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Navy Doctoral Internships In Clinical Psychology

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD

Naval Medical Center San Diego

ACCREDITATION

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
 

NAVY RECRUITING REQUIREMENTS

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 July or August.

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 8 November 2021. The deadline for completing the Navy commissioning application (with the help of your recruiter) is 15 December 2021.

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.
 

BACKGROUND

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 Medical Service Corps and serve a total 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.
 

AIMS OF THE INTERNSHIPS

The overarching aims of the 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.
 

ARE THE NAVY INTERNSHIPS A CONSORTIUM?

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).
 

IMPORTANT DATES

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: 8 November 2021 for both internships.

Deadline for Navy commissioning application: 15 December 2021 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): 24 July – 26 August 2022. 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: 29 August – 2 September 2022. 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: 5 September 2022
NMC, San Diego: 12 September 2022
 

Interviews:

The Navy Psychology community is continuing to adjust to the changing COVID-19 environment. Since the start of this pandemic, we have transitioned to on-line interviews for all of our training programs. We hope to be able to conduct in-person interviews later this year, but as of now we are unable to commit to doing so. At the very least, applicants will be required to participate in virtual interviews for each internship to which they are applying. Any opportunities for in-person interviews will be communicated in the late summer/early fall of 2021.

Interviews will be conducted for the San Diego internship between 30 November and 2 December 2021. Applicants who are selected for interviews will be contacted via phone or email by the San Diego Training Director in mid-November 2021 to schedule an interview.


Interviews will be conducted for the Walter Reed internship between 7 & 9 December 2021. Applicants who are selected for interviews will be contacted via phone or email by the Walter Reed Training Director in mid-November 2021 to schedule an interview.

Again, applicants who are applying to both sites will be required to participate in on-line interviews at both sites. If in-person interviews become permissible, applicants will be afforded the opportunity to attend open houses at both internships and complete their interviews in person. Under these circumstances an in-person interview at one of the sites will be recommended, although not required.
 

INTERNSHIP DESCRIPTIONS

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

View the Navy Psychology Internship Brochure.

ASSIGNMENTS AFTER INTERNSHIP

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:

David B. Mather, Ph.D.
Internship Training Director
Naval Medical Center San Diego
San Diego, California
Phone - (619) 532-6065
Email – david.b.mather2.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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