Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Psychologist (PCMHI) - External in Harlingen, Texas

Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
1 vacancy in the following locations:
  • Harlingen, TX
  • McAllen, TX
Work Schedule is Full Time - Multiple Appointment Types

Opened Thursday 10/6/2016 (20 day(s) ago)

** Closes Friday 12/30/2016 (65 day(s) away)

Job Overview

Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 1820951

Salary: To be determined by Professional Standard Board of your peers and based on your education, experience, and professional accomplishments.

VA TEXAS VALLEY COASTAL BEND HEALTH CARE SYSTEMThe VATVCBHCS is comprised of the Corpus Christi Outpatient Clinic (CCOPC), Corpus Christi Specialty Clinic (CCSC), Harlingen Outpatient Clinic (HOPC), Health Care Center at Harlingen (HCC), Laredo Outpatient Clinic (LOPC), and McAllen Outpatient Clinic (MCOPC). The VATVCBHCS is an ambulatory health care system providing health care in medicine, surgery, psychiatry, and rehabilitation medicine. The VATVCBHCS also operates a 100-patient Home Based Primary Care program and a 200-patient Care Coordination Home Tele-Health Program. Through the utilization of inpatient/emergency department contracts, approximately 2600 inpatient admission and 5800 ER visits are managed by VATVCBHCS. Affiliated with the University of Texas Regional Academic Health Campus, the system has an active ambulatory care program and serves as a teaching and training site for medical residents. The VATVCBHCS is responsible for an enrollee population of over 30,000 veterans and 350,000 outpatient visits annually.

This is an open-continuous annoucement. We will accept applications on an on-going basis until the position is filled. Eligible and qualified applicants will be referred to the selecting official at scheduled intervals.

* A Recruitment/Relocation Incentive May Be Authorized. *

  • OR-

The applicant(s) selected for this position may be eligible to apply for an award under the provisions of the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP) provided the applicant has qualifying loans and subject to the availability of funds. For further information regarding this program, you may contact the Human Resources Management Service.

Current VA and Federal Employees should apply under


* Bargaining Position *

Join the VA TX Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System (VATVCBHCS) as a Primary Care-Mental Health Integration Psychologist. You will be assigned to the Mental Health Service Line, with primary assignment to the Primary Care-Mental Health Integration (PCMHI) program, which is located within primary care. You will function as part of a multidisciplinary primary care team and deliver brief consultation-based services to Veterans within that setting. The focus is on general service delivery for a wide range of concerns and resolving problems within the primary care service context. Behavioral health visits are brief (generally 20--30 minutes), limited in number (1-6 visits), and are provided in the primary care practice area, structured so that the Veteran views meetings with the behavioral health provider as a routine primary care service. You will function within a fast-paced primary care team and can expect to consult with 8-10 patients per day with the primary goal of assisting PACT members with identification, treatment, and management of mental health and behavioral medicine conditions in the enrolled population. Other duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide a full range of psycho-diagnostic services which include the use of psychological testing for patients within the VATVCBHCS in areas of special interest and/ or expertise.
  • Perform psychological evaluations for individuals with mental health and medical disorders for the purpose of diagnostic clarification and treatment planning recommendations.
  • Provide a range of psychological therapeutic interventions, including group and individual formats, with individuals with mental health and medical disorders utilizing empirically supported modalities when indicated. Services may be delivered in a face-to-face and/or telehealth format.
  • Consult and serve as a resource for other professional personnel concerning the need for, evaluation of, and development of psychological services in VATVCBHCS.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.(Alternate schedules may be necessary to meet the needs of the organization.)

Functional Statement Title/#:Staff Psychologist (Primary Care-Mental Health Integration)

Travel Required
  • Occasional Travel
  • Within and outside the health care system
Relocation Authorized
  • No
Job Requirements
Key Requirements
  • US citizenship
  • English language proficiency
  • Background/suitability investigation
  • Physical standards - Must pass pre-employment examination
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required

BASIC REQUIREMENTS.The basic requirements for employment as a VHA psychologist are prescribed by Public Law 96-151 codified in 38 U.S.C. § 7402. To qualify for appointment, all applicants for the position of psychologist in VHA must meet the following:

a.* Citizenship.* Be a citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g, this part)

b. Education: (1) 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 applicant is 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. There are no job assignments in VHA that require the skills of a school psychologist; therefore, an applicant with a degree in the specialty area of school psychology is not eligible for appointment. Strictly for the purpose of determining eligibility for appointment as a psychologist in VHA, there is no distinction between the specialty areas (with the exception of school psychology). OR (2) Have a doctoral degree in any area of psychology and, in addition, successfully complete a respecialization program (including documentation of an approved internship completed as part of the respecialization program) meeting both of the following conditions: (a) the respecialization program must be completed in an APA or a CPA accredited doctoral program; and (b) the specialty in which the applicant is retrained must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. NOTE: The applicant must provide an official transcript and/or certificate documenting the completion of the respecialization program, which includes completion of an APA or CPA internship. AND (3) Internships. (a) 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 (b) 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 (c) 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 (d) 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. (NOTE: Once board certified, the employee is required to maintain board certification.)

c. Licensure.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. (1) 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 (a)(1)(D) 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.

(2) Loss of Credential. A psychologist who fails to maintain the required licensure must be removed from the occupation, which may result in termination of employment. At the discretion of the appointing official, an employee may be reassigned to another occupation if qualified and if a placement opportunity exists.

d. *Board Certification and Loss of Credential. *Persons hired to psychology positions in the VHA who completed an internship that was not accredited at the time the program was completed must be 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. The board certificate must be current and the applicant must abide by the certifying body's requirement for continuing education. Once board certified, psychologist must maintain a full, valid and unrestricted board certification to remain qualified for employment. A psychologist who fails to maintain the required board certification must be removed from the occupation, which may result in termination of employment.

e. Physical Requirements. Must meet physical requirements as outlined in the 'Physical Requirements' section of this announcement.

f. English Language Proficiency. Psychologists must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, Part II, chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3j.

Grade Determinations. In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates:

GS-11 Staff Psychologist (Entry Level). Experience. None beyond the basic requirements.

GS-12 Staff Psychologist (Developmental Level). (a) Experience. At least 1 year of experience as a professional psychologist equivalent to the next lower grade level (GS-11). Psychologists who are not licensed must practice under the supervision of a licensed psychologist but with less intense supervision than at the GS-11 grade level. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: (b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: 1. Knowledge of and ability to apply a wide range of professional psychological treatments or assessment methods to a variety of patient populations. 2. Ability to design and implement effective treatment strategies. 3. Ability to incorporate new clinical procedures. 4. Ability to conduct research activities, such as designing and implementing clinical research projects (staff psychologists with specified research job duties). 5. Ability to perform basic research tasks of scholarship and research execution within the context of an established research team, including research participant relations, research documentation, data acquisition, maintenance, and collaboration.

GS-13 Staff Psychologist(Full Performance Level). (a) Experience. At least 2 years of experience as a professional psychologist, with at least one year equivalent to the GS-12 level. (b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: 1. Knowledge of, and ability to apply, professional psychological treatments to the full range of patient populations. 2. Ability to provide professional advice and consultation in areas related to professional psychology and behavioral health. 3. Knowledge of clinical research literature.

References: VA Handbook 5005/87, Part II, Appendix G18, PSYCHOLOGIST QUALIFICATION STANDARD, dated June 6, 2016.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

PLEASE NOTE: Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.) Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly. 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.

Veteran's Preference: When applying for Federal jobs, eligible veterans should claim preference on the Occupational Questionnaire in the section provided and provide a legible copy of DD-214(s) showing all dates of service as well as character of service (honorable, general, etc.). Additionally, veterans with service-connected disability of 10% or more must also submit a copy of their official statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or from a branch of the Armed Forces, certifying their service-connected disability and/or their receipt of compensation for service-connected disability. If the military member is within 120 days of separation and does not yet have a DD214, the member may instead submit any written document from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is signed.

Veterans with service-connected disability of less than 10%, nonservice-connected disability, and Purple Heart recipients, as-well-as those claiming derived preference for a spouse, widow or widower, or natural mother, should refer to and submit a completed SF 15, "Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference," and required documentation with your application materials.

For more information on Veterans' Preference, go to

Physical Requirements: Light Lifting (under 15 lbs); Light Carrying (under 15 lbs); Use of fingers; Walking (up to 0.5 hours); Standing (up to 0.5 hours); Ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously; Near vision correctable; Far vision correctable; Hearing (aid permitted); Sustained mental concentration.

Security Clearance


Additional Information
What To Expect Next

You will receive e-mail notification as to whether or not you were included on the list of referred candidates. If you do not provide an e-mail address, your notification will be sent via U.S. Postal Service within 2-4 weeks. Important note: Applicants have the burden of producing all needed information prior to the closing of the announcement Friday, December 30, 2016.


VA offers a comprehensive benefits package. This link provides is an overview of the benefits currently offered:

Other Information

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employees credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

You may be required to serve a probationary period.

Salary Range: $59,246.00 to $109,781.00 / Per Year

Series & Grade: GS-0180-11/13

Promotion Potential: 13

Supervisory Status: No

Who May Apply: United States Citizens

Control Number: 452838300

Job Announcement Number: VCB-17-JG-1820951-OCA