Didactics and Research Opportunities
- Seminars. A required weekly seminar series, conducted by psychology, psychiatry, and other faculty and professionals on a rotating basis, addresses a variety of professional, ethical, diversity, equity, and other social issues. The specific content varies somewhat from year to year, and seminars selected will depend on trainee interest. Didactic seminars are being held in an interactive webinar format, although in-person seminars will be offered post-pandemic. Interns also have the opportunity to attend the wide range of seminars and colloquia presented by faculty and invited speakers in various departments in the School of Medicine and other parts of the University.
- School of Medicine and Departmental Grand Rounds and Additional Didactics. The Department of Psychiatry has a weekly Grand Rounds open to all trainees and faculty of the Department of Psychiatry. Content includes clinical case presentations, presentations of ongoing or completed research by members of the Department, and guest speaker presentations. The School of Medicine also holds grand rounds, open to all trainees. Other didactic opportunities include seminars held within some of the internship programs, such as the CIDD and the Center for Excellence in Eating Disorders, training workshops such as those held by TEACCH, and the Department’s weekly didactic series for psychiatry residents.
- Psychology Faculty Presentations and Meetings. During the year, faculty members give periodic presentations on research, clinical, or professional topics of current interest. There is also intern representation on the Psychology Internship Training Committee, which meets biweekly throughout the year.
- Professional Development Seminar. A professional development seminar for all interns is provided. The group, held for an hour on Fridays, provides a unique and meaningful experience for interns to explore their professional and personal values, identify career pathways, receive writing feedback, and explore leadership identities and skills. In 2021, the support group’s meetings are being held virtually.
- Faculty and Intern Retreat. A half day retreat is provided for interns, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and community supervisors in the spring on a topic of general interest such as supervision, ethical issues in clinical settings, and the role of the psychologist in a changing environment. The annual retreat includes interns and training faculty from two other internship programs in the area.
- Guest lectures and presentations. Interns may be invited to make presentations to School of Medicine trainees or to various courses on campus.
- Conferences. Interns are encouraged to participate in workshops and conferences and are provided time off to attend.
- Research. The intern who is interested may take up to one day per week for research. The research experience is required to be in collaboration with a faculty member in the UNC School of Medicine. Research may include a literature review, analysis of existing data, or a small original research project.
SUPERVISION AND TEACHING METHODS
The intern’s work is supervised primarily by members of the psychology faculty. Since the ratio of faculty to interns is quite favorable, close and intensive supervision is provided throughout the year. Psychiatrists, psychiatric social workers, and other mental health professionals also participate in the supervision of some aspects of the intern’s work. Interns receive a minimum of three hours a week of individual supervision, often more, and often participate in additional group supervision.
Interns have the opportunity to observe and to be observed by faculty in clinical activities either in the same room, when services are provided in person, via a one-way mirror or video, or through remote supervision. Demonstrations also are provided by the faculty with regard to intervention techniques.
To develop competency in providing supervision, interns learn about models of supervision in the seminar series and participate in supervision role-plays. Interns may also obtain direct experience in supervision under supervision of a faculty member of postdoctoral fellow. Most interns obtain this direct experience via peer supervision, in which interns with areas of greater competence in a specific area provide supervision to interns with less competence in that area. Depending on availability of practicum students, some interns may serve as supervisor for a student from doctoral or masters programs.
EVALUATION OF INTERNS: FORMAL ASSESSMENT AND FEEDBACK
While interns receive ongoing verbal feedback from supervisors, formal written evaluative feedback is also provided. At the start of each rotation, an agreement is completed by the intern and each supervisor, spelling out the specific goals and responsibilities of the intern on the supervisor’s service. The agreement serves as the basis for written evaluation of the intern by the supervisor at the end of the rotation; the intern also has the opportunity to evaluate the experience on the service. In addition, the supervisor completes the internship program’s competency evaluation, rating the intern on core clinical and professional skills, including ethical standards and legal professional guidelines, technical skills and competence, utilization of and approach to supervision, approach to professional growth, ability to function independently, and understanding of time management issues. The intern receives the completed rotation evaluations, reviewing and discussing them with the supervisor and with the Program Coordinator. Any rating below the expected minimum is reviewed by the Training Committee. A similar written agreement is completed between the intern and Program Coordinator to insure ongoing support and monitoring of the intern’s progress, as well as to provide opportunities for in-depth discussion of professional and career issues. During the course of the year, each intern will make a scholarly presentation on a clinical or research topic to a general meeting of the faculty and interns. At mid-year, the Program Coordinator summarizes the intern’s progress for the Training Committee, to insure that the intern is meeting the program’s competency criteria. The Director of Clinical Training completes a final evaluation letter at the end of the internship year. Copies of both the mid-year and final evaluations are forwarded to the intern and to the Director of Clinical Training at the intern’s university.
CERTIFICATE OF INTERNSHIP COMPLETION
Upon successful completion of the internship in clinical psychology, a certificate is awarded by the Department of Psychiatry of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
MARTIN S. WALLACH AWARDS
The Martin S. Wallach Awards for outstanding performance in clinical psychology are given annually to two students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. One award is given to the outstanding Ph.D. candidate in Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology. The other award is given to the Clinical Psychology Intern in the Department of Psychiatry who best represents the qualities of Dr. Wallach. These awards are given in memory of the late Martin S. Wallach and are made possible through a Trust Fund established by his family and friends. Dr. Wallach, at the time of his death in May, l965, was an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at UNC Chapel Hill.
The individuals receiving the Wallach Award have displayed significant progress toward excellence as a scientist-practitioner. This includes an appreciation of the empirical basis of psychological work (including diagnosis, treatment, consultation) in the chosen area of clinical practice; demonstrated strengths in written and oral expression; and high ethical standards. Additionally, the recipients demonstrate the thoughtful style, conscientiousness, genuine care and respect for clients and colleagues, and advocacy for the needs of underserved populations, which characterized Dr. Martin Wallach.