Step 3: Finding Your Preceptors and Facilities
The design of the USU Dietetic Internship provides interns with the opportunity to train close to home. Applicants planning to train OUTSIDE of Utah or as a UTAH-HYBRID are responsible for locating and securing facilities and preceptors willing to work with them during their internship. Preceptors must be secured by the time of application.
A preceptor is someone who is willing to mentor you through your rotations, teaching you what an RD might do, and evaluating your performance and ability to function as an entry-level dietitian. Your preceptor should be a professional appropriate for the facility where you will train.
Please read through the guidelines on the Preceptor Facility Option List for detailed information on the types of facilities and preceptors that meet the requirements of the USU DI.
HOW TO FIND PRECEPTORS:
1. Review preceptor and facility requirements before you start contacting potential preceptors
- Review preceptor and facility requirements before you start contacting potential preceptors:
- If you're reading this, start contacting potential preceptors after you've read through the information on this page.
2. Create a list of potential preceptors
- The USU DI can provide you with a database of preceptors in your state if there have been interns in that area in the past. To request a database, please email email@example.com with your name and the name of the state for which you would like a database. The preceptor database from USU DI does not include the name of every potential preceptor in your state. There is no guarantee that the preceptors you contact will be willing or able to train you.
- Please note: The USU DI will send preceptor databases starting October 1. Contact us on or after that date to request a database. Requests prior to that date will not be returned.
- Use your resources and network of dietetics professionals. Talk to your DPD Director, the RD at the local hospital, the local school district food service director, etc.
- Contact members of the state or chapter affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
- Search for hospitals, clinics, school districts, community organizations online.
- The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a preceptor list available to student members.
- Contact USU DI gradutes in your area.
- If you are using a preceptor databse, don't be afraid to contact someone who isn't on the list.
3. Start contacting potential preceptors
- We suggest contacting preceptors by phone when possible. Emails can be overlooked and some preceptors may not check their email regularly.
- If you have not heard back from someone you've contacted, we suggest following up with them every 2-3 weeks.
- Be familiar with the length of the rotation and the preceptor paperwork required by the USU DI because your preceptor may not have worked with USU before.
- Information you will want to share with potential preceptors:
- You are applying to the USU Dietetic Internship. It may be helpful to send them the link to the USU DI website.
- You will be notified of your acceptance in the April.
- They are making a committment to train you if you are accepted to the USU DI.
- You and your preceptor will determine the best dates for you to complete the rotation with them after you are accepted. See USU DI Rotations & Curriculum for a sample schedule.
- Potential preceptors may ask you about a contract or affiliation agreements, these will be completed after you have been accepted into the USU DI. However, if a potential preceptor states that they cannot agree to precept you unless an affiliation agreement is in place, contact the USU DI for additional instructions and guidance.
- You can share a copy of this with them: Standard Affiliation Agreement Sample
- Potential preceptors may want to interview you and/or review your resume or experience. Dress professionally and approach the meeting like a job interview. Remember that they need to feel confident that this will be a good training partnership.
- Take a copy of the learning activities for them to review:
- Leave your contact information with them and follow up with them by email after your meeting.
- If they have questions that you cannot answer, document their questions, and contact the USU DI for answers.
4. Complete the required forms
- Review the required forms available in Step 6: Required Forms
- Send your preceptor the forms and request that they return them to you with enough time to submit with your other application materials.
- Some preceptors may prefer to email the forms directly to the USU DI which is also acceptable. Please note on your Rotation Summary Form that your preceptor sent the forms directly to the DI.
If you are planning to train in Southern California, please contact Lacie Peterson before contacting potential preceptors for your Community/WIC rotations.
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