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Part of the Department of Nutrition Science

The Frances Stern Nutrition Center Combined MS/DI focuses on Clinical Nutrition and includes: provision of nutrition care to individuals, development of nutrition programs for population groups, management of financial resources, marketing of services and products related to practice, teaching dietitians and professionals/students, conducting research, and nutrition therapy management of food.

Our mission is to provide an environment in which dietetic interns will acquire the knowledge, competencies, skills, and professionalism needed to be future leaders in the diverse field of dietetics. Our graduates will be competent entry-level dietitians with a strong scientific foundation in nutrition therapy, coupled with hands-on experience in relevant areas of dietetic practice. We strive to promote in our students a strong commitment to citizenship, collaboration, and ethical standards. Dedication to the highest level of patient and community service forms the foundation for all we do.

Our students also benefit from the expertise of a number of other highly qualified registered dietitians who supervise affiliations outside of Tufts Medical Center, including WIC programs, Community Servings, the Cambridge Health Alliance Elder Service Program, and the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.

The FSNC staff is active in many professional associations, including the various practice groups of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, the Society for Nutrition Education and the American Society for Nutrition Sciences.

The Combined Dietetic Internship/Master's Degree will participate in the online dietetic internship centralized application process (DICAS). Please refer to How to Apply page for further instructions.

Program Goals and Outcomes

1.       Produce competent entry-level dietitians with special expertise in clinical nutrition therapy

1.1   All individuals who enter program successfully complete all requirements.

1.2   All students will conduct their professional practice and personal behavior in accordance with the ADA Code of Ethics.

1.3   Ninety percent  (7 of 8) of graduates pass the RD exam on the first attempt.

1.4   Within 6 months of graduation, 80% (6 of 8) of graduates who wish to be, will be employed in health care or related fields, or pursing higher education.

1.5   Ninety percent (7 of 8) of graduates will rate themselves satisfied with their clinical training as preparation for their professional positions at one and five years post-graduation.

1.6   At least 85% of employers are satisfied with our graduates.

2.       Students will graduate with an academic and clinical foundation that will allow them to practice nutrition in a broad variety of settings (health promotion/disease prevention, palliation/treatment of disease, research, industry, government, etc.).

2.1   All students will successfully complete the Master of Science degree at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

2.2   All students will develop strong professional communication skills (e.g. professional consultation skills, written communications, effective patient interactions, medical record notewriting, presentation skills, nutrition education for the public, participating in state and local professional activities, presenting papers and posters etc.

2.3   Students will develop skills in providing nutrition care for individuals, groups, or community, taking into consideration other health care, social, and environmental factors.  This includes working with a variety of health care providers to understand their roles in the health care process, and utilizing appropriate models of assessment, intervention, monitoring and evaluation, to promote positive health outcomes.

2.4   All students will have the knowledge and skills needed to participate in nutrition research.

3.       Prepare the student to develop their abilities to deal effectively with current and future  professional issues and challenges, and be leaders in the profession.

3.1    Students will actively participate in learning activities that assist in maintaining and advancing continuing competence in professional practice.

3.2   Students will understand and deal effectively with cultural diversity issues when working with patients, peers, health care professionals, and the public.

3.3   Students will demonstrate an understanding of leadership and management issues and approaches in a variety of organizational systems.

3.4   Students will utilize proven technology and be aware of new advances and technologies

( i.e. Evidence Based Practice library of ADA, dietetic-specific nutrient analysis and other software) as they affect the field of nutrition and dietetics.

Accreditation

The Combined Dietetic Internship/Masters Degree Program at the Frances Stern Nutrition Center, Tufts Medical Center, is currently granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The next program review is scheduled for Fall 2016. ACEND is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation and the United States Dept of Education.

The phone number of ACEND is:

(800) 877 1600 x 5400 
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The Frances Stern Nutrition Center has been accredited by the American Dietetic Association since 1936 as a dietetic internship specifically designed for the training of clinical nutritionists. This program's area of emphasis is clinical nutrition. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, the student is eligible to take the examination to become a Registered Dietitian and to become a professional member of the American Dietetic Association.

Master of Science

In addition, the student receives a Master of Science degree from Tufts University. After completion of the program, it may be possible to continue on in pursuit of a doctorate degree.

The Combined Masters Degree/Dietetic Internship Program offered by the Frances Stern Nutrition Center, Tufts Medical Center and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, is a 20 month program. Successful completion of the program fulfills requirements for eligibility to take the Registration Examination for dietitians upon completion of the program.

