Psychology Postdoctoral Training

Program Description

Michigan Medicine and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VAAAHS) have collaborated to create a Network of training programs, consisting of two dual-site programs and two single-site programs. The two dual-site programs are in Clinical Neuropsychology and Clinical Psychology, and the single-site programs are in Clinical Child Psychology and in Mental Health Treatment and Research (at SMITREC). The Clinical Neuropsychology and Clinical Child Psychology programs are both additionally accredited as specialty practice areas. The overall Training Network – The Michigan Medicine/VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System Network of Postdoctoral Training Programs in Psychology - is led by the Psychology Training Committee Chair, J. Todd Arnedt, Ph.D.

Michigan Medicine and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System provide a rich interdisciplinary training environment with seminars, invited lectures, and opportunities for collaboration with faculty across disciplines and departments.  Residents are offered a diverse set of clinical experiences in assessment, treatment, and consultation with a focus on empirically-based treatments; mentorship in conducting independent clinical research; and didactics focused on professional development, the integration of science and practice, cultural and individual diversity, and ethics and the law.

The training philosophy of the programs within this network is rooted in the scientist-practitioner model. The institutional philosophy and values of all the Network programs are focused on normative healthcare ethical values of beneficence, non-malfeasance, and social contract in a context of public service. The overarching aim of the UMHS postdoctoral program is to develop practitioner-scientists who are capable of working in a variety of settings for psychologists.  The specific program Aims include:

Aim #1: To train psychology postdoctoral residents to an advanced level of competency in the provision of psychology services for a variety of professional settings.

Aim #2: To train psychology postdoctoral residents to an advanced level of competency in clinical research to be capable of independent and systematic clinical research.

Aim #3: To train psychology postdoctoral residents to an advanced level of competency with respect to professionalism and ethical conduct to be able to function as independent practitioners for a range of professional settings.

Program Goals and Competencies

The primary goal of the program is to provide training at an advanced level of competency in the areas of clinical service, scholarly inquiry, professionalism and ethical conduct. The design of the programs in the Training Network is based on six core competencies, including:

  1. Integration of Science and Practice
  2. Ethical and Legal Standards
  3. Individual and Cultural Diversity
  4. Assessment/Intervention
  5. Research
  6. Individual Professional Development

Specific Training Programs

The Michigan Medicine/VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System Network of Postdoctoral Training Programs in Psychology offers four programs:

  1. Clinical Psychology Consortium (Adult), under the direction of J. Todd Arnedt, PhD (Michigan Medicine) and Beau Nelson, PhD (VAAAHS). For details about this program, please click here
  2. Clinical Neuropsychology Consortium, under the direction of Linas Bieliauskas, PhD (Michigan Medicine) and Robert Spencer, PhD (VAAAHS). For details about this program, please click here
  3. Clinical Child Psychology, under the direction of Angela Fish, PhD. For details about this program, please click here
  4. SMITREC VA Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Treatment and Research, under the direction of Nick Bowersox, PhD, ABPP. For program details, please click here

For the two-site programs, postdoctoral residents select a primary site (Michigan Medicine or VAAAHS) but are encouraged to obtain training opportunities across both sites during the residency training.

Program Structure

The fellowship is structured to provide fellows with a balance of advanced training in direct clinical service, supervision/teaching, clinical research, and didactics.  The balance of training activities allows residents to gain supervised training in evidence-based practice, develop critical research skills, and cultivate a professional identity in order to function independently across a range of professional settings.

Clinical Training

Postdoctoral residents receive supervised in-depth training in assessment, consultation, and treatment with a focus on evidence-based treatments. Fellows spend from 50-80% of the work week in activities related to direct patient care, following an individualized training plan developed in conjunction with their faculty advisors.

Supervision/Teaching

Postdoctoral residents receive a minimum of two hours of individual supervision each week with attending psychologists and faculty advisors. Residents may also be provided with the opportunity to obtain tiered supervision in order to develop their own clinical supervision skills. Additional supervision of undergraduate students who work with faculty and residents on a wide variety of research projects is also available. In addition, residents may provide assistance in teaching seminars with faculty members.

Clinical Research Training

Research is a significant emphasis of all training programs in the Network. Postdoctoral residents include a research component in their individual training plan that ranges from 10-40% of their training time.  Research opportunities can range from quality improvement projects to applications for external funding of independent research projects. Residents select academic/research mentors to assist with the development and refinement of critical research skills, such as peer-reviewed manuscript writing, grant development and submissions, and conference submissions and presentations.

Didactics

Postdoctoral residents participate in a core curriculum in addition to unique program-specific learning opportunities. Educational experiences include both mandatory training requirements designed to build professional identity and ensure consistent progress throughout the training program, and optional training opportunities that can be pursued to enrich the training experience.  The required didactic curriculum for all residents includes:

  • Professional Development Seminar
  • Grand Rounds in Psychiatry (or Neurology for Neuropsychology postdoctoral residents)
  • Postdoctoral Forum with Network Training Director
  • Bioethics Conference (Mandatory Twice Per Year)

Residents may also have mandatory educational requirements within their specific training program.

Residency Duration

The Clinical Psychology Consortium is accredited as a one year position.  Residents in the Michigan Medicine site of the Consortium have the option (and are encouraged) to extend their training into a second year, to enhance their research and advanced clinical training portfolio.

Residencies in the Clinical Neuropsychology Consortium, Clinical Child Psychology program, and the SMITREC program are two years in duration. 

Start date for Michigan Medicine residents is September 1st of each year. Residencies for VAAAHS-based programs begin in mid to late August of each year.

 

Accreditation

The Clinical Psychology Consortium, Clinical Neuropsychology Consortium, and Clinical Child Psychology programs in the Training Network are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA).  The SMITREC program is accredited, on contingency (8/25/2015) by the Commission on Accreditation.  Questions related to the accredited status of the programs in the Training Network should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:


 

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation

American Psychological Association

750 1st Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

Phone: 202.336.5979

Email: apaaccred@apa.org

Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation