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Goals and Objectives


Goal 1: Training in the integration of clinical research and practice

The first objective related to this goal is to train psychologists who are capable of:

  • Implementing empirically validated treatments for a range of mental health conditions;
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of existing treatments; and
  • Developing innovative treatments based upon existing and emerging empirical findings.

The overall goal of OSU’s internship program is for our interns to acquire an enhanced understanding of the clinical needs of the patients they are treating and for the selection and use of assessment and intervention modalities appropriate to these needs. Our clinical scientist orientation is grounded in the integration of clinical research and practice. This orientation also can be considered a hallmark of a scientist practitioner program. However, the distinction is an important one for our program as indicated by our commitment to training students interested in pursuing academic careers.

The second objective is to provide practice and instruction regarding scientific methods and data so as to develop interns’ competencies to apply critical thinking to practice. (Belar, 1996, p. 9). This perspective is operationalized in our program as providing training in the use of scientific principles in evidence-based practice in addition to providing experience in clinical research programs.

The third objective is for interns to develop competencies in the development and implementation of multiple facets of clinical practice. These include assessment and evaluation, consultation, individual and therapy therapy, and research programs to advance new models of intervention in these domains. These experiences will occur in the context of clinical experiences focusing on health psychology and adult psychopathology.

Goal 2: Training in working on inter-professional teams that integrate behavioral health in a medical center setting.

According to the recent report of the American Hospital Association (2014, February), “Consider that one in four Americans experiences a behavioral health illness or substance abuse disorder each year and that the majority of those individuals have a comorbid physical health condition. Many of these individuals enter care without having their underlying behavioral health disorder addressed. These patients typically have poorer medical outcomes and higher rates of utilization compared to the general population of patients without a comorbid behavioral health diagnosis. With an integrated, patient-centered system of care, hospitals, physician practices and payers can incorporate services that address all of the patient’s needs and can work to achieve the Triple Aim—better care, better health and lower costs.” It is crucial to train psychologists who can work effectively as a part of an inter-professional team in order that they meet the needs of individuals whose emotional wellbeing is having an impact on their physical health as well as treat individuals whose physical health is adversely affecting their quality of life.  We also recognize that some psychologists will choose to emphasize treating primary mental health conditions and that there are patients whose mental health needs may be a primary concern.

  • Interns will participate in consultations and staffings regarding patients with medical conditions. They will become competent at making recommendations regarding the level of psychological care needed to improve emotional and, by extension, physical health.
  • Interns will be able to identify and provide appropriate, evidence based interventions for the individuals they are treating.
  • Trainees will be able to determine if specialized interventions (e.g., for depression, anxiety, dialectical behavior therapy), are indicated and make appropriate referrals.
  • For individuals who are being seen for a primary psychiatric condition, interns will be able to identify if there are comorbid medical issues and, if so, make appropriate referrals and follow-up with the patient’s care team.

Goal 3: Training in Diversity

Consistent with the goals of OSU as well as the Wexner Medical Center, the psychology internship program is committed to recruiting a diverse group of interns, supporting research with diverse populations, and promoting cultural competence in training and in the delivery of clinical services. As one of the largest universities in the nation and as the major provider for health services in central Ohio, we serve a broad range of individuals. We regard diversity as encompassing individuals who vary in age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identification, religion, disability status, immigration and generational status, and socio-economic status or background.

In addition to the priority placed on treating a diverse patient population and addressing issues relevant to health care disparities, the Health Policy Institute of Ohio (2014, April) recently reinforced that the healthcare workforce plays a key role in insuring that Ohioans have access to high quality health services that are appropriate, comprehensive and integrated. By prioritizing the recruitment and training of interns from diverse backgrounds, we hope to address issues related to the accessibility of healthcare services by individuals who are typically underrepresented and underserved by the healthcare system in Ohio.

Awareness of and sensitivity to working with individuals from diverse backgrounds will be integrated into all aspects of internship training including but not limited to supervision, didactic instruction, clinical and research rotations and formal presentations in such venues as Grand Rounds. In addition, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (http://odi.osu.edu/) offers a range of programs, lectures, and opportunities that interns can take advantage of.

Principle 4: Faculty Mentoring

Each intern will be assigned a faculty member as a mentor. Interns may advocate for a particular faculty member to be their mentor for the year or the training director will assign a member of the faculty. The role of the mentor is to assist the intern with successful navigation of the internship experience and to model behaviors associated with one’s role as a psychologist. There are two goals related to this principle. One is for interns to receive intensive supervision regarding the patients they are treating and in clinical research from faculty who ascribe to the clinical scientist model (i.e., faculty who are clinical researchers, are practitioners who utilize research findings to guide clinical cases, or generate clinical theory that can guide research).

  • Interns will receive a minimum of 5% of their face-to-face clinical time in individual supervision. Group supervision and/or case conference may be at the discretion of a supervisor but it will supplement individual supervision. All clinical supervisors are licensed psychologists.

The second goal is for interns to collaborate with faculty in the development of clinical research projects to enhance their development as an independent clinical researcher. Alternatively, interns may opt to take advantage of meeting with a faculty mentor who can assist them in making the transition from student to new professional. While formal time is not carved out for this purpose, often these opportunities are of a less formal nature or are a part of the overall supervision process.