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Department of Psychiatry University of California, San Diego VA San Diego Healthcare System

Co-Directors Sandra Brown, Ph.D., ABPP

Amy Jak, Ph.D.

Applicant Manual

Last updated August 2018

Dear Prospective Applicant, Thank you for your interest in the UCSD/VA Psychology Internship Training

Program. In the following pages, you will find detailed information about our internship, including clinical training, didactic experiences, research opportunities, our faculty, and application instructions.

Our program is based on the scientist-practitioner model. As such, we seek competitive applicants interested and experienced in both research and clinical practice, particularly those interested in academic careers. Clinical training and didactic experiences integrate cutting-edge evidence-based techniques with a foundation of established empirically-supported treatments and assessment. We also recognize the importance of diversity represented by our trainees and faculty, as well as in our patients. We encourage those of diverse backgrounds, in all the many ways that diversity is defined, to apply to our program.

Our full-time internship has been accredited by APA since 1986. For the 20192020 year, interns will earn an annual stipend of $29,003. Our competitive benefits, both for UCSD and for the VA, include health insurance, paid leave days, and paid holidays.

In accordance with regulations established by the federal government, certain criteria have to be met by applicants who are interested in applying to those Positions within our internship that are exclusively housed within the VA. Please see Section 2 for a list of the all-VA Positions. The criteria for applicants are as follows:

1. U.S. citizenship. The 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 must complete a Certification of Citizenship in the United States prior to the start of training within the VA.

2. U.S. citizens who are completing APA- or CPA-accredited doctoral programs are eligible for appointment for VA Psychology Doctoral Internships.

3. Male applicants born after 12/31/1959 must have registered for the draft by age 26 to be eligible for any US 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.

4. Interns are subject to fingerprinting and background checks. Match result and selection decisions are contingent on passing these screens.

5. The VA conducts drug screening exams on randomly selected personnel as well as new employees. Interns 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.

6. To comply with federal and VA rules and provide interns with liability protection, a current and valid Affiliation Agreement between the VA and the sponsoring doctoral program must be on file before an intern can be appointed. While most APA-approved doctoral programs already have an agreement on file, it is important that you confirm with your doctoral program, before application, that a valid affiliation agreement has been established. More information is available at: (see section on psychology internships).

7. A Trainee Qualifications and Credential Verification Letter (TQCVL) from the intern's home institution is also required. More information on the specific requirements within the TQCVL can be found at:

Those applicants applying for Positions housed exclusively within UCSD must also meet employment criteria. Please see Section 2 for a list of all-UCSD Positions. Those criteria are:

1. Interns are subject to fingerprinting and background checks and drug screening exams. Individuals with convictions related to job duties are at particular risk of not passing the background check. Individuals with a positive drug screen will undergo further review by the Medical Review Office. Match result and selection decisions are contingent on passing these screens.

2. Interns must pass a physical exam and show proof of TB testing. Positive TB tests undergo further review by the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine to determine the course of action.

Each of our 19 Positions is comprised of two half-time, year-long placements. Inside our brochure, you will find a list of these 19 Positions and the placements associated with them, as well as detailed descriptions of each placement and the supervising faculty. Please note that 12 Positions are all-VA, i.e., each half of the rotation is a clinic located with the VA and fall under VA hiring/HR, and 7 positions

are all-UCSD, i.e, each half of the rotation is a clinic located within UCSD and fall under UCSD hiring/HR. Placement combinations are fixed and cannot be changed from what is listed here.

While you do not have to have extensive experience in both placements of the Position(s) you rank, we do value goodness-of-fit with at least one of the placements within a given Position when selecting applicants for interviews. All applications must be submitted via the APPIC portal. While the portal permits applicants to choose Positions of interest, please clearly indicate in your cover letter no more than three Positions for which you would like to be considered.


