Psychology Internship Program
Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital is one of the largest and most diversified medical and surgical hospitals in the Department of Veterans Affairs system. Hines is located 12 miles west of downtown Chicago. The hospital is a tertiary referral center with many specialty services, including some that serve a large regional area. Hines operates 471 hospital beds, and logged over 631,000 outpatient visits last year. Hines has one of the largest research programs in the VA system, with 553 projects, 159 investigators, and an estimated budget of approximately $20 million.
Hines is institutionally affiliated with Loyola University of Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, and also maintains affiliations with the University of Illinois-College of Medicine, Chicago, and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Loyola University Medical Center, which shares a campus with Hines, is one of the largest medical centers in the Chicago area, with 523 licensed beds on a 70-acre campus. Interns may follow one of several psychology rotations available at Loyola. Our internship program maintains an affiliation agreement with Loyola that allows interns to rotate there without any administrative difficulties.
Units and Patient Programs Served
The units and patient programs served by Psychology Service include:
- Ambulatory Care/Primary Care, Blind Rehabilitation
- Community-Based Outpatient Clinics, Community Living Center (Geriatric)
- Compensation and Pension
- Emergency Department
- General Medicine and Surgery
- Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Program
- Home Based Primary Care
- Infectious Disease
- Inpatient/Residential Rehabilitation Psychiatry
- Managing Overweight/Obesity in Veterans Everywhere Program
- Memory Disorders Clinic
- Mental Health Clinic (Outpatient Psychiatry)
- Mental Health Intake Center
- Mental Health Intensive Case Management
- Mental Health Transplants
- Oak Park Vet Center
- Patient Centered Medical Home Program
- OEF/OIF Primary Care Psychology
- Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- Polytrauma Program
- Primary Care Mental Health Integration Program
- Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center
- Spinal Cord Injury & Disorders
- Substance Abuse (inpatient and residential)
- Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic
- Trauma Services Program
Psychology Service Staff
The staff of Psychology Service is comprised of 56 doctoral-level psychologists, and two program assistants. The broad range of expertise, background and experience represented in the staff at Hines is also reflected in the diversity of their professional assignments throughout the hospital.
Most are involved in the training program as either major or secondary supervisors. Some supervisors hold faculty appointments at universities in the Chicago area and are active in funded research endeavors. Our ability to provide both broad-based generalist training in clinical core competencies and a tailored internship experience reflects our wealth of rotational placements and supervisors at Hines concurrent with a relatively small internship class.
Psychology Training Programs
Psychology has supported a psychology practicum program since 1947, and a Psychology Internship since 1950. The program has been formally accredited by APA since 1976. Seven interns are funded within our Internship Program this year. Psychology also maintains a postdoctoral fellowship training program in Clinical Psychology with five emphasis areas:
- Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
- Primary Care Mental Health Integration
- Geropsychology & Integrated Care
- LGBT Health Care
- Inpatient Medical Care
Our traditional practice fellowship program was awarded 10 years of full APA re-accreditation in October of 2019.
Psychology also maintains a two-year specialty fellowship program in Clinical Neuropsychology. This program was awarded ten years of full APA Accreditation in November 2017.
Our Program attempts to recruit a diverse internship class through affording consideration to applicants’ diversity status, through formal non-discrimination policy, and through its clinical and didactic programming that demonstrates the strong value the Program places on diversity and multicultural competence. We try to ensure that our class is characterized by cultural and individual diversity as well as geographic and theoretical diversity. We strongly believe that a mix of students from various universities and demographic backgrounds makes for a rich training experience.
The internship year will begin June 19, 2023. We offer a stipend of $29,164.
Please refer to our Brochure for a detailed description of our Internship Program and application requirements.
Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
Welcome Letter from Katherine Meyers, Ph.D.
Thank you for your interest in clinical training in Psychology at Hines. We believe our APA‑Accredited program is one of the finest at the internship level.
We are proud of our reputation as a program that produces highly competent graduates ready for entry-level practice in clinical and counseling psychology. Most of our interns move on to one of their highest ranked postdoctoral or employment positions immediately following completion of their doctoral studies and internship.
Training occurs within a very warm and nurturing environment that is conducive to interns’ professional growth and to their development of an identity as a clinical or counseling psychologist. Our program is learning – and training-based, as opposed to production-based. Service delivery is subsumed under the interns’ training needs and interests. Interns determine, to good measure, their rotations, focusing on their training needs and interests. Intensive and extensive supervision and education are program priorities, and our staff is dedicated to training and mentoring interns.
We currently have seven interns per class and anticipate having seven for our 2023-2024 class. We attempt to form a class each year that is characterized by geographic and individual diversity, and we have been successful in this endeavor. We strongly believe that a mix of students from various universities and demographic backgrounds makes for a rich internship training experience.
