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Dietetic Internship (NODIP)

The Northern Ontario Dietetic Internship Program (NODIP) is administered by the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), in collaboration with multiple preceptors, communities, and facilities throughout Northern Ontario. NODIP is nationally accredited and thus has been designed to develop the competencies required of an entry-level dietitian.

NOSM’s social accountability mandate and a commitment to community engaged and distributed learning is the foundation of NODIP. 

Standing Tall: NODIP@NOSM

Since 2007, the Northern Ontario Dietetic Internship Program (NODIP) has demonstrated a commitment to improving the health of Northern communities. Graduates are trained by dedicated preceptors and committed organizations. Upon completion of their program, NODIP graduates work in diverse practice settings, serving their communities in different ways. To learn more about NODIP, view the video Standing Tall: NODIP@NOSM, created recently by Dr. Hoi Cheu, Professor of English and Film Studies at Laurentian University.

Achievement Report

Since 2007, NOSM has offered the Northern Ontario Dietetic Internship Program, a 46-week internship that teaches dietetic interns the skills and knowledge they need for rural and Northern practice. In July of 2017, NODIP celebrated the tenth graduation of NODIP interns. Here are some of the many successes the program and its faculty, learners, and graduates have garnered over the years.

NODIP Achievement Report

About the Program

NODIP provides practical experience for students to obtain the Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice. The internship is a comprehensive 46-week program in which students are exposed to nutrition care, population and public health, and management roles in dietetics.

NODIP offers a wide range of challenging learning experiences in a variety of practice settings including:

  • Regional Hospitals
  • Family Health Teams
  • Public Health Units
  • Community Health Centres
  • Long-Term Care Facilities
  • Small Rural Hospitals
  • Aboriginal Communities
  • Indigenous Communities

This internship will help you develop the unique skills required to meet the growing demand for health professionals in Northern and rural communities.

Up to 12 successful applicants will be selected annually for this 46-week program which begins in early September. Interns will live and practice in one of three primary sites: Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, and Sudbury.

For additional information about the Northern Ontario Dietetic Internship Program please view the NODIP program video developed for the virtual forum.  The video can be found on the Dietitians of Canada Website here.

Applicants must apply through Dietitians of Canada (DC). Please refer to Application & Selection Process for more details.

Program Outline

Orientation / Professional Development: 2 weeks
Food Service and Management: 7 weeks
Clinical Nutrition Care: 18 weeks
Population and Public Health*: 10 weeks
Practice-Based Project: 4 weeks
Staff Relief: 3 weeks
Vacation: 2 weeks
Total (including vacation): 46 weeks

*Includes a six-week Public Health Unit placement.

A minimum three to six-week rural placement is required for this program. NOSM housing is provided for placements outside of the intern’s primary site.

Rotation Examples

Rotations/placements are available for each component of the program. Below are examples; exact placements cannot be guaranteed and may change year to year.

Food Service and Management

  • Food service operations in a  hospital or long term care facility
  • Human resources management
  • Working in a unionized environment
  • Project management

Outpatients

  • Regional bariatric assessment centres
  • Cancer centres
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Diabetes programs
  • Family health teams

Inpatient Clinical

  • Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Long-term care
  • Oncology
  • Surgery
  • Renal Care
  • Critical care
  • Pediatrics

Population and Public Health

  • Public health units
  • Indigenous community health centres
  • Health Canada, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch
  • Family health teams
  • Community health centres

Practice Based Projects

Topics are submitted annually by RD preceptors from the various NODIP placement sites. Two dietetic interns are paired and then assigned to a project, which is completed over the internship year, including four scheduled research weeks.

