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Program Description

Program Description

The Health Psychology Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program positions, while incorporating a framework of standardized training and service are also individualized and flexible, based upon the specific professional interests and needs of each trainee.

Fellows work with patients from a variety of services, including:

  • Trauma Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Orthopedics
  • Cardiology
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Family Medicine
  • General Surgery
  • Medical Transplant
  • Burn
  • Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Fellows also have an opportunity to become more integrated in multidisciplinary teams, where they can go on rounds or be part of regular team conferences.

  • Burn Service
  • Palliative Care Service
  • Organ Transplant Service
  • Acute Care for the Elderly Service
  • Neurosurgery and Neurology Service
  • Vascular Surgery Service
  • Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Fellows receive training in outpatient psychological evaluation related to health psychology. Opportunities to provide peer supervision to practicum students or interns may also be available depending upon the size of the practicum or internship class in any given year. Fellows are involved in regular didactics related to the work that they are doing. They also are required to provide one presentation in a relevant area of health psychology to a non-psychologist community group.

Training Methods

Hospital-Based Training (80% time)

The training-based experience involves the provision of psychological services to a range of medical services across this tertiary care center and its clinics. Within the service, the bulk of a fellow’s time will be devoted to bedside assessment and intervention.  Referrals are made with the expectation that we will provide timely recommendations and treat as appropriate. Further, a wide range of patient diagnoses and referral questions are presented, including medical adherence, coping with injury/illness, pain and anxiety management, grief, acute stress reaction, adjustment to disability and pre-transplant evaluation. Fellows develop appreciation for working in a fast-paced environment, in which the role of psychology is integral to patient care. Fellows provide psychological consultation to a variety of medical teams and learn to work collaboratively and efficiently with different medical and allied health staff (physicians, nurses, rehabilitation therapists, nutritionists, pharmacists, case managers, child life and pastoral care providers).

Additional specialized focus areas within the Hospital-Based Service  

Adult Fellow Training

  • Palliative Care Service
    The Health Psychology service provides consultation to the multidisciplinary palliative care treatment team, who works directly with inpatients at end-of-life or with symptom management needs. This includes providing consultation for ethical dilemmas and clinical decision-making that occurs when working with patients at end-of-life. Intervention with dying patients and their families is also a part of this experience. The training experience also includes didactics in palliative care.    
  • Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Service
    Fellows can choose to provide consultation to this multidisciplinary treatment team focused on comprehensive treatment planning for geriatric patients. Consultation questions include decisional capacity assessment, safety evaluation and dementia/delirium/depression work- up. Fellows attend morning rounds, work with patients and families, and provide consultation to treatment teams.    
  • Neurology and Neurosurgery Service
    Fellows can choose to attend Neurology/Neurosurgery rounds and take a psychology lead on this multidisciplinary treatment team. Patients seen include those who have suffered stroke, undergone resection of brain tumors, or are being treated for seizure disorder. Patients diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) can also be seen while a member of this treatment team.     
  • Vascular Surgery
    Fellows can choose to attend Vascular Surgery rounds on a weekly basis and tend to work with the patients who are undergoing planned amputation as a result of vascular disease. Fellows engage in walking rounds and also attend weekly case conferences on this service.    
  • Trauma Surgery
    There is great opportunity for fellows to assist patients who have sustained physical injuries as the result of a trauma, such as a fall, farming-related accident, assault-related incident, or a motor vehicle, bicycle, or ATV accident. As a Level 1 Trauma Center, University Hospital is frequently the local hospital of choice for individuals who have sustained more severe injuries that require more advanced and comprehensive care. Our fellows play an important role in providing support and education to these patients, and can participate in weekly rounds, as well.
  • Burn Service
    UW Burn Service houses an inpatient acute care unit for adult and pediatric burn patients.  Specific skills developed include trauma screening, pain management and helping with adaptation to loss and body image change.
  • Other Experiences
    The general hospital setting is very receptive to any fellow who expresses interest in a certain area of training or population. Health Psychology services are also frequently requested by Cardiology, Colorectal Surgery, Critical Care, Gynecological Oncology, Medical Transplant, Orthopedic Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Otolaryngology and Urology Services.

