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Department of Psychiatric Medicine
Clinical Psychology Internship Program


close-up photo of two female residents


 


PHILOSOPHY AND OVERVIEW

 
Philosophy

Our program strives to provide supervised clinical experiences (e.g. psychological assessment, treatment, and consultation) that allow for consolidation of knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for entry level practice of professional clinical psychology. Interns will develop their understanding of the cognitive, social, biological and emotional aspects of behavior and development, and of dysfunctional behavior and psychopathology while adhering to the professional, legal, and ethical standards of professional psychology. All aspects of training are intended to promote understanding and sensitivity to issues of multicultural diversity. Interns can expect to participate in the various training components in an educational sequence across the 12 month training period (for a minimum of 1500 hours).

Our program offers training in multicultural and diverse patient populations. We provide services to the under-served, poor, and minority residents of eastern NC, a patient population with marked disparities in healthcare access and outcomes. For example, at the Kinston Community Health Center, most patients are African American or Hispanic/Latino, and most are uninsured with only approximately 27-32% having some type of insurance, primarily Medicaid and Medicare. In our busy outpatient clinic, approximately 33% of patients are on Medicaid/Medicare, 33% have private insurance, and 33% are uninsured.

 
Overview

The primary training method during the Internship is supervised clinical experiences with a variety of patients. Clinical training is augmented with didactic and academic training. Numerous training modalities are employed and include for example, faculty demonstration, observation of interns, discussion of clinical and professional issues, within-rotation seminars and rounds; individual and group supervision; review of the professional literature; review of audiovisual materials including tapes of interns' interactions with patients and families; and other educational approaches as warranted. Didactic seminars are held weekly across the training year. The vast majority are held in the outpatient clinic. Grand Rounds are held at the Medical School and Consult/Liaison seminars occur in the hospital.

Interns are expected to spend at least 25% of their time per week in face-to-face patient care; however, the exact number of hours varies slightly given the individual training site. In addition, a minimum of two hours of scheduled supervision is required each week although in most instances many more informal supervisory contacts take place during the training day. Interns can expect to be evaluated both formally and informally on their progress through the program and during each rotation. We use the Minnesota Supervisory Inventory (MSI) to assess progress through the program. The MSI uses anchored scales assessing each of the competency domains described in our program goals. The instrument is reviewed during orientation to the program, thus interns are apprised early on as to how their performance will be assessed.

Intern input into programmatic issues is important. An extensive program evaluation is completed by each trainee at the culmination of the training year. This form assesses specific areas of training (e.g. didactics, clinical training), quality of training in the broader areas of professional development, and specific assessments of training rotations. Data from these surveys can be displayed graphically to show outcomes across time and also for comparison to program goals. Interns will also have the opportunity to evaluate their supervisors from each clinical rotation.