Program Activities

Clinical Training

The fellow will function as an integral part of a multidisciplinary healthcare team in Primary Care Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Women’s Health/Obstetrics departments. Primary duties will include providing screenings and diagnostic evaluations, behavioral consultations and brief interventions with children, adults and families. Services provided by Fellows match the pace and nature of primary care settings. Below is an overview of how services could be rendered by Fellows.

Behavioral Health Service Type Estimated % of Patient Contacts Key Service Characteristics
General Behavioral Health
Consultation Visit
60—70 %
  • Brief, general in focus; oriented around a specific referral issue from health care provider.
  • Visit length (15-30 min) matches pace of primary care.
  • Designed to provide brief interventions and support medical and psychosocial interventions by the primary care team member.
  • May involve conjoint visit with primary care provider
  • May involve primary focus on psychosocial condition or working with behavioral sequelae of medical conditions.
Behavioral Health Psycho-educational Visit 10—20 %
  • Employs psycho-educational approach in classroom or group modality.
  • Program structure is often manualized, with condensed treatment strategies; emphasis on patient education and self-management strategies.
10—20 %
  • Brief phone calls to follow-up with patient after a “General Behavioral Health Consultation Visit
Behavioral Health Case Conference 10%
  • Reserved for high-utilizers or for patient with problems of high risk/complexity.
  • Emphasis is on developing and communicating a health care utilization plan to contain excessive medical utilization, and on giving primary care providers effective behavioral management strategies and community resource case management.
  • Goal is to maximize daily functioning of patient, not necessarily symptom elimination.

 Didactic Training

Behavioral Health Seminar: This is a seminar that covers various topics to build core knowledge and skills in practicing primary care psychology. Seminar topics emphasize the reciprocal and dynamic influence of biological, psychological and social factors on the etiology, treatment and experience of illness and disease. Seminars are led by psychology faculty, appointed physicians, health administrators, and by community clinicians with experience in integrated healthcare delivery.

Doctoring 3: This is a year-long course that allows for multidisciplinary training/learning between psychology and medical trainees. The overall goal of participation in this course is to provide Fellows with coursework that enhances their medical clinical knowledge. It also provides opportunities to explore issues related to the College of Medicine’s mission of reaching the underserved. Primary care psychologist must have a basic understanding of diseases because they routinely work with medical professionals and collaborate to address cognitive, affective, behavioral, developmental, and sociocultural components of health and illness. Participation in this course is important for fellows to keep informed of advances in current medical treatments.

Cross-cultural Medicine/Service Learning: This is a week-long service learning experience where fellows are immersed into the community in which they serve for outreach activities to deliver primary care and education. Faculty and trainees from the FSUCOM as well as from other FSU Colleges participate – such as the College of Nursing and the College of Law. The learning experience includes lectures, small group discussions, and community clinical work. Assigned readings on cross cultural care are utilized to engage groups in discussions about culture and general healthcare issues pertinent to the community. This experience is designed to prepare fellows to work in rural and underserved areas and to have knowledge of public health and disease commonly found in such communities. Of emphasis will be psychosocial aspects, culturally appropriate delivery of care, and public health issues resulting from migration and its impact on the healthcare system experience.

Case Conferences & Grand Rounds: All Psychology/Behavior Health staff, as well as providers from multiple disciplines, including Psychiatry, participate. Cases are presented on a rotational basis with each fellow presenting at least twice per year to the group.

Journal Club: During monthly journal clubs meetings, Fellows gather with Psychology Faculty to discuss scientific literature. This is offered as a means for training in clinical research and as a platform for gathering first-hand knowledge on analyzing, evaluating, dissecting, and utilizing the scientific literature. This experience allows Fellows to enhance evidence-based practice and to advance their skills at analyzing the quality, validity, and relevance of available evidence.

Research: Postdoctoral Fellows with research interest may utilize allotted time to carry out short-term original research projects with a research faculty mentor and/or they may participate with ongoing/established research at the FSUCOM Immokalee Health Education Site.

Teaching and Supervision

Postdoctoral Fellows receive training on the teaching of integrated care, supervision of Clinical Health Psychology in Primary Care settings and general medical education. Fellows have opportunities to teach medical students both informally through patient encounters, and formally by co-facilitating Doctoring 3 sessions during Year 2 of the Fellowship Program. Fellows also receive instruction on the provision of supervision for psychologists to work in Primary Care settings. During Year 2 of the Program, Fellows supervise select clinical cases seen by Year 1 Fellows; the supervision process is overseen by an assigned Licensed Psychologist/FSUCOM Faculty Supervisor.