UMMS Psychology Network
The Psychology Network is an inter-departmental initiative designed to enhance psychologists’ clinical, research and training contributions throughout the University’s School and Clinical systems. It is supported by the Psychiatry Department and managed by the UMMS/UMMMC Director of Psychology, Thomas Grisso, in collaboration with Robert Carey, Director of Ambulatory Psychiatry Service.
The activities of the Psychology Network are developed and implemented by a Psychology Steering Committee, consisting of 12 psychologists representing more than 130 psychologists in the University’s school and clinical systems. The Committee’s members, who meet quarterly, represent the range of departments in which psychologists work: Psychiatry, Medicine, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Neurology and Surgery.
Initiated in 2008, the Psychology Network seeks to enhance psychologists’ clinical, research and training contributions throughout the school and clinical systems. It engages in projects that connect and support our clinical and research psychologists, promote their career development and sense of professional identity, and enhance their value to the University’s health care and research objectives. The following are examples of the Network’s current projects:
- Electronic Networking and Coordination: We use a Psychology Network email listserv, which includes all psychologists in the school and clinical systems, to email monthly announcements of events and projects of interest to psychologists. Psychologists often use the Network’s email outlet to announce events in their own departments to psychologists in other departments, seek collaborators on proposed clinical and research projects, notify colleagues of professional opportunities, and find placements for psychology trainees.
- Psychology Training Collaboration: The Psychology Network is engaged in initiatives that increase coordination between five psychology postdoctoral training programs across departments. One recent project connects psychologists who wish to develop postdoctoral training positions with psychologists who have already done so, thus providing guidance on organization and funding options. Another project created a way for trainees in all of the five postdoctoral programs to affiliate for mutual support and career development.
- Peer Consultation Groups: Using the Network, several psychologists developed an inter-departmental Health Psychology Peer Consultation Group that meets monthly to share difficult cases and seek guidance from their professional peers.
- Grand Rounds and Continuing Education: The Network developed a roster of psychologists and their presentation topics for use by all departments seeking Grand Rounds speakers. The Network announces Grand Rounds in various departments that might be of interest to psychologists in other departments. It also has assisted departments in developing American Psychological Association-Approved CE credit for psychologists attending their Grand Rounds.
- Special Events: The Psychology Network develops and implements special events of value to psychologists and the school and clinical systems. For example, in 2009, the Network developed “Psychology Day,” featuring special speakers on the history of psychology training at Worcester State Hospital, exploration of the role of psychology in furthering the strategic planning objectives of the school and clinical systems, and exchange of research by our psychologists.