About the Psychology Internship Program
The Psychology Internship Program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UT Health Northeast) is a doctoral Clinical Psychology Program, which serves as an integral part of this academic health center. The internship’s mission is two-fold:
- first, to provide clinically and culturally competent behavioral health services to traditionally under-served populations and geographical areas
- second, to train future psychologists to provide excellent integrated care within the medical environment, promoting top notch patient-centered care
The UT Health Northeast Clinical Psychology Internship Program offers a 2,000 hour, one year doctoral internship. This program is an “offspring” of the Lone Star Psychology Internship Consortium (LSPIC), a consortium developed by leaders in the field of psychology in the State of Texas which ceased operations in 2015. As a consortium member for two years, UT Health Northeast gained experience training interns before launching its own program in 2015. APPIC membership was granted in October 2015. The internship program is not accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA); however, we have been approved for a Site Visit by APA for the Fall of 2016, which we are now in the process of scheduling.
The UT Health Northeast Psychology Internship Program is housed within the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Section of the Department of Medicine. Physician partners in psychiatry, family medicine, and internal medicine are actively involved in supporting the internship.
The patient population of the health center is uniquely diverse. Located on the northern edge of Tyler, Texas, UT Health Northeast has a catchment area that includes the denizens of this mid-sized city to the south as well as the rural inhabitants of the farmlands to the north. Socioeconomic, educational, racial, and ethnic diversity characterize this population. With a mental health provider to citizen ratio of 1:25,000, Northeast Texas suffers from a significant shortage of mental health resources. Many patients seen by the psychology interns have never seen a mental health professional before.
The internship program offers six one-year, full-time doctoral internship positions in clinical psychology within an emphasis on the interface between psychology and medicine. This program consists of two separate tracks of training, with separate Match numbers. While separate, there is considerable overlap of the two tracks, and interns have opportunity to individualize their experience. As often as possible, experiences are offered longitudinally, to allow interns to develop professional relationships with treatment team members.
Research opportunities are available throughout UT Health Northeast. Interns are welcome to join ongoing projects, as well as are encouraged to conduct research of their own.
Tracks of Training
Integrated Behavioral HealthThe first of these tracks is in Integrated Behavioral Health. This dynamic track emphasizes breadth and depth of training in intervention in an integrated care model. This integrated experience occurs primarily in the family medicine residency program, but also in internal medicine and Palliative care and oncology.
Psychology interns learn how to blend psychology into medical culture, providing psychological care that addresses the needs of, and is integrated into, medical care. Experiences include consultation, collaboration, assessment, and intervention within primary care settings. Outpatient group therapies are ongoing, focusing on depression and smoking cessation, with opportunities to collaborate with the Cancer support group and the dietitian.
Further, interns provide group therapy to psychiatric inpatients on the psychiatric units at UT Health Northeast. Interns are encouraged to develop services that may not already exist at the health center, based on their interests. Additionally, one day a week will be spent at the local State psychiatric hospital, where they participate in treatment team meetings and provide therapy and assessment for those with severe and persistent mental illness. Interns in this track will gain experience on the neurorehabilitation (“NeuroRestorative”) unit as well, and conduct pain and pre-surgical evaluations.
Supervision of Master’s level students at U.T. Tyler is an additional experience. The Palliative Care and Oncology rotation offers an in-depth experience with its treatment team.
Neuropsychology and RehabilitationThe second track is Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation. This experience provides all of the same experiences listed in the Integrated Behavioral Health track above, but with a greater emphasis in neuropsychological assessment, neurorehabilitation and psychological testing.
Extensive time is spent at the NeuroRestorative unit and the Center for Healthy Aging. In NeuroRestorative, interns have the opportunity to provide neuropsychological assessment, individual therapy with patients with acquired brain injury, as well as co-facilitating group therapy. In the Center for Healthy Aging, interns provide individual therapy and neuropsychological assessment for patients with stroke, TBI, and a wide variety of neurological conditions.
As in the Integrative Behavioral Health track, interns conduct pain and pre-surgical evaluations. Likewise, they spend one day a week at the local State Hospital, where they participate in treatment team meetings and provide therapy and assessment for those with severe and persistent mental illness.
Supervision of Master’s level students at U.T. Tyler is an additional experience. Treatment at an outreach HIV center (East Texas Cares Resources) is also a part of this experience.
