Originally Posted by emily621
It's so true and so crazy. At many top-tier, well-respected institutions, you basically can't say you have any actual interest in clinical work during interviews. I mean, don't go so far as to say you have no interest, but in my three years of applying, I found it to be much better if you just left it out of the conversation all together. Which is just ridiculous, because as soon as you walk the walk and talk the talk and get accepted, if you end up having more of an interest in being a clinician down the road, it's perfectly acceptable. Sigh.
True to some degree, but not all schools will be open to students being clinicians (some are unfortunately, quite rigid and paternalistic about career goals - though you are correct that even some purportedly research-heavy institutions are fine with students saying they want to be clinicians down the line). Others may be open to the idea, but the programs are simply not set up for it. Someone lying about their plans for an academic career would probably have a better shot at getting accepted here, but I would never recommend any prospective student do that. They would be miserable given the focus of much of the training, the pressure is on people to publish, advisors want to have productive labs and given they can only have a limited number of students are unlikely to reduce their expectations regarding a students scholarly output to make more time for clinical work, etc. I think the best route is to find that elusive "match" we always talk about - both with the lab, and with the overall training missions of the school.