Our brochure is available on our webpage and provides comprehensive information about our program.
Applicants will be notified by December 15, 2022 that they are invited, or not invited, for an interview.
The complete application package must be available on or before November 1, 2022. Please refer to the link on our home page titled "Application Information".
We look forward to your application and to the possibility of meeting you this winter.
Katherine Meyers, Ph.D.
Psychology Training Director
Eligibility for Psychology Training in the VA
There are several important eligibility requirements for participating in Psychology Training in the VA. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the information on the following webpage below prior to applying: https://www.psychologytraining.va.gov/eligibility.asp
This webpage provides specific information regarding eligibility requirements and information regarding the process of being appointed to a VA position following the selection process. Although the following eligibility and appointment information is taken from the webpage referenced above, it still advised that all applicants visit the website and review the information presented there as well.
Applicants must meet the following requirements for admission to the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program:
- Have a doctoral degree that meets one of the following criteria:
- A doctoral degree in psychology from a graduate program in psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS), or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) at the time the program was completed. The specialty area of the degree must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed; or
- Have a doctoral degree in any area of psychology and, in addition, successfully complete a respecialization program (including documentation of an approved internship completed as part of the respecialization program) meeting both of the following conditions:
- The respecialization program must be completed in an APA or a CPA accredited doctoral program; and
- The specialty in which the applicant is retrained must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is employed.
2. Successfully completed an internship that meets one of the following criteria:
- An internship that was accredited by APA or CPA at the time the program was completed and that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is employed; or
- New VHA psychology internship programs that are in the process of applying for APA accreditation are acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement, provided that such programs were sanctioned by the VHA Central Office Program Director for Psychology and the VHA Office of Academic Affiliations at the time that the individual was an intern; or
- VHA facilities that offered full-time, one-year pre-doctoral internships prior to PL 96-151 (pre-1979) are considered to be acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement; or
- Applicants who completed an internship that was not accredited by APA or CPA at the time the program was completed may be considered eligible for hire only if they are currently board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology in a specialty area that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. (NOTE: Once board certified, the employee is required to maintain board certification.)
3. Are documented citizens of the United States of America
4. Male applicants born after 12/31/1959 must have registered for the draft by age 26
Matched Postdoctoral Residents are Subject to the Following Additional Requirements:
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) adheres to all Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action policies. As a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Health Professions Trainee (HPT), you will receive a Federal appointment, and the following requirements will apply prior to that appointment
- U.S. Citizenship: HPTs who receive a direct stipend (pay) must be U.S. citizens. Trainees who are not VA paid (without compensation-WOC) who are not U.S. citizens may be appointed and must provide current immigrant, non-immigrant or exchange visitor documents.
- U.S. Social Security Number. All VA appointees must have a U.S. social security number (SSN) prior to beginning the pre-employment, on-boarding process at the VA.
- Selective Service Registration. Male applicants born after 12/31/1959 must have registered for the Selective Service by age 26 to be eligible for U.S. government employment, including selection as a paid or WOC VA trainee. For additional information about the Selective Service System, and to register or to check your registration status visit https://www.sss.gov/. Anyone who was required to register but did not register before the age of 26 will need to apply for a Status Information Letter (SIL) and request a waiver. Waivers are rare and requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the VA Office of Human Resources Management. This process can take up to six months for a verdict.
- Fingerprint Screening and Background Investigation. All HPTs will be fingerprinted and undergo screenings and background investigations. Additional details about the required background checks can be found at the following website: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/10450.html.
- Drug Testing. Per Executive Order 12564, the VA strives to be a Drug-Free Workplace. HPTs are not drug-tested prior to appointment, however are subject to random drug testing throughout the entire VA appointment period. You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement form stating you are aware of this practice. See item 8 below.
- Affiliation Agreement. To ensure shared responsibility between an academic program and the VA there must be a current and fully executed Academic Affiliation Agreement on file with the VHA Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA). The affiliation agreement delineates the duties of VA and the affiliated institution. Most APA-accredited doctoral programs have an agreement on file. More information about this document can be found at https://www.va.gov/oaa/agreements.asp (see section on psychology internships). Post-degree programs typically will not have an affiliation agreement, as the HPT is no longer enrolled in an academic program and the program is VA sponsored.