For the 2019-2020 training year we have funding for 19 full-time Internship Positions. Each Position is comprised of two or three year-long placements in which the intern will gain his/her training experience. Each of the 19 Positions has a separate APPIC match number. When an applicant matches to the UCSD/VA Psychology Internship, he/she will match into a specific Position, and therefore into a fixed combination of

year-long placements for the upcoming training year. The placements in each Position are fixed for the training year and cannot be changed or substituted with another placement. The placement combinations for each of the 19 Positions for the 2019-2020 training year are listed on the below. When applicants apply to the

program, we will request that they indicate their top 3 Positions of Interest. This will help ensure that the appropriate faculty review relevant applications.

Placement A

Placement B

VA Positions


VA Behavioral Medicine: Pain and

VA Primary Care Mental Health Integration

Weight Control (Rutledge)



VA General Behavioral Medicine (Hekler) VA Spinal Cord Injury (McCulloch)


VA Family Mental Health Program

VA Mood Clinic (Depp/McKenna)



VA Mission Valley PTSD Clinic (Farrow) VA Mood Clinic (Depp/McKenna)


VA Mission Valley PTSD Clinic

VA Center of Recovery Education




VA La Jolla PTSD Clinic (Lacefield)

VA Substance Abuse / Mental Illness

(SAMI) Program (Trim)


VA La Jolla PTSD Clinic (Lacefield)

VA Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program

(ADTP; Worley)


VA Substance Abuse Rehabilitation and VA Behavioral Health Interdisciplinary

Recovery Treatment Program (SARRTP; Program (Castriotta)

Haller) and VA Smoking Cessation



VA Neuropsychological Assessment Unit VA Primary Care Mental Health Integration



10 VA Neuropsychological Assessment Unit VA TBI Cognitive Rehabilitation Clinic/ VA


Neuropsychological Assessment Unit


11 VA Neuropsychological Assessment Unit VA LaJolla Inpatient Psychiatry (Jacobson)


12 VA PTSD Residential Rehabilitation

VA Telemental Health (Morland/Poizner)

Treatment Program (Tarasenko)

UCSD Positions

13 UCSD Medical Center Neuropsychology UCSD Senior Behavioral Health

Cognitive Medicine Group



14 UCSD Eating Disorders Clinic

Rady Inpatient Child and Adolescent


Psychiatric Services (S.J. Brown)

15 UCSD Eating Disorders Clinic

Rady Inpatient Child and Adolescent


Psychiatric Services (S.J. Brown)

16 Rady Inpatient Child and Adolescent

Rady Child Outpatient Psychiatry

Psychiatric Services (S.J. Brown)


17 Rady Inpatient Child and Adolescent

Rady Child Outpatient Psychiatry

Psychiatric Services (S.J. Brown)


18 UCSD Burn Center and Moores Cancer UCSD Pain Clinic (D'Eon)

Center (Minassian/Cardenas)

19 UCSD Eating Disorders Clinic (Anderson/Wierenga)

Rady Medical Behavioral Unit (Maginot)

Application Procedures The internship year begins on July 1, 2019. The application deadline is

November 2, 2018. By December 14 a select number of applicants will be invited for a full day of interviews scheduled for January 7 through January 11. Serious candidates are strongly encouraged to visit San Diego if selected for an interview. Applicants who are unable to schedule a personal interview may be interviewed by phone or video conference (e.g., Skype) when possible.

Applicants will complete and submit the AAPI Online to internship programs of interest. The AAPI can be completed at . In addition, the usual application packet (cover letter, CV, letters of recommendation, DCT verification of AAPI, graduate transcripts) will all be submitted through the online application portal.

Applicants are asked to rank order up to three Positions that define their primary interests and for which they wish to apply (see Appendix D for the list of Positions). Please clearly list this rank order in your cover letter.

If you have questions about the application procedures, please call or email our Internship Coordinator, Audrey Bascom:

Phone: (858) 552-8585 x2565 Email: Audrey.bascom@ or pinternship@ucsd.edu

For more information, please see our website at: y-internship.aspx or feel free to contact us with questions. We wish you luck in the application process!


Drs. Sandra Brown and Amy Jak Co-Directors, UCSD/VA Psychology Internship Training Program Tel: (858) 552-8585 x2565 Email: pinternship@ucsd.edu

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