Academic medicine lifestyle

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by mlm55, 10.30.14.

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  1. mlm55


    What is the lifestyle like for psychologists working in an academic medical center? How many hours per week do you typically work? Is it more demanding to work in this setting vs other settings?
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  3. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-VA 7+ Year Member

    Doing what, exactly? Research only? A mix of the two. Faculty? Non faculty? Tenure track? Non tenure track?

    Regardless, hours will be over 40. There will be pressure to bill enough to keep your lights in and justify your presence. There will be pressure to publish and/or to secure extramural funding. Less so than in a psychology likely.
  4. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

    As erg pointed out, based on just about everything I've heard, academic medicine tends to entail longer hours and more RVU-related pressures than would a typical VA position. The flip side is that there are plenty of opportunities for novel, collaborative, multi-disciplinary research. And there's likely to be more flexibility when it comes to a variety of contractual factors, such as negotiating salary, start-up funds/hiring bonus, and setting up the potential for clinical time buy-out with grant funds; VA positions with a true clinical/research split (i.e., where you're actually compensated for both) are relatively rare.

    I explicitly discuss the VA given that I'd imagine it's one of the primary alternatives folks consider when looking at AMC spots.
  5. vil44


    I am but a research assistant in the field but I can offer my observations on the faculty.

    1) Pressure to justify your placement in medicine rather than psychology. This will vary from dept to dept but in some, I have heard psychologists are almost looked down upon. In my experience psychologists in these depts work longer hours than those in the psych dept.

    2) You will not be able to bill enough to compete with other faculty. Certain specialities (Gastroenterology, cardiology) can bill in a few hours what would take you days. Procedures like endoscopies often generate the most revenue throughout the entire hospital/academic health center. What this means is you may be seen as a less valued member in terms of what you generate. My adviser (psychologist) has the first and fourth largest grants in the entire department of medicine, he still feels he has to justify his presence as his bill-ables don't even come close.

    3) Research wise you are a valued member. Your training often gives you a unique perspective, a great example is psychologists focusing on psychophysiological aspects of disease (e.g depression/cardiovascular disorders). Having you at their disposal means the opportunity for collaboration incorporating a bio-psychological approach which can make for some cutting edge interdisciplinary research. It is very common for my adviser to collaborate with doctors, fellows, and both medical and clinical psychology students. From a student standpoint, being able to work with residents and combine our expertise is a really unique experience. Being second author on a paper followed by three MD's is something I'm really proud of.

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