- TQCVL. To streamline on-boarding of HPTs, VHA Office of Academic Affiliations requires completion of a Trainee Qualifications and Credentials Verification Letter (TQCVL). An Educational Official at the Affiliate must complete and sign this letter. For post-graduate programs where an affiliate is not the program sponsor, this process must be completed by the VA Training Director. Your VA appointment cannot happen until the TQCVL is submitted and signed by senior leadership from the VA facility. For more information about this document, please visit https://www.va.gov/OAA/TQCVL.asp
- Health Requirements. Among other things, the TQCVL confirms that you, the trainee, are fit to perform the essential functions (physical and mental) of the training program and immunized following current Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and VHA policy. This protects you, other employees and patients while working in a healthcare facility. Required are annual tuberculosis screening, Hepatitis B vaccine as well as annual influenza vaccine. Declinations are EXTREMELY rare. If you decline the flu vaccine you will be required to wear a mask while in patient care areas of the VA.
- Primary source verification of all prior education and training is certified via the TQCVL. Training and Program Directors will be contacting the appropriate institutions to ensure you have the appropriate qualifications and credentials as required by the admission criteria of the training program in which you are enrolled.
- Additional On-boarding Forms. Additional pre-employment forms include the Application for Health Professions Trainees (VA 10-2850D) and the Declaration for Federal Employment (OF 306). These documents and others are available online for review at https://www.va.gov/oaa/app-forms.asp. Falsifying any answer on these required Federal documents will result in the inability to appoint or immediate dismissal from the training program.
- Proof of Identity per VA. VA on-boarding requires presentation of two source documents (IDs). Documents must be unexpired and names on both documents must match. For more information visit: https://www.oit.va.gov/programs/piv/_media/docs/IDMatrix.pdf
Additional information regarding eligibility requirements for appointment as a psychology HPT can be found at the end of this brochure.
Additional information regarding eligibility requirements (with hyperlinks)
- Trainees receive term employee appointments and must meet eligibility requirements for appointment as outlined in VA Handbook 5005 Staffing, Part II, Section B. Appointment Requirements and Determinations. https://www.va.gov/vapubs/viewPublication.asp?Pub_ID=646&FType=2
Additional information specific suitability information from Title 5 (referenced in VHA Handbook 5005 – hyperlinks included):
(b)Specific factors. In determining whether a person is suitable for Federal employment, only the following factors will be considered a basis for finding a person unsuitable and taking a suitability action:
(1) Misconduct or negligence in employment;
(2) Criminal or dishonest conduct;
(3) Material, intentional false statement, or deception or fraud in examination or appointment;
(4) Refusal to furnish testimony as required by § 5.4 of this chapter;
(5) Alcohol abuse, without evidence of substantial rehabilitation, of a nature and duration that suggests that the applicant or appointee would be prevented from performing the duties of the position in question, or would constitute a direct threat to the property or safety of the applicant or appointee or others;
(6) Illegal use of narcotics, drugs, or other controlled substances without evidence of substantial rehabilitation;
(7) Knowing and willful engagement in acts or activities designed to overthrow the U.S. Government by force; and
(8) Any statutory or regulatory bar which prevents the lawful employment of the person involved in the position in question.
(c)Additional considerations. OPM and agencies must consider any of the following additional considerations to the extent OPM or the relevant agency, in its sole discretion, deems any of them pertinent to the individual case:
- The nature of the position for which the person is applying or in which the person is employed;
- The nature and seriousness of the conduct;
- The circumstances surrounding the conduct;
- The recency of the conduct;
- The age of the person involved at the time of the conduct;
- Contributing societal conditions; and
- The absence or presence of rehabilitation or efforts toward rehabilitation.
2023 Internship Interview Dates
Applicants showing the best fit for our program will be invited to interview with us. All interviews will be conducted via a videoconference platform.
Each interview day will begin with a 45-minute group meeting with the training director at 8:00am. This group meeting will be followed by a series of three 30-minute individual interviews. One of these individual interviews will be with the Training Director and the other two will be with members of our Internship Training Committee. Following the interviews, you will have a brief break to have lunch. At 1pm there will be a 30-minute group videoconference meeting with some of our current interns.
2023 Interview Dates
- January 3
- January 5
- January 6
- January 9
- January 10
- January 12
- January 13
- January 17
- January 18
- January 19
- January 20
- January 23
Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion
Celebrating unity in diversity
The practicum, internship, and postdoctoral fellowship training programs within the Psychology
Service at Hines VA are committed to fostering and upholding an inclusive community that
welcomes and supports trainees from all social identity groups. We believe a multi-pronged
approach to creating an inclusive and supportive environment within our training programs is
essential. Some of the ways in which we have sought to create an inclusive and affirming
environment for all are:
- Cultivating and promoting an atmosphere of inclusion and acceptance, in which all individuals are supported and included within our work and professional environment.
