Student Section

In the Department of Clinical Nutrition and Lactation Services at Children's of Alabama we enjoy having college undergraduate and graduate students come to learn more about the field of clinical nutrition and lactation. We provide learning experiences which facilitate a better understanding of pediatric clinical nutrition practice.
The following opportunities are available for students:

  1. Summer Nutrition Externship
  2. Dietetic Internship
  3. Shadowing

As the number of requests from students has increased in past years, we have developed more specific guidelines for students who desire to complete a learning experience at Children's. We hope this will help clarify some questions that students may have.

Summer Nutrition Externship (May – July)

Our summer externship is a unique opportunity for students seeking unpaid work experience in the area of pediatric clinical nutrition during summer months. Each extern will work alongside a Registered Dietitian to assist with program development or quality improvement projects. Additional opportunities include access to all educational programs conducted at Children's during time of externship, experiences in inpatient and outpatient clinical settings, work in the Enteral Feeding Lab, Lactation Center, and other department services and programs. At the end of the externship, each student will present their work to the nutrition staff.

Previous Summer Student Projects:

  • Creating handouts for formula & breast milk preparation instructions
  • Developing a Pediatric Nutrition Assessment for Malnutrition Checklist
  • Researching dietary treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Creating a meal plan for diabetic patients
  • Providing updated research on Medical Nutrition Therapy for specific disease states

Program Requirements:

  • Enrollment in and in good standing with a dietetics education program at an accredited university.
  • Completion of Sophomore year and at least one college level nutrition course
  • Interested in actively participating in an intense learning experience

Interested students must submit all required materials by the established deadline in order to be considered. Required application materials include: Summer Nutrition Externship Application, 2 letters of recommendation, and resume. Any externship/independent study hours or requirements related to academic coursework must be submitted with the application and include the total number of hours requested at Children's. All application materials must be submitted to Amy Cameron by Monday, February 26 for consideration. Incomplete applications will not be considered. In the event that the student's needs or plans change, the student should contact Amy to withdraw their application so consideration may be given to others.

Applications may be submitted by email at or via mail at:

Department of Clinical Nutrition
Attn: Amy Cameron
1600 7th Ave South
Birmingham, AL 35233

Please Note, students participating in summer externship program must have documentation of the following: TB skin test; hepatitis B and flu vaccines; varicella status; and MMR immunization up to date.

After the end of the student's experience, we ask for feedback on how we are doing. Students may use the Externship/Independent Study Evaluation form to submit feedback by mail, fax or email to the Unit Educator.

Dietetic Internship

Children's of Alabama requires a working contract with a University in order to accept Dietetic Interns. At this time, we are not accepting interns in distance programs.

For those students who have already been assigned a pediatric rotation at Children’s, please contact your program director for rotation information.

Shadowing Opportunities

Limited half-day and full-day shadowing opportunities are available for college students considering a career in the field of clinical nutrition. The purpose of shadowing is to observe the role of the registered dietitian in the clinical setting to gain better understanding of the profession. For shadowing opportunities, please contact Tanya Sloane, the Division Secretary for Clinical Nutrition & Lactation at 205-638-9204 or for scheduling and availability.