Frequently Asked Questions

To what extent do interns work together during the internship?

For almost all the rotations, interns rotate by themselves. Each intern is paired and works primarily with an assigned preceptor. Occasionally, interns' schedules overlap in some rotations. In that case, the intern still has his or her own preceptor and would be engaged in different work on a daily basis. During the three week Business Plan Rotation interns work as part of a team to create and deliver the plan.

What projects are interns involved in throughout the internship?

Most rotations have assignments designed to help prepare interns for the start of the rotation. In clinical, interns conduct research and give presentations that relate to patients they cared for and nutrition-related disease states. In food service, interns work on management projects, such as implementing a new menu item at a retail operation. Interns compete in a recipe contest. There is a business plan project, where interns learn how to research, create, present, and implement a business plan.

How is intern progress measured?

Interns are evaluated by their preceptors after every rotation. Presentations are video-taped and evaluated by peers and other staff members to help interns improve public speaking skills. There are pre-rotation assignments, but there are no tests or exams during the internship.

How is the working relationship between doctors/nurses in the hospital and Registered Dietitians (RD)?

Mass General healthcare team works collaboratively to provide the highest standard of patient care. The clinical environments in which interns practice is conducive to learning and all members of the healthcare team are dedicated to teaching. RDs and interns work together with nurses, psychiatry, speech pathology, social work, physical therapy, and other health care professionals.

Are the rotation sites at or near Mass General or is travel required?

A car is not necessary for this internship. All rotations are accessible by public transportation. The majority of rotations are on the main campus of the hospital. Mass General is conveniently located by two MBTA stops: MGH/Charles on the Red Line and Lechmere on the Green Line. Interns are able to purchase MBTA passes at reduced monthly rates through Mass General. Mass General also offers a free, covered, and locked bike cage for any of those that ride to work. For the Health Centers Rotation, interns can use free shuttle buses to get to Mass General Health Centers in Chelsea, Everett, and Revere, MA (about 10 minute drive away). Click here to learn more about the Mass General Brigham Shuttle Service. Please note, weekday parking is not available at Mass General.

What are the intern class days like?

Interns have monthly class days with other Boston internship programs. This is a great way to network with other interns. Topics can vary from year to year based on evaluations by attendees. Topics covered in recent years include: professional development, sports nutrition, nutrition support, pediatric nutrition, obesity, diabetes and motivational interviewing. In addition, there are tutorials held with fellow Mass General interns on most non-class Mondays of the internship year.

Do interns work during the internship?

The Department of Nutrition & Food Services catering operations employs interns on an as needed basis. Some interns also opt for a part time job, but please note, jobs with minimal, flexible hours are most appropriate.

What are some perks of being a dietetic intern?

Dietetic interns have their own office with two computers and personal lockers. Interns are eligible for Mass General membership rates at the Clubs at Charles River Park. Dietetic interns are eligible for free weekend and weeknight parking in designated Mass General parking garages located on the main campus, but weekday parking is not available. Interns also receive weekly e-mails that list current perks offered to Mass General employees. These benefits include discounted tickets to world famous shows performing in Boston, local events and amusement parks, movie theaters, and discounts for various vendors. Each day, interns are allotted $7 for lunch, valid at any of the eight Mass General retail operations.

Is health care coverage provided?

Health insurance is offered to interns at Mass General rates at up to $65 per month depending on plan chosen.

Are there any holidays or time off during the internship year?

Interns are scheduled to work a 40-hour work week, but rarely work weekends. Monday through Friday the intern is expected to work eight-hour shifts beginning as early as 6:00 AM and starting as late as 12:30 PM. Interns are scheduled off on the nine Mass General-recognized holidays, as well as one week of vacation. One week of vacation is scheduled during the Christmas holiday. While interns are scheduled to work a 40-hour week, assignments, projects, and readings often require additional time.

See the list of Mass General holidays > 

In which neighborhoods do interns typically live?

Interns live in a variety of neighborhoods. Some popular choices, based on price and location, include: Cambridge, Beacon Hill, Somerville, Allston, and Brighton. Many interns recommend that you live near a Red Line stop, since this is the closest line to Mass General.

What is the first time RD exam pass rate for your program?

The first time pass rate is 95% over the past 5 years.

What is the annual cost for an intern?

It's hard to give a total annual cost. Based on some interns' experiences, living expenses can range from $900 to $1,400 per month for rent, utilities, food, transportation, and other bills. The most updated tuition and fees are listed in the Financial Aid section. Interns can take out loans through the program and any college loans can be deferred during the internship year. Interns who take out loans do not have to start paying them back until six months post-graduation.

When can I come to visit and learn more about the program?

Tours are every Friday at 10am. If you cannot make this time, email Patricia Engel and she can work with you to schedule a convenient time for a visit. During the tour, prospective interns attend an informational meeting with the program director that includes time for questions. Then, a current intern will gives a tour of the different rotation areas and answer any further questions. Learn more about how to schedule a visit here.