Medical Clinical Psychology Training
Using the scientist-practitioner model, the APA-accredited Medical/Clinical Psychology Program combines rigorous didactic courses, increasingly independent scientific research, and diverse, closely supervised clinical experiences. The Program utilizes research and clinical training resources throughout the UAB System, VA Medical Center, Children’s Hospital, and health facilities and private practices in the area. UAB faculty, VA psychologists, as well as psychologists in the community play an active role in teaching and providing research and clinical supervision to students. Our students are trained to develop, implement, and evaluate behavioral science-based procedures to assess and promote health, prevent and ameliorate disease, and improve psychological and medical treatments. The program is designed to be completed in 5 or 6 years of full-time study, including completion of a one-year clinical internship at an APA-accredited site. The Program also offers three areas of emphasis to interested students: neuropsychology, pediatric/child psychology, and gerontology. Students can take elective courses related to the emphasis area and seek clinical experiences and pursue research with emphasis populations.
It is also possible to enroll in the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program through the School of Public Health concurrent with pursuit of the Ph.D. in Medical/Clinical Psychology. The MPH program prepares individuals for careers in clinical research, public health, and health care industry settings, in such areas as program evaluation and health outcomes assessment. Since this is a coordinated dual degree track, graduation from one program is contingent on completion of all requirements for graduation from the other program. More information about the Coordinated Ph.D./MPH program can be found at www.soph.uab.edu/hcop.
Admission to the Medical/Clinical Psychology Program is not contingent upon identifying a specific faculty member with whom to work upon entering the Program. One strength of our program is that all admitted students are funded by a graduate fellowship the first year, allowing students time to meet with various faculty and examine the laboratories and clinics in which they are interested in getting their training. This way, an informed decision can be made on both the part of the faculty mentor and the student about this important training and career decision.
Each student has a three-member Graduate Study Committee (GSC) which monitors and advises the student as he or she progresses through the program. Upon entering the Program and throughout a student’s first year, the Associate Director serves as the initial GSC chair for each incoming student. As the year progresses, the Associate Director and student together identify faculty to serve as chair and members of the GSC beginning after the first academic year. Thereafter, students are encouraged to suggest changes in their GSC membership to accommodate evolving interests, advising needs, research collaborations, and so on. As a group, each GSC should have sufficient clinical and research expertise and familiarity with important aspects of the program, such as the curriculum and training opportunities, to adequately advise students as they progress through the program. Students meet with their GSC at least once a year, and more if needed or desired.