Psychology Externship Program
Children’s National Hospital is the pediatric teaching hospital for the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Psychologists at Children’s National hold academic appointments in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Pediatrics at the medical school. Children’s National offers a variety of training programs in various medical specialties, all of which are overseen by the medical staff. The Division of Psychology conducts postdoctoral, internship and practicum-level training for psychology students.
Psychology and Behavioral Health — led by Randi Streisand, Ph.D. — is a division within the Center for Neurosciences and Behavioral Medicine, which is directed by neurologist Roger Packer, Ph.D. Other divisions in this center include Neuropsychology, Psychiatry, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Developmental Pediatrics, Genetics and Metabolism, Hearing and Speech and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. This Center for Excellence structure was designed to stimulate multidisciplinary collaboration, in terms of both patient care and research, among disciplines and specialties with common interests.
The Division of Psychology and Behavioral Health and its training program are committed to practices that promote diversity, equity and inclusion in patient care, training, research, professional development and advocacy. Our students and faculty actively work to develop the cultural self-awareness and humility needed to effectively serve diverse populations. Learn more about Children’s National Hospital’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Psychology Externship Opportunities
Children’s National offers several externship experiences in child clinical and pediatric psychology to students enrolled in doctoral programs in psychology. Applications may be submitted electronically or in paper form and individual supervisors will indicate their preference in the descriptions below. Due to the high volume of calls received in the past, we request that you don't call to confirm the status of your application.
Interested applicants should complete this survey one time, regardless of how many externships you are applying for.
Applications for our next round of externships are due Feb. 1, 2024.
Eligible candidates are encouraged to apply to one of the following externships:
- ADHD & Learning Differences
- Anxiety and Allergy/Immunology
- Anxiety and Eating Disorders
- Anxiety and Mood Disorders — Division of Psychology and Behavioral Health Outpatient Psychology Department
- Behavioral Pain Medicine
- Behavioral Sleep Medicine
- Child and Adolescent Burn and Trauma Surgery
- Child Development Program
- Child Inpatient Psychiatric
- Early Childhood Behavioral Health
- Eating Disorders
- Endocrinology and Diabetes
- HALP Behavioral Parent Training
- HIV Services Mental Health Program
- Mood and Trauma
- Pediatric Psychology Consult
- Pediatric Psychology — Divisions of Hematology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation | Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Psychology and Behavioral Health Extern Didactics Series
Extern group didactics are offered twice a month, typically midday (12-1 p.m.) on Zoom. Didactics are frequently lectures with some opportunities for experiential learning from students. For some talks, trainees at all levels are invited including those in our APA-accredited internship, postdoctoral fellows, as well as externs. Didactic speakers are local leaders, faculty and postdoctoral fellows in the psychology training program.
Didactic topics are selected for relevance to externs and changes year-to-year, and all talks are recorded to permit externs to view asynchronously if they cannot participate live. There are specific initiatives in place to provide enhanced training in diversity, equity, and inclusion. In the past, externs have had the opportunity to participate in the Racial Equity Challenge, an intensive ‘bootcamp’ experience to cultivate self-awareness and cultural humility. Specific didactics are subject to availability year-to-year.
Spanish Training Emphasis Program (STEP)
The Spanish Training Emphasis Program’s (STEP) mission is to address mental health disparities for Latinx children, adolescents, young adults, and their families by increasing the availability of bilingual psychologists who are trained in the provision of bilingual, culturally competent therapy and assessment services. Through formalized training activities, this program is designed to be inclusive for all psychology trainees who wish to increase their confidence, competence, and comfort in serving Spanish-speaking families who receive care at Children’s National Hospital.
All externs can participate in didactic training in multicultural competency, with special consideration of common challenges for Latinx families, such as varying levels of acculturation, issues related to immigration status, barriers to care, and stress related to intersecting minoritized identities. Bilingual trainees are encouraged to participate in process groups held in Spanish to increase their clinical vocabulary, allow for space to consult on culturally sensitive case conceptualizations, and promote self-reflection regarding bilingual and multicultural care.
Additionally, there may be coordinated opportunities for direct service provision (therapy, consultation, assessment) to Spanish-preferring families through multiple clinics, including Integrated primary care, child development clinic, and outpatient psychology. Bilingual trainees might have the opportunity to receive supervision in Spanish with a licensed bilingual psychologist (depends on rotation/supervisor availability).
Further, STEP aims to improve overall care for the Latinx community by increasing the availability of training materials, resources, manuals on therapy modalities, and treatment worksheets in the Spanish language. For those interested, the DMV region allows for trainees to pursue advocacy and program development opportunities with the help of our STEP team. Extern participation in STEP is voluntary, and depends on the trainee’s schedule, didactic and group calendar, and faculty availability.