VA Western New York Healthcare System
Psychology Internship at Buffalo VA Medical Center
Psychology Internship Home Training Goals and Structure Rotations Past Admissions, Placement and Support Information Faculty Buffalo & Western NY
The Doctoral Psychology Internship Program at the VA Western New York Healthcare System (VAWNYHS) is accredited by the American Psychological Association. The program provides qualified doctoral candidates in Clinical and Counseling Psychology the opportunity to obtain a wide range of experiences with a variety of psychiatric, medical, and geriatric patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The intern gains experience in the activities conducted by practicing psychologists. The intern works as an integral part of the health care team with other professionals and their trainees.
Internship graduates are well suited to practice in VA facilities as well as a wide range of health care settings. The majority of graduates of the VAWNYHS Doctoral Psychology Training Program have chosen to work in clinical settings. The skills that they have acquired during their internship year have proven to be highly transferable to a wide variety of professional practice settings including VA medical centers, non-VA hospitals, and other medical and psychiatric settings, as well as clinical research and academic settings. Many interns choose to take post-doctoral training positions in the year following internship and we have an excellent track record of placing interns into fellowships and jobs.
Please note that we cannot offer clinical training to students in disciplines outside Psychology, but graduate students in doctoral programs of study in Clinical or Counseling Psychology may contact the Director of Training with inquiries regarding practicum training before their doctoral internship.
For further information on accreditation status, contact:
Commission on Accreditation*
c/o Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ***
Eligibility Requirements for VA Psychology Internship Programs:
- U.S. citizenship. VA is unable to consider applications from anyone who is not currently a U.S. citizen. Verification of citizenship is required following selection. All interns and fellows must complete a Certification of Citizenship in the United States prior to beginning VA training.
- A male applicant born after 12/31/1959 must have registered for Selective Service by age 26 to be eligible for any U.S. government employment, including selection as a paid VA trainee. Male applicants must sign a pre-appointment Certification Statement for Selective Service Registration before they can be processed into a training program. Exceptions can be granted only by the US Office of Personnel Management; exceptions are very rarely granted.
- Interns and fellows are subject to fingerprinting and background checks. Match result and selection decisions are contingent on passing these screens.
- VA conducts drug screening exams on randomly selected personnel as well as new employees. Interns and Fellows are not required to be tested prior to beginning work, but once on staff they are subject to random selection for testing as are other employees.
- Doctoral student in good standing at an APA, CPA, or PCSAS accredited graduate program in Clinical or Counseling psychology. Persons with a doctorate in another area of psychology who meet the APA criteria for respecialization training in Clinical or Counseling Psychology are also eligible.
- Approved for internship status by graduate program training director.
VAWNYHS Psychology Internship Requirements:
- A minimum of 1000 hours of supervised practicum experience is recommended by the start of the internship year, typically including at least 500 hours of direct patient contact. It is expected that applicants will have substantial prior supervised experience in assessment, (e.g., five MMPI2 reports, at least five comprehensive adult reports and satisfactory grounding in intellectual assessment), as well as individual and/or group psychotherapy. We are unable to guarantee extensive experience in administration and interpretation of psychological assessment instruments outside of our Geropsychology track.
- A basic understanding of psychological test construction and a familiarity with the use of the DSM is also required. For Geropsychology track applicants, the ability to administer, score, and interpret results from customary assessment tools of the specialty are prerequisites for appointment as an intern.
- Advanced progress on the dissertation is highly desirable.
- The APPIC Application for Psychology Internship * submitted online. Your application must be complete, including all supporting documents, by 11/1, for you to be considered as a candidate.
- A current vita (uploaded to your APPIC application.)
- Please include unambiguously in the cover letter uploaded to your APPIC application which internship track(s) you are applying to (Mental Health / Geropsychology / Health Psychology). It is permissible and sometimes advantageous to apply to multiple tracks. If you know what other rotations interest you at the time of application, it is valuable for you to also indicate these in your cover letter, though you will not be bound to these choices for internship.
- Three letters of recommendation. Please do not include more than three letters. Those who know you well enough to discuss your strengths and weaknesses as a scholar-clinician should write these letters. At least one letter should be from a practicum supervisor(uploaded to your APPIC application.).
- Official graduate transcripts (uploaded to your APPIC application.)
- A letter from your Director of Clinical Training confirming your eligibility for internship. (Part 2 of the AAPI)
- do not submit work samples as part of the application. Further, VA SF 171 is not required at the time of application.
All application materials should be received by November 1.
Applications are reviewed by internship supervisors for
- minimum expected practicum experience in assessment, intervention and supervision
- quality, depth and breadth of practicum training
- relevance of practicum experience to internship at our VA setting
- fit of developing applicant career goals with the VA’s missions
- quality of communication
- sophistication in clinical formulation, diversity awareness, developing clinical identity and scholar-clinician integration
We will be notifying candidates that they have been selected for interviews on or after December 1. Approximately 30 applicants are invited to interview annually from late December through January. Interview dates will be in late December and early January. We prefer to interview candidates in person, but we have conducted mutually beneficial interviews by telephone conference calls.
This internship site agrees to abide by the APPIC policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant. We are committed to a selection process which encourages diversity among interns selected for our training program. If you have any difficulty with or questions about the application procedure, please call Dr. Sheila Donovan at (716) 862-7330 or email Sheila.Donovan@va.gov or Dr. Mercurio-Riley at (716) 862-8581 or email Denise.Mercurio-Riley@va.gov. ***
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