Psychology Internship Training Program

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Psychology Internship Training Program

The University of Mississippi Medical Center Psychology Internship (Residency) Training Program is within the Division of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the UMMC. Versions of the program have been accredited by the American Psychological Association since its inception in 1964. The program was most recently accredited as a consortium with the local VA. However, on July 1, 2017, the training program began operating as an independent program. In spring 2018, the UMMC Psychology Intership Program will undergo an accreditation site visit to seek accreditation as an independent internship training program.

  • Refer to the internship program's brochure for up-to-date information regarding clinical rotations and research opportunities available during the upcoming internship training year.

The training program offers a wide variety of clinical and research opportunities during the internship year, which are consistent with the program's training goals for interns.

Training goals

The main goals of the program include:

  • Goal 1 - Interns will be competent in assessment, intervention, supervision and consultation skills.
    Objective: By the end of the training year, psychology interns will be competent in assessment, intervention, supervision and consultation skills as evidenced by at least high intermediate skill (requiring minimal supervision) in the following domains by the end of the internship year:
    • Assessment
    • Intervention
    • Supervision
    • Consultation and interprofessional skills
  • Goal 2 - Interns will be skilled in the interface between science and practice.
    Objective: Production of psychology interns who will be skilled in the interface between science and practice by applying scientific knowledge to the clinical setting, being educated consumers of empirical research and participating in active research projects and/or program evaluation as evidenced by demonstration of at least high intermediate skill (requiring minimal supervision) in the following domain:
    • Research
  • Goal 3 - Interns will be competent in individual and cultural differences and diversity.
    Objective: By the end of the training year, psychology interns will demonstrate diversity-related competencies including, but not limited to, age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language, national origin, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status as evidenced by demonstration of at least high intermediate skills (requiring minimal supervision) in the following domain by the end of the internship year:
    • Individual and cultural diversity
  • Goal 4 - Interns will display professional and ethical behavior.
    Objective: By the end of the training year, psychology interns will demonstrate professional and ethical behavior. Interns will adapt professional behavior in a manner that is sensitive and appropriate to the needs of diverse clients, colleagues and organizations as evidenced by at least high intermediate skill (requiring minimal supervision) in the following domains by the end of the internship year:
    • Professional values, attitudes and behaviors
    • Ethical and legal standards
  • Goal 5 - Interns will be competent in teaching and expressive skills.
    Objective: Production of psychology interns who by the end of the training year will demonstrate knowledge of didactic learning strategies, be able to apply teaching methods to multiple settings and have verbal, nonverbal and written communications that are informative, articulate, succinct, well-integrated, and demonstrate thorough grasp of professional language and concepts as evidenced by at least high intermediate skill (requiring minimal supervision) in the following domain by the end of the internship year:
    • Communication and interpersonal skills

In addition to these general competencies, our training program provides opportunities to develop specialized competencies (e.g., Motivational Interviewing, dissemination, etc.) through our various training rotations and curricular offerings.

Training model

The training program endorses a cognitive-behavioral orientation within a scientist-practitioner model. Interest in, and experience with, this approach are important selection criteria. Interns gain clinical experience with a wide variety of patient populations and across multiple settings through inpatient, outpatient, and community placements.

The internship year is divided into 3 four-month rotations. Multiple clinical rotations are available, each serving different populations and providing unique services. Rotation assignments are made based on interns' rankings and faculty input based on intern's training needs and clinical goals. Interns provide rankings twice during the year, prior to the start of internship and in November, to allow for experiences with the first rotation to be considered before making choices for the rest of the training year. Rotations are divided into child and adult emphasis areas. Interns are encouraged to gain experiences within both emphasis areas. Clinical supervision and training are conducted on a one-on-one or small group basis within each clinical rotation.

Additional clinical opportunities occur through the General Psychology Clinic, where interns gain experience working with longer-term outpatient cases, and can receive supervision from psychology faculty other than their rotation supervisors. Interns are expected to accumulate at least 500 face-to-face clinical hours during the internship year, with 86 of those contacts occurring through the General Psychology Clinic. A unique aspect of clinical experiences offered through the program includes the racial/ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of patient populations served at UMMC. The University of Mississippi psychology internship training program currently has 6 internship slots, three of which are adult emphasis and 3 of which are child emphasis.

