Psychology Doctoral Internship

Note: Information contained in this webpage HAS BEEN fully updated for the application process for the 2020-2021 training year.

We appreciate your interest in the Clinical Psychology Internship in Developmental Disabilities and Pediatric Psychology, accredited by the American Psychological Association as a doctoral internship in health service psychology. This internship is co-sponsored by the Division of Psychology and the Institute on Development and Disability (IDD), a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the Oregon Health & Science University.

Our internship program has been in existence on the Portland campus since 1967. We have had independent accreditation by the American Psychological Association since 1980. The aim of the division's psychologists is to broadly educate clinical psychology interns who are skilled in techniques appropriate to a wide range of pediatric patients and who have also learned to meld theory with practice. Trainees gain experience with individuals who have traditionally defined developmental disabilities (e.g., intellectual disability, Autism Spectrum Disorders), children with other special health care needs (e.g., ADHD, learning disabilities, chronic illnesses), and children with common and significant emotional and behavioral concerns. Experience in assessment, intervention, consultation, and interdisciplinary care is emphasized. Interns who complete our program understand, communicate effectively with, and interact comfortably and freely with physicians and other allied health service professions.

Download the 2019-2020 Internship Training Manual

To prepare interns to demonstrate entry level, effective, and appropriate care of youth with special needs.

As an accredited internship program, as of January 1, 2017, our program emphasizes promotion of profession-wide competencies as articulated by the Standards of Accreditation. Clinical and non-clinical training activities are designed to promote attainment of profession-wide competencies within the context of our specific program aims. We strive to ensure that interns move toward independence to be ready for entry to practice in all profession-wide competencies by the end of their internship year (recognizing that in many jurisdictions additional post-doctoral training and supervision is required before independent practice).

Emphasis of internship training within the IDD Division of Psychology is on the development of profession-wide competencies specifically within the context serving youth with special health needs and their families, and in functioning as a psychologist within a hospital-based setting. Training elements emphasize knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes necessary to function as a psychologist ready for entry to practice broadly, with particular emphasis on this patient population and professional context. Training includes the full spectrum of professional activities that may be pursued by a doctoral level psychologists (e.g., assessment, intervention, consultation, research, program development). Note, our internship program does not define any program-specific competencies. Rather, we accomplish our aim by attending to the required profession-wide competencies within the training activities and context.

The Division of Psychology within the CDRC is committed to providing excellence in customer service and care in the provision of psychological assessment and treatment to youth with special health care needs in its broadest definition with a faculty that is focused on scholarship, training, collaboration, innovation, and sustainable activities.

Vision

Customer Service: Customer service is the corner stone of the Division of Psychology in that both internal and external customers are critical aspects of all that is done within the division and by division faculty. Providing excellence in customer service hinges on the development and nurturing of relationships with individuals within the medical center and outside of the medical center regardless of professional status.

Collaboration: Division faculty establish collaborative relationships within the division, within the CDRC, within the Dept. of Pediatrics, and across the medical center in the development and maintenance of both clinical care and research endeavors.

Training: Grounded in the scientist-practitioner model, the division's training program emphasizes the development of skills to prepare future psychologist and other health care professionals to provide effective services to youth with special health care needs. All faculty contribute to the training program. The training vision encompasses both attention to trainees and their development and also ensuring that trainers (i.e., faculty) continually evaluate themselves and the training program to ensure best practices are promoted. Trainees include, but are not limited to practicum students, doctoral interns, post-doctoral fellows, medical students, and medical residents. In addition, the training program will move towards financial independence and long-term sustainability.

Scholarship: Faculty are involved in scholarship on many levels. At the broadest level of scholarship, faculty will work from an evidence-supported framework regardless of activity (i.e., clinical care, training, or research), while other faculty will have independent lines of research. In addition, all faculty will be involved in some aspect of scientific discovery from providing psychological assessment or treatment on a funded research project to conducting an independent line of research.

Sustainable Activities: Collectively, the faculty of the Division of Psychology work to involve themselves in sustainable activities and seek out opportunities and develop ideas that result in sustainability.

Innovation:  Innovation in clinical care, scholarship, and training is a defining characteristic of "how" we approach our work activities.  Through an openness to learning, incorporation of creativity in the workplace, and willingness to take calculated risks, we will maintain a future-oriented vision.   Incorporating this cultural value into practice will greatly increase our probability promoting our Division's health and growth.