A Verification Statement is issued by and signed by the Dietetic Internship Director after the student has demonstrated satisfactory completion of at least 1200 hours of supervised practice. This statement is issued in the spring of the second year of the program. If a student has not satisfactorily completed the designated supervised practice, a Verification Statement will not be issued.

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The combined Master of Science /Dietetic Internship program provides the education and training necessary to become a Registered Dietitian. Our program is a CADE-accredited supervised practice program designed to be undertaken after completion of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college university and the Didactic Program in Dietetics. Successful completion of our program allows graduates to sit for the national Registration Examination, administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR or www.cdrnet.org). After successfully passing the Registration Examination, graduates can practice as Registered Dietitians. In order to maintain registration, graduates must complete continuing professional educational requirements. Additional state licensure for the state of Massachusetts may also be required. The Board of Registration of Dietitians/Nutritionists grants licenses to qualified individuals who comply with the requirements of the statute. The Board also insures that licensees have complied with continuing professional education requirements necessary to maintain current knowledge and renew their license. For more information about licensure, please refer to the following link:

http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/licensee/dpl-boards/nu/

Prerequisites

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university; a minimum university cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores: verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing. The student should take the examination by December prior to the year of desired entry. Please have GRE Scores sent to Institution Code 3895.
  • COMPLETION OF DIDACTIC PROGRAM OF DIETETICS ACADEMIC REQUIREMENT. For information concerning academic requirements for ADA membership and for general information concerning application to dietetic internships, log onto www.eatright.org or write to Publications Dept., Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, (800) 877-1600
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Required Courses

Four core courses are required for all students and are taught at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. These include:

  • Nutritional Biochemistry (NUTR 315)
  • Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy (NUTR 316)
  • Principles of Epidemiology (NUTR 204)
  • Fundamentals of Nutrition Policy and Programming: How Science and Practice Interact NUTR 203)
  • Statistical Methods for Health Care Professionals (NUTR 214)
  • Nutrition 297 or Nutrition 397: Directed Study  (Senior Project). To be determined with Dr. Dwyer, usually as part of an ongoing grant or study

Electives

The remainder of graduate course work consists of four additional elective courses. Students have the opportunity to take elective courses in the graduate degree programs at Tufts Medical School, Master of Public Health program, Brandeis University, Boston College, Boston University, and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, as well as at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

Minicourses

In addition to regular courses, there are minicourses and special classes designed to help interns become more skillful practitioners. Lecturers are from our own medical and dental faculties as well as from other universities or health care facilities. Examples of recent offerings include counseling, pediatrics, and management.

Joint Internship Classes

Lectures by prominent Boston physicians, dietitians, and other experts are offered regularly in joint classes for all the dietetic internships of Greater Boston and throughout Massachusetts including, Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, Massachusetts General, Brigham and Womens Hospital, Mount Auburn Hospital, Simmons College, Boston University, University of New Hampshire, and Southcoast/Sodexho Hospitals. This gives interns a chance to meet professional colleagues and to become familiar with the extensive health care resources of the city.  Topics include: Nutrition Support, Sports Nutrition, Obesity, Nutrition Research, and others.

Workshops

Workshops, planned for each class according to need, may include Research Design, Cultural Diversity and a Management Seminar.

Program Timeline

First Year - entering Student
August September - December January - May

Orientation,

Review of:

  • Program
  • Policy and Procedures
  • Schedule
  • Code of Ethics
  • Scope of Practice Framework
  • Standards of Practice
  • Standards of Performance for Dietetics Professionals

Coursework

– no Rotations

Courses:

  • Nutritional Biochemistry (NUTR 315)
  • Fundamentals of Nutrition Policy and Programming: How Science and Practice Interact (Nutr 203)
  • Principles of Epidemiology (NUTR 204)
  • Elective

Clinical  Re-orientation  

Coursework and Rotations

Courses:

  • Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy (NUTR 316)
  • Statistical Methods for Health Care Professionals (NUTR 214)

Seminars and Joint Class Days

Rotations may include:

Food Service, Adult Ambulatory, Management, WIC/Public Health, Weight and Wellness Center, Dental, Research  

Vacation:  Spring Break (typically third week of March)

 

Second Year - senior Student

End of May June - August September - December January - May

Student program evaluation at the end of the first year.

Meeting with graduating second year students to get advice and feedback.

Coursework and Rotations

Coursework: Begin work on Nutrition 297 / Nutrition 397: Directed Study (Senior Project), possible elective (2 required prior to graduation)

Rotations may include: Inpatient Acute Care, Pediatrics, MGH Weight Center, Oncology, USDA HNRCA, Renal, Optional, Staff Relief, Joslin Diabetes Center, any first year rotations not completed

Seminars

Vacation : One week to be taken anytime from June of second year until the end of the program.

