The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has increased the number of psychology postdoctoral positions offered this year at VA hospitals around the country. For the 2004-2005 academic year, 73 postdoctoral positions were filled-a significant increase from previous years. For example, last year only 62 postdoc slots were available.
The postdoc increase comes as the VA has seen a decrease in the number of internship slots at its hospitals. This is partly because individual hospitals have reorganized or reduced the number of staff psychologists, making it more difficult for them to supervise interns, and partly because of an increased recognition of the need to train psychologists in specialized areas, says Mary Jansen, PhD, deputy chief consultant of the Mental Health Strategic Healthcare Group at VA headquarters in Washington, D.C. As a result, the VA reallocated the training funds from some of its internship positions to postdoc positions.
Over the years, Jansen adds, the VA has also added additional funding for psychology training, resulting in the largest number of psychology training positions in its history. "[The postdocs] will be in VA medical centers, and they'll be providing psychological services in a variety of areas and programs-from substance abuse to neuropsychological assessment to post-traumatic stress disorder programs to psychosocial rehabilitation," says Jansen.
For more information about VA psychology training positions, including postdoctoral fellowship sites, go to the Association of VA Psychologist Leaders training Web site at www.avapl.org/training.html.