Setting of The Internship
SUNY Upstate Medical University is the only Academic Medical Center in Central New York, and one of about 120 in the United States. Academic Medical Centers, which are built around medical schools and teaching hospitals, lead the nation in conducting medical research, educating health care professionals, and providing the most advanced care to patients. Our four-college university educates students from New York State, and across the country and the world. The Upstate University Health System, including University Hospital and numerous satellite operations, serves 1.8 million people from Syracuse and the larger Central New York region. Given the clinical catchment area of the medical center, and the fact that both the academic and clinical enterprises prioritize access for those from all socioeconomic backgrounds, our interns have the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people across all of the internship’s settings. The core settings are as follows:
Core inpatient training settings
The inpatient psychiatry unit, opened in 1969, houses 23 beds, and specializes in acute care of both voluntarily and involuntarily admitted adults, admitting between 800-1000 patients per year. The patients are primarily white (77%), followed by African American (15%) and Latino (5%). 68% are unemployed. An estimated 85% are diagnosed with personality disorders, while 74% are diagnosed with Mood Disorders and 15% with psychotic disorders (for more information, see representative sample discussed in Leontieva, et al., attached). The unit adopts an interdisciplinary model, in which the intern works as part of a team of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, occupational therapists, recreational therapists, and mental health therapy aides. The Adult Track intern provides individual psychotherapy, psychological assessment, and group psychotherapy on the unit under the direction of a licensed psychologist, Susan Sperry, Ph.D.
Inpatient Health Psychology (Unit 2N):
Here interns work as part of multidisciplinary teams on the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Unit. Interns work with medical inpatients who have sustained physical trauma and diverse medical conditions, such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, or spinal cord injury, to support behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and social needs for optimal outcomes and recovery. Training activities include psycho-education, brief individual and family therapy interventions, basic neuropsychological screening, team consultation, leading an education and processing group for families, observation of different aspects of rehab (e.g., OT, PT, SLP), and research and presentation on a topic of interest in rehab psychology.
University Hospital is a 350 bed facility, and is the primary teaching hospital of the University. UH has long cared for many of the most seriously ill, injured, and economically disadvantaged, in New York state. It is a Level-I trauma center and features the region's only children's hospital, Golisano Children’s Hospital, as well as the new Upstate Cancer Center. University Hospital is also a New York State Designated Center for: Stroke, AIDS, Trauma, Burn, SAFE services, and Poison Control, and offers 77 unique specialty clinics. Its Diabetes Program (with which our psychology faculty are deeply involved) is a NYS Center of Excellence, and its Epilepsy Center is a Level 4, the highest designation possible. In keeping with the Upstate vision, Upstate continues to create new centers of excellence such as the recently added Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital, in addition to centers focused on cancer, breast care, cardiovascular care and open heart surgery, behavioral medicine, and stroke.
Core Outpatient Settings
University Hospital Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry Clinics:
These clinics are housed in the same building as our academic department (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, 713 Harrison St.) apart from the main hospital building. Founded as training clinics, they have evolved into major centers of outpatient care for the community, and they contain a number of sub-specialty programs, including CBT, DBT, Anxiety Disorder, ADHD, and Eating Disorder clinics. Adjunct to the Child and Adolescent clinic is the ENHANCE program, a primary care setting serving children in foster care, where interns are able to work under the direction of psychologist Ronald Saletsky.
Upstate Student Counseling Services:
Serving the “university side” of the medical center, the Student Counseling Service (SCS) provides psychotherapy, community outreach, and pharmacotherapy to the 1,550 matriculated students who are enrolled in our four colleges (Medicine, Nursing, Health Professions, and Graduate Studies). Many of our students are from New York State, but a significant number come from other states and nations, and range in age from 18 to 60+, with a mean age (within SCS) of 24. 66% of the student patients we see are female, and 57% are white. While student patients come from all four colleges, the majority are medical students; the most prevalent diagnoses are anxiety and depressive disorders, but SCS treats a breadth of presenting problems, including personality and psychotic disorders. The Student Counseling Service is staffed by three of the internship faculty: Drs. Vanderhoff and Miller co-direct the service, and Dr. Mbuqe serves as Senior Counselor. Along with the psychiatry clinics, SCS is housed within the department of psychiatry.
The Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Building (713 Harrison St.):
Located one block from the hospital, this is the hub of the psychology internship training program and the home of Upstate’s Department of Psychiatry (including the Division of Clinical Psychology). In addition to the clinics (above) the building provides individual offices for psychology interns where they can easily access internship faculty, whose offices are also there. The building houses a vibrant community of faculty, staff, and trainees from the disciplines of general medicine, clinical psychology, psychiatry, social work, and nursing. An atmosphere of constant collaboration and exchange is fostered, not only across disciplines but across theoretical points of view, providing the interns with a model of training that is bound to enrich their approach to the working situation they will encounter as psychologists.
Resources for Interns
Upstate Medical University maintains a large medical and scientific library to which interns have full access. The general and specialized libraries of Syracuse University, just up the hill, are also readily available. The Upstate Campus Activities Building provides a gym, swimming pool and facilities for other sports and social activities. The Campus Activities Board hosts social events throughout the year, including comedy hour, coffeehouse music series, and movie night. Syracuse University sponsors a variety of drama, film, lecture, music, and athletic programs.
The City of Syracuse
Syracuse boasts a number of cultural resources, including Syracuse Stage, the acclaimed Everson Museum of Art, the Red House, and the OnCenter, the historic Landmark Theatre, and the beautiful new Lakeview Amphitheater. Syracuse is visited by Broadway theater productions, major orchestras, and numerous jazz, pop, rock, and country music performers. Syracuse also has an active night life, with great restaurants, bars, and a record store in the Armory Squaresection of the city. The well-known Tipperary Hillneighborhood, where even the traffic light puts green on the top, offers a bit of Irish-American culture, while the city also boasts its own Little Italy. The natural beauty of the Syracuse area and Central New York is excellent for hiking, kayaking, skiing, and wine tasting. Summer in Syracuse is alive with outdoor concerts, theatre, and festivals, including the annual New York State Fair.