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Bariatrics Postdoctoral Fellowship

Bariatrics Postdoctoral Fellowship

West Virginia University School of Medicine Clinical Health Psychology Postdoctoral Residency- Bariatrics

The Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry at West Virginia University School of Medicine offers a one or two-year fellowship program in Clinical Health Psychology, with an emphasis in Bariatrics. One resident position is offered each year, with the option of a 2nd year pending agreement between the fellow and Fellowship Director.

Overview of Training Program

The Clinical Health Psychology Postdoctoral Residency- Bariatrics has been designed to provide trainees with expertise and clinically relevant experience within the field of health psychology, with an emphasis on training relevant to obesity and bariatric surgery. The goal of the postdoctoral residency program is to prepare the trainee for independent practice as a psychologist working within the field of obesity medicine/bariatrics. The fellow will become familiar with treatment options for obesity including nutritional, behavioral, pharmacological, and surgical modalities.  Additionally, the fellow will become knowledgeable regarding the common comorbidities of obesity.

To this end, the core rotation of the postdoctoral residency program includes participation in WVU’s multidisciplinary Bariatric Surgery Program. As part of this rotat

rotation, the fellow receives in-depth training and supervision related to the provision of comprehensive pre-surgical psychological evaluations and treatment to patients both pre and post-surgically. Additional rotations within the Bariatric Program will be assigned throughout the year in order to gain an understanding of the various components of the surgical program (i.e., rotation in medical weight management, nutrition clinic, surgical clinic, observation of nutrition courses).

The primary mentor/ bariatric supervisor is Stephanie Cox, Ph.D., ABPP.

In addition, the fellow will receive educational experiences to complement knowledge of obesity and related comorbidities. Additional rotations within the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry may include:

  • Pain Management (e.g., evaluations for candidacy for opioids or implantable devices, treatment within integrated pain center).
  • Pre-surgical Evaluation (i.e., provision of pre-surgical evaluations for medical procedures and adherence to medical treatment across the medical system).

The trainee may also participate in additional experiences within the WVU Medicine system including observation with Diabetes Clinic, Pulmonology, or Cardiology. These additional rotations may be altered in terms of intensity in the event of any changes in clinical demands within the Bariatric Program. 

Four days per week are spent in clinical services with ½ day allocated for education/ didactic, and ½ day for research.

Bariatric supervisors will be Stephanie Cox, Ph.D., ABPP and Cassie Brode, Ph.D.

In addition, the resident will receive educational experiences to complement knowledge of obesity and related comorbidities. Additional rotations within the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry may include psychological evaluation and treatment of chronic pain. The trainee may also participate in additional experiences within the WVU Medicine system including observation with Diabetes Clinic, Pulmonology, or Cardiology. These additional rotations may be altered in terms of intensity in the event of any changes in clinical demands within the Bariatric Program.  Additional rotations will be supervised by appropriate Behavioral Medicine Faculty.

Four days per week are spent in clinical services with ½ day allocated for education/ didactic, and ½ day for research.

Didactics

The fellow will attend Psychiatry Grand Rounds and lead/co-lead Clinical Psychology Didactic with psychology interns. Additional educational experiences may include observation in various clinics or settings within the medical center.

Research

The fellow is expected to become involved in ongoing research or generate new research projects. A research contract is developed for each project at the beginning of the training year with specific goals and timelines. At the end of the year, the fellow will present findings to the faculty and submit the work for presentation/publication. One ½ day per week is allocated for protected research time.

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Licensure

Fellows are encouraged to obtain a license to practice psychology in the state of West Virginia. Taking and passing the EPPP written examination is encouraged by the end of the first year. Study materials are provided and fees are paid by the department.

Salary & Benefits

The current salary is $44,000 for the first year and $46,000 for the second year. Health insurance is available for family or single at a reasonable rate. The fellow receives a minimum of $750 a year for conference expenses. Vacation, sick leave, and professional leave are standard.

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