Psychologist - Pain Management

Baltimore, Maryland
Aug 10, 2022
Aug 17, 2022
Full Time

The Active Pain Management (AMP) Psychologist position's primary duties are to provide pain services as an integrated part of the Pain Clinic and in support of the Pain Management Team. Clinical care should be provided through a combination of virtual/telehealth and in-person services as part of an interprofessional specialty pain care team in the Biopsychosocial Model of Pain Care and VA Stepped Care Model for Pain Management. The incumbent, along with the AMP Physical Therapist, is responsible for the provision of AMP group-based pain care. In addition, the person will serve as a subject matter expert in the content specialty area of behavioral pain medicine/rehabilitation of patients with chronic pain, and as a consultant to other medical center staff in evaluating and treating patients in the specialty area of chronic pain. Other than AMP implementation, pain-specific duties will vary based on the needs of the Facility.

The incumbent: - Spends at least 50% of clinical time providing AMP groups in VA Facility through virtual/telehealth modalities (e.g., VVC) or in-person. - Provides comprehensive, evidence-based behavioral interventions for pain (e.g., Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain), including individual and group therapy.
- Demonstrates an understanding of the biopsychosocial approach to pain care, and need to work in an integrated, collaborative, team-based fashion with other pain specialists.
- Provides a full range of psychological assessment services and diagnoses mental health disorders based on patient presentation and need; refers to other mental health providers and specialists in facility as indicated.
- Provides pain-focused education to patients, family members, and significant others.
- Demonstrates expertise in assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating treatment plans for adult patients with complex pain problems. As part of the pain team, provides feedback and coordinates care with associated health care team members.
- Coordinates and employs a multimodal treatment approach to accomplish complex treatment objectives.
- Demonstrates expertise in assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating treatment plans for adult patients with complex pain problems. As part of the pain team, provides feedback and coordinates care with associated health care team members
- Completes evaluation and treatment in a timely fashion; chart review will allow the opportunity to assess appropriateness of the referral. Consults are scheduled considering priority and frequency of care, and coordination of schedules with other members of the treatment team.
- Functions independently as a member of the Facility Medical Staff, with full clinical privileges; assumes complete professional responsibility for his/her clinical assessment findings, patient care decisions, and documentation.
- Utilizes evaluation data to plan and implement comprehensive patient treatment, involving patient in the goals setting and treatment processes as feasible. Modifies treatment plan according to evaluative findings to meet short- and long-term goals.
- Assesses patient's learning needs, and plans and implements appropriate patient education, involving the patient, family, and significant others in the instructional process.
- Exercises the highest degree of independence and professional judgment in planning and carrying out treatment plans to meet complex objectives for the chronic pain population. Demonstrates originality in solving problems not covered by these guides, making innovative adaptations and modifications of treatment plans and procedures in order to meet the complex and highly varying needs of patients, and routinely collaborates with other health care team members.
- Complies with national and local performance measures, including timely health care screening and completion of clinical reminders for all patients.
- Complies with all electronic health record documentation procedures, including timeliness standards for documentation and proper patient check out procedures (e.g., entering diagnostic and procedure codes).

The incumbent will utilize telemental health technology and will travel as needed between VAMHCS sites to provide psychological services.

The incumbent may need to work some early morning/evening hours and/or work variable tours of duty to accommodate needs of Veterans. The incumbent will perform other duties as requested or assigned

Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Telework: Yes-Available
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
EDRP Authorized: Contact Stephanie Scales, the EDRP Coordinator at for questions/assistance and
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job.
  • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English.
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period.
  • Subject to background/security investigation.
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process.
  • Must pass pre-employment physical examination.
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP).
  • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details.


Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met.
(NOTE: This applies to the past, current, and upcoming VA Health Professional Trainees (HPT) only. HPT is an individual appointed to temporary positions in one or more VHA medical facilities performing clinical or research training experiences to satisfy program or degree requirements or receiving VA Health Professional Scholarship Program. HPTs can be either VA-paid or Without Compensation (WOC).

Basic Requirements:
  • United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
  • English Language Proficiency: Per VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Chapter 3, Section A, Paragraph 3j: No person will be appointed under authority of 38 U.S.C., chapter 73 or 74, to serve in a direct patient-care capacity in VHA who is not proficient in written and spoken English. Education Requirement:
    • (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; OR,
    • (2) Have a doctoral degree in any area of psychology and, in addition, successfully completed a re-specialization program meeting both of the following conditions: a) the re-specialization program must be completed in an APA or a CPA accredited doctoral program; and b) the specialty in which you were retrained must be consistent with the assignment for which you are to be employed; OR,
    • (3) Have a doctoral degree awarded between 1951 and 1978 from a regionally-accredited institution, with a dissertation primarily psychological in nature.
    Internship Requirement:
    • (1) 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,
    • (2) 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,
    • (3) 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,
    • (4)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); OR,
    • (5) Applicants who have a doctoral degree awarded between 1951 and 1978 from a regionally-accredited institution with a dissertation primarily psychological in nature may fulfill this internship requirement by having the equivalent of a one-year supervised internship experience in a site specifically acceptable to the candidate's doctoral program. If the internship experience is not noted on your official transcript, you must provide a statement from the doctoral program verifying that the equivalent of a one-year supervised internship experience was completed in a site acceptable to the doctoral program.
Licensure: Applicants must 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.

May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria).

Grandfathering Provision: All persons employed in VHA as a psychologist on the effective date of this qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the title, series and grade held, including positive education (i.e., degree and internship requirements) and licensure/certification that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation.(1) Employees grandfathered under this provision for this revision may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance (journey) level, or changed to lower grade within the occupation, but may not be promoted beyond the journey level or placed in supervisory or managerial positions or beyond the assignment currently held for those being grandfathered to assignments above FPL.(
2) Psychologists who are appointed on a temporary basis prior to the effective date of the qualification standard may not have their temporary appointment extended or be reappointed on a temporary or permanent basis until they fully meet the basic requirements of the standard.
(3) Psychologists initially grandfathered into this occupation who subsequently obtain additional education and/or licensure that meet all of the basic requirements of this qualification standard must maintain the required credentials as a condition of employment in the occupation.
NOTE: If psychologists who are grandfathered under this provision leave the occupation, the employee loses protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of reentry to the occupation.

Grade Determinations:
    GS-13: Applicants must have at least two (2) years of experience as a professional psychologist, with at least one (1) year equivalent to the GS-12 level. In addition to this experience, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
  • Knowledge of, and ability to apply, professional psychological treatments to the full range of patient populations.
  • Ability to provide professional advice and consultation in areas related to professional psychology and behavioral health.
  • Knowledge of clinical research literature.
References: VA Handbook 5005/103, Part II, Appendix G18, February 7, 2018, Psychologist Qualification Standard GS-0180The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-13.

Physical Requirements: Extended periods of standing, bending and carrying light items such as books, medical records and paper is required. Walking long distance throughout the medical center, on units and between divisions is required. Position often places the incumbent in a position of stress. Due to the nature of the work, the incumbent may come in contact with Veteran patients who are confused, intoxicated or have a contagious condition. Ability to drive a car and have a valid state license is required.


This position is eligible for the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP), a student loan reimbursement program. To participate in the program, you must meet specific individual eligibility requirements in accordance with VHA Policy 1021 and submit your application within four months of appointment. The final award amount (up to $200,000) and eligibility period (one to five years) is determined by the VHA Education Loan Repayment Services office. The EDRP Coordinator, Stephanie Scales, can be reached at and

IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: . 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. For further information, visit: .

Additional information

Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

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

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

VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.

Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process.

If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .