Medical psychologists usually need a doctoral degree, which can be obtained at highly ranked schools around the country. Medical psychologists are clinical psychologists who use their knowledge of medical, psychological, and social factors to improve patients' physical and mental wellbeing. To practice in most states, clinical psychologists usually need a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology or Doctor of Psychology. An internship, professional experience, and a passing score on a licensing exam are also required. Doctoral or postdoctoral fellowship programs can be found at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Johns Hopkins University, and University of Alabama at Birmingham, as well as the Mayo Clinic at the University of Minnesota. All four are highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report.
University of Virginia
Medical Psychology Fellowship students at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA receive an interdisciplinary education with collaboration from different departments, giving students experience as both scientists and practitioners.
The University of Virginia ranked among the top 10 clinical psychology programs in the nation in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report. Students who have completed an internship in clinical psychology are eligible to apply for a postdoctoral fellowship in medical psychology through the UVA School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences.
In the fellowship program, which takes one year to complete, students attend seminars that focus on various areas of medical psychology. They are also able to participate in faculty research projects and develop their own independent research projects. The department offers specializations in community service and public policy, administration, clinical services, and computational neuroscience. Students can also pursue specialized studies in developmental disorders, neurobiological studies and neurocognitive studies.
University of Alabama
Students in the University of Alabama at Birmingham's medical psychology Ph.D. program will have a primary faculty mentor and a 3-member faculty advising committee, which may draw from multiple fields of study depending upon each student's interests.
The Birmingham campus of the University of Alabama system ranked among the nation's top 160 schools in 2017, according to U.S. News & World Report. The school's Department of Psychology offers a 5- to 6-year doctoral program in medical/clinical psychology that incorporates coursework, independent research, and supervised clinical experiences.
Along with the Ph.D. in Medical/Clinical Psychology, students have the option of pursuing a concurrent Master of Public Health (MPH) program. In addition to completing an independently researched doctoral dissertation, students take courses in statistics and research methods, behavioral observation and assessment, psychological interviewing, and psychotherapeutic methods. They also study health psychology and research design. Several electives are offered as well, including addiction theories, psychopharmacology, and the psychology of aging.
University of Minnesota
The Mayo Clinic at the University of Minnesota offers three postdoctoral medical psychology fellowship programs: Clinical Child Psychology, Clinical Health Psychology, and Clinical Neuropsychology.
Considered one of the country's top ten hospitals for psychiatry by U.S. News and World Report, the University of Minnesota's Mayo Clinic offers a medical psychology fellowship program. Once enrolled, fellows work in teams that collaborate with doctors to form intervention and treatment plans for patients.
Curricular specialties include assessment theories, diagnosis, intervention, and consultation. Students may also study pediatric psychology, addiction, neuropsychology/rehabilitation, and eating disorders. They might also focus on scholarly inquiry, teaching or supervisory topics. Fellows in this 2-year program attend seminars associated with their specialty, as well as a medical psychology seminar.
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD offers a pediatric medical psychology program. JHU ranked as the tenth best school in the country on U.S. News and World Report's 2017 list. The school offers a general psychiatry residency program, as well as a child and adolescent psychiatry residency program. A variety of post-doctoral fellowships and research training programs are also available. Research training is available in subjects such as anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and molecular psychiatry, and geriatric psychiatry.
Top Medical Psychology Programs
Students may also find top medical psychology programs, such as New York University in New York, NY, offers medical psychology externships in General Rehabilitation Medicine, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Obesity and Weight Management. Many of the nation's best schools offer a variety of options for future medical psychologists to consider, including research areas, externships, and curricular specialties.