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About Us

The Dietetic Practicum Program (DPP) is administered by NOSM University in collaboration with multiple preceptors, communities, and facilities throughout Northern Ontario.  DPP is a nationally accredited professional program that provides practical, hands-on dietetic experience that enables students to obtain the Integrated Competencies For Dietetic Education and Practice, required of an entry-level registered dietitian.

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

The University’s mission is to improve the health of Northern Ontarians by being socially accountable in our education and research programs and by advocating for health equity.  By maximizing the recruitment of students who have lived in Northern Ontario and/or students who have a strong interest in and aptitude for practicing in Northern urban, rural, and remote communities, we aim to educate learners who will practise in the North. We are committed to recruiting Indigenous, Francophone, and Franco-Ontarian students.

What our learners have to say about NODIP


Program Achievements

Standing Tall: NODIP@NOSM

Since 2007, the program 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 U has offered the Northern Ontario Dietetic Internship Program, a 46-week internship that teaches dietetic learners the skills and knowledge they need for rural and Northern practice. In July of 2017, NODIP celebrated the tenth graduation of NODIP learners. 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 learners are exposed to nutrition care, population health promotion, food provision and management roles in dietetics. Following graduation, learners are eligible to apply for a temporary license with a provincial regulatory body and write the Canadian Dietetic Registration Exam.

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

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

Our practicum leads will collaborate with each learner to individualize and coordinate your practicum schedule to balance professional interests and learning needs with placement availability. The NODIP will help you develop the unique skills required to meet the growing demand for health professionals in Northern and rural communities.

Up to 14 successful applicants will be selected annually for this 46-week program which begins in early September. Learners will live and practice in one of three primary sites: Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, and Sudbury.

Applications for the 2024/25 NODIP will be submitted directly to NOSM U.  Please refer to Application & Selection Process for more details.

Program Outline

Orientation /Professional Development: 2 weeks
Food Provision and Management: 6 weeks
Nutrition Care: ~20 weeks
Population and Health Promotion: ~10 weeks
Practice-Based Project: 4 weeks
Consolidation: 3 weeks
Vacation: 2 weeks
Total (including vacation): 46 weeks

A minimum four to six-week rural placement is required for this program. NOSM U housing is arranged for you and the accommodation cost covered by the program. Mileage reimbursement is available for travel to and from these rural placements.

Rotation Examples

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

Food Provision and Management

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

Outpatient Clinical Care

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

Inpatient Clinical Care

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

Population Health Promotion

  • Public health units
  • Aboriginal Health Access Centres
  • Indigenous Services 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 learners are paired and then assigned to a project, which is completed over the internship year, including four scheduled research weeks.

2022-2023 Projects

  • Exploring new and existing tools and resources for the PEN system Indigenous – Food, Nutrition, and Health Knowledge Pathway
  • Integrating social justice into dietetic practice
  • An impact evaluation of Cooking with Dietitians
  • Characteristics of older adults at malnutrition risk after hospital discharge then readmitted within 90 days (2023)
  • Comprehensive nutrition program with Shkoday

2021-2022 Projects

  • Food as medicine in mental health: a virtual interprofessional learner culinary nutrition intervention
  • Cooking with dietitians: developing a nutrition course for cancer patients
  • Northern Ontario Dietetic Internship Program: graduate outcomes evaluation
  • Determining appropriate pre-dialysis and dialysate potassium for hemodialysis patients at Algoma Regional Renal Program (ARRP)
  • The integration of the TRCC Calls to Action in Canadian dietetic education

2020-2021 Projects

  • Cooking with dietitians: planning an impact evaluation
  • Comparing malnutrition screening tools for community-dwelling seniors
  • Knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of weight bias among staff at the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
  • Medical students’ perceptions of the nutrition curriculum in their Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) at NOSM U
  • Determining comprehension of the low phosphate diet in dialysis patients at Sault Area Hospital (SAH) Renal Program

Examples of project deliverables:

Characteristics of older adults at malnutrition risk after hospital discharge then readmitted within 90 days (2023)

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 U 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)

Northeast Cancer Centre Cooking with Dietitians: Phase 1 of 3 – an Impact Evaluation (Northern Health Research Conference, 2020)

Professional Development and NODIP Resources

NODIP’s professional development component includes an annual calendar of educational sessions and workshops on topics  including: research methods, program evaluation, eating disorders, pediatrics, renal disease, sustainable food systems, communication, Nutrition Care Process, and more.  There may also be 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 NODIP SharePoint site is the primary tool for communication. The site includes:

  • Placement information, rotation descriptions, and evaluation forms,
  • Curriculum resources, i.e. study guides, project, and assignment guidelines,
  • Professional development schedule and preparatory workshop materials,
  • A Resource Centre of learner support information, policies and procedures, and more.

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.

Practicum Requirements

To be successful in a full-time, comprehensive practicum, learners need to be self-directed and organized. Learners are expected to follow University and program policies, attend mandatory orientation and educational seminars, and complete documentation for each placement. Reliable access to a vehicle is required to complete placements, especially for locations outside of your primary sites.

Placements are completed with our partner sites who set several health and non-health and safety requirements that our learners will need to meet before beginning placements, these include:

  • Immunizations, including COVID 19 and Influenza vaccines
  • Recent police vulnerable sector check
  • N95 mask fit testing
  • Professional association and liability insurance
  • Health, safety, and privacy modules
  • Food Safety certification