In 2011, the University of Kentucky (UK) Psychology Department initiated a doctoral internship training program in health service psychology, the University of Kentucky Internship Consortium Program (‘the Consortium’ or 'UKIC'). The Consortium is exclusively affiliated with the UK Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology doctoral programs, meaning only students from these academic programs are eligible to apply. As is true for each of these doctoral training programs, the Consortium is committed to attracting and retaining diverse interns and the program welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We strive to create a welcoming and supportive learning environment for all interns, including diverse and underrepresented communities.
The central aim of the Consortium is to train interns to become scientifically-grounded entry-level health service psychologists. in the past, UK psychology doctoral students often left the Commonwealth for their internship training and rarely returned once they finished the internship. The Consortium strives to increase the number of these well-trained psychologists remaining in the Commonwealth by providing an outstanding local internship based at the University of Kentucky.
It is also recognized that the training sites of the Consortium seek to provide the highest quality of healthcare to the citizens of the Commonwealth. Medical outcomes research consistently demonstrates that the availability of health service psychology services to medical patients improves healthcare outcomes and reduces overall costs, particularly in primary care settings. The presence of a health service psychology internship program at the University of Kentucky increases the availability of psychology services in the central Kentucky area. Moreover, students in other healthcare professions have opportunities to work and learn from psychology interns who assist in healthcare delivery.
The internship program requires a total of 2000 hours of training. Interns complete four 500-hour half-time rotations over a two-year period (Consortium years begin July 1st and end June 30th). The training sequence of the program currently includes foundational first-year rotations at Eastern State Hospital and the University of Kentucky Counseling Center, followed by three options for second-year rotations in three University of Kentucky outpatient clinics (Orofacial Pain Center, Center for the Advancement of Women's Health, and Adolescent Medicine). Each rotation requires 20 hours per week for a period of six months.
Interns receive training in nine profession-wide competencies, including research, ethical and legal standards, individual and cultural diversity, professional values and attitudes, communication and interpersonal skills, assessment, intervention, supervision, and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills, as well as training in three program-specific competencies: outreach, crisis assessment and intervention, and meta-competency (evaluating and developing one's own competence).
Upon completion, of the program, it is expected that interns will be eligible for licensure in psychology and will be able to function competently in entry-level professional psychology roles. Past interns have begun post-internship positions in a wide range of settings focusing on teaching, research, and applied professional service delivery.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the internship shifted for the first time to the use of distance education technologies for training and supervision in several of the internship training sites. More specifically, this entailed having interns provide psychotherapy via secure HIPAA-compliant telehealth platforms, and some provision of intern supervision and intern seminars via the same telehealth platform. As of early 2022, many but not all of these training and supervision functions have returned to the traditional in-person format, while some continue to offer a portion of their services via telehealth based on patient preference or ongoing site-specific COVID-19 related practice guidelines.
Overall administration of the program is provided by the Psychology Department who appointed a Kentucky licensed psychologist and clinical psychology faculty member (Jessica Burris, Ph.D.) to serve as the Internship Training Director. Clinical supervision is provided by Kentucky licensed psychologists currently employed by each of the internship training sites.
Interns are paid a minimum stipend of at least $12,500 per year (average total stipend currently is approximately $37,000 for the two-year program) plus health insurance and additional benefits. Each training site provides funding for the intern at that site. Interns may also hold research fellowships or similar additional funding related to graduate psychology training subject to review and approval subject to University rules for employment and funding. Leisure activities, non-professional volunteer work and outside employment are not covered by these policies.
Currently, the program has 4 interns. Seventeen individuals have completed the program, as of June 30, 2021.
Further program and training details can be found in the Internship Handbook (accessible via the "Intern Resources and Internship Handbook" menu link).
Accreditation Disclosure Statement
The University of Kentucky Internship Consortium is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA).
For questions regarding the Consortium’s APA accreditation status, contact:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242