NEWS

Clinical Psychology doctoral alum earns recognition

Dr. James Simms named Resident of the Year by Southern Arizona VA Health Care System

| Author: Colleen Craft | Media Contact: Colleen Craft

This is the first time a psychology trainee has been named resident of the year by the Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System. 

While at Central Michigan University (CMU), Simms developed his interest in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and anxiety-related problems. He studied in the CMU Trauma and Anxiety Disorders Clinic and the Pain, Stress, and Symptom Management Labs, conducting research on anxiety, trauma and the mental health needs of healthcare professionals.

The residency was a capstone experience in Dr. Simms' preparation to practice independently as a clinical psychologist. During his training, he was commended for his expertise in evidence-based treatments for mental health concerns, and flexibility in serving veterans. He was recognized for offering consultation to interdisciplinary teams treating veterans with complex mental health needs.

The opportunity to hone skills expected of a psychologist in a large healthcare system, including program evaluation, providing care and consultation for complex cases, and training other providers in best assessment and treatment practices is much appreciated. Securing licensure and transitioning to a staff position in the Southern Arizona VA residential rehabilitation treatment program for PTSD and Substance Use Disorders are next for Simms.

Simms recommends current students "explore and embrace the scientist-practitioner identity because it is a unique strength of this field." He also said to "take the time to tend to the things you value outside of work and study. It will make you a better psychologist."