Our values

The IDD Division of Psychology recognizes shared essential values. These represent the overarching principles that guide and shape decision making, individual and division-wide activities pursued, interactions among members of the division and beyond, and education of new members of the division. They serve as a reference point for self-reflection and program enhancement for the internship program as well.

In no particular order, the Division's shared values are:

  1. We engage in work and service that is of the highest quality
  2. We prioritize ongoing learning and growth
  3. We create a positive work environment
  4. We take time for family and fun
  5. We value integrity and honesty
  6. We are flexible in our thinking and as a division
  7. We are better when we work together
  8. We aim to support diversity in our work

Although the amount of time spent in any activity within the internship experience will vary based on a variety of factors, the following represents an estimate of the percentage of time spent on each of the required clinical and training activities.

Activity breakdown % of time during internship
Major Rotation 25
Minor Rotation 12.5
Placement 20
Treatment and Supervision 20
Research Activity 10
Group Supervision Meetings 2.5
Other Didactics 5
LEND Curriculum 5

Supervision

The faculty take into account the intern's background and interests when developing a plan for the training year so that experiences are somewhat individually tailored. Multiple members of the psychology faculty serve as supervisors, depending on the clinic, the type of case to which the intern is assigned, and an intern's research and placement. Psychology interns may receive additional supervision by a faculty member of any of the disciplines represented at the IDD, particularly in the interdisciplinary clinics.  

The Child Development and Rehabilitation Center and the Doernbecher Children's Hospital were built expressly for teaching purposes and many clinic rooms are fitted with one-way mirrors. Some rooms have two-way communication systems and many have videotaping capabilities. Throughout the year supervisors observe the clinical activities of the interns and then meet with them later for supervisory discussion. Supervisors attend clinical staffings and parent feedback sessions with interns. At any one time, an intern may have two to four supervisors, depending on clinical activities, and receive an average of four to ten hours of observation and discussion from supervisors weekly.

In addition to individualized supervision, interns participate in weekly group supervision. Group supervision emphasizes several areas of professional competence including clinical, ethical, and legal decision-making; specific clinical and professional (e.g. oral presentation) skill development; and supervisory skill development.

Finally, each intern has a faculty research mentor who provides research supervision. The nature of this supervision is tailored to the background, needs, and goals of the intern.

Evaluation

Each supervisor evaluates interns in writing following completion of each rotation, who reviews that feedback with the intern. In addition, the training director meets with each intern to provide summary and cumulative feedback regarding intern progress toward completion. Procedures whereby the interns evaluate the faculty supervisors and the program are also used. Detailed written summary of intern activity and progress are sent to the Director of Clinical Training at the intern's graduate program at least twice during the internship year, approximately mid-year and at completion. Additional communication with an interns' home institution occurs if there is significant concern about problematic and/or incompetent performance.

Please note that evaluation of intern performance is completed using the IDD Division of Psychology internship program's evaluation form, which is based its programmatic aims and profession-wide competencies, articulated in the Standards of Accreditation. Our site is NOT able to use or complete home institution evaluation forms.

Required expectations

One of the goals of the Internship Program is to ensure that trainees are well versed in the link between science and practice. To that end, all trainees are engaged in research activity during the course of their training year to advance their training in scholarly inquiry. Each intern will plan, develop, and/or participate in a research project during the year. The specific focus of the research activity is tailored to the long-term goals of the trainee as is possible (e.g., trainees with plans for entering academia afforded greater opportunities to take substantial lead on research leading to authorship on publications). Interns are also expected to attend and possibly present at monthly Research In Progress meetings, attended by trainees at multiple levels and faculty. This is an opportunity to informally share research ideas, progress, and seek guidance from colleagues.

There are many ongoing clinical research projects in progress in which the interns may participate. An intern is also able to develop projects of his/her own, if a match between faculty expertise and trainee interest exists. However, interns are encouraged to join an existing project given the length of the training year and the amount of time available for research. Supervision by a core faculty member is provided for the planning and execution of the project; supervision by researchers beyond the Division of Psychology core faculty is possible at times based on intern interests and faculty availability. Presentation of the project and results at the end of the academic year on the LEND Research Day is expected; presentation of findings at conferences is encouraged with modest financial support available.

