Pathways to Military Internships: The Summer Institute

Course Overview

Pathways to Military Internships: The Summer Institute is a five-day course that was established to raise doctoral students’ awareness of what it would be like to serve as a psychologist in the Armed Forces and to increase their competitiveness for a military internship.

The course is:

  • Offered at no cost and provides lodging for the entirety. (Students are required to pay for their own travel, meals, and incidentals)
  • Hosted at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences located in Bethesda, MD
  • Intended for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year doctoral students in clinical or counseling psychology
  • Aimed at students seriously considering applying for military internships at one of the ten training programs located throughout the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force
  • An intensive program which will strengthen trainees’ backgrounds in military behavioral health as they gain first-hand knowledge of military culture, the work of psychologists serving in uniform, and evidence-based strategies to treat active duty Service members

Curriculum

Through didactics, experiential exercises, and panel and group discussions led by CDP faculty and experts in the field, participants learn about:

  • Types of clinical and assessment opportunities for military psychologists
  • The warrior ethos, deployment cycle stress, military family challenges and resilience
  • Ethical dilemmas faced by providers working with military patients. Students have the opportunity to explore situations that may expose military psychologists to unique ethical challenges
  • Clinical problems experienced by Service members and cognitive behavioral treatments used at military clinics

Course Highlights

  • Chance to interact with psychologists from different branches of the military
  • Panel discussion with Training Directors from each of the military branches
  • Discussion of what military life is like for family members
  • Four hour training in PTSD assessment
  • One day skills-based training in assessment and crisis intervention for suicide

COVID-19

The safety and well-being of the students we train is very important to us. CDP is paying close attention to updates and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the Department of Defense (DoD) and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) regarding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

We will continue to assess the situation and will follow the guidance as available. Based on such guidance, CDP may implement contingency plans for the 2022 Summer Institute course that would likely require students to show evidence of COVID-19 vaccination to get on the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNNMC) base where the class is held. As a contingency plan, the course modules, discussions and panels may be held online versus in person.

We will continue to keep Summer Institute applicants apprised of this situation.

Questions can be emailed to Hakimah Campbell at hakimah.campbell.ctr@usuhs.edu.

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This course is NOT appropriate for students who plan to begin their internship in the fall of 2022.

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