The VA Palo Alto Health Care System Psychology Internship program is committed to the scientist-practitioner model of psychology. The internship program at VA Palo Alto is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science, a coalition of doctoral training programs and internship sites that share a goal of producing and applying scientific knowledge to the assessment, understanding, and amelioration of human problems.
Palo Alto has broad strengths in training. We have a large staff of distinguished psychologists who represent a broad range of areas of expertise and are dedicated to training and supervision of our future psychology colleagues. Perhaps more than any other psychology internship program in the nation, Palo Alto has numerous opportunities for training in a wide variety of settings and, therefore, the program is able to offer a training experience individualized to the particular intern’s training needs and goals. There are rotations for training in psychological and neuropsychological assessment, and for training in interventions with adults and families in geriatric settings, medically-based settings including primary care and physical rehabilitation, inpatient and outpatient mental health settings, and residential PTSD and substance use treatment settings. There are opportunities to do clinical research, either as part of rotations that are primarily clinically-focused, or in rotations that emphasize health services research, program evaluation and implementation/dissemination, or translational research. These experiences are intended to supplement and complement training experiences obtained in your graduate program.
Assignment to rotations and selection of supervisors is based primarily on the intern's training needs and interests, and are determined after the Match. The internship year is divided into two six-month periods. Within each 6-month period, interns spend half-time at each of two sites. There also are some optional mini-rotations that require from 3 to 6 hours per week, which add extra hours to our basic 40-hour work week. In addition to training assignments, interns have Wednesday afternoons set aside for a year-long intern seminar series. There are multiple other optional didactics available to interns (e.g., training in EBTs, CE conferences, grand rounds, track and rotation-specific seminars). We believe that psychologists should be prepared to work as members of interprofessional health care teams, interacting collaboratively with the full range of disciplines that provide health care services. Most of our care settings are interprofessional. Interns' professional development is emphasized and supported throughout the year.