The IDD Psychology Faculty is actively involved in a variety of research activities in areas such as diagnosis of ASD versus other related disorders, behavioral phenotyping of metabolic conditions, behavioral pediatrics (e.g., sleep/bedtime problems, elimination disorders, intervention of common interventions), parenting practices, psychosocial interventions for youth with chronic medical conditions, health and health promotion for individuals with developmental and/or physical disabilities, and chronic pain development and intervention, to name a few. Faculty research activities include a blend of grant-supported projects (with funding from federal and nonfederal/private sources) as well as projects based on data obtained via clinical activities using standardized protocols. Please review information about the Division of Psychology faculty to learn more about areas of research interest.

Examples of recent intern research projects

2018-2019:

  • Phenotypes and evaluation measurements in children with Down Syndrome and Autism
  • Depression and anxiety screening data in Doernbecher Gender Clinic
  • Validation of the WRAML3 in a sample of youth with traumatic brain injury
  • Examination of parent preferences for behavioral health intervention and information in primary care settings
  • Reciprocal parent/child influences in a sample of mothers with chronic pain

2017-2018:

  • Psychological predictors of physical activity engagement in youth with new-onset musculoskeletal pain
  • Child vulnerabilities and pain-related outcomes in a high-risk sample of school-aged children with mothers with chronic pain
  • Rural parents’ priorities for behavioral health information technology
  • Behavioral research advancing individualized neuropsychology via virtual reality in Autism Spectrum Disorder (BRAIN-VR-ASD)
  • Behavioral research advancing individualized neuropsychology via virtual reality in traumatic brain injury (BRAIN-VR-TBI)

Additional opportunities

An intern may participate in additional, ongoing research projects as his/her interests and time dictate. Opportunities to work on grant projects and/or participate in the generation of new grant proposals are made available as appropriate. Further, opportunities to provide mentored guest reviews of manuscripts submitted to journals for possible publication exist. Opportunities to co-author review articles or book chapters are often available for interested trainees.

Journal Club

All psychology staff, interns, and post-doctoral fellows, meet monthly for discussion of relevant articles in various areas of interest and application to the science and practice of psychology and related fields. Interns both participate in and lead journal club meetings.

Seminars

These 1-hour weekly sessions are given for psychology interns by the psychology faculty and professionals from other disciplines at IDD and OHSU. They are generally organized by topics of child/pediatric psychology including foundational knowledge and skills (e.g., effective methods of giving feedback, inpatient consultation, ethics and legal issues), professional development (e.g., giving effective talks, job interviewing and negotiating, supervision provision), advanced clinical knowledge and skills (e.g., tic/habit disorders and their behavioral treatment, treatment of anxiety disorder, pediatric pain) and special topics (e.g., children's understanding of death, pediatric epilepsy), as well as other topics based on expertise and interest. Each intern also provides at least one seminar presentation.

Interdisciplinary leadership training curriculum

This is offered to LEND trainees of all disciplines. Psychology interns (regardless of track) participate in this interdisciplinary curriculum, which includes both experiential and didactic training activities. The goal is to provide training and experience in twelve areas resulting in leadership competence. Some content is presented within an Interdisciplinary Seminar, a weekly seminar during which experts from within and outside the IDD engage trainees in information based on their area of expertise. Additional content is addressed through participation in community engagement projects, offering community-based trainings, family mentorship experiences, and potentially serving on committees and state planning groups.

Additional didactic opportunities

Many opportunities are provided throughout campus for additional didactic experiences. These include all educational events presented by Oregon Health & Science University such as regularly scheduled colloquia, seminars, workshops, and grand rounds. Interns are strongly encouraged to attend Pediatric Grand Rounds. The training director distributes information on presentations and workshops occurring locally, regionally, and nationally.

The Division of Psychology maintains an active outpatient treatment program focused on serving children, adolescents, and families with a variety of presenting concerns. Referrals are received from clinics that specialize in children with developmental disorders, general and specialty pediatric clinics at Doernbecher Children's Hospital, community pediatricians/family practitioners, other community sources, and families. Given the clinical programs at our facility and setting in which the program operates, a sizable percentage of children present with co-occurring developmental and/or medical conditions, though healthy children with emotional and behavioral challenges are seen.

Interns in all tracks are actively involved in providing services through this program. In general, interns provide therapy services in the following areas: family therapy interventions; parent-child interactions and parent training; individual treatment of emotional and/or behavioral challenges, often associated with developmental/medical conditions; and psychosocial and behavioral interventions with individuals presenting with a wide variety of presenting concerns (e.g., anxiety, depression, behavioral challenges) and their families. Interns typically have 2-3 treatment cases at any one time. Emphasis is on shorter-term (e.g., 8-16 sessions) and focused therapy, though care is extended based on clinical complexity and need.

