Integrated Primary Care / Mental Health Rotation

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Organization Type: 
Program Type: 
Education Level: 
Educational Elements: 
Experiential not including services to patients
Experiential including clinical contact with patients
Other Element(s): 
Individual and group supervision; case presentations
Program Description: 

Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System offers a psychology internship training program with a three-month training rotation at the Integrated Primary Care Mental Health Clinic. Interns wishing to pursue training in integrated care as part of their year-long pre-doctoral internship training program may select this rotation. 

The Integrated Primary Care/Mental Health rotation offers interns the opportunity to work as embedded practitioners in outpatient primary care clinics. During this rotation, interns serve as first points of contact for veterans newly expressing mental health concerns and/or seeking mental health services.

An integral component of this position is collaborating with physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician's assistants, dieticians, and clinical pharmacists to ensure that a holistic approach is taken in treating each veteran. Interns also have the opportunity to gain experience in lethality assessment and crisis intervention.

This area of service is rapidly growing within the Veterans Affairs system, as the standard of care increasingly involves a team approach to treatment with the goal of providing all of the veteran's healthcare needs under one roof. During this rotation, interns hone their skills in clinical interviewing, diagnosis, and triage in addition to providing short-term, solution-focused treatment (four to six sessions) and addressing issues incorporating both mental health and behavioral health components. As with the Mental Health Outreach Clinic, the Integrated Primary Care/Mental Health Clinic accepts referrals from most other services and is the first point of contact for the Emergency Department.

Goals for this rotation include:

  1. acquire skills necessary to function as a professional member of an interdisciplinary primary care treatment team, such as mental health triage, crisis response, and interdisciplinary and across-clinic treatment planning and implementation
  2. acquire advanced skills in providing supportive individual psychotherapy to veterans being treated in primary care
  3. acquire skills and knowledge necessary to function in the role of patient education resource related to disease process.
Program Results: 

The rotation is part of a program accredited by the American Psychological Association and member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Center. The most recent site visit occurred in 2010, with the next site visit to occur in 2017.

Targeted Professions
Clinical Health
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
Health information technology, including e-communications with patients & other providers
Interprofessionalism & interdisciplinary team collaboration
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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