Pediatric Fellow Training

  • Hematology/Oncology Psychosocial Rounds
    Fellows may attend rounds for pediatric Hematology/Oncology patients who are often hospitalized for long periods of time. They also see patients and their families to assist with symptom management and ongoing support during hospitalization.  
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
    Fellows can be actively involved in working with families of infants in the NICU. Fellows also provide consultation to nursing staff as appropriate and may attend weekly NICU rounds.   
  • Rehabilitation Service
    Fellows see patients and families on the rehabilitation service to assist adjustment to disability. They work closely with rehabilitation therapists and the physiatrists on the Rehabilitation team. They assist with pain management, adjustment to cognitive deficits, body image, and coping with ongoing rehabilitation efforts. They can attend weekly rounds with the Pediatric Rehabilitation service.

Specialty Elective Rotation (20% time)   

  • Each fellow will spend 8 hours per week in one specialty elective rotation throughout the year. This rotation will be determined by several factors, including fellow level of interest, availability of site and recommendation of the Training Director. Options may include Inpatient Rehabilitation, Outpatient Cancer Psychology, Outpatient Adult Health Psychology, Transplant Psychology, Digestive Health Psychology and Outpatient Pediatric Health Psychology.

Multidisciplinary Treatment Team and Rounds

Fellows are expected to attend multidisciplinary treatment team meetings and/or rounds on a regular basis. Fellows attend 1–2 hour rounds/team meetings on a weekly basis with any of the following services:

  • Burn
  • Palliative Care
  • Vascular Surgery
  • Trauma Surgery
  • Neurology/Neurosurgery
  • Acute Care for Elders (ACE)
  • Hematology
  • NICU (pediatric track)
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation (pediatric track)
  • Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (pediatric track)

Fellows may be involved in one of the above services for the full year or can split the experience into 2 six-month options. 

Supervision 

  • Each fellow is supervised by at least two licensed psychologists throughout the year.
  • The Director of Postdoctoral Training oversees all training and supervision. Fellows receive a minimum of two hours of formal supervision per week.
  • Ongoing, informal supervision is available throughout every day, as there are always training faculty on site.
  • Fellows are formally evaluated on a quarterly basis using the Psychology Trainee Competency Assessment Form (PTCAF). The fellowship program is overseen by the Director of Postdoctoral Training at UW Hospitals and Clinics, a licensed staff psychologist whose responsibility it is to ensure that training needs are being met.
  • The Director of Postdoctoral Training is responsible for the recruitment and selection of fellows, and provides direction to and oversees the training faculty with regard to their involvement in the fellowship program.
  • Fellows are required to maintain records of their clinical activities, and these records may be reviewed by the Director of Training to ensure a breadth of experience during the fellowship year. These records include the number of patient contact hours, the settings in which clinical services are provided, the type of psychological assessments and interventions provided and the fellows’ exposure to diversity in patient cultures.
  • Fellows are asked to provide feedback and to evaluate their supervisors, training experiences and the overall fellowship program throughout the year. An exit interview is performed by the Director of Postdoctoral training and by the Health Psychology administrator with each fellow at the end of the year.
  • Fellows may also have the opportunity to provide peer mentoring to practicum students and interns who rotate through University Hospital and American Family Children’s Hospital when available. There is also the opportunity to provide training to medical residents and other allied health staff on an as requested basis.

Didactics

In addition to their supervised clinical training experiences, fellows are required to participate in various seminars, discussions, and case presentations with other trainees and Health Psychology faculty throughout the year.

These scheduled didactics include:

  • Breakfast Club
    Breakfast Club is a biweekly opportunity for collaboration across healthcare providers in various disciplines. This is a time set aside to learn about various services across the hospital or health psychology populations from psychologists who are not part of our service. This is an opportunity to transition from more passive didactic lectures to collaboration with the providers we often work with on a daily basis.
  • Case Collective
    Case Collective is a bimonthly series during which staff and fellows share ideas and experiences related to the unique complexities of working in an inpatient hospital environment. Staff and trainees present case examples of clinical practice related to the assigned topic. Examples of topics include cases that exemplify why you enjoy being an inpatient provider, times where you have provided co-treatment to a patient along with other hospital-based services such as therapies, working with diverse patients, etc.
  • Professional Development
    Professional Development is a bimonthly meeting with a focus on bridging the gap between the role of trainee and early career psychologist. A staff member will guide a discussion on relevant topics including licensure, exams, job search, etc. These meetings are held in both group and individual format.
  • Other Hospital-wide and Multidisciplinary Team Didactics
    Fellows are encouraged to attend any Grand Rounds or webinars of interest presented by various departments at UWHC and AFCH.  Fellows are also invited to attend other relevant lectures or presentations provided across the university campus.
     
  • Community Presentations
    Each fellow is required to provide a minimum of one presentation to community groups or other health care groups within the institution.

