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. However, recognizing the growing presence and value of clinical psychology in the health care setting, the UA School of Medicine and UAB Graduate School jointly sponsored and established the Clinical/Medical Psychology Doctoral Program. Because psychologists throughout the University and the VA were intimately involved in both training programs, the School of Medicine, the Graduate School, and VA Medical Center formed the Psychology Training Consortium which has responsibility for the operational management of both the Internship program and the Clinical doctoral program. Coordinating all clinical, research, and medical psychology training in the Medical Center, the Psychology Training Consortium is housed administratively in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology. Psychologists representing all entities formed the Psychology Training Committee which is the governing body.
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 continues to be 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. Faculty members are listed in Appendix A.
Additional information regarding the accreditation status of this internship site as well as other sites is available from the 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/).
UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM
The University of Alabama at Birmingham and School of Medicine is one of the nation’s most rapidly expanding institutions. It enrolls approximately 15,000 students, making it the third largest in the state (after the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa and Auburn University). The Medical Center complex is internationally recognized for heart transplants, open heart surgery, renal transplants, and comprehensive cancer care. A recent national survey of physicians ranked UAB as the third leading medical center in the nation.
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 Hospital, and a Dean’s Committee General Medicine and Surgical Veterans Administration Hospital). Cooper Green (the county hospital) is also in the Medical Center complex. 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 Hospital, 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).
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. With over 15,000 employees, UAB is the city’s largest employer occupying more than 70 square blocks on Birmingham’s Southside. Associated with the University, The Kirklin Clinic, The Children’s Hospital of Alabama, and the VA Medical Center serve as training sites for medical students, residents, and psychology trainees.
Alabama’s largest city Birmingham and the surrounding metropolitan area have a population exceeding 900,000 persons. Historically, Birmingham had been a major industrial center with a large steel industry. However, the past decade has seen the decline of the steel-based economy and the rise of a health-care focused economy with the University Medical Center leading the way. Additionally, four major regional banks had called Birmingham home lending prestige as a financial center. Currently, only two banks are headquartered in the city, as mergers have taken place in the last 3 years. It lies in Jones Valley, surrounded by the lower portions of the Appalachian Mountain chain – Red Mountain, Shades Mountain, and Oak Mountain. Numerous lakes are within short distances of Birmingham, and the Gulf Coast is a five-hour drive. Atlanta (150 miles), Chattanooga (150 miles), New Orleans (300 miles), Nashville (250 miles) and Memphis (250 miles) are within easy weekend range.
The city has a number of sports complexes, including Legion Field (80,000 capacity), Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Coliseum (17,000 capacity), and Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, all of which host a variety of athletic events including college football, basketball, and baseball, as well as a minor league baseball team. The Alabama Symphony, Broadway shows, and concerts are frequently held in the Civic Center Concert Hall, as well as at the new Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center on campus. Very good school systems, the beautiful Botanical and Japanese Gardens, the Birmingham Zoo, and many state parks and resorts are in the area. Public and private golf courses are numerous and the Alabama International Speedway is nearby as is Barber Motor Sports Park. Six other colleges or universities are located in the Birmingham area: Bessemer State Technical College, Birmingham-Southern College, Jefferson State Community College, Lawson State Community College, Samford University, and Miles College.
Unknown to most people outside the area, the Birmingham Metropolitan Area has a heterogeneous population including substantial Greek and Italian communities, a growing Hispanic population, numerous Asian groups, and a large African American presence. Consequently, there are a number of excellent restaurants specializing in ethnic foods. There are also several festivals each year in the city emphasizing the cultural diversity of Birmingham. City Stages, a large music festival, takes place every June. Part of downtown is blocked to traffic, and numerous stages, along with food and souvenir booths, are set up for the weekend event.
Tuscaloosa, which is a 50 minute drive from Birmingham, is a city of approximately 75,000 inhabitants and is home to the University of Alabama, Bryce Hospital, Stillman College, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility (a psychiatric treatment facility for the criminally insane), the Partlow State School for the mentally retarded, the manufacturing headquarters of JVC America (developer of the VHS videotape format), and the national headquarters of the Gulf States Paper Company. Recreational facilities include numerous parks and sports complexes. The Black Warrior River, Lake Tuscaloosa, and Holt Lake offer opportunities for boating, fishing and water sports. The community theater and the community orchestra maintain an active performance schedule. The University of Alabama is a rich source of activities including concerts, plays and sporting events. Additionally, guest performances from visiting artists are a regular occurrence. The Children’s Hands On Museum provides children with an opportunity to act out roles in a working TV studio, a print shop, a bank or a hospital setting. There is an active theater with numerous special events for children.
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.