Interprofessional Education: Preparing Psychologists for Success in Integrated Primary Care

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Abstract

Rapidly occurring changes in the healthcare arena mean time is of the essence for psychology to formalize a strategic plan for training in primary care settings. The current article articulates factors affecting models of integrated care in Academic Health Centers (AHCs) and describes ways to identify and utilize resources at AHCs to develop interprofessional educational and clinical integrated care opportunities. The paper asserts that interprofessional educational experiences between psychology and other healthcare providers are vital to insure professionals value one another's disciplines in health care reform endeavors, most notably the patient-centered initiatives. The paper highlights ways to create shared values and common goals between primary care providers and psychologists, which are needed for trainee internalization of integrated care precepts. A developmental perspective to training from pre-doctoral, internship and postdoctoral levels for psychologists in integrated care is described. Lastly, a call to action is given for the field to develop more opportunities for psychology trainees to receive education and training within practica, internships and postdoctoral fellowships in primary care settings to address the reality that most patients seek their mental health treatment in primary care settings.

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