The AGH Psychology Internship is dedicated to training the next generation of outstanding Health Psychologists and Neuropsychologists to:
The Allegheny Health Network embodies a core set of values that we seek to infuse throughout the training program:
The AGH Psychology Internship offers training in the integration of psychological science and clinical practice through the scientist-practitioner model in the setting of a tertiary care medical center. Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) has a long and cherished tradition of teaching future healthcare leaders.
As part of the scientist-practitioner model, interns are taught to consult the professional and scientific literature in conducting assessments and treatment. Interns are also encouraged to thoughtfully apply the principles of psychological science to the unique individuals and situations presented within the clinical setting. Electronic library resources are available to search and request published research. A rich understanding of clinical research is infused at both the group level through formal didactics, journal clubs, and case conferences, and through individual supervision when relevant to specific clinical cases or individual aspects of professional development. As part of the scientist-practitioner training model, interns are taught to critically and empirically evaluate their own clinical work.
The PBHI makes continual efforts to recruit and support diverse staff and faculty, with the PBHI’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee working internally and with larger network efforts to celebrate diversity. Interns learn to apply the concepts and methods of psychological science to the assessment and treatment of individuals in a culturally sensitive way. Each individual is treated with respect in an environment that fosters and supports open and honest communication. Clinical services are provided in a culturally sensitive manner without bias related to age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, or culture. Interns are provided with didactic experiences and supervision to foster development of cultural sensitivity and self-examination to evaluate the possible presence and extent of personal bias.
The AGH Psychology Internship is a full time, 12 month long training program. The stipend at AGH is competitive with other regional sites and with similar settings nationally. Each intern’s specific training program consists of their chosen major clinical rotations (Two, 6 months each), a minor clinical rotation (either two, 6-month rotations or a single 12 month rotation), year-long outpatient caseload of 4-6 patients per week across the lifespan, and year-long didactics and other educational experiences (e.g., Grand Rounds, case conference). In addition to their clinical work, each intern is required to present at least once at each of the following: Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Institute Grand Rounds, case conference, and journal club.
The intern is expected to conduct assessment and therapy with patients across the lifespan, including child, adolescent, and adult populations. Interns may intend to pursue careers primarily working with either children or adults or specializing in either assessment or therapy, which can become areas of expertise through each intern’s unique matrix of major and minor clinical rotations. However, all interns are expected to develop basic-level competencies in assessment and treatment across the lifespan as part of the generalist training model. Each intern will have a carefully crafted training plan of study (i.e., specific major and minor rotations, didactic courses) based upon their specific training goals, career aspirations, and prior training experiences as part of a collaboration with the Director and Associate Director of Training. All training programs require approval from the Director of Training prior to being finalized.
Interns also attend a weekly administrative meeting as a cohort with the Director and Associate Director of Training that covers a wide-range of topics, including understanding hospital system and departmental policies, providing interns with guidance and support as they finish their dissertations, assist interns with identifying and applying to post-doctoral fellowship programs, addressing program-wide training concerns, and identifying and implementing training program enhancements. Each of these meetings addresses ethical, legal diversity and programmatic as well as clinical issues.
Because interns come from diverse training backgrounds, a developmental perspective is taken when planning the training goals for each individual intern. At the beginning of each rotation, the intern and supervisor will identify any relevant previous coursework or clinical training that is related to the rotation. Based upon the intern’s prior training and future career aspirations, individual training goals will be established within the first week or two of each rotation. For each rotation, the intern starts at a level of activity consistent with his or her prior training and experience. For instance, if the intern has had little exposure to a specific clinical activity, the intern might first observe the supervisor engage in that activity before personally completing the clinical activity under faculty supervision. Depending on the clinical rotation, the supervisor might provide live or virtual observation of the intern and/or review work products of their work, including tapes, written reports, etc. By the end of each rotation, the intern is expected to be able to independently engage in clinical activity and receive supervision after the fact in non-emergent, routine clinical situations.
The Allegheny Health Network (AHN) is a large healthcare network that consists of (10) hospitals, (5) large health and wellness integrative care pavilions, and scores of outpatient clinical practices. However, the majority of the AGH Psychology Internship clinical and training related activities occur at Department of Psychiatry’s primary outpatient clinic, which is located on the 8th floor at 4 Allegheny Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This is where the majority of the internship training faculty provides services and also the site of the intern’s office space. All three of the major clinical rotations are completed at 4 Allegheny Center, in a combination of live and telepsychology or virtual formats.
Two blocks away from 4 Allegheny Center is the main campus of Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), which is a large, level-1 trauma hospital. AGH is considered the flagship hospital of the AHN and is the home of numerous medical specialty training programs (from internships through advanced fellowships). Interns will attend regular events on the AGH campus, including Grand Rounds, some journal clubs, system-wide trainings, and other events. Depending on the intern’s unique training program, an intern might be required to travel to complete minor rotations at other facilities, including the AHN Health & Wellness Pavilion in Wexford (about 30 minutes north), West Penn Hospital (about 15 minutes Northeast), and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (about 20 minutes Northeast). A significant complement of services may be conducted via the telepsychology or virtual format.