The 12-month training year is organized into phases that reflect a balance of rotational and longitudinal experiences. The first two weeks are an orientation period in which interns receive a brief introduction to the Army, DDEAMC, OBHS and the internship itself. During the orientation, interns participate in training activities with other new incoming medical officers. Several seminars are also scheduled in OBHS to impart basic knowledge regarding various aspects of clinical practice, especially within the military environment. The orientation period also provides an opportunity for interns and faculty to become acquainted and for the faculty to learn about previous training, experiences, and different skill levels of the new interns. The remainder of the year contains both longitudinal and rotational training experiences, described below.
There are six required rotations lasting approximately 7-8 weeks each. Interns also participate in core experiences of seeing walk-ins and psychotherapy patients and conducting clinical assessments. Supervision is provided for all clinical activities. Each intern is assigned both a rotation supervisor and a primary psychotherapy supervisor. Each intern also participates in a weekly OBHS multidisciplinary treatment team. Interns spend 4-6 hours in supervision per week.
Outpatient Behavioral Health Service: This activity spans the entire training year and offers supervised experiences in crisis interventions, intake evaluations, and short term to intermediate length psychotherapy in various modalities. During this experience, the intern focuses on consultation, evaluation, individual and group treatment, and supervision.
Six Clinical Rotations:
- Adult Assessment: Interns concentrate on administering, interpreting, and reporting the results of formal psychological assessments with a variety of patients. Interns also learn to work with paraprofessional personnel in the assessment process by completing cases where behavioral health specialists or psychometricians have collected much of the data. The purpose of this rotation is to refine psychological assessment skills and to have an ongoing face-to-face experience with patients who have serious medical and psychiatric problems.
- Military Psychology: The focus of this rotation is on teaching interns psychological assessments and interventions specific to a military setting and providing command consultation to Army units. The intern will have the opportunity to conduct military unique activities such as command directed mental health evaluations, security clearance assessments, drill sergeant/recruiter evaluations, deployment suitability, and provide behavioral health education to a military population. The goal of this rotation is to prepare psychologists to function effectively in a military setting.
- Health Psychology: This rotation provides the intern with a comprehensive experience in developing health psychology and behavioral medicine intervention skills and providing consultation to various medical disciplines. Typical interventions include tobacco cessation, weight management, diabetes self-care, and pain management. Consultation skills focus on the impact of psychosocial factors on the treatment, management, and adaptation to a variety of medical conditions. The goal of this rotation is to prepare psychology interns for work in a medical center environment.
- Neuropsychology: Interns will be exposed to the specialized assessment instruments of Neuropsychology and develop an increased proficiency in all aspects of adult assessment, including cognitive and personality assessment. They will also have an increased understanding of neurobehavioral conditions such as traumatic head injury, cerebral vascular accidents, and dementia and associated remediation or treatment.
- Warrior Transition Battalion Liaison: Interns on the WTB rotation will work directly with “Warriors in Transition” (WTs) who are assigned to Fort Gordon for medical and psychiatric care. Duties include working in a multidisciplinary group program for Warriors in Transition; initial evaluation and screening of the psychological care needs of new WTs assigned to the WTB; and consultation with command, cadre, and other medical professionals regarding behavioral management of high risk WTs. Interns will learn skills necessary for functioning in both multidisciplinary and military settings and come to appreciate the special considerations that factor into working with WTs.
- Inpatient Psychiatry: Interns on this rotation attaining proficiency in diagnostic assessment with psychiatry inpatients, as well as acquire consultation skills with inpatient psychiatry treatment staff members to include psychiatrists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists, recreational therapists, and paraprofessionals. Core objectives are also to understand and skillfully apply a bio-psycho-social model for assessment and treatment in the in-patient setting, and to effectively collaborate with medical providers in treating patients with a strong behavioral health component to their care.