- Welcoming honest and open discussion about issues in diversity
- Incorporating diversity as a central component of our clinical training and didactics
- Enhancing awareness of diversity issues through monthly case presentations
- Attracting psychology staff and trainees of diverse backgrounds to join our Psychology Service and our training programs Hines VA.
Psychology Diversity & Inclusion Committee
Within our Psychology Service, our efforts to promote diversity are led by our Psychology
Diversity & Inclusion Committee – a group of staff psychologists and trainees (fellows and
interns) who coordinate and oversee continuing efforts to build our community. The Psychology
Diversity & Inclusion Committee serves the Psychology Service and the Mental Health Service
Line (MHSL) in the following three primary ways:
- Education and Training: Provide staff and trainees with opportunities to learn about and discuss a variety of diversity-related issues. These can include but are not limited to: trainings for staff and trainees, trainings specific to trainees, trainings specific to supervisors, CE training for staff, etc.
- Consultation: Provide consultation to individual staff members, clinics, and/or programs around diversity issues as it relates to Veteran care. This can include but is not limited to: providing in-services/trainings to staff or Veterans in a clinic/program about a variety of diversity issues (e.g., microaggressions, language in the LGBTQ+ community) and helping staff find resources for a Veteran (e.g., transgender support groups in Chicago).
- Hiring & Retention: To assist in ensuring cultural and professional diversity among Psychology externs, interns, postdoctoral fellows, and staff. This can include but is not limited to: helping the Training Committee in recruiting diverse trainees and assisting the Psychology department in recruiting, hiring, and retaining diverse staff.
Diversity & Inclusion Learning & Discussion Series (4th Wednesday of each month at 12pm;
open for all training levels and staff; Attendance is required for all interns and fellows).
This monthly lunch-time presentation series that is a forum for staff psychologists and trainees
to encourage awareness, growth, and action on topics related to the broad spectrum of diversity
& inclusion that influence Veteran care and teamwork in the VA. This series alternates between
a case conference/seminar and small process/discussion groups every other month. We strive to
promote an open and non-judgmental atmosphere and active participation and discussion is
encouraged from all attendees. Discussion focuses on the promotion of multicultural learning
and fostering a sense of cultural humility.
- Case conference/Didactic (open to all staff and all trainees): Most typically, a staff member or a staff member and trainee will present a case that highlights an area of diversity or we have speakers that will present on various diversity topics. Previous topics have included: the impact of race and disability during crisis intervention; spirituality in clinical practice; privilege; the intersection of disability, gender, and sexual orientation; diversity issues and body image; discussion of diversity issues in supervision; diversity considerations in the home care setting; the impact of internalized racism on case conceptualization and treatment; and issues that arise during discharge/termination of psychotherapy.
- Courageous Conversations for Change: (open to all staff, interns, & fellows; currently not open to externs at this time): Small groups will meet to process/discuss various topics related to diversity and inclusion.
- National Diversity Seminar Series: (2nd Wednesday of each month at 12pm; required for postdoctoral fellows and optional for interns). In the 2019-2020 year our Psychology Service joined the National Diversity Seminar Series, which is open to postdoctoral fellows and staff. This virtual series is held monthly in partnership with 12 other VA hospitals across the country. Our postdoctoral fellows help coordinate discussion among Hines participants and between participants across participating VA hospitals. Previous topics have included: working effectively with spirituality and religion in clinical practice; health status discrimination; culturally competent assessment; and culturally sensitive supervision.
- Diversity & Inclusion Seminar Series: This is a structured series of seminars that meet biweekly from October through February or March and covers 8 to 10 topics in diversity. The series covers three core topics: (1) Privilege and Exploring Self-Identity, (2) White Fragility & What It Means to Be Antiracist, and (3) History of Racism and Segregation in Chicago and other elective topics such as Race, Racism, and Oppression, The Practice of Cultural Humility, Religion & Spirituality, Disability in a Multicultural Framework, Addressing Ableism and Reducing Microaggressions Against Individuals with Disability. Seminars aim to include didactics and experiential components that foster awareness of one’s own biases, areas for growth, and develop skills to practice antiracism. Attendance is required for all interns and fellows.
Our service affords staff psychologists time to participate in hospital Special Emphasis Programs that address individual differences and focus on cultural diversity (Asian American/Pacific Islander Program, Black Empowerment Program, Federal Women’s Program, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender and Allies (LGBTA) Program, Individuals with Disabilities Program, Hispanic Employment Program, and Native American Program). Psychology staff members and trainees are also encouraged to attend programming outside our service to promote continued enhancement of multicultural competence across professional domains. In addition, the service affords time for staff members and trainees to attend hospital-wide programming that raises awareness and celebrates diversity on a routine basis (e.g., Black History Month Celebration in February, Annual Diversity Picnic).