2017-18 Projects and Accepted Abstracts

  • Hands on! Dietitians’ perception of expressive touch in client encounters (Dietitians of Canada National Conference-oral presentation)
  • Evaluation of the BALANCE Program: Parental Confidence to Support Healthy Behaviours in Children-Phase 1 (NOSM Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) Academic Week-workshop)
  • Protein and calorie intake, physical activity levels, and weight loss rates of post-surgical bariatric patients
  • Implications of using food as a reward: Public health professionals’ perspectives for effective communication strategies
  • Nutrition and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A needs assessment and environmental scan to inform nutrition curriculum and training for non-medical diagnostic and therapeutic service providers in Northern Ontario-Phase 1 (Dietitians of Canada National Conference-poster, Northern Health Research Conference-poster)

2018-19 Projects

  • An evaluation of NODIP preceptor training needs
  • A needs assessment and environmental scan to inform Culinary Medicine Lab (CML) curriculum for NOSM UME learners
  • An evaluation of the training needs of mental health workers delivering food/nutrition workshops to clients with mental health conditions
  • Evaluation of the BALANCE Program: Parental Confidence to Support Healthy Behaviours in Children-Phase 2
  • Nutrition and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A needs assessment and environmental scan to inform nutrition curriculum and training for non-medical diagnostic and therapeutic service providers in Northern Ontario-Phase 2

 

Examples of poster presentations include:

Therapeutic Christmas hampers: Impact on nutrition knowledge, attitudes and behaviour with hemodialysis patients (Northern Health Research Conference 2017, Thunder Bay Regional Hospital Research Day 2018)

Knowledge and attitudes of NOSM medical students on the importance of a supportive food environment and its relationship to healthy eating (Dietitians of Canada National Conference 2017)

Nutrition and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A needs assessment and environmental scan to inform nutrition curriculum and training for non-medical diagnostic and therapeutic service providers in Northern Ontario (Dietitians of Canada National Conference 2018, Northern Health Research Conference 2018)

Student Awards/Bursaries and NODIP Recipients

Dietitians of Canada Morgan Award

For achievements of research projects by dietetic interns or practicum students.

Kira Schan (National Medal recipient) (NODIP Class 2008-09)

Jill Ingribelli (Quebec and Northeast Ontario Region) (NODIP Class 2015-16)

 

Dietitians of Canada Graduate Student Award

Recognizes outstanding academic performance in master’s and PhD programs.

Julie Stachiw (NODIP Class of 2011-12)

 

Dietitians of Canada Judy Van Tilburg Dietetic Intern Bursary

Professional development and networking opportunity at the National Conference.

Julia Freeman (NODIP Class 2011-12)

Brianne Ozimok (NODIP Class 2014-15)

NODIP and NOSM Medical Students

One of NOSM’s Academic Principles is interprofessionalism where learners in all of NOSM’s programs learn with, from and about each other as developing and practicing health care professionals.

For the past three years NODIP interns along with RD preceptors and faculty have delivered nutrition workshops to Year 2 medical students during Academic Week.

In 2017-18, NODIP piloted Culinary Medicine Labs which blends the art of food and cooking with the science of medicine. Through the support of RD facilitators and dietetic interns the pilot was a success.  It has been expanded on both NOSM campuses and is continuing in 2018-19 with efforts to formally integrate this curriculum into the UME Program.

To our knowledge, NODIP is the first Canadian internship program to include dietetic interns in the CML model of medical education training.

 

Professional Development and NODIP Resources

NODIP’s professional development includes an annual calendar of workshops on topics including research and data analysis, program evaluation, health literacy and clear language, pediatrics, renal disease, food allergies, the International Dietetics and Nutrition Terminology and Nutrition Care Process. There may also opportunities to attend events and workshops offered during some rotations and/or by organizations such as Dietitians of Canada.

NODIP SharePoint Site

As a distributed learning program, the learning SharePoint site is the primary tool for communication. The site includes:

  • All placement information, intern schedules and materials online.
  • Common performance objectives and evaluation forms.
  • A Resource Centre of workshop materials, additional resources and references.

Competency Tools

Working with Francophones    (Guide d’apprentissage francophone : EMNO Sciences de la santé)

Assess your Francophone culture and health knowledge.  Complete the online module called Working with Francophones: NOSM Health Sciences Learning Guide and receive a professional development certificate.

Working with Indigenous People

Assess your Indigenous culture and health knowledge.  Complete the online module called Working with Indigenous Peoples: NOSM Health Sciences Learning Guide and receive a professional development certificate.

 

Shown below: NODIP’s professional development opportunities include an annual calendar of workshops on topics including a Growth Assessment Workshop.

Northern Ontario Dietetic Internship Program student measuring a baby's head circumference.