 2 weeks
    During the Clinical Management / Management supervised practice learning experience the interns have the opportunity to:  Schedule two or three elective days with goals for each day and pre-determined measurable objectives (one day must be arranged with the Out-Patient Transplant Dietitian); Review a Human Resources presentation regarding "Progressive Discipline"; and complete a 'mock' counseling session for corrective action; complete a 'mock' performance appraisal; review policies regarding quality assurance and conduct compliance audits; read "Hardwiring Excellence" by the Studer Group, LLC and review the Service Excellence materials available on "HENRY" the HFHS Intranet; review/discuss "Inlet Isles" A Hospital Foodservice Case Study by Amy Allen-Chabot, Suzanne Curtis and Alma Blake; review/discuss ADA Advocacy Guide; review/discuss ADA's "Working with the Media" handbook; review/discuss ADA's "Marketing Yourself" collection of Journal Articles; and review/discuss the 4 most current issues of "Eat Right Weekly" A.N.D. Policy Initiatives and Advocacy Report. Further discussion involves: actions to reduce absenteeism; job description/standards of performance for a clinical dietitian; quality improvement team meetings; interdepartmental conflict; the departmental peer review process for clinical dietitian staff; risk management; and research terminology.
  • Food Service - 5 weeks
    The Food Service supervised practice learning experience is divided into 3 weeks with Retail Food Service and 2 weeks with Patient Food Service. The Dietetic Interns have the opportunity to complete a merchandising project in the retail area which includes: menu planning, meal forecasting, recipe standardization, marketing, inventory control, and the bill paying process. In the Patient Services component, the dietetic interns shadow each member of the management team discussing each area of their daily job duties, complete safety and sanitation audits, discuss the budgeting process and plan/prepare a "monotony breaker" meal for the patients.
  • Center for Senior Independence - 1 week
    During this out-patient supervised practice learning experience at the Center for Senior Independence, the dietetic interns participate in all of the duties of the Registered Dietitian including Individual counseling, day Health Center Meal Service, Multidisciplinary team meetings, basic Senior Nutrition presentations, and field visits to long term care facility or food vendors. In addition, students spend time with Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Dentistry; they conduct a supermarket tour with Recreation Therapy staff and CSI participants; and prepare an in-service for the staff.
  • Nursing Home Management - 1 week
    During this supervised practice learning experience at the Henry Ford Health Systems long term care facilities, the dietetic intern has the opportunity to work toward all basic competencies for dietitian education along with several of the nutrition therapy competencies. There is an emphasis on the management competencies where the dietetic intern participates in quality assurance audits regarding sanitation, tube feeding, tray accuracy and temperature; visits the residents and completes mandated assessments according to established procedures; presents an in-service training session with employees; evaluates and/or implements standard enteral nutrition regimes for 2-4 residents; participates in a resident nutritional care conference. In addition the written assignments cover: menu planning, special feeding devices, orientation of new employees; ordering, inventory and preparation of a food order, annual survey process for long term facilities and nutrition care planning for specific conditions.
  • Clinical Staff Responsibility / Patient Care - 5 weeks
    The Clinical Staff responsibility supervised practice experience is designed for the student to demonstrate the knowledge and skills of an entry level clinical dietitian by assuming responsibility for managing clinical nutrition services for 50-60 in-patients. The dietetic intern will demonstrate and be evaluated on the basic competencies for dietitian education and the nutrition therapy emphasis competencies.
  • Community Nutrition – 1 week
    This learning experience is designed for the dietetic intern to become familiar with various community resources and opportunities for nutrition services in community settings.  Students will complete several assignments/ experiences including but not limited to:  An Evidence Based Case Study,; Heart Smart® Recipe Development; School based feeding/nutrition programs; Self-Health Programs; Sports Nutrition programs; Geriatric Nutrition Programs; Eating Disorder Programs; WIC; Cardiac Rehabilitation; Cooking Matters programs.
  • Two weeks of vacation are included resulting in 40 weeks of experiences.  Five Holidays are scheduled during the 42 weeks. Christmas and New Year's Day are included in the one week December vacation and the remaining three are scheduled for Thanksgiving, Memorial Day and Forth of July.

