Nebraska Medicine Psychology Department
Match Code - 141629 Health Psych Track
Match Code - 141624 Primary Care Track
4350 Emile Street
984185 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, Nebraska 68198-4185
Cecilia Poon, Ph.D.
Associate Training Director
Justin Weeks, Ph.D.
Type of Facility
Nebraska Medicine and its flagship hospital, the Nebraska Medical Center, are affiliated with the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). The Nebraska Medical Center is an academic health science center and the largest healthcare facility in Nebraska. The facility houses 624 acute inpatient beds. The Nebraska Medical Center has Centers of Excellence in Cancer, Bariatric Surgery, Transplant, Neurological Sciences, and Women's Health. Nebraska Medicine's mission is to lead the world in transforming lives to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities through premier educational programs, innovative research, and extraordinary patient care. The Nebraska Medical Center participates in the training and education of more than 1,500 trainees, including large medical student and residency programs through UNMC. The medical center is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in patient care, research, and education.
Within the Nebraska Medical Center, the Psychology Department is a free-standing department in the Behavioral Health Clinical Program division. The Psychology Department houses clinical psychologists with expertise in a wide spectrum of clinical specialties. There are also two clinical psychologists in the co-located Pain Management Department. Our providers are fully integrated into the health care setting, and work closely with hospital and community physicians and allied health providers. Services include inpatient and outpatient evaluation and treatment for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults with behavioral, emotional, physical, cognitive, and developmental disabilities. Clinical health psychology services are directed toward addressing the mind-body aspects of health issues including managing pain, coping with chronic illnesses, weight management, adherence to treatment regimens, and behavioral aspects of organ transplantation, as well as evaluating and treating patients with a full spectrum of psychiatric illness. Providers work on interdisciplinary teams offering comprehensive assessment and collaborative care.
Internship Training Model
The 12-month internship is designed to provide interns with intensive professional training experiences within the context of a scientist-practitioner model. Interns who are matched with the Nebraska Medicine Psychology Department will receive training in screening, assessment, psychotherapy, and interdisciplinary collaboration for individuals with a full range of psychiatric disorders, as well as those coping with acute and chronic medical illnesses, in both hospital outpatient and inpatient settings. Training follows a developmental sequence of experiences and responsibilities emphasizing the application of psychological knowledge and principles to physical and behavioral health problems experienced by individuals presenting for treatment in a tertiary care medical center environment. The training is grounded in a biopsychosocial and inter-professional approach to understanding and treating behavioral health disorders and helping patients manage the psychological aspects of acute and chronic illness and trauma.
By the end of internship, interns are expected to be proficient in the following areas: 1) Comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment with a wide variety of patient populations, including conducting clinical interviews, assessing mental status, selecting and administering psychological tests appropriate to the referral question and population, determining psychosocial strengths and weaknesses, and assigning a DSM-5 diagnosis; 2) Evidence-based, solution-focused individual psychotherapy integrating a variety of approaches including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, interpersonal therapy, acceptance- and mindfulness-based approaches, and psychoeducation; 3) Involving immediate and extended family members, as appropriate, in creating behavioral changes, supporting healthier behaviors, and improving adherence; 4) Providing written documentation of evaluations and psychotherapy sessions as well as pertinent collateral contacts using the health system's electronic medical record; 5) Working effectively with inter-professional teams, including developing collaborative relationships, assessing team dynamics, and communicating clearly, concisely, and respectfully with other professionals; 6) Integration of scientific research, clinical expertise, and patient context in clinical decision-making, consistent with the APA definition of evidence-based practice; 7) Delivering evidence-based interventions to persons from diverse backgrounds.
Our internship program offers two positions in clinical health psychology: 1) General Health Psychology track; 2) Primary Care Integration track.
Health Psychology (General) Track: 1 position
Three 4-month rotations are selected from among the following experiences (Pain Management is strongly recommended as the first rotation):
- Pain Management – The intern will learn pain management evaluation and cognitive-behavioral treatment in an interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation program. The Nebraska Medicine Pain Management Program (PMP) is an interdisciplinary, four-week, day treatment program, designed to help individuals with chronic non-malignant pain. Services are provided in a multidisciplinary format by clinical psychologists, physical therapists, and a nurse, along with a pain physician. Working closely with a supervising psychologist and the pain management team, the intern will learn to provide assessment and both individual and group therapy services to patients with chronic pain.
- Transplantation – The intern will learn to complete pre-surgical psychological evaluations of candidates for solid organ transplant (i.e., kidney, pancreas, heart, lung, small bowel, pediatric liver transplant) and left ventricular assist devices (LVAD). The intern will consult with interdisciplinary teams and will have the opportunity for follow-up outpatient and inpatient treatment of transplant patients needing behavioral health assistance.
- Psycho-oncology – The intern will learn to evaluate, consult on, and treat patients referred by medical and surgical oncology teams in Nebraska Medicine’s state-of-the-art Fred and Pamela Buffet Cancer Center, comprising a comprehensive team of more than 200 cancer experts covering all specialties across the cancer spectrum.
- Bariatrics – The intern will learn to complete pre-surgical psychological evaluations of candidates for weight loss surgery, including initial evaluations and subsequent behavioral readiness evaluations closer to the time of surgery. The intern will consult with the interdisciplinary bariatrics team and will have the opportunity for follow-up outpatient and inpatient treatment of bariatric patients needing behavioral health assistance.
