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Core Performance Evaluation & Improvement Experience

The Psychology Internship Program seeks to strengthen interns’ skills in training and consultation, and program development and evaluation. These skills are often ignored in internship training, but strengthening them will expand interns' job options in the rapidly evolving health care market place. Interns are required to collaborate with fellow interns, administrative or supervisory staff or faculty on program evaluation/improvement, outcome measurement, or program development. Projects will be limited in scope and duration, interns can work in teams with other interns, and the intern’s responsibilities must be clearly outlined and expectations established. Project duration is typically for the majority of the training year, and projects must be completed within a one-year time frame. 

Projects are typically conducted at clinical sites where the intern is already engaged in supervised clinical work. Projects focus on issues of mutual interest to the intern, the intern’s supervisor, and the head of the clinical unit. UBHC places a heavy emphasis on the development of local Performance Improvement Teams as part of its Quality Improvement initiatives, and interns are encouraged to join and contribute to one of those teams and use that activity as their project. Project topics are chosen and developed in collaboration with supervisory staff, and may examine a wide range of issues: e.g., client progress and satisfaction with services, ways to engage families more effectively, service effectiveness and the development of new treatment modalities (such as arts in mental health), coordination among clinical units, referral patterns, linkages to the community, decreasing adverse patient outcomes, and other topics. Interns may present the results of their projects at the annual UBHC Quality Improvement Fair, usually scheduled in February. The best of the UBHC Quality Improvement projects progress to a statewide fair, usually held in June. Interns have historically made important and well-acknowledged contributions, which have sometimes led to long-term system improvement.

These experiences are designed to supplement the intern’s strong clinical training with experience in practice-relevant research methodology. They are also designed to help interns acquire a managerial/administrative perspective on their work, and a broader understanding of the health care delivery system. Ultimately, the goal is to help prepare interns for eventual leadership roles in health care.