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Washington DC VA Medical Center

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Psychology Training Programs

Internship Program

Our psychology training programs are made up of individuals from different backgrounds, with a wide range of characteristics and experiences who bring unique ideas to everything that they do. However, one very powerful thing that all of us have in common, is that we can make a difference in the world. We do this through our passion, our values, and our vision for the future. For this reason, we put diversity and inclusion at the center of our message. It is our belief that inclusion opens a broader view. By allowing trainees to expand their horizons, we give them permission to do even what they thought might not be possible. We want to inspire trainees, not just to be good at what they do today, but to think about how they can develop and improve clinical and research processes for the future. Who we are, where we come from, and the culmination of our experiences guide our thought and drive our passion. This message gives direction to our program processes as we work together with trainees, supervisors, and administration through the training year to maximize trainees’ personal growth and professional competence as well as when we work together to plan and develop infrastructure within our training programs for the future.

As we prepare to welcome our incoming trainees, we are humbled by the thought that these individuals will one day become the face of psychology; and therefore, also humbled by the importance of providing them with the best training possible, so that they may have the tools and resources, motivation, and perseverance to actualize dreams and to do what we have yet to achieve.

The predoctoral internship at the Washington DC VA Medical Center is fully accredited by the commission on accreditation of the American Psychological Association. The next site visit will be in 2020.
Internship applicants must meet these criteria to be considered for any VA psychology internship program:

  • Doctoral student in good standing at an APA-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.

Download the brochure

Trainee Handbook

Integrated Intern Training Plan

Internship Admissions, Support, and Initial Placement Data

Slavomir Zapata, Ph.D.
Director of Psychology Training Programs
50 Irving Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20422
APPIC match number : 119311

Applications due: November 3rd

Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Within the Clinical Psychology Fellowship Program, we offer training in three areas of emphasis. For the 2018-2019 training year, we will be recruiting 6 postdoctoral fellows in the below emphasis areas:

  • Trauma (PTSD) - two Fellow positions
  • Health Psychology (Liver Disease and HIV) – one Fellow position
  • Serious Mental Illness (SMI) two Fellow positions
  • Clinical Neuropsychology one Fellow Position

The Washington DC VAMC Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is accredited by the APA Commission on Accreditation through 2020. The APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation can be reached at the APA, 750 First St. NE, Washington DC 20002-4242, (202) 336-5979.

Our purpose is to train psychologists who are able to accurately diagnose patient problems, implement state-of-the-art evidence-based treatments as they currently exist, be sophisticated reviewers of the clinical research literature so that they are able to use new findings as they become available, and to have the ability to push the state-of-the-art treatments forward by conducting their own clinical research. Regardless of the emphasis area chosen, all fellows attain advanced skills and knowledge in a common core of professional domains, including ethics and professional standards, research strategies, teaching and supervision, cultural diversity and individual differences, assessment and intervention, professional development, and interprofessional consultation. Training occurs within a Practitioner-Scholar framework, within a dynamic healthcare environment. The Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at the Washington DC VA is clinically focused. However, during the fellowship, a fellow is granted from 20 – 25 percent of their time for clinical/programmatic research.

The first-year stipend for each position is $45,961. Health insurance is provided. Eligible candidates must be U.S. citizens and must have completed a doctoral degree in Clinical or Counseling Psychology, including a doctoral internship, from APA-accredited programs. The VA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to enhancing diversity within our staff. Applicants from underserved and underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply as we are very committed to attracting a diverse class of residents, as well as in training a future generation of psychologists capable of delivering high quality care to an increasingly diverse population.

Program Details

Slavomir L. Zapata, Ph.D.
Director of Psychology Training Programs
50 Irving Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20422

Applications due: December 15th

Application Procedure
While we will be accepting applications through direct email to the Director of Training, the preferred method of application submission is through the APPA CAS system.

Please access APPA CAS (APPIC Psychology Postdoctoral Application), a service of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). Complete the basic demographic, education, clinical training information and transcripts required of all applicants for all APPA CAS programs. APPA CAS allows you to request letters of recommendation electronically, which are then uploaded by the letter writer.

Formal interviews for emphasis tracks will occur on the dates below:

  • Health Psychology (HIV/HCV): January 28th
  • Serious Mental Illness (SMI) : January 29th and January 30th
  • Trauma: January 31st and February 1st
  • Clinical Neuropsychology: Interviews occurring in early February

Postdoctoral Fellowship Admissions, Support, and Initial Placement Data

Practicum Program

The Washington DC VAMC offers formal practicum placements for the academic year. Practicum experiences can start in the summer or fall, and generally last through the spring semester of the academic year, depending on the needs of the student, the needs of the clinical program, and supervision availability. Most supervisors prefer that practicum students begin in the summer and continue through the academic year.

Applicants should be in good standing with their academic institutions and should be from an APA accredited, doctoral degree program in clinical or counseling psychology. We cannot accept students who are in terminal, master's degree programs even if their program is accredited by CACREP. We can only accept U.S. citizens into our training programs. Practicum students are subject to fingerprinting, employee health physical screening, and background checks. Selection decisions are contingent on passing these screens. The DC VAMC also conducts drug screening on randomly selected personnel. Although practicum students are not required to be tested before beginning their externship, they may be subject to random selection during the practicum year.

We will be accepting applications between January 1st, 2019 and February 15th, 2019. All applications received within this timeframe will be acknowledged. Applications received after February 15th, 2019, will not be reviewed. Interviews will occur on a rolling basis.

Please email a cover letter and curriculum vitae to the Training Director, Dr. Slavomir, Zapata, at Slavomir.Zapata@va.gov. In your cover letter, please indicate the one rotation that most interests you and detail the specific reasons that you are choosing to apply to that specific rotation. We ask applicants to specify only one rotation because of the large number of applications that the psychology staff receive and need to review. Dr. Zapata will forward your application to the staff psychologists associated with the specific rotation that you identify. Please do not send letters of recommendation or sample treatment reports unless a staff member specifically requests one or both of them from you. For detailed information on the practicum training program, please download the following brochure.

Download the brochure