Coursework and Rotations

Coursework: Continue work on Nutrition 297 / Nutrition 397: Directed Study (Senior Project), possible elective (2 required prior to graduation)

Rotations may include: Inpatient Acute Care, Pediatrics, MGH Weight Center, Oncology, USDA HNRCA, Renal, Optional, Staff Relief, Joslin Diabetes Center, any first year rotations not completed

Seminars

Vacation: One week in December (typically the week of Christmas).

Coursework and Rotations

Coursework: Complete work on Nutrition 297 / Nutrition 397: Directed Study (Senior Project), possible elective (2 required prior to graduation)

Rotations may include: Inpatient Acute Care, Pediatrics, MGH Weight Center, Oncology, USDA HNRCA, Renal, Optional, Staff Relief, Joslin Diabetes Center, any first year rotations not completed

Seminars

Jean Inman RD Exam Review Course

Program Director

Friedman Faculty
Program Director,
Assistant Professor
Friedman Faculty - Palmer
Program Director,
Professor
Name Title General Research
Arthurs, Denise Clinical Instructor, Frances Stern Nutrition Center
Borto, Dara Clinical Instructor, Frances Stern Nutrition Center
Doyle, Marcia Clinical Instructor, Frances Stern Nutrition Center

Pediatric critical care nutrition (selecting appropriate parenteral and enteral nutrition support for critically ill...

Dwyer, Johanna Adjunct Professor

Flavonoids in food and supplements and chronic disease risk; nutrition and quality of life; nutritional risk factors...

Efstathion, Ann Clinical Instructor, Frances Stern Nutrition Center
Houser, Robert Assistant Professor
Marino-Costello, Elizabeth Clinical Instructor, Frances Stern Nutrition Center
Paquette, Annie Clinical Instructor, Frances Stern Nutrition Center
Phelan, Grace Clinical Instructor, Frances Stern Nutrition Center
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Graduates of our program hold a variety of positions in the fields of nutrition and policy. These include:

  • Faculty member, coordinated undergraduate program in dietetics
  • Nutrition in ambulatory services of a teaching hospital or general hospital
  • Nutritionist for neighborhood health centers, health maintenance organizations, or maternal and infant care centers
  • Consultant for private health organization, group practice, extended care facilities, and day care centers
  • Teaching in colleges, universities and schools of nursing
  • Nutritionist in rehabilitation institutes
  • Full professor in a Dental School
  • Nutritionist on inpatient nutrition support team
  • Clinical nutritionist in community and teaching hospitals
  • Research dietitian
  • State food and nutrition specialist (cooperative extension)
  • Director of clinical nutrition services
  • Nutritionist in the private sector - food industry
  • Director of Dietetic Internship
  • Nutritionist at a Health Center or Athletic Facility
  • Nutritionist in an outpatient weight loss center
  • Nutrition Communication Specialist at a Dairy Council
  • Project Manager at a restaurant company that focuses on sustainability and local sourcing
  • Dietitian in Private Practice
  • Healthcare Marketing Associate
  • Research Unit Project Manager
  • Senior Program Manager for a community based pediatric nutrition initiative

Additionally, alumna of the Frances Stern Nutrition Center have been employed by a wide range of companies and organizations, including the World Health Organization, Oke USA Fair Trade Fruit Company, Mathematica, Bon Appetit Management Company, The Almond Board, USDA, California Department of Public Health, Equal Exchange Program, Kaiser Permanente, DynaMed, Med Mark Nutrition Labeling Initiative.

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Frances Stern Nutrition Center

The Frances Stern Nutrition Center was established in 1918 by Frances Stern, a pioneer in the field of applied nutrition. The Center was the first organization of its kind in the world and has served as a model for many other nutrition clinics in the U.S. and abroad.

In the early 1900s most people did not understand the fundamental principles of nutrition. Frances Stern, a well-respected nutritionist for the US Department of Agriculture, recognized this problem and simply suggested, "Someone should show them." Taking her own advice to heart, Stern revolutionized nutritional education by using visual aids in her instruction. She believed that it is better to show rather than tell people how much they can eat.

Web site: http://www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/OurServices/SpecialServicesandCenters/FrancesSternNutritionCenter

Tufts Medical Center

Nutrition resources at the Tufts Medical Center include both adult and pediatric clinical programs for hospitalized and ambulatory patients, as well as the Frances Stern Nutrition Center. Tufts Medical Center is the major clinical unit affiliated with the Tufts University School of Medicine. Tufts Medical Center has established a national and international reputation for research, teaching, patient care, and graduate and postgraduate education.

