Diversity of Clinical Populations

A range of diverse clinical experiences are available for interns in the following areas: 

  • Age: Based on data between 2013 and 2019, approximately 11% of the patients seen by interns were children and adolescents, 80% were adults, and 9% were senior adults. Thus interns have the opportunity to work with patients on the entire lifespan. While on their track rotation, all interns lead groups with children with ADHD.  Moreover, interns can complete an optional rotation working at various pediatric specialty clinics. Interns on the Child and Family Track have the opportunity to participate in the MCG/AU Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic, the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, and the Child Psychiatry Consultation-Liaison Service, among other opportunities.  There are many opportunities at the VA to work with the geriatric population including patients in Hospice, Palliative Care, and Medical Rehabilitation. National statistics indicate that 39% of the veteran population are 65 years old or older.
  • Gender: Based on data between 2013 and 2019, approximately 54% of the patients seen by interns were male, 45% were female and 1% were transgender.  At MCG/AU, interns can facilitate Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Sexual Trauma Survivors groups for women or see women for long-term therapy cases. The MCG/AU Reproductive Endocrinology (Transgender Care) Clinic provides specialty care in hormone therapy and related healthcare services to transgender individuals with eligible insurance. In this setting, the intern will gain skills in consultation to physicians and patients, rapid assessment, crisis intervention, motivational interviewing and behavioral interventions. Whereas the majority of patients at the Charlie Norwood VA Hospital are men (National statistics indicate that men comprise 92% of the veteran population), interns have the opportunity to work with women in the Cognitive Processing Therapy group for women who have experienced military sexual trauma, the general women's group therapy, and can see women for long-term therapy cases.  For interested interns, there is a biweekly Psychology of Women Seminar in which faculty and interns meet to discuss relevant articles and books in this area.  There is also a Psychology of Women Track that provides emphasis training in the recognition of psychological, social, and cultural issues unique to women and the provision of culturally competent psychological services to women (for more information see the track rotations in the training model portion of the website).
  • Medical Conditions/Disabilities: Interns have the opportunity to work in a wide array of interdisciplinary health care settings that address such illnesses as bariatric surgery candidates, blindness, cancer, chronic pain, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, dementia, gastrointestinal illnesses, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, orthopedic conditions, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injury. 
  • Race/Ethnicities: Based on data between 2013 and 2018, approximately 54% of patients seen by interns were with African American patients, 40% were with Caucasian patients, 6% were with Hispanic patients, and <1% were patients with other race/ethnicities.
  • Sexual Minorities: Interns can work with Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) individuals in a variety of settings. For example, the adult infectious disease clinic population (during the Medical Psychology rotation) will be approximately 50% Men who have sex with Men (MSM). AU Health’s Equality Clinic of Augusta is an all-volunteer clinic that provides integrated primary care services to uninsured/under-insured LGBTQ individuals from the CSRA and surrounding regions. The intern functions as part of a large multidisciplinary primary care team, training and practicing alongside physicians, fellows, medical students, dental students, and occupational therapy students. In this setting the intern will gain skills in consultation to physicians and patients, rapid assessment, crisis intervention, motivational interviewing and behavioral interventions. (D) MCG/AU Reproductive Endocrinology (Transgender Care) Clinic provides specialty care in hormone therapy and related healthcare services to transgender individuals with eligible insurance. The intern functions as part of a multidisciplinary care team, training and practicing alongside physicians, nurses, and fellows. In this setting, the intern will gain skills in consultation to physicians and patients, rapid assessment, crisis intervention, motivational interviewing and behavioral interventions.
  • Socioeconomic status: Based on data between 2013-2016, the MCG/AU Outpatient Psychiatry clinic serves patients with the following financial support: 42% private insurance, 15% Medicaid, 18% Medicare,7% with self, and 18% other forms of support. The clinic's catchment area extends to many of the MHMRSA Region 2 counties that are federally designated mental health underserved areas counties.  According to data extract as of 11/3/2015, the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis, the Shortage Designation Branch (2015) reported that of the 159 counties in Georgia 140 (including Richmond County) were given a federal designation as having a shortage of mental health professionals. Approximately 16% of families in the Augusta area are living at or below the poverty line.
  • Spirituality/Religion: The importance of religious and spiritual life to patients and use as a primary coping resource is seen amongst many patients residing in this region. 2% of the people in Augusta-Richmond County are religious:
    - 26.4% are Baptist
    - 1.6% are Episcopalian
    - 8.2% are Catholic
    - 1.3% are Lutheran
    - 6.9% are Methodist
    - 2.6% are Pentecostal
    - 2.2% are Presbyterian
    - 0.8% are LDS
    - 6.4% are another Christian faith
    - 0.4% are Jewish
    - 0.3% are an eastern faith
    - 1.0% affiliates with Islam