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Job opening: Senior Psychologist (Service Chief)

Salary: $188 029 - 212 100 per year
City: San Diego
Published at: Aug 31 2023
Employment Type: Full-time
The incumbent serves as the Chief of the Psychology at the VA San Diego Healthcare System's (VASDHS) Mental Health Care Line (MHCL). The primary purpose of the position is to provide leadership, budgetary oversight, and programmatic management to Psychology Service including direct supervision of a variety of staff.


The incumbent is the selecting official for all new psychologist hires across all programs of the MHCL. Duties include, but not limited too: Leads the Psychology Professional Community, including related disciplines. Develops and implements a Psychology professional practice review system including assessment of the competency of .each Psychology staff; development of position descriptions for Psychology staff; provides input into performance appraisals of Psychology staff; and mediates professional and service line conflicts around Psychology professional roles, continuity of care, and quality of care, including referral of veterans across service or care lines during care. Develops and monitors compliance with Psychology practice standards and guidelines on documentation, workload, data entry, ethical practice and service delivery. Participation in the oversight of the facility's Psychology clinical privileging or scope of practice process. Serves on hospital PSB (votes on privileges of clinical staff throughout the HCS) and Medical Executive Committee (all hospital service Chiefs) and MH Core Committee (all MH Core Leadership) as Psychology Service Representative. Collaboration with Human Resources and Credentialing to track required licensure and/or certification for all Psychologists, including continuing education requirements, license renewal, OPPE/FPPE and other requirements Psychologists must meet to deliver appropriate care across the MHCL. Assists with credentialing, including primary source verification of degree and license or state certification. Ensures that unlicensed Psychologists have access to clinical supervision for licensure and/or certification from a responsible licensed independent psychologist. Receives and disseminates Psychology practice and resource information to Psychology staff at the facility, including CBOCs. Provides consultation to Psychology staff and other facility staff on Psychology practice issues. Assures adherence to continuing education requirements for Psychologists; develops plans for meeting education requirements for licensure and clinical practice; and identifies opportunities for professional continuing education. Consults with MHCL supervisors and Program Managers on questions of Psychology practice. Knowledge of, and ability to appropriately utilize, evidence-based assessment and psychotherapy practices and clinical psychology practice guidelines and ability to guide staff in using these tools. Ensures that all professional activities of the discipline are carried out in accordance with the highest ethical standards of the profession and are in compliance with all VA rules and regulations related to the profession. Incumbent will provide psycho-diagnostic assessment to diagnose mental disorders, perform risk assessment and crisis intervention, administer psychological and/or neuropsychological assessment, and provide a full range of psychological interventions consistent with the psychologist's competencies and needs of the MHCL. Provides psychoeducation to patients, family members, and significant others. Provides comprehensive, evidence-based psychotherapeutic interventions, including individual, family and group psychotherapy. This position reports directly to the ACOS for Mental Health. The incumbent is also a member of the Medical Executive Committee ( comprised of all hospital service Chiefs), Chaired by the Chief of Staff. The incumbent also consults with the discipline leads or other Service Chiefs regarding discipline-specific issues as well as the Associate Director of Training and Education and Associate Director of Research regarding Training Program and Research issues. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 7:00am - 3:30pm Compressed/Flexible:Not available Telework: Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized EDRP Authorized: Contact the EDRP Coordinator for questions/assistance. Learn more Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required



Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met. Basic Requirements: Citizenship. Citizen of the United States. Licensure. Applicants must hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to practice psychology at the doctoral level in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia. Exception: Non-licensed applicants who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements may be given a temporary appointment as a "graduate psychologist" at the GS-11 or GS-12 grade under the authority of 38 U.S.C. ? 7405 [(c)(2)(B)] for a period not to exceed two years from the date of employment on the condition that such a psychologist provide care only under the supervision of a psychologist who is licensed. Failure to obtain licensure during that period is justification for termination of the temporary appointment. Education. Applicant must have a doctoral degree in psychology from a graduate program in psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS), or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) at the time the program was completed. The specialty area of the degree must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicants are to be employed. For the purpose of meeting this requirement, the term "specialty area" refers to the specific specialty areas recognized by the accrediting body and not to specific job duties that might require special skills. Currently, APA accredits doctoral programs in the specialty areas of clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, or combinations of two or more of those areas. PCSAS accredits doctoral programs in psychological clinical science. CPA accredits doctoral programs in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, clinical neuropsychology, and school psychology; OR Have a doctoral degree in any area of psychology and, in addition, successfully complete a re-specialization program (including documentation of an approved internship completed as part of the re-specialization program) meeting both of the following conditions: The re-specialization program must be completed in an APA or a CPA accredited doctoral program; and The specialty in which the applicant is retrained must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. OR Have a doctoral degree awarded between 1951 and 1978 from a regionally-accredited institution, with a dissertation primarily psychological in nature. AND Internships. Applicants must have successfully completed a professional psychology internship training program that was accredited by APA or CPA at the time the program was completed and that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed OR New VHA psychology internship programs that are in the process of applying for APA accreditation are acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement, provided that such programs were sanctioned by the VHA Central Office Program Director for Psychology and the VHA Office of Academic Affiliations at the time that the individual was an intern OR VHA facilities that offered full-time, one-year pre-doctoral internships prior to PL 96-151 (pre-1979) are considered to be acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement OR Applicants who completed an internship that was not accredited by APA or CPA at the time the program was completed may be considered eligible for hire only if they are currently board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology in a specialty area that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed OR Applicants who have a doctoral degree awarded between 1951 and 1978 from a regionally-accredited institution with a dissertation primarily psychological in nature may fulfill this internship requirement by having the equivalent of a one-year supervised internship experience in a site specifically acceptable to the candidate's doctoral program. If the internship experience is not noted on the applicant's official transcript, the applicant must provide a statement from the doctoral program verifying that the equivalent of a one-year supervised internship experience was completed in a site acceptable to the doctoral program. Preferred Experience: A minimum of two (2) years professional experience with experience in program administration, supervision of staff, performance improvement, and the delivery of mental health and substance use treatment. Dependability and the ability to function independently Ability to direct health care benefits in a managed care setting across a health care system Demonstrated leadership abilities by increasing health awareness, measuring outcomes, and involving others in improving care Clinical and administrative leadership experience in complex, interdisciplinary health care systems Knowledge, skills, and abilities to gain the trust and respect of a highly diverse staff of peers and subordinates in order to achieve the mission of honoring and serving Veterans through excellence in healthcare Ability to organize work, set priorities, delegate tasks, and meet multiple deadlines Ability to establish and monitor production and performance priorities and standards Skill in managing and directing the work of others to accomplish program goals and objectives, and ability to devise ways to adapt work operations to new and changing programs, staffing, and budget requirements, etc. Ability to deal effectively with individuals or groups representing widely divergent backgrounds, interests, and points of view Ability to effectively supervise and manage subordinate employees from a variety of professional backgrounds Skill in assessing qualifications and abilities of current and prospective employees Skill in interpersonal relationships, including conflict resolution Skill in working collaboratively with other disciplines and supervisors Demonstrated analytical ability to find viable solutions to complex problems utilizing data, logic and/or research methodology, and provide senior leaders with viable make/buy options to address complex cost/benefits options Demonstrated understanding of factors that impact access to mental health and substance use care, and experience working to balance access and quality Demonstrated familiarity and experience with VA rules and regulations relating to community care, including the Mission Act Ability to manage and balance complex cost decisions regarding whether to approve care based on cost avoidance versus patient preferences Ability to analyze organizational and operational problems and to develop and implement solutions that result in sound operation of the program Ability to utilize systems thinking in managing ethical dilemmas Demonstrated ability to understand and utilize systems redesign or other performance improvement methodologies to analyze and monitor existing processes, and develop and implement effective solutions to optimize the delivery of high-quality healthcare services Knowledge of computer systems and experience training and educating residents or students Ability to integrate research and training programs smoothly into the functioning of clinical care programs Ability to translate management goals and objectives into well-coordinated and controlled work operations Knowledge of, and ability to appropriately utilize, evidence-based practices and clinical practice guidelines and ability to guide staff in using these tools References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G18- Psychologist Qualification Standard.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.


  • Address San Diego VA Medical Center 3350 La Jolla Village Drive San Diego, CA 92161 US
  • Name: Randy Clark
  • Phone: 515-868-4391
  • Email: [email protected]


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