Web site: http://www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org

Floating Hospital for Children

Floating Hospital for Children is a full-service children's hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. As part of Tufts Medical Center, Floating Hospital for Children is the principal teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine. Floating Hospital for Children offers a comprehensive range of pediatric services from prevention and primary care to the most sophisticated treatment of rare and unusual conditions. Our focus and mission every day is to improve the lives of children and their families. At our children's hospital we treat each child as if they are our own.

Web site: http://www.floatinghospital.org

Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts

Scientists at the HNRCA examine how nutrition impacts healthy aging and the role nutrition plays in preventing diseases of the aging. The HNRCA, which is an independent research facility  located two blocks away from the Friedman school on the Tufts Boston campus, was established in 1977 as a unique partnership between the USDA and the University.  Many of the scientists at the HNRCA’s 20 research labs are also Friedman School faculty.  Friedman students have unique opportunities to conduct research  under the supervision of HNRCA scientists who have international stature in their respective areas of research expertise.

Web site: http://hnrc.tufts.edu

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The following clinical experiences take place at FSNC. (The number of weeks spent in each experience and other details are subject to change.)

Ambulatory Services: Outpatient Counseling Adults

Interns are provided with introductory experiences and close staff supervision in counseling patients. This is typically a five week rotation. Common patient diagnoses are hypertension, diabetes, HIV, prenatal and underweight. Typical diet instructions include sodium restriction and weight reduction and gain. Students are also introduced to management principles and problems in an ambulatory clinic setting. The focus of this experience is on developing skills in planning nutritional care, counseling, and documenting care provided. This includes setting priorities, long-term goals, and behavioral objectives for patients.

Administrative/Management Affiliation

This three week experience includes activities involved in the management of the nutrition staff and departmental budget as well as exposure to upper level hospital management. The interns also are involved in data collection for quality improvement activities as well as individual clinical management projects.

Other Ambulatory Affiliations

In the following clinical experiences in Tufts Medical Center Ambulatory Clinics interns learn to function independently as outpatient dietitians in the given setting. They actually go to the assigned specialty clinic and, in the most cases, have access to a private office where they counsel patients. They set priorities for patients, accept patient referrals, devise individualized nutrition care plans and work as a member of the health care team in providing total patient care. Students also interact with students in other health related professions–dental, medical, social services, etc. All interns' medical progress notes are reviewed and co-signed by a preceptor who meets with the student on a regular basis to discuss cases and provide supervision.

Cancer (Radiation/Oncology)

Interns develop expertise in nutrition evaluation, therapy and care of the cancer patient in an outpatient radiation therapy clinic setting. The student plans individualized nutrition care based on specific tumor site, side effects, financial considerations, other medical conditions and patient support systems. The student provides nutrition counseling for patients referred by the cancer care team and does case finding on the basis of nutrition priorities. This rotation is approximately one week in length.

WIC/Public Health

After an observation period, interns function as staff nutritionists in the Women, Infants and Children Program in a neighborhood health center in and around Boston during this two to three week rotation. Among other activities, they identify individuals who are at nutritional risk, provide nutritional counseling to individuals and groups, and refer clients to other health team members when appropriate.

USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging

Students participate in ongoing nutrition surveys, ambulatory studies, metabolic studies, and the operations of a kitchen in a large research unit. They are exposed to recruitment methods, research protocols and protocols, and interdisciplinary projects. Typically, this rotation is two - three weeks in length.

MGH Weight Center/Tufts Medical Center Weight and Wellness Center

Students take part in the multidisciplinary care approach to obesity management. They observe and participate in individual and group counseling sessions. In addition, they are exposed to both the medical and surgical approaches to weight loss. The intern is also given the opportunity to directly observe a gastric restrictive surgery. Typically, two to three weeks is spent in the Tufts Medical Center Weight and Wellness Center and three weeks are spent in the MGH Weight Center.

Affiliations in Inpatient Acute Care

Clinical Experiences in Tufts Medical Center Inpatient Acute Care Setting: Interns are precepted in each specialty area by dietitians having expertise in the various specialty areas listed below.