Classes and field trips are scheduled on a month-to-month basis and are listed on a monthly meeting schedule. Interns are expected to be responsible for the content of all classes. If classes are scheduled during vacations, on scheduled days off or when interns are off-campus, arrangements for class notes, handouts and/or to tape lectures should be made.

Dietetic Interns must be able to demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange and teaming with patients, their patients' families, and professional associates and preceptors. Dietetic Interns are expected to: Create and sustain a therapeutic and ethically sound relationship with patients; use effective listening skills and elicit and provide information using effective nonverbal, explanatory, critical thinking and writing skills; and work effectively with others as a member of the interdisciplinary health care team.

Dietetic Interns must demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity to a diverse patient population. Dietetic Interns are expected to: Demonstrate respect, compassion, and integrity; a responsiveness to the needs of patients and society that super-cedes self-interest; show accountability to patients, society, and the profession; demonstrate a commitment to excellence and on-going professional development; demonstrate a commitment to ethical principles pertaining to provision or withholding of clinical care, confidentiality of patient information, and business practices; demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to patients' culture, age, gender and disabilities.

Graduate credit

Students accepted into the Henry Ford Hospital dietetic internship are invited to apply to pursue a Master's program at Wayne State University in Detroit. Applicants admitted to the program may earn up to four (4) credit hours of supervised field experience (NFS 5992) and up to four (4) credit hours of practicum in nutrition (NFS 5260), in association with the dietetic internship experience during their first and second semesters in the program, respectively. Grades for these courses will be deferred until completion of a minimum of 8 credit hours of the general requirement courses with at least a grade of B. 

For further information, please contact Dr. Promod Khosla at (313) 577-2500.

The Department of Nutrition and Food Science
Wayne State University
3009 Science Hall
Detroit, MI 48202

Graduation requirements

The criteria for the graduation from the Henry Ford Hospital Dietetic Internship Program follow:

  1. 100% of the assignments and evaluations are completed.
  2. At least 80% of the evaluation criteria for performance must be scored as 2 (70-79%) or above. The other 20% must minimally be scored at 1 (60-69%) (exception Renal and Critical Care Experiences which must be scored at 1 (60-69%) or above for all criteria).
  3. An overall performance score of 3 or higher must be received in the Internal Medicine experience which is scheduled after a minimum of 5 weeks of Clinical Experience.
  4. Remedial work, if required, must be successfully completed.(Criteria for successful completion of remedial work is based on the DI's specific needs and required experiences and the specific criteria developed for the remediation.)
  5. Individual criteria for all audits / reviews must be achieved in the Clinical Staff Responsibility experience.
  6. A resume must be completed and on file.
  7. A preliminary copy of "The Individualized Professional Development Portfolio" must be completed and on file.
  8. A "Permission for Reference" form must be signed and on file.

When the program is successfully completed, the DIs graduate, and on the last day of the program receive six copies of the "Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) Verification Statement" signed by the Internship Director. The signed "Verification Statement" attests to the fact that a DI has completed the requirements of a CADE accredited internship program and the specific requirements of the Henry Ford Hospital Dietetic Internship Program.

