The VA Office of Academic Affiliations is offering the VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Psychiatry and Psychology at ten VA MIRECC sites. West Haven, Baltimore, Denver, Durham, Philadelphia, Bronx, Houston, Seattle, Palo Alto, and San Diego participate in the program. Each year, one psychiatry fellow and one psychology fellow are accepted at each site.
The primary goal of the fellowship program is to train psychiatrists and psychologists to become leading clinical researchers in high priority areas of mental health. Over the course of the two-year program, fellows are trained in academic and health systems research, advanced clinical care service delivery, and program administration in an interdisciplinary setting. The fellowship combines individual mentored research and clinical training with state-of-the-art educational experiences. A special emphasis of the fellowship program is to train fellows to conduct translational research that brings basic science to clinical practice. For example, fellows learn how genetic factors are linked to clinical outcomes and how innovative research methodologies yield more clinically relevant information.
The program combines individualized, mentored research and clinical training with a state-of-the-art curriculum that emphasizes research methods; statistics; epidemiology; mental health systems; quality improvement methods; education and service delivery. Each site is affiliated with one of the VA Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Centers. Fellowship sites are linked electronically for didactic, academic, and research efforts. Fellows devote 75% time to research and educational activities and 25% to clinical training. In collaboration with their mentors, Fellows will develop and implement a research project, publish and present findings, participate in grant writing, and utilize the latest technology for educational activities and clinical service delivery.
One highly successful aspect of training has been the video conference seminar series. Each month a different expert presents the latest advances in conducting a particular aspect of clinical research. Seminar topics last year included VA career development, funding and resources, behavioral genetics, health informatics, and designing clinical trials of behavioral therapies. Past seminars have featured presentations on funding mechanisms and career development awards by Barry Lebowitz, Ph.D., former Chief of the Geriatrics Research Branch at NIMH and now Adjunct Professor at University of California, San Diego, and Molly Wagster, M.D., from the NIA.
Psychiatry applicants must have completed ACGME-accredited training, be board eligible or board certified, and have an active, unrestricted U.S. license to practice. International medical graduates must also have a current visa and an ECFMG certificate that is valid indefinitely. Applicants on a J-1 visa must also have current ECFMG sponsorship.
Stipends will be based on years of previously completed residency training accredited by the Accrediting Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and index rates approved at the respective VA facility and affiliated university.
Eligible psychologists must be U.S. citizens. They must have graduated from an American Psychological Association accredited doctoral program in clinical or counseling psychology. Completion of an American Psychological Association accredited internship in clinical or counseling psychology is also required.
Stipend rates for MDs are currently $48,448 and $51,426 per annum for the
first and second year of the program respectively. Stipend rates for
postdoctoral PhDs are currently $45,950 and $48,434 per annum for the first and second year of the program respectively. These stipends are reviewed biannually and are adjusted according to rates paid by comparable non-VA postdoctoral fellowship programs.