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Bayview Pilots a Program for Dietitians

Those who aim to be registered dietitians face a challenging academic program. After achieving a bachelor’s of science in nutrition, they typically must do three years of postgraduate work, including an internship.

Now, the Clinical Nutrition Department at Hopkins Bayview, which runs one of the most demanding dietetic internships in the country, has put together an innovative proposal for a new, streamlined graduate program in dietetics. In collaboration with the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the department designed a program that would be open to qualified candidates with a B.S. in fields other than nutrition and could be completed in just 16 months.

The Johns Hopkins Master of Health Science and Registered Dietitian program (MHS/RD) will combine graduate coursework and the internship practicum. It will offer training in dietetics, education in clinical, community and public health nutrition, science and mathematics, management theory and practice, and food science. Students with a B.S. in, for example, biology, who meet the requirements, will be accepted. Graduates will be armed with a master’s degree and eligible for the Registered Examination for Dietitians.

“If this initiative succeeds,” says Cheryl Koch, senior director of clinical services at Bayview, “we will revolutionize the training of future dietitians.”

Koch and Carmen Roberts, Bayview’s director of nutrition, education and practice, hammered out the proposal for the pilot program along with Laura Caulfield, program chair for the Bloomberg School’s Center for Human Nutrition. Submitted to the American Dietetic Association Commission for Accreditation of Dietetics Education, it was the first demonstration project in the country accepted to implement this new, seamless approach to dietetics education.

“We are creating highly skilled professionals trained in clinical nutrition and public health. We think this is an ideal collaboration,” says Koch.

“There is a nationwide shortage of dietitians and a growing demand in the marketplace for dietitians with master’s degrees,” Roberts stresses. These new graduates will increase the pool of qualified dietitians, and both Bayview and Hopkins Hospital will have first crack at hiring them.

Next fall, the MHS/RD program will enroll up to eight students.

Lydia Levis Bloch



Johns Hopkins Medicine

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