General program information

  1. Dietetic Intern Responsibilities
    Dietetic Interns must be courteous, respectful, and compassionate toward fellow interns, employees, patients and visitors. Defining statements:
    • Attitude is everything. Create a lasting impression
    • "Is there anything else I can do for you? I have the time."
    • Every interaction is important
    • Promote and maintain a clean environment
    • Act as an ambassador of Henry Ford Hospital and Health network by living the values and taking pride in this organization
    • Dress for respect and success - Interns wear professional business clothing with a white lab coat or a while uniform and white shoes. The departmental dress code must be followed. Jeans and similar casual clothes are not worn in the Hospital at any time.
    • Respect the need for privacy in all instances
    • Timing is everything, keep the patient/customer updated on what is going on when there is any delay in service, and when they should expect another update
    • Be a team player, and know that by helping each other we help our patients.
  2. Transportation
    Interns should have a car as the availability of public transportation is very limited. Traveling is required, especially when assigned to community experiences.
  3. Employment
    The Internship Program is demanding and challenging, requiring organization, self discipline and stamina. Because of these demands, the Program faculty strongly recommend that interns not be employed during the Program.
  4. English Fluency
    Fluency in written and spoken English is essential to succeed in the program and to ensure patient safety. If English is a second language, you must be able to demonstrate fluency. Satisfactory performance on the Test of English as a Foreign Language examination or the Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency must be documented as proof of fluency. Your test results must be less than two years old.
  5. Financial Aid
    The Henry Ford Hospital Dietetic Internship Program does not participate in any financial aid or scholarship programs. The Internship Director will supply documentation, as requested, for a loan deferment or to continue participation on a parent's health insurance policy. The document states that the Dietetic Intern is a full time student in a 42 week Hospital based program and has paid $4200.00 in tuition.
  6. Program Manual
    A Program Manual, with complete information regarding specific policies and procedures pertaining to the Dietetic Internship Program, is available to all students accepted into the program and to all potential students upon request, prior to the application process.


  1. Health Care
    A pre-placement medical evaluation is given. There are on-site employee health services for infection control screening and occupational health for work related injury evaluations.
  2. Medical Insurance
    Students must have medical insurance coverage during their program. Medical insurance can be purchased through Health Alliance Plan. To buy HAP solo insurance you need to be appointed to the Dietetic Internship Program. You can also choose to have your medical insurance covered through other, non-HFH plans (i.e., insurance held through a parent or spouse, or an independent commercial plan). Evidence of medical coverage must be provided when your educational program begins.
  3. Liability Insurance
    Interns have full professional liability insurance from HFH. Interns must carry their own personal liability insurance.
  4. Library
    Interns have free use of the Sladen Medical Library. This includes computer searches, internet, interlibrary loans and copy service.
  5. Loans
    We no longer participate in the Guaranteed Student Loan program.
  6. Meals
    Interns may receive a meal allowance on scheduled workdays.
  7. Living Accommodations
    There are a variety of moderately priced apartments available within easy access to the Hospital. Housing is available for dietetic interns in the hospital owned and operated apartment building located on the hospital campus for $275.00 / month.
  8. Parking
    Interns are given guarded, assigned parking. From the parking lot, they ride the free shuttle directly to the Hospital.
  9. Security
    The Hospital is very conscious of the safety of its staff and students. Security personnel, on request, will provide security escorts to staff and students.


  1. Application Fee
    An application fee of $75 is nonrefundable. It is sent with the completed application. Applicants are not considered with the accompanying fee.
  2. Tuition and Fees, 2011-2012
    Tuition is $4,300.The check for tuition must be postmarked no later than September 1, of the year the Internship begins. Tuition includes Registration at an ADA Registration Exam Review Course, the Henry Ford Hospital annual symposium and all field trips. Tuition is refundable at 50% up to the end of week two (2) and is non-refundable after week two (2) of the program. Travel expenses are usually about $300-500. Other costs vary according to each intern's needs. There may be costs for lab coats and uniforms, as well as textbooks and miscellaneous other supplies that interns might find helpful.
  3. Professional Memberships
    Proof of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics membership is required by the beginning of the Internship. Applications for the South Eastern Michigan Dietetic Association (SEMDA) are sent to each incoming intern. Proof of membership is required by the beginning of the Internship.

Awards, grants, scholarships and stipends

DEP Scholarship (open to A.N.D. members)
For more information, contact the Education and Accreditation Team at

Earning potential

Based on the nationwide Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics “Compensation and Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession”, the median salary for registered dietitians is $58,000. Salary levels vary with geographical location, scope of responsibility, employment settings and supply of registered dietitians.