Benefits and Eligibility

The postdoctoral stipend is $50,000 for a 12-month period, including:

  • 8 legal holidays
  • 15 vacation days
  • 3 professional days
  • Up to 5 sick days

The fellowship year typically begins in August or early September of each year. Benefits are available, including health insurance plans for fellows and their families. There are fees for parking in any university parking lots, but public and university transportation systems are available for convenient transport to and from University Hospital.

Fellows have shared offices with individual computers, telephones, pagers and voicemail. They also have access to fax and photocopy machines and administrative support. Educational resources available to fellows include the University of Wisconsin library and computer systems.

Program Eligibility and Application

Eligibility

  • Qualified applicants will have completed all PhD or PsyD requirements from an APA-accredited Clinical or Counseling Psychology program, including the successful completion of an APA-approved, pre-doctoral internship program prior to starting the program. Conferral of the graduate degree is necessary prior to the start date.
  • Previous experience and/or strong interest in the field of Health Psychology is required.
  • Members of diverse populations (gender, race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, geographical origin and bilingual status) are encouraged to apply.
  • Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Early application is encouraged.

Applying

To apply, send a statement of interest which includes the names of your references, CV, official transcripts of all graduate work and three letters of recommendation to: 

Stephanie Farrell, Ph.D.
Director of Fellowship Training in Health Psychology
University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics
600 Highland Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin
sfarrell@uwhealth.org
608-262-9185

All materials can be sent via email. Please send your Statement of Interest and CV together. Reference letters should be sent directly to the Director of Training by the author. Official transcripts are required by the application deadline.

Health Psychology Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program

University Hospital offers four one-year, post-doctoral fellowships in clinical Health Psychology. Three of these positions are in the Adult Track and one of these positions is in the Pediatric Track.

About Our Program

The program involves a 12-month, full-time experience (2,000 hours), providing the necessary post-doctoral hours required for licensure to practice psychology independently in the state of Wisconsin. The program is designed to provide didactic and clinical training in preparation for professional work in a variety of medical settings.  Graduates of our program are competitively prepared to work in academic medical centers, private hospitals, independent psychology practices with medical specialization, academic psychology departments and outpatient medical clinics.

The program is based upon a practitioner-scholar model offering hands-on experience complemented by knowledge of relevant psychological science. Our intent is to prepare fellows to move competently across a variety of health psychology settings and to use a wide range of skills.

Program Philosophy

Based in a nationally recognized academic medical center, the fellowship program involves training with a wide variety of patients, problems and treatment teams. Our philosophy is to provide a broad array of experiences across the medical center rather than specialized training in one or two areas. A minimum of 80 percent of each fellow’s time is focused on adult medical-surgical inpatients at UW Hospitals and Clinics (Adult Track) or with pediatric medical-surgical inpatients and their families at American Family Children’s Hospital (Pediatric Track). In this capacity, fellows work across a variety of medical services and provide assessment and treatment to patients and their families with acute and chronic needs.

During this 80 percent time, fellows may also gain experience performing pre-procedural psychological evaluations (such as outpatient pre-surgical transplantation evaluations for potential organ transplant recipients and living organ donors and performs outpatient evaluations in the Pediatric and Adolescent Transgender Health (PATH) service.)

Each of the fellows will then spend the other 20 percent time (8 hours per week) on a distinct medical specialty elective rotation. The nature of this rotation will depend upon the interests of the post-doctoral fellow as well as the recommendation of the training director and the availability of these sites from year to year.  Potential rotation sites may include:   

  • Inpatient Rehabilitation
  • Outpatient Cancer Psychology
  • Outpatient Adult Health Psychology
  • Transplant Psychology
  • Digestive Health Psychology
  • Outpatient Pediatric Health Psychology

In these clinics, fellows perform assessment and interventions with a specialty medical population under the supervision of an elective health psychology supervisor.  In some clinics, fellows will perform group psychotherapy.

Throughout their experiences and the training year, fellows are required to perform consultation with multidisciplinary medical teams and often play a key role as the psychological consultant to these teams. Fellows also have the opportunity to engage in program development, mentoring of practicum students and interns (when on site) and/or teaching of medical residents and other allied health providers during their training year.

The fellowship program is a member of APPIC and administered by the Health Psychology faculty within the Department of Behavioral Medicine.

More Information

Contact Information

Stephanie Farrell, Ph.D.
Director of Fellowship Training in Health Psychology
University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics
600 Highland Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin
sfarrell@uwhealth.org
608-262-9185

Related Resources

UW Health Behavioral Health

Health Psychology Practicum