In addition to the 4-month rotations above, general track interns will have two 10-month core rotations: 1) outpatient psychotherapy; 2) inpatient evaluation, consultation and brief treatment. Core experiences will typically begin upon successful completion of the first 2 months of internship. The inpatient consultation experience follows a progression from evaluation and supportive care on general medical-surgical units to more specialized care of patients being followed by the trauma team, heart failure team, various transplant teams, as well as patients followed by services with which the intern is currently working on an outpatient basis in the 4-month rotations.
Health Psychology (Primary Care) Track: 1 position
The Primary Care track intern will spend the equivalent of 8 months embedded on site in one or more primary care clinics at Nebraska Medicine following the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) team approach to patient care. As a behavioral health provider on the PCMH team, the intern will be providing brief problem-focused, solution oriented treatment to patients in the context of ongoing collaboration and consultation with primary care providers.The Primary Care track intern will also complete one 4-month rotation from among the options listed under the general track. Note: portions of the “8-month” and “4-month” rotations may occur simultaneously, in which case the rotations may last longer than 8 or 4 months, respectively, but with reduced hours.
In addition to the 8-month primary care and 4-month elective rotations above, Primary Care track interns will have two 10-month core rotations: 1) outpatient psychotherapy; 2) inpatient evaluation, consultation and brief treatment. Core experiences will typically begin upon successful completion of the first 2 months of internship. The inpatient consultation experience follows a progression from evaluation and supportive care on general medical-surgical units to more specialized care of patients being followed by the trauma team, heart failure team, various transplant teams, as well as patients followed by the service with which the intern is currently working on an outpatient basis in the 4-month rotation.
Additional specialty training in cystic fibrosis management, diabetes management, and functional disorders, are available to interns in both tracks. Primary care training is also available to the general health psychology track intern.
Supervision includes two hours of weekly individual face-to-face supervision and two additional hours of individual, group, or interdisciplinary team supervision, depending on the rotation.
Interns will have opportunities to participate in new or ongoing research. Some recent/current Psychology Department and hospital-based projects include Frailty in Lung Transplant, Psychosocial Characteristics among LVAD/ Heart Transplant Patients, Chronic Pain Management Program, and the Mind and Brain Health Labs.
Professional Development Training
Interns have the opportunity to attend Nebraska Medicine-sponsored conferences and seminars, Psychiatry Grand Rounds, Psychology Departmental Journal Club , and Psychology Training Didactics/ Discussion Group. Interns are also welcome to attend Neurological Sciences Grand Rounds and Neuropsychology Seminars when the topic is pertinent to their clinical health psychology training.
Interns will be provided an office and a computer.
Interns will receive a competitive compensation and benefits package. Please contact a recruiter with questions or for details.
Placement is contingent on satisfactory completion of a background check and drug test per hospital policy.An outside third party will perform a background check consisting of education and/or criminal history and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Adult and Child Abuse Registry for individuals who have accepted a conditional offer of employment. A driving record check will also be conducted for jobs that require driving as an essential function. Unless otherwise required by state law, the background check will not include bankruptcy filings or garnishments. Nebraska Medicine will conduct an individualized assessment of the results of a requested background check when making employment decisions based on such results. Nebraska Medicine will not make employment decisions based solely on an individual’s criminal record. Rather, Nebraska Medicine will consider convictions, pleas of no content and pending charges for crimes that are substantially related to the position. Nebraska Medicine will consider the length of time since a conviction and/or completion of the sentence, the nature and gravity of the crime, and the relationship between the job to be performed and the record of the conviction. Nebraska Medicine may also consider other factors, such as the facts or circumstances surrounding an offense or conduct and the number of offenses for which the individual was convicted, among others, when making employment decisions.
A master's degree in psychology and eligibility to be licensed as a PLMHP in the state of Nebraska are required. (For more information regarding the PLMHP application, please refer to http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Licensure/Documents/MHPProvisionalApp.pdf)
Cecilia Poon, Ph.D.
Geropsychology, Caregiving, Grief, Chronic Illness, Solid Organ Transplant, Acceptance- and Mindfulness-based Therapy, Supervision
Justin Weeks, Ph.D.
Anxiety Disorders, Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions and their Efficacy, Empirically-Supported Interventions, Health Psychology, Psychopathology, Social Anxiety Disorder
David Cates, Ph.D., Director, Behavioral Health
Disruptive Behavior Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Tic Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Behavioral Parent Training
Behavioral Health Consultant to the Nebraska Medicine Biocontainment Unit and the National Quarantine Center
Tessa Holscher, Psy.D.
Pediatrics, parenting, PTSD, anxiety and mood disorders, and presurgical Evaluations
Katherine Linder, Ph.D.
Pediatrics (especially age 2 to 8), Play Therapy, Solid Organ Transplant, Pediatric HIV, Intellectual Disability, Medical Adherence/Compliance, Parenting, Assessment, Health Issues, Anxiety and Mood Disorders, Juvenile Sexual Aggression, Trauma
Adam Mills, Ph.D.
Adult Anxiety Disorders, Depression, PTSD/Adjustment Disorder, Insomnia, Pre-transplant Evaluations, Psycho-Oncology, Assessment/Diagnosis
Jospeh Poler, Psy.D.
Bariatric Surgery, cystic fibrosis
Lindsay Seim, Psy.D.
Chronic Pain/Chronic Illness, Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Presurgical Evaluation
Krystal Robinson, Psy.D.
Kimberly Vacek, Ph.D.
Chronic Pain/Chronic Illness, Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Trauma Disorders, Gender Identity Concerns
NMPD holds open house events before interviews.