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Clinical Psychology Internship

Location: Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, 3rd Floor, Section C

Phone: (210) 292-5972

POC: 59th MHS/SGOWV

Email: airforcepsychology@gmail.com

Facebook: Wilford Hall Air Force Psychology Internship

 

Overview

Program Length:  One year. Interns typically work 45-50 hours per week for the duration of the one-year program.

Accreditation Status:  The program is accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1971. The internship is accredited through 2022 based off a 7-year reaccreditation by the American Psychological Association's Commission on Accreditation. Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

 

Office of Program Consultation & Accreditation

American Psychological Association

750 1st Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

Phone: (202) 336-5979 / email: apaaccred@apa.org  

Number of Intern Positions Available Each Year: 12

 

APPIC Affiliation #158911: The Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center Clinical Psychology Internship program is a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers and follows APPIC policies on internship offers and acceptances. We participate in the APPIC Matching Program. Details of the APPIC program and policies can be viewed on APPIC's website. APPIC's mailing address is:

 

AAPIC Central Office, 17225 El Camino Real, Suite #170

Houston, TX 77058-2748

Phone: (832) 284-4080

 

Download the WHASC Clinical Psychology Internship Applicant Brochure (updated July 2020)

 

Internship Admissions, Support, and Initial Placement Data

INTERNSHIP PROGRAM TABLES

Date Program Tables Updated: 1 July 2020

Internship Program Admissions

 

The Clinical Psychology Internship Program at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center (WHASC) is based on a scientist-practitioner approach to understanding human behavior and providing psychological services.  The purpose of the WHASC psychology internship program is to prepare competent psychologists to provide empirically-validated mental health care services to military members and their families and to provide effective consultation to military leaders on issues related to military members’ fitness for duty as well as risks to the public health of the local Air Force base community.

 

We intend our training activities to produce “generalist” clinicians who use careful, critical thinking skills to apply scientific evidence to the practice of psychology.   We expect trainees to base their clinical decision making and treatments on strong empirical evidence when it is available.  This critical thinking combined with a reliance on empirical science helps trainees minimize the inherent bias present in all human thinking, promotes the use of the most effective clinical strategies for patient care, and encourages the advancement of psychology as a health care profession.

 

Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center’s (WHASC) Clinical Psychology training program provides training in all of the profession wide competencies (i.e., research, ethics and legal standards, individual and cultural diversity, professional values and attitudes, communication and interpersonal skills, assessment, intervention, supervision, and consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills) as required by APA standards of accreditation.  Additionally, WHASC provides program specific competency training in population health and officer development.

 

Required Minimum Number of Clinical Hours

Does the program require that applicants have received a minimum number of hours of the following at time of application?  Yes.

If Yes, indicate how many:

 

 

Amount

Total Direct Contact Intervention Hours

No

N/A

Total Direct Contact Assessment Hours

No

N/A

Overall Total Direct Contact Hours

Yes

500

 

Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center’s (WHASC) Clinical Psychology training program requires a completed minimum of 500 face-to-face hours of supervised practicum experience by the time the application is submitted.  Our training program does not require a specific breakdown or percentage of intervention hours to assessment hours to meet the minimum of 500 face-to-face hours requirement. Furthermore, we do not require a specific breakdown or percentage of in-person face to face vs. virtual/telehealth face to face though do expect the majority of hours to have been completed in-person, subject to local health policies.

Describe any other required minimum criteria used to screen applicants:

The United States Air Force offers up to 28 fully funded one-year intern positions in clinical psychology across three training sites (WHASC, Malcolm Grow Medical Center, and Wright Patterson Medical Center).  The Air Force welcomes applications from all qualified persons who meet the following eligibility requirements: 

a. Be a U.S. citizen.

