A group of 10 exceptional students recently became the first graduating class of the Combined Master of Science and Dietetic Internship (MSDI) program at Ohio University. Students in the MSDI program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) spend their first year at the College of Health Sciences and Professions’ Dublin Integrated Education Center in Dublin, Ohio, and complete their second year at Ohio University’s main campus in Athens, Ohio.
In addition to taking a variety of courses, students completed 12,700 hours of supervised practice in clinical (4,000 hours), community (6,000 hours) and foodservice (2,700 hours) settings.
“The diversity of experiences in urban and rural settings differentiates our program from others and is only possible because of the strong partnerships we have forged with OhioHealth hospitals, community hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, behavioral healthcare centers and other community and wellness organizations in Southeastern Ohio, Columbus, Dublin, Nelsonville and Mount Vernon,” said Kim Orben, MSDI program director. “These unique hands-on, interprofessional rotations prepare our graduates to be successful registered dietitians in a variety of settings,” added Orben.
Christine Zachrich, assistant clinical professor and coordinator of the Athens cohort for the dietetic internship program, said that it is a rigorous program and requires perseverance. “We want to prepare our students to be the best in the real world. During the past two years, we are incredibly proud to have seen these students grow into conscientious professionals that will go on to be successful and contribute to the profession of nutrition and dietetics in a meaningful way.”