The doctoral internship at South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS) is designed to provide exemplary training for applicants who desire careers in public-sector clinical psychology. The emphasis is to train interns to provide quality care in medical care settings, especially to Veterans of the United States military. Our philosophy is that all practicing psychologists should have a solid foundation in general clinical psychology, and therefore the doctoral internship is first and foremost a well-rounded year of training in general clinical psychology. All interns are expected to obtain general training in a variety of assessments and interventions with a variety of patient populations.
For interns who have specialty career interests, we offer special emphasis/focus areas in primary care/mental health integration, neuropsychology, geropsychology, trauma psychology, serious mental illness, and rural mental health, in addition to our general clinical psychology position. The Primary Care/Mental Health Integration emphasis is designed for applicants interested in pursuing a career in treating Veterans with psychological disorders in primary medical care settings, and in treating Veterans who need assistance with different kinds of health problems. The Neuropsychology emphasis is designed for applicants interested in pursuing a two-year postdoctoral followship in Neuropsychology followed by a career in neuropsychological assessment and treatment. The Geropsychology emphasis is designed for applicants interested in pursuing a career working with the elderly, and provides an introduction to general geriatric issues, including gero-neuropsychology, and may include palliative care and end-of-life issues. The Trauma Psychology emphasis focuses on treating Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from combat and other traumas. Interns with these specialty interests are required to take one specialty rotation that prepares them for more advanced training in their specialty areas. The Serious Mental Illness emphasis aims to train applicants interested in pursuing a career in psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery services and evidence based treatments for Veterans with serious mental illness. The Rural Mental Health emphasis intern is housed primarily at the Kerrville VA Medical Center with a focus on evidence based care and treatment services provided to a rural population. Please note: RURAL MH is PENDING funding; the program has received 1-year temporary funding for this position the past 4 training years: 2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2019-2020, and will request it again for 2020-2021.)
It is anticipated that interns in good standing (and interest) in the various emphasis areas will continue on into our postdoctoral fellowship program; the Primary Care/Health Psychology intern entering into the Primary Care/Health Psychology postdoctoral fellowship, the Geropsychology intern entering into the Geropsychology postdoctoral fellowship, and the Trauma Psychology Intern entering the Trauma Psychology postdoctoral fellowship; the Serious Mental Illness intern entering into the Psychosocial Rehabilitation postdoctoral fellowship; and our Rural Mental Health intern entering the Rural Mental Health postdoctoral fellowship. We also offer a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology, and applicants for that position are recruited nationally. We also offer postdoctoral fellowships in Substance Use Disorders/ Homelessness, Health Psychology/Behavioral Sleep Medicine, Palliative Care, and an additional Rural Mental Health position. All postdoctoral fellows will receive some training in areas beyond their own specialty, as the program is a general clinical fellowship.