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Clinical Health Psychology Fellowship

About

west complex building sign university of Virginia School of MedicineThe Clinical Health Psychology Fellowship at the University of Virginia is primarily housed in the Behavioral Medicine Center within the Department of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences. The Behavioral Medicine Center provides outpatient psychological evaluation and treatment services for a wide variety of patient populations and presenting concerns. Our Center has well-established, collaborative relationships with many medical subspecialties within the Health System, which serve as primary referral sources.

The Behavioral Medicine Center serves patients across the lifespan, including young children up to older adults.  Presenting concerns are treated through empirically-supported interventions that are individually tailored to patients’ needs.  Medical populations include those presenting with problems that are caused or exacerbated by psychobehavioral processes, including insomnia and other sleep disorders, diabetes, GI disorders, cancer and blood disorders, obesity, and chronic pain. Services are also provided for patients who are having difficulty adjusting to and coping with the emotional and behavioral demands of acute, chronic, and life-threatening medical problems, as well as their caretakers. Common mental health concerns include, but are not limited to, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, including GAD, OCD, phobias, habit control problems (e.g., trichotillomania), and health-related adjustment disorders, including grief and trauma related to medical conditions.  Specialty services include evaluations for adult and pediatric transplantation, weight reduction surgery, and pediatric bladder and bowel dysfunction.

Clinical Focus (80%)

The fellowship adheres to the scientist-practitioner model of training using an evidence-based treatment approach with primarily an adult population. There are also opportunities for pediatric services based on fellow interest and experience. The fellow will participate in a broad range of clinical health psychology training experiences with patients who are experiencing psychiatric and medical comorbidities as described above.  Clinical experiences will take place in an outpatient setting and include short- and long-term psychotherapy, as well as evaluations in specialty areas, including adult solid organ transplantation, weight reduction surgery, and functional neurological disorders (nonepileptic spells). Opportunities to conduct pediatric specialty evaluations, including pediatric solid organ transplantation and pediatric bladder and bowel dysfunction, are available to those who are interested.

In addition to clinical services within the Behavioral Medicine Center, the fellow will participate in either two 6-month elective rotations or one 12-month elective rotation. Elective rotations are available in the following subspecialties: Infectious Disease (HIV), Consultation/Liaison, Cystic Fibrosis, Oncology, Pediatrics, and Primary Care. A Research rotation may be available depending on fellow interest and faculty availability.

 

Education, Professional Development, and Research (20%)

Educational and Professional Development Activities

Fellows will receive at least 2 hours of individual supervision and 1 hour of group supervision per week. Group supervision includes a combination of case supervision, didactics on clinical health psychology topics that integrate current research, and Journal Club. Fellows are expected to present 1-2 cases and 1-2 journal articles during the year. Fellows also typically receive training and experience in clinical supervision with doctoral-level clinical psychology graduate students.

Additional educational activities:

  • Psychiatry Grand Rounds (required)
  • Psychiatry Clinical Case Conferences (optional)
  • Teaching opportunities with Psychiatry residents (optional)

In addition to these opportunities, the fellow will have 3 hours per week of protected time for professional development activities. Fellows are expected to take the EPPP within the first 6 months of fellowship and, therefore, may use this professional development time to prepare for the EPPP. Upon passing the EPPP, the fellow may use the time for research or other professional development activities.

The Program Director also holds a monthly seminar for all psychology postdoctoral fellows across subspecialty areas during the academic year to discuss various topics related to professional development (e.g., negotiating an employment contract, setting up a private practice).

Research Activities

Fellows have the opportunity to participate in research in the course of their fellowship and research time will vary based on fellow interest and available research opportunities.

Areas of research being conducted in the Behavioral Medicine Center include:

  • Cardiology
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Psychobehavioral factors related to use of diabetes technology
  • Gender Health
  • Brief treatment and consultation outcomes in primary care
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Organ transplant
  • Bariatric surgery outcomes and psychological factors
  • Behavioral emergencies in the inpatient medical setting

Core Training Faculty

  • Virginia C. Andersen, PhD, ABPP
  • Heather Bruschwein, PsyD, ABPP (Training Director, Behavioral Medicine Center)
  • Casey Cavanagh, PhD, ABPP
  • Lauren Ehrlich, PhD
  • Brian Ludwin, PhD
  • Jaclyn A. Shepard, PsyD, ABPP
  • Joanna Yost, PhD, ABPP

2023-2024 Application Materials

Application Form

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Please submit the following:

  • Brief cover letter – please discuss goals for fellowship as well as clinical and research goals
  • Application Form
  • Curriculum vitae
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Graduate school transcripts

Application Form

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How to Apply

Application Deadline: Applications for the 2024-2025 cycle are now closed as the positions have been filled. The deadline for 2025-2026 applications will be posted late summer or early fall 2025.

Send Materials to:

Heather Bruschwein, Psy.D., ABPP
Training Director, Behavioral Medicine Center
Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences
University of Virginia Health System
P. O. Box 800223
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0223
hab9z@uvahealth.org

Contact Us

Clinical Health Psychology Fellowship Inquiry

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