About Us

Navy Doctoral Internships In Clinical Psychology

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD

Naval Medical Center San Diego


The Navy doctoral internships at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD and Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) as clinical psychology internships. Inquiries regarding accreditation may be addressed to the APA's Commission on Accreditation at the following address or phone number:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C., 20002-4242
(202) 336-5979


VERY IMPORTANT: There are two parts to the Navy internship application: the standard AAPI and an application used to determine eligibility for commissioning as a Naval officer.

The Navy application is completed with the help of a Navy Medical Programs Officer Recruiter.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact a recruiter as early as possible, preferably by September.

Initiating contact with a recruiter after 1 October increases the risk that the application will not be completed by the application deadline. (The Navy application includes a medical evaluation, and there are frequently delays in getting medical appointments scheduled).

PLEASE NOTE: The deadline for submitting AAPIs to the Navy internships is 14 November 2022. The deadline for completing the Navy commissioning application (with the help of your recruiter) is 16 December 2022.

To locate the Medical Programs Officer Recruiter nearest you, go
to http://www.navy.com/careers/healthcare/ - Click on “Find a Recruiter” located at the bottom of the page. Type in the zip code where you will be located at the time you would like to work with a recruiter. Click on “Officer Recruiter.”

When contacting the recruiting office, ask specifically to speak with a Medical Programs Officer Recruiter. Small recruiting offices may not have Medical Programs Officer Recruiters, but they can easily direct you to the nearest one. If you have problems finding a recruiter, please contact Dr. Ralph at John.a.ralph.civ@mail.mil


The Navy’s doctoral internships in clinical psychology are organized around a Practitioner-Scholar model. They provide an intensive, twelve-month period of clinical, didactic, and leadership experiences.

Prior military experience is neither a requirement nor an expectation for applicants. Most applicants for the Navy internships have no prior military experience. Applicants do not have to be in the military to apply, and there is no military service obligation unless an applicant matches with the internship through the APPIC match.

Internship applicants who match with a Navy internship are commissioned as Lieutenants in the Navy Medical Service Corps and serve a minimum of 4 years on active duty - 1 year as a clinical psychology intern and 3 years as a staff psychologist.

There is no military obligation for applicants who do not match with a Navy internship.

The Navy internships give careful consideration to all available information about each applicant, and select interns on a competitive basis without regard to race, sex, religion, creed, color, national origin (Article 1164 Navy Regulations), or sexual orientation.


The overarching goals of these internships are to produce highly-qualified, resourceful, and autonomous professional psychologists who are prepared to function effectively in traditional settings (e.g., hospitals and mental health clinics) and in military-unique settings (e.g., on aircraft carriers, with Marine Corps units, etc.).

Interns are trained to employ critical thinking and an empirical orientation in their clinical work. This is accomplished by modeling, encouragement, and constructive feedback as interns encounter a range of clinical conditions, patient populations, and settings


The two Navy internships are not a consortium. They are separately accredited by the APA and are listed separately on the APPIC website. Applicants have the option of applying to one or both of the internships. Applying to one of the internships does not automatically make the applicant eligible for both internships. Applicants who wish to be considered for both internships must apply to them separately on the APPIC website. Interns will attend the specific internship program with which they match (i.e., Bethesda or San Diego).


Applicants must meet all age, security background check, and medical requirements for commissioning as Naval officers prior to being placed on the internships’ APPIC match lists.

Deadline for AAPI: 14  November 2022 for both internships.

Deadline for Navy commissioning application: 16 December 2022 for both internships (this is the portion of your application that is completed with the help of a Navy Medical Programs Officer Recruiter).

Officer Development School (Newport, RI): 16 July – 18 August 2023. Officer Development School (ODS) is a five-week orientation course that all interns must attend prior to starting the internship. ODS marks the point when interns first enter active duty status.

Navy Medicine 101 Course: 21 - 25 August 2023. NM101 is a 1-week in-person course held in Bethesda, MD. This course was created in 2021 to provide new officers with an introduction to the Navy Medical Department. Incoming interns will attend NM101 immediately after ODS.

Internship Start Dates:
Walter Reed, Bethesda: 28 August 2023
NMC, San Diego: 5 September 2023


As a result of the COVID pandemic, in 2020 the Navy Psychology community transitioned to on-line interviews for all of our training programs. We plan to continue this practice in 2023. Virtual interviews will be offered to all applicants in according with the schedule below. Depending on conditions, we also might offer opportunities for optional in-person interviews, but additional information about this will not be available until later this fall.

Interviews will be conducted for the San Diego internship between 29 November and 1 December 2022.

Interviews will be conducted for the Walter Reed internship between 6 & 8 December 2022.

Applicants who are selected for interviews will be contacted around November of 2022 (following the AAPI submission deadline) to schedule an interview.

Applicants who are applying to both sites will be required to participate in interviews at both sites.


Both programs are organized around a core of sequential clinical rotations that are augmented by:

  • Didactics

  • Trans-rotational psychotherapy experiences (including treatment of patients with PTSD)

  • Out-of-hospital training at Navy and Marine Corps bases and with military operational units.

The two internships are similar in many respects, but they are not a consortium, and the on-site Training Directors are free to create a curriculum that takes optimal advantage of the patient populations, faculty strengths, and clinical services available at their individual sites. More information is available at the following links:

Naval Medical Center San Diego Internship

Trainee Admissions, Support, and Outcome Data – San Diego

Training Manual - San Diego

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Internship

Trainee Admissions, Support, and Outcome Data – Walter Reed

Training Manual – Walter Reed

Navy Psychology Internship Brochure.​


Internship graduates are usually assigned to Navy hospitals and clinics, predominantly within the continental United States. However, overseas assignments are also available, particularly in areas like Hawaii and Japan. All graduating interns are assigned to positions where post-doctoral supervision is available for licensure purposes.

Contact Us

Navy Psychology Internships:

William M. Hunt, Ph.D., ABPP
Acting Internship Training Director
Naval Medical Center San Diego
San Diego, California
Phone - (619) 532-6209
Email – william.m.hunt.civ@mail.mil

Richard D. Bergthold, PsyD.
Internship Training Director
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Bethesda, Maryland
Phone - (301) 319-2997
Email – richard.d.bergthold.civ@mail.mil

John A Ralph, Ph.D.
National Training Director
Navy Clinical Psychology
Phone - (301) 295-2476
Email – john.a.ralph.civ@mail.mil

American Psychological Association:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C., 20002-4242
(202) 336-5979

Additional Information:

WRNMMC Navy Training Manual
NMCSD Training Manual

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