In addition to providing outpatient treatment services through the division's treatment program, all interns will provide care through the General Pediatrics Behavioral Health Consultation Clinic. This clinic serves patients of OHSU general pediatrics clinics and is designed to offer either a) short term, focused treatment for presenting issues that warrant more care than offered by pediatricians but are likely to respond well to a brief course of care and b) stabilization and maintenance while patients seek ongoing specialty mental health care. Interns see 1-2 patients per week via this clinic.

The training program is supported through various sources, including federal training grants and internal or external partnerships. Interns are considered visiting students by OHSU and receive a stipend, rather than a salary. Stipend for the 2020-2021 training year will be $28,352, pending annual renewal of extra-mural funding.

Learn more about receipt of a stipend vs. salary

Note: all interns are required to demonstrate that they have purchased medical insurance by the time of the start of the training year, and are required to maintain medical insurance for the entire training period. Additional support from the internship may be provided for the purchase of medical insurance up to approximately $6,229 for the year. Eligibility varies and will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Additionally, interns receive a pass to use public transportation, 10 days personal time (inclusive of vacation and sick time), 10 days professional leave (e.g., dissertation defense, conferences, job interviews), and 8-10 days for holiday leave observed by OHSU. Some funding support for conference registration and travel (during the internship year) is also available by application process.

If selected as an intern

  1. OHSU provides professional liability insurance covering interns. However, OHSU requires "double coverage". Thus, professional liability insurance must also be provided by either the intern or his/her home institution. Coverage limits must be at least $1,000,000 per occurrence, and $3,000,000 aggregate. The Student Insurance provided through the American Psychological Association meets this requirement, should a trainee's home institution not provide coverage during internship.
  2. Interns are required to provide proof of up-to-date vaccinations, and if the full panel required by OHSU is not current, then they will need to update vaccinations at their expense. Note, this will either be verified by the student's home university or provided directly to OHSU; details will be provided after the match. Current required vaccinations include: Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR);Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertusis (Tdap); and Varicella. Additionally, Hepatitis B and Polio vaccination are encouraged, but not required. For more information about required vaccinations, please contact Nicole Valdivia Nava.
  3. Interns are required to provide proof of personal medical insurance coverage prior to starting training, and must maintain that coverage over the course of the training period. Additional financial support is added to the stipend to assist with obtaining insurance (see Stipend/Benefits);additionally, the program provides a "guidance sheet" for seeking insurance via the Healthcare Exchange once someone matches to the program.
  4. The trainee's home university must provide proof of the trainee having successfully passed a criminal background screening, in a format requested by OHSU (note, this will be sought after the match, and the program will provide specific instructions on how this is to be verified). Note, prior conviction does not necessarily disqualify an applicant. As appropriate, a risk assessment will be made that considers the conviction relative to the essential functions as an intern, the time frame in which the offense occurs, and any mitigating circumstances. Applicants concerned about potential issues are welcome and encouraged to contact the site early in the application review and selection process.
  5. A Training Affiliation Agreement between Oregon Health &Science University and the trainee's home institution must be executed prior to initiating training. This is managed by administrative personnel and is not the responsibility of the trainee to address.
  6. Interns will be expected to complete required tuberculosis screening prior to any patient contact (to be completed onsite). Additionally, interns will be expected to obtain an influenza vaccination (at their expense) at the time that OHSU Infectious Disease deems as "infection season" or to formally opt out; if a trainee opts out, then protective gear (e.g., mask) must be worn during patient contact throughout the entire time period designated by OHSU's Infectious Disease.
  7. OHSU reserves the right to require (at the trainee's or his/her home institution's expense) a 10-panel urine substance abuse screen from a reputable vender. Note, while use of marijuana is legal in the state of Oregon, identification of this substance in one's system will result in a failed screen for OHSU purposes. At this time, it is not standard practice to request this screen; information provides serves as notification of the possibility. 
  8. Please check back to this webpage for updated information regarding these and related issues.

Any interested applicant with questions about these requirements is encouraged to contact the program to seek additional information or clarification.

APPIC materials

To access the AAPI, go to the APPIC web site and click on "AAPI ONLINE" link in the right-hand menu.  The AAPI is designed to be downloaded onto your computer and completed. Extensive instructions for completing the AAPI are included within the document itself.

Accreditation information

To learn more about accreditation by the American Psychological Association, please contact the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation and Consultation:

American Psychological Association
750 First Street N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002
202-336-5979

Internship Admissions, Support, And Initial Placement Data