  1. Meet the health and fitness requirements for commissioning in the United States Air Force as determined by medical history and physical examination.
  2. Meet the standards for issuance of a secret security clearance as determined by history and background investigation.
  3. Satisfactorily complete all academic and practica requirements for the Ph.D. or Psy.D. in clinical, counseling, or combined professional-scientific psychology from an APA-accredited graduate program (Air Force Instruction 44-119, 7.9.2.1).  This includes, at a minimum, the completion of preliminary and comprehensive examinations and doctoral dissertation proposal approval.
  4. Be ready for internship as certified by the Director of Clinical Training at their graduate program.
  5. Dissertation progress is a factor in the selection process.  Completion of the dissertation prior to internship is strongly encouraged to allow for full participation in the wealth of training opportunities available during the internship.

Eligibility for commissioning as a United States Military Officer requires robust health as defined by a health history free of specified impediments, current physical strength/endurance tests, and impeccable moral character as defined by a life history free of impediment (specified list of exclusions related to ethical violations, personal finance/credit management, contacts with governmental authorities and law enforcement agencies, etc.) The main point of contact for questions regarding fitness for duty is a Health Professions recruiter from the Air Force Recruiting Service (AFRS). The Health Professions recruiter is authorized to screen for health, fitness, and legal conditions that may be disqualifying for service.  To find your nearest recruiter, visit the following website:

https://www.airforce.com/find-a-recruiter

Financial and Other Benefit Support for Upcoming Training Year

Interns receive the rank, pay and benefits of an Air Force Captain, including competitive base salary,

tax-free housing allowance based on regional cost of living, monthly food assistance, family medical

coverage and optional family dental package, and time off including 30-paid vacation days plus all

federal holidays. For specific salary and benefits, see the Military Pay Charts (note salary is based on

basic pay, housing allowance for San Antonio Texas, and monthly food assistance payment).

 

Annual Stipend/Salary Full Time Interns with dependents:

$77,351 ($6,445 per month)

Annual Stipend/Salary Full Time Interns without dependents:

$76,307 ($6,358 per month)

Annual Stipend/Salary for Half-Time Interns:

N/A

 

Program provides access to medical insurance for intern?

Yes

 

Trainee contribution to cost required?

No

 

Coverage of family member(s) available?

Yes

 

Coverage of legally married partner available?

Yes

 

Coverage of domestic partner available?

No

 

Hours of Annual Paid Personal Time Off (PTO and/or Vacation?

Yes

 

Hours of Annual Paid Sick Leave

No

 

In the event of medical conditions and/or family needs that require extended leave, does the program allow reasonable unpaid leave to interns/residents in excess of personal time off and sick leave?

 

Yes

 

Other Benefits:  Tricare, the medical insurance for military members, does require a relatively small annual deductible for individuals ($156) and family members/dependents for TRICARE Select ($313 per family). Look at Tricare’s website: https://www.tricare.mil/Costs/HealthPlanCosts/PrimeOptions for more information.  Military members earn 30 days of paid leave per year (2.5 days per month).  This is in addition to federal holidays or military family days (i.e., days when senior military leaders grant permission to have a day-off for service members).  However, please note that interns are only allowed 14 days away from training in addition to federal holidays and military family days.  If the medical condition prevents a service member from reporting to work for more than a single day, the service member will be evaluated by a medical professional and placed on convalescent leave (i.e., sick leave) for the appropriate amount of time.   Therefore, service members do not accrue paid hours of sick leave.  If necessary, it is permissible to take a medical leave of absence to receive appropriate treatment (e.g., cancer treatment, 12 weeks maternity leave after child birth).  All medical leave is paid.  For medical situations involving service members, family members or dependents, it is important to note that if additional time is approved away from training (i.e., more than 14 days) it will result in a necessary extension in training to make sure all program requirements are completed. Another great benefit is that Air Force offers incentive bonuses for psychologists.  Psychologists are eligible to receive additional pay for licensure ($5,000) and ABPP certification ($6,000) for a total salary increase of $11,000 annually.

