In the dietetic education path, there are two big, nerve-wracking moments: waiting for Notification Day, when you learn your match to your dietetic internship, then when you are sitting in the exam room awaiting your RD exam results.
Match Day, aka Notification Day, is the first one. You might be thinking, who will you spend the next year(s) of your life learning from? It’s a lifechanging moment.
Just getting to Match Day is certainly the game of dates. For spring matches specifically, it’s mid-February when you can last submit your applications in DICAS (the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Inclusive Centralized Application Service) to the internship programs of your choice and register, select, and RANK schools in D&D Digital (the home of Dietetic Internship Matching).
Be sure to keep track of all the important dates. Both D&D Digital and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, under their ACEND section put out their timelines well in advance.
To see the list of dates, check out the D&D Digital main page
Below is a general table that can be helpful. Fill in the specific dates of the year you’re matching for!
Timeline for Internship Applications
|July 1 (Fall)|
Dec 1 (Spring)
|Applicants may begin online matching registration on D&D Digital. DICAS application also opens around the same time|
|End of September (Fall)|
|Deadline for online matching registration on D&D Digital.|
You must have your choices selected for the internship programs that you have completed applications for. DICAS application closes around this same time.
|Applicants may begin reordering their lists. This occurs after interviews with the internship programs. You may not add new programs.|
|End of October (Fall)|
End of March (Spring)
|Deadline for online reordering. This is your last chance to rank your internship choices or withdraw from matching.|
|Early November (Fall)|
Early April (Spring)
|Notification Day. Log into D&D Digital and see if you received a match. You will not receive multiple matches.|
|24 hours after Notification Day||Appointment Day. You have 24 hours to contact your match to confirm acceptance.|
|48 hours after Notification Day||Internship Directors with openings may contact unmatched applicants who attempted to match to them. If contacted, you must reply on the same day.|
|72 hours after Notification Day||Dietetic Internship Directors with openings may appear on the list on D&D Digital. Directors may also see unmatched applicant information. Between now and the closing of D&D Digital, conversations may be held between both parties to attain positions.|
|End of November (Fall)|
|Applicants and Directors lose access to online information.|
At the end of March, both you and the Internship directors can reorder your matches. This is open for about 5-7 days and may be helpful if you had additional interviews after the application process and wish to reorder according to how well that interview went.
Many have described the ordering process like sorority rankings. You can see the school list and are able to rank them by order of priority and the Internship directors see all of the eligible candidates and rank their choices in order of priority. In a sense, you get to rank each other. By the end of March, the system closes and works its magic. Around the first week of April is Notification Day, the day you have been waiting for.
An excellent video to watch if you’re interested in how D&D Digital works is found here. Start at 2:55 to watch how the matching process works.
On Match Day, internship directors are notified at 11am in their specific time zone with a list of all the interns who matched. They wait patiently for your response. You receive your match notification in D&D Digital at 11am CST. Then, you now have approximately 24 hours to confirm your acceptance by contacting the matched program directly. Your email and/or phone call must be concluded within a 24-hour window, or by 11am of the time zone of the program the following day. And that’s it. Start working on those packing lists and information your program sends you.
If you did not match, that’s okay. You are not out of options. Some students will go through second round matching, or simply wait, gain more experience, and then reapply the next match cycle. Don’t give up! Persistence pays off. An intern I knew had gone through the matching process 3 times before finally matching and it worked out well in the end. Everything happens for a reason, and those of us who have already gone through this are here for you.
To learn more, log into your eatrightpro.org account and go to the Academy’s page titled Computer Matching Applicant Responsibilities