UAB Clinical Psychology Internship Program

Beginning in 1965, the UASOM Department of Psychiatry initiated a predoctoral clinical psychology internship.  Since that time, the internship has been continuously accredited by the American Psychological Association, first as an independent program and later as the present Internship Training Consortium.  Sponsored by the UASOM and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the Consortium includes all School of Medicine Departments and Centers, as well as the VA Medical Center programs, in which clinical psychologists practice.  Over the years, clinical psychologists have joined both departments and clinics outside psychiatry becoming internship training faculty members and participating in program governance.  Currently, clinical psychologists are located in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology, the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the Department of Neurology, the Department of Pediatrics, the Department of Preventive Medicine, and Civitan International Research Center Sparks Clinics.  In the VA Medical Center, psychologists provide services in primary mental health settings, addiction programs, a visually impaired rehabilitation center, the primary care clinics, the pain program, and both neuropsychological and geriatric assessments.

Prior to 1980, the Internship Training Consortium was the sole program dedicated to the education of doctoral level clinical psychologists operating within the Medical Center.  With the establishment of the Psychology Training Consortium and the Psychology Training Committee, the Internship Training Consortium became a program under the auspices of the larger Psychology Training Consortium. A broad-based training program, the Clinical Psychology Internship Training Consortium is administratively housed in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology – Psychology Section. The Internship Training Committee (ITC) is a standing committee of the Psychology Training Consortium and is responsible for recruiting, selecting, training, evaluating, and certifying psychology interns.

PROGRAM TRAINING SITES
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large service, research and educational complex consisting of the Medical Center, University College, and the Graduate School. UAB is the city’s largest employer occupying more than 70 square blocks on Birmingham’s Southside.  Associated with the University, The Kirklin Clinic, Children’s of Alabama, and the VA Medical Center serve as training sites for medical students, residents, and psychology trainees.

The Medical Center consists of the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Optometry, Health Related Professions, and the University of Alabama Hospital and Clinics (Center for Psychiatric Medicine, Kirklin Clinic, Jefferson Tower, Lurleen Wallace Cancer Hospital, Frank Spain Heart Hospital, Spain Rehabilitation Center, Diabetes Hospital, Eye Foundation Hospital, Children’s of Alabama, and a Dean’s Committee General Medicine and Surgical Veterans Administration Hospital).  UAB’s Department of Psychology and the Medical School co-sponsor doctoral programs in Medical Psychology and in Behavioral Neuroscience. The Medical Psychology program is APA-approved.

The numerous resources utilized in the Internship Program include the Neuropsychiatry Clinic, Community Psychiatry Program, Center for Psychiatric Medicine, University Hospital (Jefferson Tower), Civitan International Research Center/Sparks Clinics (CIRC), Children’s of Alabama, Lurleen Wallace Tumor Institute, Frank Spain Cardiovascular Hospital, Kirklin Clinic, Spain Rehabilitation Center, and the Veterans Affairs Hospital. Internship faculty functions include clinical service, research, and teaching (medical students, psychiatric residents, psychology interns, medical psychology graduate students, social work trainees, postdoctoral fellows, and allied health trainees).

TRAINING PROGRAM PHILOSOPHY AND THEORETICAL ORIENTATION
The UAB Psychology Internship Training Consortium is committed to the philosophy that psychological practice should be based on the science of psychology which is influenced by the professional practice of psychology. We are grounded in the scientist-practitioner model and believe interns should receive training that integrates research and clinical experience. In particular, we are committed to the practice of empirically supported treatments.

The Consortium also holds the philosophy that the internship year is best served with generalist training, which includes a variety of experiences with a variety of populations. Although some students may begin specializing during the internship year, they must do so while completing generalist experiences. The need for training to be graded in complexity, sequential, and cumulative, is viewed as vital to the overall professional development of the intern.

The Consortium is also committed to the philosophy that training is best accomplished in a manner that respects the trainee and their individual needs throughout the year. Our ability to construct a schedule specific to the needs of each intern and to revise that schedule as the needs of the intern change is vital to this internship site. Interns are treated as junior colleagues and mutual respect between interns and faculty is paramount, wherein interns can expect supervision, mentorship, and collegiality.

Additional information regarding the accreditation status of this internship site as well as other sites is available from the American Psychological Association.

American Psychological Association 

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street, NE, Washington D.C. 20002-4242
(202) 336-5500 or (202) 336-5979
http://www.apa.org/