Externship Program at MDC
Since 2007, the MDC has offered a part-time externship for doctoral students in Clinical or Counseling Psychology. The externship is a nine-month position, typically 16-17 hours per week. Externs usually work two days per week, carrying a caseload of approximately 8-10 clients with personal-social concerns. Externs also have the opportunity to facilitate or co-facilitate psychoeducational workshops and provide consultation to the USNA community. In addition to receiving two hours of supervision per week, externs also attend and participate in a weekly training meeting that focuses on their professional development.
Professional development also occurs in the context of our weekly staff clinical meeting. This is an opportunity for all mental health professionals at the MDC to discuss ethical dilemmas, complex clinical cases, cultural diversity at the USNA and MDC, and topics germane to the practice of psychology in a military/university setting. Externs are expected to present at least two case conferences during the course of the year at this meeting.
Our program is unique in that it offers experience working in a university counseling center setting while also exposing trainees to the military life and environment. Our clients are all Midshipmen who are training to be officers and leaders in the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. They have very limited free time in their schedules, and they schedule their clinical appointments during their free class periods. They tend to be very reliable and committed, so our no-show rate is quite low. As such, our externs typically gain more than enough face-to-face clinical hours to satisfy their program requirements.