POST DOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP IN
CLINICAL HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY IN PRIMARY CARE
Fully Accredited by the American Psychological Association
Candidates will be sought beginning in the Fall of 2013. The application deadline is January 5th or until the position is filled, whichever is earlier. Thus, interested applicants are strongly encouraged to complete their application early. Interviews are held in January and applicants who are invited to interview are strongly encouraged to interview on-site. Please click here for more information about our application requirements.
About Our Fellowship
The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health of the University of Massachusetts Medical School hosts a Post-doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Health Psychology in Primary Care. The fellowship is tightly affiliated with the Family Medicine Residency Programs of the Department.
The two-year, full-time fellowship adheres to a practitioner-scholar model and is designed to prepare clinical and counseling psychologists to achieve the following goals:
- Become leaders and advocates for integrated, collaborative healthcare
- Practice evidence-based psychology in a primary care environment
- Be capable of advanced practice competency in independent practice as Clinical Health Psychologists with sufficient preparation to be credentialed and ultimately Board Certified by ABPP in clinical health psychology
- Make meaningful scholarly contributions, particularly by learning how to conduct applied research projects leading to practice-based evidence for integrated care
- Develop programs and service lines using inter-professional teams within health care settings
- Assume roles in medical education, working as behavioral science experts within Family Medicine residency training programs, Family Medicine Departments or other medical departments including but not limited to Oncology, Obstetrics, Pediatrics, and Internal Medicine
- Train other psychologists and behavioral health providers in integrated, collaborative healthcare
- Help change the face of healthcare to include behavioral health as an indispensable component of primary healthcare and the patient centered medical home
The training philosophy and model is based on a supervised experiential approach in which first year post-doctoral fellows are training in evidence-based clinical health psychology through intensive didactics, clinical observations, clinical supervision, and by training side-by-side with family medicine residents. In the second year of the program, the fellows continue their clinical training and supervision, but also begin a more focused experience of learning how to teach and train family medicine residents to recognize behavioral needs and use psychosocial knowledge and behavioral health skills. Fellows also learn to build integrated service programs in a primary care setting.
Fellows are evaluated in a variety of ways, including live observation, and are expected to gain competencies in:
- clinical health psychology assessment techniques
- clinical health psychology and family therapy intervention strategies
- conducting effective consultations with physicians
- professionalism, communication, effective documentation, and acculturation to the medical environment
- healthcare management and administration, including leadership skills
- research skills, particularly in the area of conducting clinical quality improvement initiatives.
The first residency in Family Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center (UMass) was established in 1971. The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health presently supports two residencies in Family Medicine: the Worcester residency and the Fitchburg residency. The Worcester residency has 36 residents, divided equally among three family health centers: (1) Barre Family Health Center in Barre, MA; (2) the Family Health Center of Worcester; and (3) Hahnemann Family Health Center in Worcester. The Fitchburg residency has 15 residents whose main training site is the Community Health Connections Family Health Center in Fitchburg, MA.
Barre Family Health Center is located in Barre, Massachusetts, in rural north-central Massachusetts. It is thirty minutes from Worcester and offers trainees the experience of practice in a rural setting with full support of a large academic health system. BFHC is a free standing ambulatory care site in the UMassMemorial Health Care system. BFHC is a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) with Level 3 Recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) with a history of commitment to integrating behavioral health services into its practice. BFHC is the sole provider of care in the East Quabbin region providing care to the inhabitants of Barre and 9 surrounding communities with upwards of 35,000 visits/yr.
An ambulatory training site in the Worcester Family Medicine Residency Program, it is also the only rural training site in Family Medicine in Massachusetts. The staff is multidisciplinary and includes 10 family physicians, 2 psychologists, 12 residents, and part-time involvement by an adult and child psychiatrist, a podiatrist, nutritionist, clinical pharmacist, and a clinical social worker. In addition, the practice has an on-site lab, x-ray including digital mammography, and facilities to provide stabilization of acutely ill patients, minor surgical procedures, and care of minor trauma such as fractures, sprains, and lacerations. Daniel Mullin, PsyD, is the Behavioral Science faculty member and primary site supervisor at BFHC and William Ferrarone, PhD, is a psychologist practicing on site half time.
Hahnemann Family Health Center (HFHC) is located in Worcester and is an urban academic ambulatory health center staffed by 9 family physicians, 2 nurse practitioners, 12 family medicine residents, 2 behavioral health providers and 3 BH trainees, a consulting psychiatrist, and a clinical pharmacist. Approximately 40% of the patients have private insurance and 50% have Medicaid. Behavioral health clinicians are fully integrated into the clinic and are routinely available to meet with patients on the same day as their medical visit or for scheduled follow-up appointments to treat mental health and substance abuse needs as well as for behavior change counseling.
Since January 2011, HFHC has routinely screened adult patients who are establishing care at the clinic and during annual physicals. The screening measure includes items for depression (PHQ-9), generalized anxiety (GAD-7), PTSD symptoms (PC-PTSD), and alcohol use (AUDIT). Scores on these screening measures are entered into unique data fields in a flowsheet within the electronic health record (Allscripts). Tina Runyan, PhD, the Director of the Fellowship, is the primary site supervisor and also has her clinical practice at HFHC. Alexander Blount, EdD is another one of the on-site supervisors and runs the Program for School Aged Children (PSAC) at HFHC.
Community Health Connections Family Health Center (CHC) in Fitchburg is the newly-remodeled outpatient site for the University of Massachusetts Fitchburg Family Medicine Residency. It is a Federally Qualified Community Health Center serving underserved patients in the Fitchburg/Leominster area. The Health Center is developing a number of social service programs in addition to mental health, pharmacy and dental services. It is approximately forty-five minutes from the UMass campus. It was the original Fellowship site in 1999 but currently fellows are not training on site routinely. Nicholas Apostoleris, PhD, is the Associate Residency Director for the Fitchburg Family Medicine Residency and is the the on site supervising psychologist.
The Department's goals in supporting and instituting a post-doctoral training program for psychologists are:
- to provide significantly more teaching in behavioral science to family medicine residents
- to teach family medicine residents to work collaboratively with behavioral health providers in providing primary care services
- to increase the capability of the department to conduct research on primary care questions
- to develop a group of providers for the primary care practices that are part of the UMass/Memorial system
- to increase the visibility and status of the department nationally as a center for innovation in primary care service and training.
The reasons fellows choose to come to our program for post-doctoral training are:
- to practice evidence-based psychology in a primary care environment
- to make meaningful scholarly contributions, particularly by learning how to conduct applied research projects leading to practice-based evidence for integrated care
- to have a teaching role and develop teaching skills while still in training and receiving supervision that can help shape and improve their teaching styles
- to prepare for a position as a health provider in primary care and/or as a faculty member in a medical or medical education and training setting
- to obtain advanced and specialized training in clinical health psychology which enables them to seek board certification (ABPP) in clinical health psychology.
Every effort is made to identify fellows as part of a family medicine resident class. Having behavioral health providers as peers in their training helps residents develop the personal relationships on which collaboration is based. Having family medicine residents as peers in their training helps the fellows develop familiarity with the primary care setting in an environment of support where help with the vagaries of “medical culture” is easily available.