Adult

Students function in the role of a clinical dietitian in an acute care hospital setting under the supervision of the clinical dietitians who have specialized expertise in particular areas of nutritional intervention. The students initially observe the dietitian and assist in daily tasks. They are later given individuals, groups, or a floor of patients to screen, assess, develop care plans for, monitor and counsel under the supervision of the dietitian. Each rotation provides a gradual increase in patient acuity and type of nutritional intervention required.The students' experience is enhanced by attendance at team conferences, medical and surgical rounds, journal review and nutrition rounds. In addition, journal articles and other readings pertinent to each rotation are available on the units.Students are also responsible for assuring that food service to patients is appropriate. They interact with the Food Services Department and are responsible for communicating pertinent patient information to them.

a. Cardiology

In this two week introduction to acute care, the dietetic intern develops basic skills in nutritional assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring and appropriate medical record documentation for patients with the following problems: cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, myocardial infarctions, atherosclerosis, heart transplantation, postoperative surgical needs and hyperlipidemias. The intern will develop appropriate nutritional care plans, monitor status and provide nutritional education for these patients.

b. General Medicine / General Surgery

During this three week rotation, the intern uses her newly acquired skills in nutritional assessment of more complicated medical patients including Renal, Cardiac, AIDS, Diabetes, GI and the elderly.. In addition.the dietetic intern identifies the special nutritional needs of surgical patients by assuming responsibility for the nutritional care of patients on the following surgical services: vascular, oncology, GI, gynecology, cardiothoracic, obesity consult service and general surgery during this two week rotation. They develop appropriate nutrition care plans for patients on various modified diets as well as those on tube feedings, and are involved in education of patients and families individually and in group classes. They also become familiar with the nutrient content or standard nutrition solutions and are able to recognize indications for use.

c. Hematology/ Oncology/ Bone Marrow Transplant

Interns provide nutritional care to patients having different types of cancers, including solid tumors, leukemias, lymphomas, and myelodysplastic syndromes. They also identify the special nutritional needs of the bone marrow transplant patient and become familiar with chemotherapeutic agents and their side effects during this two week rotation.

d. Rehabilitation / Long Term Acute Care

During the Rehabilitation rotation, the intern will experience nutritional care on an acute rehab floor and will be able to compare and contrast the screening, assessment and care plan practices and standards. These patients have been transferred from acute care floors and may provide the student an opportunity to follow specific acute patients as they prepare for discharge.

e. Nutrition Support

Students have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of gastrointestinal anatomy, physiology and pathology, which they apply in providing appropriate and effective nutritional services to patients in this three week rotation. Interns participate as active members of the medical team and observe diagnostic procedures. They participate in Nutrition Support rounds by evaluating patients, developing care plans and appropriate parenteral nutrition therapy, and participating in multidisciplinary meetings. Students also conduct a journal club presentation to the FSNC staff.

Pediatrics

The students are exposed to acutely ill pediatric patients of all ages from premature infants to adolescents with a variety of conditions predisposing them to nutritional risk. These include GI disorders, failure to thrive, neurological disorders, liver, kidney and bone marrow transplantation, cancer, cystic fibrosis and renal disease. Team conferences and development of an awareness of psychological issues within the family that may lead to undernutrition are an integral part of this rotation. This is an eight week rotation including two weeks in our level 3 neonatal ICU, three weeks on the general pediatric floor, , and three weeks counseling patients in outpatient pediatric clinics, including metabolic inborn errors of metabolism clinic, pediatric GI clinic and pediatric renal clinic.

Advanced Clinical Experience/Staff Relief

In this affiliation, interns assume total responsibility for inpatient nutritional care in an assigned area for a three week period.

Additional Experiences

Renal

Students participate in nutrition assessment and care of ambulatory renal patients. They also observe and serve as a health care team member for patients undergoing hemodialysis and continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis during this four week rotation.

Dental

Students are provided with a unique experience in dealing directly with dental professionals on supervisory and advisory basis in reference to nutritional care of patients. The dietetic intern receives an overview of dental science and the relevant dietary factors which will make her a valuable asset to the dental profession. In this experience, the intern supervises dental students in teaching preventive nutrition dentistry to their patients. Typically, this rotation is two-three weeks in length.

Food Service Management

Through experience and observation, students develop skills in managing time and other resources; establishing safe and sanitary practices; purchasing, receiving and storing of food; developing, implementing and evaluating menus; providing for quality control; educating food service employees. The administrative and management skills developed in this affiliation promote greater effectiveness and adaptability in both clinical and community nutrition. It takes place at Tufts Medical Center's Food Service Department during a twoweek period.

Optional Affiliation

An affiliation of about three weeks' duration in an area of special interest to the intern is planned. This is done to allow students to explore an area of interest or to permit a more in depth experience in a specific area. The Optional Affiliation time is application oriented, whereas Senior Independent Study (Senior Project) is more research oriented and is usually designed towards producing a publication. Flexibility is available for the Optional Affiliation, but alternate Affiliation choices must be discussed with and approved by the Nutrition Education Coordinator.