Eating and Weight Disorders Program Externship at the Icahn School of Medicine

The Eating and Weight Disorders Program (EWDP) abides by the externship guidelines set forth by PSYDNYS (Psychology Directors of NYS) and NYNJADOT (New York New Jersey Association of Directors of Training). The earliest date that students can submit an externship application is Tuesday, January 17th, 2017. The earliest day on which an externship offer will be made is Monday, February 27th at 9am.

Length of program and time commitment:
one year (July 1 through June 30), 16 hours per week. Fridays are mandatory.


  • Candidates must be in a clinical or counseling training program and have previously completed a clinical externship
  • Candidates must have a commitment to learning or conducting cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and must have completed at least one graduate-level course in psychotherapy

Externship Standard Experience

The Eating and Weight Disorders Program (EWDP) includes a hospital-based outpatient program, an intensive outpatient program, a bariatric surgery program, and a research laboratory. The outpatient program provides evidence-based psychological treatment for children, adolescents, and adults with a wide range of eating and weight disorders including Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder.  The intensive outpatient program provides DBT group therapy and meal support three days per week, 3 hours per day, for adolescents struggling with all forms of eating disorders and involves a family component. The bariatric surgery program provides psychological assessments for individuals planning to undergo bariatric surgery.  Ongoing research studies focus on testing innovative eating disorder and body image interventions and better understanding neurobiological and psychological mechanisms underlying eating disorder behaviors. In addition, we investigate the use of appearance and performance enhancing drugs.  We are currently conducting two randomized-controlled clinical trials on: 1) the efficacy of family based treatment vs. interoceptive exposure for the treatment of adolescent anorexia nervosa and 2) the use of mirror exposure treatment to reduce body dissatisfaction.

Clinical Training

Externs will have the opportunity to provide treatment for individuals struggling with eating disorders in our outpatient program and our intensive outpatient program. Externs also have the opportunity to co-lead DBT groups and provide meal support to adolescent patients at our intensive outpatient program. Externs will receive formal training in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for the treatment of eating disorders and family based treatment (FBT) for the treatment of adolescents with eating disorders. Specifically, externs will attend a fully day workshop on FBT and a weekly didactic course on CBT. Externs will receive one hour per week of individual supervision from a senior licensed psychologist, and weekly group supervision (to discuss patients in our outpatient program and in clinical trials). Externs will be asked to compose a written case conceptualization for presentation at the end of the externship year.

Assessment Training

Externs will be trained to conduct clinical diagnostic assessments for all patients treated in the outpatient program. This includes conducting an initial semi-structured intake, administering questionnaire-based assessments such as the Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire and Body Checking Questionnaire and integrating this information into a formal clinical report. Externs will also be trained to conduct psychological assessments for adolescents and adults who are planning to receive weight loss surgery, some of which include the use of neuropsychological tests (e.g., WAIS). Additional supervision will be provided by a licensed psychologist for all bariatric surgery assessments.

Research Experience

Externs are encouraged to participate in research at the EWDP. Attendance is encouraged at a weekly research meeting where ongoing research studies and relevant journal articles are discussed as well as statistical analyses. Externs are supported to submit presentations to conferences such as the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy (ABCT) and the Academy of Eating Disorders (AED) utilizing data collected at the EWDP. There are also opportunities to collaborate on peer reviewed journal articles and federal and private grant submissions. As described above, all externs will also have the opportunity to serve as a study therapist as part of randomized clinical trials.

Learn more about the research being conducted at the EWDP