A review of the data on the demand for dietetic internships in relation to the number of available positions indicates that the supply is not keeping up with demand. The data are being provided, by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), so that students who are currently enrolled in Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD) or those who are considering becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) are aware of this situation in order to make informed career decisions. To summarize the chart showing the Supply and Demand for Dietetic Internships since 1993, demand for internships rose to a peak in 1997, followed by a downturn that bottomed out in 2001. Since then, the demand has been rising and now exceeds the 1997 high with no significant increase in the number of positions since 2003. As a result, competition for internships is fierce.
Supply and Demand for Dietetic Internships since 1993
Although ACEND has no authority to mandate an increase in the number of Dietetic Internship programs, it is firmly committed to working with the education community and the dietetics profession to make more positions available as soon as possible and to develop a long-term solution that enables all qualified students to complete their education and sit for the RD exam. In the meantime, current and prospective dietetics students should review the suggestions to improve their chances at getting a dietetics internship position.