 

Initial Post-Internship Positions

 

                                                                            2017-2020

Total # of interns who were in the three cohorts

27

Total # of interns who did not seek employment because they returned to their doctoral program/are completing doctoral degree

 

0

 

PD

ED

Community Mental Health Center

Federally Qualified Health Center

Independent Primary Care Facility/Clinic

University Counseling Center

Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Military Health Center

Academic Health Center

Other Medical Center or Hospital

Psychiatric Hospital

Academic University/Department

Community College or other Teaching Setting

Independent Research Institution

Correctional Facility

School District/System

Independent Practice Setting

Not Currently employed

Changed to Another Field

Other

Unknown

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

27

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

The position of clinical psychologist in the Air Force is comparable to that of many civilian psychologists. Duties primarily depend upon the needs of the individual clinic or the Air Force community in which one works. Depending upon one's interests or skills, even in initial duty assignments, Air Force psychologists are typically given levels of responsibility and autonomy rarely seen in other contexts, and the WHASC internship program prepares interns to effectively transition into their role as AF psychologists. The initial assignment invariably provides a superb foundation for a future military, or civilian, clinical psychology career.  

Clinical Psychology Internship Training Overview

Rotations

1.  Outpatient Mental Health Clinic (MHC) Rotation (4 months)

  • Initial Intake Evaluations and Therapy Cases
    • Individual
    • Group
  • Crisis Assessment and Intervention (e.g., walk-in triages)
  • Psychological Assessment/Testing (e.g., security or medical board evaluations)
  • Commander Directed and Fitness for Duty Evaluations (i.e., personnel evaluations)
  • Consultation to Leadership

2. Clinical Health Psychology Rotation (4 months)

  • Behavioral/functional Analysis of patients with chronic medical problems
  • Self-regulation strategies (Biofeedback, Relaxation, Stress Management)
  • Biopsychosocial management for chronic medical conditions
  • Consultations to medical providers
  • Health promotions (e.g., tobacco cessation and weight management)

3. Behavioral Analysis Service Rotation (1 month)

  • Crisis Assessment and Intervention for Air Force Base Trainees (e.g., walk-in triages)
  • Psychological Assessment/Screening for Special Duties (e.g., Recruiter Duty, Survival Evasion Resistance Escape special duty, etc.)
  • Consultation to Leadership

4. Assessment Rotation (1 month)

  • Includes both basic Psychological Testing and Neuropsychology Screening

5. Primary Care Rotation at Family Health Clinic (1 month)

6. Dissertation/Clinical Investigation Rotation (1 month)

Those who have completed their dissertation prior to when this rotation occurs on their schedule will have the opportunity to participate in an authorized elective.

7. Elective Rotation (1 month)

Authorized electives include PTSD Clinic, CHP Plus, BHOP Plus, AF Community Plus, Operational Psychology, Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP) Preparation, Motivational Interviewing, and Neuropsychology.

 

 

 

Other Required Activities

EBP Lab

Interns will meet weekly for a 2 hour block of instruction regarding various EBPs such as Motivational Interviewing, CBT-I/BBT-I for insomnia, IRT for nightmares, CPT and PE for PTSD.  The EBP lab will include didactic information as well as dedicated time to practice skills and review cases.

Continuity Clinic

Interns maintain an ongoing therapy caseload as part of his/her “continuity clinic.”  One patient generally has a PTSD diagnosis providing experience in delivering PE or CPT.  These cases allow for therapy experiences that can carry over beyond individual clinic rotations.

Population Health Seminar 
Population health is one of training program’s specific internship competencies.  The goal of this seminar is to develop competency in applying a systematic approach to assessing and addressing community concerns regarding health risk behaviors in target populations. The seminar meets weekly for one hour. 

