didactic

Diagnostic Intake Assessment.  About two months into the first rotation, interns are required to proficiency in performing a Diagnostic Intake Assessment. The Diagnostic/Treatment Seminar provides didactics in objective personality assessment and diagnostic interview examinations and prepares the Interns for the Diagnostic Intake Assessment to be subsequently presented. This assessment provides a measuring stick for the Interns’ basic skills in performing a diagnostic interview examination, presenting findings in an organized and meaningful way, and exhibiting fundamental case conceptualization. More than an assessment, however, this exercise is an opportunity for Interns to receive instruction and feedback regarding these fundamental skills. If notable deficiencies are observed, a remediation plan can be devised. Each intern presents a 45-50 minute video of a new patient assessment to faculty members who rate the Intern across a number of different domains. Following the viewing of the recording, the Intern is expected to provide:

1) A concise and organized summary of the key information pertinent to the case.

2) An assessment plan that includes key additional data needed to form an effective “theory of the patient” - that may involve a proposal for psychological testing that could provide valuable information in this process.

3) A “theory of the patient” that includes both a descriptive and etiological understanding of the patient’s key problems and relevant strengths.  This formulation should include relevant constructs pertaining to the social/cultural context of the key issues at hand and the biopsychosocial contributing factors. 

4) A treatment plan that addresses the key biopsychosocial contributing factors and that addresses the life goals that form the basis for an appropriate recovery/wellness plan.

The AADPRT Diagnostic Intake Assessment Form CSV.3 is used to rate the assessment performance along with the Diagnostic Intake Assessment Supplement – evaluates in greater detail evidence of conceptualization skills. Faculty Raters will complete these forms separately during the viewing of the video recording and discuss their ratings following the viewing of the video. Immediately following the review of their ratings, the faculty members present their feedback to the Intern. This feedback includes a review of the Intern’s strengths and areas for growth, as well as developmental recommendations. This feedback is also be shared with the Overall Supervisors and Co-Training Directors. Specific recommendations may be integrated into the Intern’s training plan to inform ongoing training experiences and goals.

Psychiatry Grand Rounds.  Psychiatry Grand Rounds represent a department-wide grand rounds that features guest speakers of prominence from the region and nation providing continuing education reviews of important clinical topics. Interns are encouraged to attend these presentations when their schedules allow for such.

Diversity Training Experiences.  Diversity is a critical area of competence for psychologists. One of the main goals of our psychology internship is preparing professional psychologists who aspire to greater cultural awareness and humility in their practice. The internship works toward ensuring a supportive and encouraging learning environment for training diverse individuals and providing training opportunities by emphasizing the importance of diversity in the very first week of the internship when self-assessment of cultural competencies is addressed by the intern’s Overall Supervisor. Additionally, during the first few weeks of internship, interns are invited to provide a personal history at the beginning of the Psychotherapy Process Seminar to allow them to reflect on how their histories affect their attitudes, biases, and practices as clinicians. Interns are required to complete compliance training at Augusta University that includes a Healthy Perspectives module. Within this training, interns participate in an online cultural competency training module. The theme of the module changes yearly, but topics have focused on sexual orientation and gender identity, implicit bias, interrupting unconscious bias, and other relevant topics. Participants are assessed with brief multiple choice and true/false quiz questions throughout the module, in addition to attesting to the completion of this module. Throughout the training year, the internship embeds cultural diversity in all of its training activities. This is done overtly in seminar topics (i.e., race/ethnicity, LGBT, religion, class, age, political party, region, and military/veteran status), patient populations (e.g., transgender patients, HIV-positive patients, veterans, adolescents and children, patients with serious mental illness, forensic patients), and supervision. Intended outcomes are measured by the interns’ successful completion of the following:  (A) Clinical practicum experiences involving inpatient and/or outpatient care of racial/ethnic/sexual orientation/gender identity minority status patients as indicated by their supervisors’ ratings of “competent to implement clinical skills independently with supervision and review” by the completion of each of the rotations; (B) Seminars and workshops devoted to sensitivity to and understanding of diversity and cultural differences and the implications of these differences in clinical assessment and treatment; (C) Review of a diagnostic interview and case conceptualization that directly addresses the pertinent cultural/diversity data and the impact of this data in guiding the conceptualization of the case and the development of the treatment plan at a level that is adequate or above average for the intern’s level of training.

Training Experiences with Underserved Populations.  A point of emphasis in our internship’s training experiences is having opportunities to serve individuals from underserved populations. Throughout the training year, these opportunities are available through many clinics/services that care for children and their families, for individuals who live in federally designated underserved counties, for individual living with HIV/AIDS, and/or for those individuals that represent racial/ethnic/sexual minorities that are often underserved in addressing their health care needs. In order to diversify this aspect of our training, interns are required to receive training in one or if desired both of the following training opportunities:

The Augusta University Health’s Equality Clinic of Augusta – 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. Interns volunteer to participate in this experience and function as part of a large interdisciplinary primary care team, training and practicing alongside physicians, fellows, medical students, dental students, and occupational therapy students. In this setting, interns will gain skills in consultation to physicians and patients, rapid assessment, crisis intervention, motivational interviewing and behavioral interventions. Services are provided on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Psychology Workshops.  Psychology Workshops often represent a joint activity of the AU/MCG-VAMC Psychology Internship and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center Clinical Psychology Internship Program.  These workshops are of one to two days duration and are devoted to topics relevant to the professional development of psychologists, including a particular emphasis on the ongoing training in empirically supported treatments.  Interns are required to attend the workshops in objective assessment techniques, empirically supported psychotherapy, cultural diversity issues in psychology, and forensic/ethical issues in psychology (if available).  Optional workshops may also be available.