Psychology Internship and Postdoctoral Fellowship Overview
The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) is a 500 bed General Medical and Surgical Hospital. This new state-of-the-art hospital opened in 1991. It is a teaching hospital affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine for instruction and clinical experience in various medical specialties and is part of the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical complex in the nation. Approximately 50 of the beds are assigned to the Mental Health Care Line, the remainder being devoted to Medicine, Surgery, Spinal Cord Injury, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. Most veterans are treated on an outpatient basis.
A wide variety of training programs are conducted within the hospital, and interns and fellows assigned to this institution will be in a setting that provides a high degree of intellectual stimulation. Some of the training programs included at MEDVAMC are: medical intern and residency assignments; internships and/or residencies in dentistry, dietetics, hospital administration, and pharmacy; and affiliated traineeship in audiology and speech pathology, occupational, manual arts, kinesiotherapies and social arts, social work, and nursing.
The MEDVAMC sponsors hospital-wide programs to increase awareness and understanding of culturally diverse populations. In addition to an active EEO Program, the hospital sponsors hospital wide programs such as: Houston Hispanic Career Day Forum, Black and Hispanic Mentoring Programs, Cultural Diversity Training, and various celebrations and ethnic heritage programs.
Within the hospital, an active program of medical and clinical research is conducted that is designed to explore problems on all frontiers of medical science. Animal laboratories, special facilities for observation and study in the behavioral sciences, and nationwide cooperative studies in chemotherapy and aging are examples of the available opportunities for research.
The MEDVAMC has a small library with computerized links to a network of virtual library resources. The Jesse Jones Library located within the Texas Medical Center is equipped with reference books and current journals in the medical sciences, psychology, and other related disciplines. Close proximity of the hospital to the Texas Medical Center, Rice University, University of Houston, and Texas Southern University provides easy access to the libraries and teaching facilities of these institutions.
Our Medical Center is conveniently located near a number of residential areas, and an excellent choice of rental apartments or houses is available.
We currently have funded positions for nine pre-doctoral Interns (eight Generalist Track and one Neuropsychology Track) and nine post-doctoral Fellows in clinical psychology. The MEDVAMC Internship Program and Fellowship Programs are fully accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).
Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street NE
Washington DC 20002-4242
Psychology Internship Program
The Psychology Practice within the Mental Health Care Line at the MEDVAMC offers an internship for students in APA accredited graduate clinical and counseling psychology programs. The goal of the Psychology Internship Program is to prepare interns for the practice of professional psychology in a variety of settings with a particular emphasis on preparation for VA and other medical/institutional settings. Additional goals include teaching interns the skills for entry into the practice of professional psychology; the ability to integrate theory, scientific inquiry, empirical data, and practice; to contribute to the knowledge and practice of professional psychology; and obtain diverse training experiences to enhance their skills as broadly trained psychologists who can be effective in a variety of service delivery contexts.
It is our mission to assist interns, not only in the acquisition of a range of professional skills, but in the development of a professional identity and role. Our philosophy reflects a scholar/practitioner model with the goal of providing interns with the most up-to-date knowledge, skill, and interventions for a rapidly changing health care arena. Training is dedicated to a quest for scholarly inquiry and professional problem solving, with supervisors serving as mentors to the interns. Opportunities are also available for interns to participate in ongoing research or to initiate a research project. Interns have 4 hours of protected research time and are encouraged to engage in ongoing research activities within the Mental Health Care Line.
The patient population at the MEDVAMC is quite diverse, reflecting the rich diversity of Houston and the large catchment area of VISN 16. Patients come from various cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, range from young to older adults, and have varied psychiatric and physical disabilities. The internship program seeks to help interns enhance their awareness, appreciation, and understanding of diversity issues related to patient care, and provide interns ample opportunities to work with patients from various backgrounds. Interns advance their skills in working effectively with diverse patient populations through training that includes: a wide selection of clinical rotations, different therapy formats, outpatient and inpatient clinical work, weekly training seminars, supervision, interdisciplinary staff meetings, case conferences, and regularly scheduled mental health and hospital-wide conferences.
The Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Clinical Psychology is administered by the Psychology Training Committee and resides primarily within the MEDVAMC Mental Health Care Line. The fellowship program offers nine postdoctoral positions.
Closing Comment and Contact Information
The Michael E. DeBakey VAMC psychology training team appreciates your interest in our programs and wishes you the best in your professional development in psychology. If you have further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact the Director of Training, Ellen Teng, Ph.D., at 713-791-1414 (ext. 25513) or by email (Ellen.Teng@va.gov).