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Psychology Practicum Extern – San Francisco

Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center

San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area, with its vibrant cultural life, temperate climate, and vast array of outdoor activities, is arguably one of the best places to live in the country. Few cities can match the combination of scenic location, urban energy, cultural diversity and tolerant spirit that San Francisco offers. It is home to the SF Giants baseball team as well world-class performing arts such as the San Francisco Symphony. San Francisco is only hours away by car from the Napa Valley, Lake Tahoe, Carmel/Monterey, Yosemite, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the Northern California coast. It offers endless choices for recreation and regional travel for skiing, camping, and surfing.

Kaiser Permanente has been providing health care in San Francisco and its surrounding communities since 1954. The 237-bed hospital and 8-story medical office building are located on Geary Blvd. Additionally, KP’s French campus, named because it sits on the site of the original French Hospital founded during the Gold Rush, is home to over 10 specialty departments. The medical center’s 4000 employees provide primary care to 28 percent of the city’s population and tertiary care to some of the three million Kaiser Permanente health plan members in Northern California. The patient population reflects the unique ethnic diversity in the region. There are Spanish and Chinese language care teams as well as interpreter services in many other languages.

The Kaiser San Francisco Psychiatry Department is located in the Inner Richmond district, an accessible and historic neighborhood situated midway between the downtown and expansive Ocean Beach. During lunchtime, a stroll through nearby Golden Gate Park is an irresistible lure for many of our employees seeking to recharge, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself making a detour on Clement Street, famed for a multitude of friendly, unpretentious, and delicious multiethnic eateries along the way!

Program Curriculum

Equity, Inclusion & Diversity

The Kaiser Permanente Autism Spectrum Disorder Evaluation Externship Program provides services to a culturally and linguistically diverse population. Because we are only one of three ASD evaluation centers in Northern California, we cover a wide geographical and cultural population with an array of backgrounds, cultures, nationalities, and languages. The patients we see are also diverse with regards to how they identify their gender identity. Some of the most prevalent languages that are spoken by members we serve include English, Spanish, Tagalog, and Cantonese.

Additionally, our supervision team is committed to the importance of identifying and recognizing identities of our patients and our trainees and providing for opportunities that will allow for reflection on the intersection of the many identities that the patients, families, trainees, and training programs hold. There are also opportunities outside of didactic and supervision hours for EID mentorship and consultation hours. This commitment to diversity is also reflected in Kaiser Permanente’s hiring practices and each medical center follows Kaiser Permanente’s guidelines for diversity recruitment.

Didactic Training

Regularly scheduled weekly didactic seminars are now organized and administered at the regional level for KP NorCal trainees. Doctoral externs are required to attend the one-hour weekly seminar. Diversity issues are always integrated into seminar presentations.

Our Regional Mental Health Training Program also sponsors training courses for continuing professional development. These courses and presentations are offered at select times during the year for all KP mental health trainees and staff at Kaiser Northern California Medical Centers. We bring in national experts and keynote speakers on a variety of cutting-edge topics in mental health treatment and research. Externs are required to attend these monthly regional trainings as their schedule permits. Training course dates and a list of speakers and topics can be found on the Regional Mental Health Training Programs website. In addition, many of these lectures are recorded and available under the continuing education lecture library.

Seminars and Meetings

Practicum externs will attend multidisciplinary team meetings. They may also attend feedback informed care case conferences and professional development seminars.

Telehealth Training:
Kaiser Permanente has greatly expanded its’ virtual presence, which will allow residents to fully train and practice in a variety of trailblazing platforms in telemedicine to provide accessible mental health care.


Trainees participate in weekly group supervision related to the evaluation of Autism in toddlers, children and adolescents.

In addition to case consultation, training in report writing, and professional development, trainees receive live supervision as their supervisors will be observing them during much of their clinical work. We work within a developmental training model which allows trainees to initially observe their supervisors and incrementally increase their clinical duties over the course of the year as they are ready to take on more responsibility.

Psychological Assessment

This is an assessment practicum site and thus 100% of training revolves around Autism evaluation and providing feedback to families from a therapeutic assessment model.

Externs will receive training in various cognitive assessment measures (e.g., DAS-2, WASI-II, WISC-V, WPPSI-IV, Bayley Scales), adaptive measures (e.g., ABAS, DP-4, BASC) and Autism specific assessment tools (e.g., ADOS modules). They will write comprehensive reports with the information they receive.

Tracks and Rotations


The Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic offers one track that relates to pediatric assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. This is an ASD evaluation specific site and thus there is only one track that relates specifically to our modality and training model. We assess toddlers, children, adolescents and young adults from 18 months to 18 years old.


Trainees are typically expected to participate three days per week. They are expected to be in the clinic for the assessments with occasional opportunities for virtual assessment components. Some virtual interface and/or training will occur at times.

Estimated times on a weekly basis as follows:

  • Direct Patient Care approximately 10-12 hours
  • Individual Supervision (with primary) 1.5 hours
  • Didactic Training – 1 hour
  • Group Supervision – 1 hour
  • Supplemental Supervision (with secondary/testing) – 1 hour
  • Report writing time – 5.5 hours.

Program Graduates

2021-2022 Cohort

Graduate University/Institute Track/Specialty Rotation Current Position, Specialty & Location
Savanna Lynn Kiefer, PsyD Palo Alto University - PsyD program

2018 Cohort

Graduate University/Institute Track/Specialty Rotation Current Position, Specialty & Location
John Talage, PsyD Wright Institute Psychologist at the KP ASD Evaluation Center – San Francisco

2017 Cohort

Graduate University/Institute Track/Specialty Rotation Current Position, Specialty & Location
Laila Davis, PhD Alliant International University Psychologist at the KP ASD Evaluation Center – Rancho Cordova
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