Developed to provide advanced specialty training to graduates of APA-accredited doctoral programs and internships in professional psychology, this postdoctoral program prepares fellows for careers as clinical health psychology specialists.

About the Program

VCU and VCU Health have been educating postdoctoral fellows in clinical health psychology since 1990, and we currently accept one fellow per year. NIH grants funded the fellowship until 2005, when hospital funding began supporting the position. The program has a primary clinical focus with a practitioner-scientist model, training fellows to be practitioners and discerning consumers of research while being aware of the contributions they can make to translational research.

All of our graduated fellows are licensed to practice psychology in one or more states. Past fellows have gone on to lead successful careers in government and medical education, as principal investigators on NIH-funded grants and as health care providers in both public and private practice settings.

Rotations and Curriculum

Through daily clinical practice, fellows increase their understanding of the scientific basis of clinical health psychology and develop more specialized skills beyond the mental health practice experience of graduate education and internship training. They also develop in-depth knowledge of specific medical conditions and treatment regimens to better interact with colleagues across multiple health care disciplines, such as medicine and surgery.

With a minimum of 20 hours of direct patient care services each week, fellows provide clinical and liaison services within the designated programs, focusing on patient assessment, short-term patient, family and group interventions and team-based patient care and planning.

Fellows have the opportunity to develop clinical skills and research experiences across a broad range of areas, including:

  • Organ transplantation
  • Mechanical circulatory support
  • Obesity and weight loss management
  • Trauma and burn surgery
  • Primary care
  • Smoking cessation
  • Pain management

Trainees also participate in the following educational activities:

  • The Department of Psychiatry’s Grand Rounds
  • Weekly journal club in the Division of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry
  • Weekly educational conferences in transplantation and other areas
  • Didactic and case conference series for psychology trainees

Life in Richmond

We encourage our trainees to maintain a healthy, balanced life, and Richmond is a wonderful place to engage in that well-rounded lifestyle. As a mid-sized city with a metropolitan population of 1.3 million, Richmond provides stimulating activities while maintaining its intimate feel and unique vibe.

Learn more about our community

Salary and Benefits

The current salary for our postdoctoral fellow is $47,476.

Benefits include:

  • Individual or family health insurance
  • 15 days of paid annual leave
  • Up to 20 consecutive days of paid sick leave
  • Up to 5 days of professional leave

How to Apply

Submit a completed application through the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers’ Postdoctoral Portal. The following application materials are required:

  • Letter of interest
  • CV
  • Two brief, anonymized adult clinical health psychology or behavioral medicine work samples (one demonstrating skills in assessment and one in intervention)
  • Quantitative summary of your assessment and treatment experience in traditional mental health, health psychology, substance abuse or primary care practice, if applicable
  • Three letters of recommendation 

The program brochure is available here.

Postdoctoral Residency Admissions, Support, and Initial Placement Data

See below for postdoctoral residency admissions, support, and initial placement data:

Clinical Health Psychology


Leila Islam, Ph.D.

Leila Islam, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Leila Islam, Ph.D.

Leila Islam, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Psychiatry

Clinical Health Psychology


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