POCATELLO - A new partnership between five organizations spanning most of southern Idaho means new opportunity for Idaho State University. The ISU Psychology Internship Program, housed within the Family Medicine Residency Program, is now part of the newly formed Idaho Psychology Internship Consortium, or ID-PIC. Being a part of the ID-PIC enhances opportunities that enable the group to fulfill its mission of recruiting highly qualified, interns to its program.
ID-PIC is made up of five partner organizations and practice sites: Idaho State University Family Medicine Residency in Pocatello, State Hospital South in Blackfoot, Boise State University Counseling Center in Boise, Family Medicine Residency of Idaho in Boise and Pearl Health Clinic in Ammon.
Until recently, ISU’s Psychology Internship Program was affiliated with a different consortium, which was not accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), but that will soon change.
“While our program has always been able to host interns and produce quality psychologists as part of the former consortium, accreditation by the APA means we will be even more attractive as an internship site. This is very exciting for the university and the surrounding community,” said Verena Roberts, PhD, director of behavioral science and clinical associate professor for the program.
The ID-PIC is expected to be fully accredited by the APA for the 2019-2020 school year, which will make an internship slot at ISU more desirable to graduates. Roberts says there will be two psychologist interns at ISU/State Hospital South in Blackfoot for one year, while the other organizations in the consortium will also provide training sites for interns from other programs.
“In the Pocatello area, State Hospital South and ISU Family Medicine Residency provide in-patient and out-patient experience for the interns respectively, supervised by licensed psychologists during their training. In the future, other sites have shown interest in joining the consortium as well,” Roberts said.
Expanding the training opportunities in Idaho is expected to increase the chances of recruiting psychologists that will stay in Idaho, similar to medical residents, who commonly stay to practice within 50-70 miles from their residency location. Roberts says this retention is one of the goals of forming the consortium, since there is a 100-percent shortage of mental health professionals in Idaho, along with a high suicide rate.