At course completion, participants will have knowledge of the Air Force community’s behavioral health programs, structures and functions, as well as of the established professional literature pertaining to population level interventions.  Participants will demonstrate understanding of the Systems Perspective in identifying and addressing health risk behavior, and describe examples of the psychologist’s specific role(s) in community-based practice in AF communities.  Participants will gain experience evaluating community behavioral health programs, recommending courses of action appropriate to a military setting, and delivering community-based interventions.  Our program is very fortunate to have teaching faculty for this seminar who have specific expertise in population health and senior leadership military experience (e.g., having served as former Commanders and as a consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General for Psychology).  This seminar is unique to our training program and will help prepare interns to respond effectively to various challenges presented by the populations they serve.
AF Community Psychology Activities
Interns will attend a variety of activities that provide exposure to typical experiences of psychologists in the Air Force at their next base assignment after internship, including a relationship enhancement workshop, and participating in at least 10 hours of population health intervention activities for the base community. 

On Call Responsibilities 
Psychology interns will rotate on call responsibilities with other clinical staff throughout the year.  A designated cell phone to receive on-call responses for emergency situations (e.g., domestic violence, suicide attempts) after duty hours and on weekends will be provided.  Interns do not physically respond to the scene of any situation. Psychology interns provide real-time guidance to military leaders regarding safety planning and case reporting or consultation to medical providers, Commanders, and First Sergeants on mental health related matters and document incidents. All on-call responsibilities are under the supervision of a credentialed staff member and performed on a weekly basis. 

Program Characteristics

  • Scientific Focus
    • Focus on scientific thinking and biopsychosocial case conceptualization skills
    • Extensive training and supervision in empirically-based practices (EBPs) including PE, CPT, CBT-I, Motivational Interviewing, and more
    • Applied research opportunities
  • Support Intern Autonomy and Professional Development in a Diverse Work Setting
    • Interns are given leadership responsibilities
    • Supervision and training forums focus on clinical and leadership development as an officer
    • Ability to work with a diverse group of patients, professionals, and faculty in various clinics
  • Interdisciplinary Teamwork and Consultation
    • Interns work closely with Psychiatrists and Psychiatry Residents
    • Learn consultation and feedback skills with medical providers in primary care setting
    • Learn to balance patient safety and mission requirements as a consultant to Commanders
  • Working in a Joint Service Environment
    • The Psychology Internships at WHASC and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio share in some training activities during the year
    • Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland is home to a wide variety of joint military operations, including many enlisted technical schools attended by enlisted members of all branches of the armed forces. Interns work with patients from all uniformed services (Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Public Health Service, and Coast Guard) and learn about each service’s unique culture, missions, and rules.  Providers are exposed to sister service policies and cultures, learning how to work with patients and leadership from other military branches.

 

Key Points to Consider

  • Broadly trained as a Generalist using a Scientist Practitioner approach to Clinical Psychology
  • “State of the science” training in Evidence Based Practices for PTSD, Clinical Health Psychology, and Primary Care Psychology
  • Dedicated time and support for working on and defending your dissertation during internship
  • Supervision consistently rated “outstanding” in quantity and quality by program alumni
  • Didactic Program with Distinguished Visiting Professors of National Reputation
  • Work with a broad diversity of patients at the DoD’s largest ambulatory surgical care facility
  • Opportunity to conduct research related to clinical interests
  • Only Air Force training site with accredited post-doctoral fellowship in Clinical Health Psychology
  • Unique training opportunities include working with Basic Trainees entering the Air Force, attending the San Antonio Combat PTSD Conference with national trauma experts, and opportunities to collaborate with the University of Virginia Center for Addiction and Prevention Research on various population health studies
  • Excellent pay/benefits during internship and 3 additional years of follow-on employment
  • Fellowship Training Opportunities – Following the completion of one’s initial 4 year service commitment, an AF Psychologist may compete for a paid fellowship in one of specialty areas where the Air Force anticipates an increased need for specialists.  In the past, paid fellowships have been offered in Clinical Health Psychology, Child Psychology, Psychopharmacology, Clinical Neuropsychology, and Aviation/Operational Psychology. Those chosen for fellowship incur an additional active duty service obligation following completion of fellowship.

 

For current events in WHASC Psychology, check out our Facebook page.

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wilford-Hall-Air-Force-Psychology-Internship/156619957713319

 
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