Primary Educational Model and Professional Training Goals and Objectives
UT Health Northeast PIP offers training within a Practitioner-Scholar model. The goals and objectives of the program include the following:
Goal 1: Evidence Based Practice in InterventionInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Evidence Based Practice in Intervention. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Case conceptualization and treatment planning
- Implementation of therapeutic interventions
- Evaluation of interventions
Goal 2: Evidence Based Practice in AssessmentInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Evidence Based Practice in Assessment. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Instrument selection, administration, and scoring
- Test interpretation
- Communicating results
Goal 3: Interdisciplinary Consultation and CollaborationInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Interdisciplinary Consultation and Collaboration. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Theories and methods of consultation
- Multidisciplinary collaboration
Goal 4: SupervisionInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Supervision. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Theories and methods of supervision
- Effective provision of supervision
Goal 5: Cultural and Individual DiversityInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Cultural and Individual Diversity. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Cultural awareness
- Evidence-informed approach to cultural considerations
- Effective clinical approaches
Goal 6: ResearchInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Research. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Application of scientific knowledge to practice
- Program evaluation
Goal 7: Ethical and Legal StandardsInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Ethical and Legal Standards. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Knowledge of and adherence to ethical, legal, and professional standards
- Ethical decision-making and conduct
Goal 8: Professional Values and AttitudesInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Professional Values and Attitudes. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Self-awareness and professional behavior
- Professional awareness
Goal 9: Communication and Interpersonal SkillsInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Communication and Interpersonal Skills. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Interpersonal skills
- Effective communication
TrainingThe training site at UT Health Northeast offers six one-year doctoral internship positions. Each year, training begins July 1.
Interns train in the area of clinical psychology, developing experience in delivering integrated behavioral healthcare in various medical settings, including a Family Medicine residency, Internal Medicine Clinic/Center for Healthy Aging, Oncology, Palliative/Supportive Care, Inpatient psychiatric units at UT Health Northeast and at Rusk State Hospital, and NeuroRestorative post-acute rehabilitation for brain trauma.
Experiences are longitudinal, allowing for the development of both short and long-term therapeutic alliances with patients, as well as collegial relationships with physician faculty and residents. Although two tracks are offered, with one track emphasizing treatment in multiple medical settings, and the other track emphasizing evaluations focused on neuropsychological and rehabilitation concerns, both tracks overlap significantly in many clinical areas.
Hands-on learning opportunities include:
- Working with primary care faculty and residents in the Family Health Center as well as working with internal medicine physicians in the Center for Healthy Aging, providing consultation, “warm handoffs,” crisis management, psychotherapy, and counseling
- Conducting psychological and neuropsychological assessment for various referral sources, including physician referral, Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), pain evaluations, and presurgical evaluations, among others
- Working in a long-term post-acute brain injury rehabilitation unit (“NeuroRestorative”), providing psychotherapy and neuropsychological assessment
- Providing consultation to inpatient medical and psychiatric units, the Cancer Center, the Palliative Care Team, and East Texas Cares Resources, an HIV-outreach center
- Providing psychoeducation in health self-management groups such as smoking cessation
- Developing new services in area(s) of interest
- Developing understanding and confidence in interfacing with the medical community, grasping the cultural differences between professions, and providing streamlined integrated behavioral health
- Providing individual and group therapy and milieu interactions in acute local and State psychiatric units
- Attending psychiatric treatment team meetings and learning the team approach in the State psychiatric facility
- Gaining exposure to the multidisciplinary approach of caring for patients through interaction with physicians, physician assistants, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, speech therapists, and community mental health workers
Supervision and Didactics
- Individual supervision is provided by each of the two full-time faculty, yielding a minimum of two hours per week
- Additional supervision is available with our part-time faculty as well
- Group supervision involves psychology interns and faculty for two hours per week
- Two hours of didactics occur Wednesday afternoons. Psychology didactic seminars will focus on a range of topics. A sample of such topics includes:
- Risk Assessment and Suicidality
- Ethics for the Early-Career Professional and Texas Laws
- Multicultural Diversity and Professional Competence
- Rural Mental Health
- Motivational Interviewing
- Theories and Methods of Supervision
- Program Evaluation
- Assessment and Treatment of Mood Disorders
- Medical/Neurological Disorders Presenting as Psychiatric Illness
- Forensic Psychology
- Advocacy for the Profession/Advocacy for the Patient
- Assessment and Treatment of Psychotic Disorders
The health center also offers Cancer Conference on Thursdays and Grand Rounds didactics on Fridays. Medical student presentations occur twice a month in Family Medicine, and serve an invaluable instructional experience for psychology interns, not only in content area, but also in the process of medical case presentation.
Stipend and Benefits
The annual stipend for psychology interns at UT Health Northeast is $24,500. Interns are required to have current health insurance coverage until a 90-day waiting period expires. Interns are required to have current health insurance coverage for up to 90-days during the waiting period. After that time, interns will be enrolled in UT Health Northeast health benefits. In addition to State holidays, each intern will receive 12 days of sick leave and 12 days of vacation leave.
