Health Beat - Spring 2018 - 12

Education That Helps the
Student and the Community

Accredited psychology internship provides training opportunities
to students working toward doctoral degrees and enhances
behavioral health services available in Salina
By John Berggren

S

tudents working toward doctoral degrees in clinical psychology must complete a one-year
internship before entering
practice. Prompted by a severe national
shortage of internship opportunities,
challenges recruiting clinical psychologists to rural Kansas and the prestige of
being known as a professional training
center, Salina Regional Health Center
began offering a clinical psychology doctoral internship in 2013.
After operating initially as a preaccredited program, Salina Regional
was granted full accreditation by the
American Psychological Association
last year.

"It's a confirmation of our efforts and
we're already seeing dividends," says
Jeremy Morris, Ph.D., director of the
program. "We're seeing a larger number
of applicants apply to come here."
The program accepts two students
a year for one year of training. Of the
first six graduates from the program,
Salina Regional has been able to retain
two practitioners who treat patients
within the hospital's continuum of
psychiatric services.

Broad-Based Experience
Salina's internship is unique in that
it offers the opportunity for a broad
exposure to a wide variety of patients

in varied settings. Most clinical psychology doctoral internships are associated
with government institutions, like a
Veterans Affairs hospital, or are specialized in one area of care, such as pediatric autism spectrum disorders.
"Our internship is really geared
toward the general practitioner or anyone who's had a gap in training," Morris
says. "But we also offer flexibility to
allow students to pursue special areas of
interest. Everyone has their own special
talents and we encourage interns to
use them."
Students get the opportunity to
treat and assess outpatients through
Veridian Behavioral Health, provide
intensive outpatient care through the
hospital's New Options program and
practice inpatient intervention through
the hospital's Inpatient Psychiatric Unit.
Students also get the opportunity to
provide embedded mental health services through the hospital's Inpatient
Rehabilitation program and occasional
care to pediatric patients in the hospital's pediatric clinics.
"Embedded mental health is a model
that lives on the coasts and in urban
areas of the country that frees up medical providers to manage the medical
needs of patients when there is a mental
health issue that needs to be addressed
just as importantly," Morris says. "Many
patients in our inpatient rehabilitation unit have suffered a debilitating,
Interns Andrew Crisco and Jenny
Holcomb meet with director Jeremy
Morris, Ph.D., during their weekly
group seminar session.

12

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Health Beat - Spring 2018

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