Clinical Psychology Pre-Doctoral Internship

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Organization Type: 
Program Type: 
Education Level: 
Educational Elements: 
Independent Study
Experiential including clinical contact with patients
Program Description: 

The Hefner VA Medical Center has several facilities including the Mental Health Center of Excellence, the Psychosocial Rehablitation Recovery Center, a Pallative Care Center, a Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program and a Specialized Inpatient Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Unit.  In addition, the hospital provides inpatient and outpatient medical and psychiatric care. In an effort to integrate primary care with mental health, this Medical Center has embedded a mental health team into primary care settings in order to receive immediate referrals from primary care staff. 

The Hefner VA Medical Center is affiliated with Wake Forest School of Medicine and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (at Virginia Tech University) and offers a one-year Clinical Psychology Pre-Doctoral internship program that provides training in two tracks, Generalist and Health Psychology.  The Health Psychology track provides interns with semester-long rotations in an outpatient primary care clinic and another in the home-based primary care clinic. In addition to these rotations, the Health Psychology pre-doctoral interns complete one inpatient rotation in Acute Psychiatry, Substance Abuse, or Inpatient Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Interns participate in weekly didactics, four hours of weekly supervision, and a marriage/family therapy rotation.  This internship is intended to train interns to work as psychologists in any primary care or outpatient mental health setting.

The Hefner internship program is tpredicated on the philosophy that comprehensive generalist skills form the foundation for competent, independent, professional psychology practitioners. Development of these skills is accomplished through didactic and clinical experiences that emphasize the practitioner-scholar approach.  Interns are expected to: develop a theoretical framework for their clinical work and demonstrate competence in utilizing evidenced-based psychological interventions; recognize diversity issues and provide services in a culturally competent manner; demonstrate knowledge of empirical support for the psychological interventions they employ. Interns will be evaluated on the following core competencies: Theoretical/Conceptual Skills; Psychological Assessment; Program Evaluation and Development; Psychological Interventions; Supervision; Consultation/Team Treatment; Teaching/Scholarly Inquiry; and Ethics/Professional Behavior.

One half of the intern’s clinical time throughout the year will be spent providing outpatient care and consultation (approximately 16 hours per week). This will provide opportunities to: develop skills in psychological assessment and evidenced-based psychotherapy treatment; develop, co-facilitate, and/or lead psycho-educational groups; recognize, understand and deliver culturally sensitive interventions; provide clinical consultation with various populations. The second half of the intern’s clinical time will be spent in a major (six-month) or two minor (three-month) rotations. Rotations are selected according to the intern's interests and training needs. One major rotation in an inpatient setting is required in either Acute/Chronic Psychiatry, Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program, Specialized Inpatient Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or Geropsychology. In all settings, full participation in the interdisciplinary team process, as an ongoing member or as a consultant, is an integral part of training.  Interns typically carry an outpatient caseload of seven to ten individual psychotherapy cases throughout the year and will be provided with both faculty and peer supervision.

This Pre-Doctoral internship program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association.

Targeted Professions
Self-Reported Competencies
PCPCC’s Education and Training Task Force identified 16 interprofessional training competencies critical for preparing health professionals for practicing in team-based, coordinated care models such as patient-centered medical homes. Listed below are the self-reported competencies that this program has achieved, which have been organized by the five core features of a medical home as defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Patient-Centered Care Competencies: 
Advocacy for patient-centered integrated care
Cultural sensitivity and competence in culturally appropriate practice
Development of effective, caring relationships with patients
Patient-centered care planning, including collaborative decision-making and patient self-management
Comprehensive Care Competencies: 
Assessment of biopsychosocial needs across the lifespan
Risk identification
Coordinated Care Competencies: 
Care coordination for comprehensive care of patient & family in the community
Interprofessionalism & interdisciplinary team collaboration
Team leadership
Quality Care & Safety Competencies: 
Assessment of patient outcomes
Evidence-based practice
Quality improvement methods, including assessment of patient-experience for use in practice-based improvement efforts
Accessible Care Competencies: 
Promotion of appropriate access to care (e.g., group appointments, open scheduling)
Last updated November 15, 2013

* Please note: Information contained in this database is self-reported by representatives from each program. It does not represent an exhaustive list of education and training programs and inclusion does not constitute an endorsement from the PCPCC.


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