Assessment and other training materials are provided. Additionally, each intern is offered office space and a work computer.
Fielding Graduate University
California School of Forensic Studies/Alliant International University, Fresno
Carlos Albizu University, Miami
Arizona School of Professional Psychology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles
Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow
Floribeth Rivera, MA
Loma Linda University
Kathryn Wortz, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Training Director, Psychology Internship Program
Charles Walker, Ph.D.
Neuropsychology and Clinical Psychology
Paul Andrews, Ph.D., ABPP
Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology
Ray Scardina, M.D.
Amy Swan, D.O.
Assistant Professor, Palliative and Supportive Care Director
Nursing Care Coordinator
Contributing Supportive Faculty
Marisela Stocks, M.S., Licensed Psychological Associate
Behavioral Health Integration Project
Jennifer Peoples, M.S., Licensed Professional Counselor
The University of Texas at Tyler
Charles Barké, Ph.D., Chair of Psychology and Counseling
Dennis Combs, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology
Rusk State Hospital
Burt Gabbert, Ph.D., Psychologist
Department of Medicine
Ilfeanyi “Manny” Elueze, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.A., Professor, Chair of Medicine (Dean)
Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Section, Department of Internal Medicine, UT Health Northeast
Jeffery Matthews, M.D., Associate Professor and Section Chief
Richard Idell, M.D., Assistant Professor
Department of Family Medicine, UT Health Northeast
Robert B. Tompkins, M.D., Associate Professor, Chair, and Program Director, Family Medicine Residency
J. Ryan Menard, M.D., M.B.A., Assistant Professor, Clinic Director, Associate Program Director
Patti B. Olusola, M.D., Assistant Professor
Michele C. Bosworth, M.D., Associate Professor, Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer
Admir Seferovic, M.D., Assistant Professor
Leo Holm, M.D., Assistant Professor
Pierre Neuenschwander, Ph.D., Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs
Jeffrey Levin, M.D., Senior Vice President of Clinical and Academic Affairs
- UT Health Northeast match numbers can be found on the National Matching Service Website. To learn about our curriculum, policies, and procedures, download the program handbook.
- Students interested in applying for the internship program should submit an online application through the APPIC website. Students may apply for either or both of the two program tracks offered. Please note that each has a separate program number.
- This internship site agrees to abide by the APPIC policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant.
A complete application consists of the following materials:
- A completed Online AAPI (APPIC’s standard application)
- Cover letter (part of online AAPI) stating your preferred training site(s) and why you are interested in those sites specifically
- A current Curriculum Vitae (as part of the online AAPI)
- Three Standardized Reference Forms, two of which must be from persons who have directly supervised your clinical work (as part of the online AAPI). Please submit no more than three letters
- Official transcripts of all graduate coursework
- All applicants are required to include work samples as part of the application process. Applicants should upload one integrated psychological evaluation.
If applicants are invited to interview, they will be notified by email. Interviews may be conducted by Skype.
UT Health Northeast will base its selection process on the entire application package noted above; however, applicants who have met the following qualifications prior to beginning internship will be considered preferred:
- 500 intervention hours
- 50 assessment hours
- Dissertation proposal defended
- Some experience or special interest in working with diverse and/or underserved populations
- Psychology Interns are hired in an employee status of UT Health Northeast, a State of Texas agency. Employment and training as an Intern will be based on successfully passing criminal background checks and health screenings. Health screenings include an occupational health exam, (including tuberculosis test, spirometry, and PAPR fit testing). Immunizations are required to be up to date or brought up to date. Flu shots are required and provided to all interns.
- UT Health Northeast is a drug free and nicotine free campus. Employees, including interns, may be subjected to drug and nicotine screening, and must have clear test results to be considered and enter training.
- Mandatory rotation schedules are provided for Interns at off-campus locations, such as Rusk and/or Terrell. Personal vehicles may be used, at an individual’s own expense, or individuals may be provided a health center vehicle. To be eligible to use a health center vehicle employees, including interns, must provide a current valid Texas Driver’s License, have a clean driving record, and take a defensive driving class.
- Interns may receive health insurance and life insurance benefits according to plan documents after meeting a waiting period of up to 90 days of employment. During this waiting period, interns are required to carry their own insurance, for which they may be partially reimbursed. Proof of insurance is required.
- Interns are automatically enrolled in the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS). The TRS retirement plan follows ERISA guidelines and UT Systems plan documents, for specific information please request plan summary document from the Human Resources Department.