November 18, 2015

VA Palo Alto Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship in Palliative Care


The VA Palo Alto Health Care System is pleased to offer an APA accredited Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis inPalliative Care. The Program involves training in (1) psychological, sociocultural, spiritual and interpersonal factors in chronic, advanced, life-limiting and terminal illness; (2) biological aspects of illness and the dying process; (3) normative and non-normative grief and bereavement; (4) communication and facilitation of advance care planning; (5) assessment of common physical and mental health conditions; (6) psychotherapy for patients with chronic, life-threatening or terminal illness; (7) assessment and treatment of families and social systems; (8) interprofessional teams functioning and consultation; (9) socioeconomic, health services and systems issues in palliative care; (10) ethical issues in palliative care.

Rotations from among ten programs may be selected for training experiencesVA Hospice and Palliative Care Center (Inpatient unit; hospital-wide Palliative Care Consult team) and Sub-acute medicine ward; Community Living Center; Home Based Primary Care; Inpatient and Outpatient Spinal Cord Injury Unit/Clinic; Cardiovascular Clinic; Oncology/Hematology, Pain Clinic, Infectious disease Clinic, Family therapy program, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy min-rotation.  The staff include Stacy Dodd, Margaret Florsheim, Julia Kasl-Godley, Steven Katz, Jessica Lohnberg, Steven Lovett, Elaine McMillan, Gary Miles, Douglas Rait, Rachael Rodriguez, Jonathon Rose and Robyn Walser.  Opportunities also include limited exposure to non-VA Palliative Care programs (e.g. site visits to Stanford, UCSF, El Camino Hospital, Zen Hospice Center).

The specific training plan is developed with the assistance of a Primary Preceptor. The aim is to ensure attainment of general clinical competencies as well as competencies in Palliative Care.  The fellow will develop an expertise in chronic and advanced illness and palliative care that allows him/her to provide effective assessment, intervention and interprofessional service delivery to patients and family members to meet the full range of issues across the disease continuum, from initial diagnosis to death and subsequent bereavement.  Fellows are encouraged to use evidenced based treatment in planning and delivering services.  Fellows work with interprofessional teams that share decision-making, treatment planning, and treatment implementation.  Opportunities for research, program development, administration and teaching are available.  Fellows have one day per week dedicated to research and/or an educational dissemination project.  Fellows also participate in supervision of interns and/or practicum students and in a variety of teaching, educational and professional development activities (e.g. seminars, Palliative Care didactics) and receive training in supervision.  

The Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship will be for a full year, full-time with a salary of $50,006 per annum.  Vacation, sick leave, health insurance, and authorized leave for conferences and other professional activities are available.  Malpractice claims are covered; no additional professional insurance needs to be obtained.

U.S. citizens who are candidates in (or have completed) an APA accredited doctoral program in clinical/counseling psychology and who are enrolled in or have completed an APA accredited internship or a newly funded VA internship are eligible to apply.  All doctoral requirements, including dissertation defense, must be completed prior to beginning the fellowship.  Preference is given to candidates with prior Palliative Care, Geropsychology and/or Health Psychology training but it is not a requirement.  All required application elements must be submitted via the APPA CAS system at by January 4, 2016. Applicants should be available for interview in late January through February. Notification of selection for all positions will occur on March 7, 2016.

The postdoctoral brochure and further information about the application process can be obtained at our website  For additional questions, please contact the Postdoctoral Coordinator, William Faustman, Ph.D., preferably by email at or at (650) 493-5000, x64950.

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