Psychology Internship Training Program
The West Virginia University School of Medicine and affiliated health care system serves as West Virginia’s preeminent academic medical institution and largest healthcare provider. Our Clinical Psychology Internship Program, emphasizes broad and general training in health service psychology with areas of emphasis in behavioral medicine and in neuropsychology within an academic medical center. Our goal is to prepare interns to be successful in the evolving field of psychology/healthcare for careers in a variety of settings, including medical or academic medical centers, university psychology departments, and clinical settings that offer inpatient and/or psychological outpatient services. Our program is based on the scientist-practitioner model of training, emphasizing evidence-based primarily cognitive-behavioral approaches to assessment and intervention. Our faculty are dedicated to training and we follow a junior-colleague model of supervision.
To achieve these goals, we emphasize a comprehensive approach to training across clinical work, didactics, and research. Our program offers a breath of experiences with opportunities for clinical rotations in a number of settings both at WVU and at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, WV. Interns gain clinical experience with patients across the lifespan representing a broad range of presenting problems in both inpatient and outpatient treatment settings. Our clinical rotations allow interns to hone generalist skills, but also offer specialization in several behavioral medicine and neuropsychology areas including bariatrics, chronic pain, integrated care, and evaluation prior to High Frequency Ultrasound or Deep Brain Stimulation. Our didactics focus on preparing the intern to meet the varying roles and challenges of professional life including, clinical service within medical settings, teaching/supervision, scholarship, consultation, and program evaluation/ development. Finally, research skill development is considered an important training goal and as such, interns are allotted protected research time to complete a mentored research project.
We are committed to developing an individualized and tailored training experience for the intern. We have two interns annually: one in adult clinical/behavioral medicine and one in neuropsychology. The experiences offered emphasize comprehensive training, but also allow flexibility for more in-depth experiences in areas that are of particular interest to the trainee. Additional minor rotation experiences are required and are designed to complement the major rotations so as to ensure a well-rounded generalist training experience. Interns will not complete minor experiences that duplicate experiences in their major area.
We offer two tracks (one position each):
- Behavioral Medicine (APPIC Code #163913)
- Neuropsychology (APPIC Code #163914)
Our internship program offers training in a variety of domains including:
- Intervention: Interns are provided individual supervision to improve their skills in the provision of psychological treatments. We emphasize use of evidence-based treatments and offer supervision in comorbid medical and psychological conditions.
- Assessment: Assessment is a focus of each major rotation. Specialty experience in neuropsychological assessment is offered in addition to opportunities to conduct pre-surgical bariatric evaluations opioid, risk evaluations/evaluations for candidacy of implantable devices, and forensic assessment.
- Health Psychology/Behavioral Medicine: We offer a variety of behavioral medicine rotations including, but not limited to, bariatric surgery, medical weight management, chronic pain, integrated primary care, sleep medicine, psychiatry consultation and liaison, substance use, and rotations at VAMC Clarksburg.
- Primary Care: We provide a number of unique training opportunities within our primary care setting including integrated Behavioral Health Services as well as specialty clinics (Integrated Diabetes Clinic, Weight Management Clinic) and family medicine inpatient rounds.
- Multidisciplinary Teams/ Interdisciplinary Systems: Many rotations include training in team-based care. Supervision is provided to address the unique skill set involved in working in teams.
- Training in Supervision: Experiences are available to provide supervision to clinical psychology practicum students within the major rotations in Bariatric Surgery and Primary Care. Additionally, we offer a 12-month ½ day per week rotation through the Sleep Clinic in which the intern is able to provide supervision/ oversight to WVU clinical psychology graduate students. We also offer the Neuropsychology intern an opportunity to provide supervision in pediatric assessment
- Didactics:Interns participate in year long didactics related to their emphasis area. Interns participate in weekly seminars on topics related to evidence-based clinical practice, such as Program Evaluation, Supervision, Professional Development, Research Outcomes, and Cultural Diversity and Ethics.
- Research: Research is a vital component of the internship year and interns are allotted a ½ day per week protected research time to pursue a research project with a faculty mentor.
- Working with Underserved/ Rural Populations: West Virginia University School of Medicine serves a diverse client base including many patients from rural Appalachia with limited access to care. The catchment area of WVU includes many West Virginia counties that are considered medically underserved areas/ populations with regard to economic barriers and rural status.
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COVID-19 Update: We have employed telehealth and have full capability to complete clinical care, didactics, and internship tasks via telehealth. As we expand back to in-person care, we are very sensitive to reducing risk to students of potential exposure and concerns about exposure. Depending on the progression of the situation with COVID throughout the training year, we may have some proportion of in-person activities and some proportion of telehealth, but we are able to adapt as needed. We have various options for work from home experiences if necessary. Clinical rotations as listed are all maintained, but some experiences may be impacted or adapted. In particular, group-based care may be altered or transitioned to telemedicine and involvement in higher-risk rotations (i.e., Hospital Based C&L) may be considered on a case-by-case basis with input from the service at that time.
There is no impact to the start date or anticipated length of the training year as we are able to navigate disruptions due to COVID with telehealth. All benefits are preserved including stipends, benefits, and leave.