Dec 5, 2015
78
44
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I am a fourth year Counseling Psychology Ph.D. student looking to apply to internships in the fall. I have ~850 direct hours (about 1/3-1/2 neuro and gero experience), ~25 integrated reports, a lot of VA experience, more assessment and inpatient experience than traditional MH, Gero/Neuro VA dissertation, limited publications, lots of neuro poster presentations. I am really interested in applying to some Gero and Beh. Med "track" internships, but am not sure if I will be competitive for these spots. I come from a program that does not have a gero or neuro emphasis, so I have had to be really assertive in getting the experiences I have, so I know that places me at a bit of a disadvantage. My long-term goal is to be a VA geropsychologist, and my mentors have suggested that it will be important for me to have the ability to do a mix of gero, health, and neuro rotations on internship.

Any advice about how I should apply---a) stick to general sites with major gero and health rotations, b) apply to gero or health "track" positions, or c) go for a mix of both? Any suggestions/recommendations are welcome!

Thanks :)
 

President_LeslieKnope

2+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2014
87
130
Status
Psychologist
Hi!
I'm a gero person about to start a gero postdoc, so feel free to PM me if you have any other gero-related questions :) I would suggest applying to a mix of both. I applied to general and gero tracks and ended up at a general internship with a ton of gero opportunities. I think this was a great fit for me, since I was able to spend about 2/3rds of internship doing gero-related work and then 1/3 of internship rounding out my general training. I found that rounding out my general training was actually really helpful and a lot of those skills are applicable to the gero population even if it isn't gero-training per say. If you do end up at a general site, I would recommend doing gero rotations first so that you can (hopefully) have a geropsychologist LOR from internship and can speak to some of your internship experiences during post doc interviews. I didn't end up doing any health/bmed rotations on internship but was able to do a good bit of assessment/neuro. Good luck! There are a lot of great gero internships out there! Also, regarding your graduate program: thereare only a few gero-track programs so I don't think you're necessarily at a disadvantage - it's great that you worked so hard to get gero training in your program and I think that can really speak to your commitment/interest about working with the older adult population!
 
Mar 24, 2014
4,393
3,842
Rural Area Medical Facilty
Status
Psychologist
Gero is in high demand and will continue to grow as the baby boomers age so you are picking a great specialty. As a generalist practitioner in a rural area, i get quite a bit of experience with an older population and I know first hand both the need of the community and the benefit psychology can bring to this population. I personally enjoy adolescents and the elderly, sometimes it seems like the in-between those two groups that frustrate me the most. What is interesting is how much these two populations (teens and old folks) actually have in common.
 

Kadhir

2+ Year Member
Nov 13, 2015
218
158
Status
Psychology Student
Your Gero VA experience (both research and clinical) is clutch, and will serve you well at VAs. Apply to generalist sites with significant gero training, but don't shy away from the gero tracks. West LA, Palo Alto, Boston, Buffalo, and Denver VAs come to mind. Denver just got a new GRECC-funded position this year.