Feedback Regarding Progress

At mid-year (or sooner if warranted by the presence of a significant issue) and at year-end, the Internship Director writes a letter to the Director of Clinical Training of each intern’s doctoral program. This letter summarizes the intern’s progress. Each intern is asked to read this letter and to sign it prior to mailing. The intern is encouraged to indicate points of agreement or disagreement either in the letter itself or in a separate correspondence to his or her Director of Clinical Training.

Minor deficiencies in intern preparation or performance are generally remediated through the course of normal interaction with the intern’s supervisor(s). The remediation may consist of didactic supervisory instruction, modeling of techniques by the supervisor, and/or readings in the appropriate literature. When the deficiency is in the domain of experience, the intern may be assigned additional relevant cases to provide the needed exposure. Minor deficiencies in experience, training, or performance are communicated to the Director of Clinical Training from the intern’s home program in the context of the mid-year evaluation letter.

Since interns undergo ongoing informal evaluation and receive formal quarterly evaluations from faculty, major deficiencies are generally detected early, usually during first quarter of training. When a major deficiency is detected, three steps are taken. First, the intern is placed on “probationary status” to communicate clearly that significant improvement in performance is needed for successful completion of the internship and that failure to remediate the deficiency could result in dismissal from the internship program. Second, a remediation plan is developed by the faculty, the Internship Director and the intern to ameliorate the noted deficiency. Such plans typically involve increased supervisory contacts (for both training and evaluation) along with intensive variations of the remediation methods used to deal with minor deficiencies. The remediation plan specifies the required changes in performance along with a timetable for re-evaluation of progress.

Third, the Director of Clinical Training at the intern’s home program is notified by the Internship Director in written correspondence with a copy provided to the intern. The input of the Director of Clinical Training is sought in the remediation plan, and he or she is kept abreast of the intern’s progress through follow-up contacts both by telephone and by mail. If the deficiency is remediated, probationary status is lifted. If the intern fails to remediate the deficiency, the faculty carefully reviews evaluations from the intern’s supervisors as well as the intern’s self-evaluation of progress. The faculty then decides whether sufficient progress has been made to warrant continuation of the probationary status, with the expectation that the deficiency will be remediated, or whether dismissal from the program is warranted by the intern’s failure to demonstrate progress.