Wpic Psychology Internship Essays

Clinical Psychology Internship Class of 2018


The Clinical Psychology Internship program has welcomed a new class of gifted students from across the United States to Pittsburgh. This year, over 3,100 applicants were matched to internship positions in North America. Our pre-doctoral internship program attracts some of the most gifted students. The incoming class represents a wide range of scientific and clinical interests from learning and decision-making to improving treatment for internalizing disorders in youth. 

The program?s co-directors, Drs. Tina Goldstein and Michele Levine, are proud of the unique opportunities that Pittsburgh provides.  The internship program integrates research and clinical training, and emphasizes empirically informed approaches to clinical work. The program is also recognized for the variety of clinical experiences offered to interns at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC (WPIC). Interns rotate both inpatient and outpatient settings and work with patients of all ages and their families.  The robust research environment in the Department of Psychiatry also provides interns with numerous opportunities to pursue clinical research activities. 

Please join us as we welcome the following interns to Pittsburgh: 

  • Vanessa Brown (Virginia Tech)
    Interests: Understanding disruptions in learning and decision-making in depression and other psychiatric disorders. Her work incorporates neural and behavioral methods to examine learning, with a focus on understanding differential treatment response in depression.

  • Erin Kaufman (University of Utah)
    Interests: Identification of pathogenic and protective factors for self-injurious behavior and borderline personality disorder. Her work examines transactions between social processes and biologically based vulnerabilities.

  • Jessie Northrup (University of Pittsburgh)
    Interests: Risk for development of autism spectrum disorder in children.

  • Irene Tung (University of California-Los Angeles)
    Interests: How biological and environmental factors interact to predict the development and plasticity of externalizing behavior in youth.

  • Rachel Vaughn-Coaxum (Harvard University)
    Interests: Incorporating biological and contextual factors into the study of treatment for youth internalizing disorders. She is also interested in community implementation of evidence-based treatment for youth.

The program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science.  Information about accreditation can be obtained from the APA Commission on Accreditation.

Our psychology internship features rotations in both inpatient and outpatient settings; individual and group supervision in adult and child assessment and intervention; clinical and didactic seminars; and an opportunity to pursue clinical research activities.

The goals of the program are to:

  • Develop and consolidate clinical skills in psychiatric assessment, conceptualization, and evidence-based psychological interventions
  • Provide broad clinical experience within multidisciplinary treatment and research teams located within a university-based medical center, and
  • Consolidate and enhance skills in clinical psychological science and supplement the clinical experience with adequate time and resources for empirical exploration of a specialty area


Internship Admissions, Support, and Initial Placement Data

As of 2017, the following standardized tables of admissions, support and initial placement data are required for all APA-accredited internship program websites. The WPIC internship program tables are updated annually on July 31st. Additional information on our program can be found by selecting the Program Information link.


Internship Program Admissions

Our internship program adheres to a clinical science model of training and emphasizes the integration of research, clinical training, and professional development. An important goal in assessing fit is to identify and select interns whose ambitions focus on careers in such academic settings. Thus, in addition to the standardized APPIC application and letters of reference, we pay close attention to the candidate’s interest in, and aptitude for, clinical research.

Typically, applicants who fit well at our site will have exceeded the minimum requirements of a master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation, as evidenced by written and verbal scholarly communication skills, such as publication of peer-reviewed papers and/or presentations at national and regional professional meetings. Direct clinical experience is also important. Our academic medical center setting is unique, in part, due to the breadth of clinical training and degree of involvement with more severely ill patients. It is therefore essential that candidates have considerable supervised clinical experience and interest in hospital-based care. We also look for a history of initial training in evidence-based treatments such as cognitive behavior therapy or other modalities.

Our selection procedure involves an initial screening and rating of written applications by the Training Directors, members of the Training Committee, and affiliated faculty as appropriate. We strive to obtain three faculty reviews for each application, and we ask raters to provide: 1) a numeric (1-9) rating scale score; 2) feedback as to the specific strengths and weaknesses of the applicant, and; 3) whether the rater feels the applicant warrants an invitation for an in-person interview. A select group of approximately 24 interns is then invited to attend one of our two interview days in January. Through the interview process, applicants are further rated based on face-to-face meetings. After all interviews are completed, a final rank ordering of candidates is issued for match day in February.

Minimum Requirements for Application

Does the program require that applicants have received a minimum number of hours at the time of application for:
Total Direct Contact Intervention Hours
No
Total Direct Contact Assessment Hours
No

Other Minimum Criteria

Describe any other required minimum criteria used to screen applicants:
The WPIC internship program does not have any additional minimum requirements to screen applicants.

Financial and Other Benefits for the Upcoming Training Year

Annual Stipend/Salary for Full-Time Interns:
$24,500
Annual Stipend/Salary for Half-Time Interns:
NA
Program provides access to medical insurance for intern?
Yes
Trainee contribution to cost required?
No
Coverage of family members available?
Yes
Coverage of legally married partner available?
Yes
Coverage of domestic partner available?
Yes
Hours of annual paid personal time off:
10 days
Hours of annual paid sick leave:
12 days
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:
$1,000 for professional development
6 professional days
Dental insurance covering intern/dependents as for medical insurance
Vision insurance covering intern/dependents as for medical insurance

Initial Post-Internship Positions: 

An Aggregated Tally for the Preceding 3 Cohorts

Total# of interns who were in the 3 cohorts 2013-2016:
15
Total# of interns who did not seek employment because they returned to their doctoral program/are completing doctoral program:
0
*PD
*ED
Community mental health center
NA
NA
Federally qualified health center
NA
NA
Independent primary care facility/clinic
NA
NA
University counselling center
NA
NA
Veterans Affairs medical center
NA
NA
Military health center
NA
NA
Academic health center
NA
NA
Other medical center or hospital
NA
NA
Psychiatric hospital
NA
NA
Academic university/department 
NA
NA
Community college or other teaching setting
NA
NA
Independent research institution
1
NA
Correctional facility
NA
NA
School district/system
NA
NA
Independent practice setting
NA
NA
Not currently employed
NA
NA
Changed to other field
NA
NA
Other
NA
NA
Unknown

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