First, our program is based on the scientist-practitioner/clinical scientist model, so it is guided by the principle that psychology interns should receive training that integrates research and clinical practice. Our aim is to produce interns who approach clinical work with an inquisitive attitude and who are competent to conduct clinical investigation. We encourage interns to examine the efficacy of their clinical work and to review the research literature for guidance about which treatment strategies are best suited to particular patients and problems.
Second, we believe it is important to balance broad-based, "generalist" training with in-depth training for interns who wish to specialize. Intensive specialization at the internship level can be professionally limiting, as can training that is so broad that interns lack an in-depth understanding about any specific topic. Therefore, we designed our program so that interns who wish to specialize can do so, but also participate in more general training experiences.
Third, our program places a very high value on working with a variety of client populations, including those frequently underserved by mental health professionals. We believe that interns must receive training experiences that prepare them for working with culturally and ethnically diverse populations. Interns in the program work with faculty in providing services to a variety of typically underserved populations, including (but not limited to) crime victims, veterans, children, minorities, substance abusers, the poor, individuals from rural areas, and those with comorbid physical and mental health problems.
Fourth, interns will be provided with training experiences that expose them to "cutting edge" aspects of scientist-practitioner/clinical scientist work. How to survive and prosper within the context of health care reform is also a challenge for the future. It is our goal to provide interns with as much training as possible in these issues to prepare them to succeed in the changing world of professional, academic psychology.
Finally, we believe that the best learning environment is one in which a student learns by doing while also having fun, and that good training is best accomplished in an atmosphere of mutual respect between faculty and interns. We attempt to create such a learning environment by treating interns as junior colleagues.