To facilitate growth and successful progress in the program, interns receive formal evaluative feedback on their progress on training goals/objectives during each rotation and at the mid- and end-points of the training year. They must demonstrate performance at the high intermediate level on all competencies to complete internship.


During the training year, interns participate in the program's Practice and Dissemination Curriculum, as well as seminars and grand rounds.

Seminars and grand rounds

The training program offers a series of seminars that cover a broad range of topics, including all nine profession-wide competencies identified by APA. In addition, specialized seminars related to grant writing (See Research Opportunities below for more information), dissemination and implementation, and academic psychology are important components of the professional development curriculum. A Research Rounds/Case Presentation series is presented by interns and post docs. Interns are expected to present a job talk during the fall and a clinical case in the spring to fellow interns, post docs, and faculty. Finally, many other seminars, rounds and informal presentations offered by other departments are open to our trainees.

The UMMC Psychology Internship Training Program has a strong reputation for providing excellent professional development seminars aimed at psychology interns who intend to have an academic/research career. The professional development seminars include topics that range from negotiating salaries and start up packages to purchasing one's first house to work/life balance.

Research opportunities

While clinical training activities play a paramount role in our program, interns are expected to maintain active involvement in research as well. A high percentage of psychology interns have authored or co-authored multiple publications based on their research activities during the internship year. Interns are provided with protected research time each week and are expected to use that time for UMMC research including but not limited to submission of a first-authored publication or an equivalent research product under the supervision of training program faculty during the training year. Failure to meet research expectations will not result in failure of the internship program (as long as the intern achieves a rating of at least high intermediate on the Scientific Knowledge and Methods and Research/Evaluation domains), but may result in intern protected research time being reassigned to meet other training goals. Interns from the 2013 class had an average of 4.0 (1.6) submitted/in press peer-reviewed publications with program faculty during the training year and 6.3 (2.2) total research projects during the course of the year. This number does not reflect additional publications interns submitted/published with their graduate school mentors.

Close supervision on all aspects of research comprises an integral component of the internship program. This is accomplished by assignment of a research preceptor whose research interests and experience are consistent with the interests or goals of the intern. These assignments occur 2-3 months prior to the start of the training year and are based primarily on intern rankings.

It is expected that interns will conduct research with their preceptor. However, interns may also work with other faculty members whose research is consistent with their program of research. Independent research opportunities also are available. Didactics on grantsmanship are part of the internship training experience. The grant writing seminar is an 11 to 12 session series led by program faculty members who have a strong history of attracting NIH funding and have considerable experience reviewing NIH grants. Interns are encouraged to begin, and perhaps complete, a draft of their own independent grant by the end of the internship year. To facilitate achievement of these research goals and expectations, interns receive an average of at least 8 hours of research time per week: 4 hours of weekly protected research time and an average of 4 or more hours per week that is negotiated with rotation supervisors.

Significant resources are available to support research training activities. PCs are easily accessible with primary software packages including MS Office (Word, Powerpoint, Excel), STATA and SPSS among others. Laboratory and A/V equipment include psychophysiological assessment and biofeedback equipment, video recorder/playback systems, DLP projectors, etc. Online survey and data management services are available through Qualtrics and REDCap. The Rowland Medical Library offers excellent facilities and receives all major psychology journals; in addition, the vast majority of these journals are available electronically. The capacity for database searches Medline, ERIC, CINAHL, HEALTH, PsychINFO and PsychLit (Psychological Abstracts) is available on-site and remotely.

Administrative policies and procedures

  • Financial support
    Interns are paid a minimum of $24,843 and receive the state financial health insurance plan, which is covered in their pay. Interns accrue 18 days of leave a year, 13 days of which are designated vacation or personal leave and 5 days of leave to pursue employment opportunities. Additionally, there are 10 paid holidays and professional leave time is available to attend conferences and for other professional experiences.
  • Internship year
    The internship year runs for a full year - July 1-June 30.
  • Due process statement
    Upon entry to our program, interns receive a copy of our policy and procedures manual which includes information on grievance processes, disciplinary actions (including termination), and addresses issues pertaining to impaired interns. Contact program administrator Kristy Herbison to request a copy of our policy and procedures manual.
  • Equal opportunity
    The University of Mississippi Medical Center adheres to the principle of equal educational and employment opportunity without regard to race, sex, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. This policy extends to all programs and activities supported by the Medical Center. Under the provisions of Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, UMMC does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs or activities with respect to admissions or employment.