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edieb

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This is getting ridiculous -- 600 people AFTER clearinghouse did not match. What is the APA going to do? At my school (PHD, clinical), 4/7 did not match and two of those, both very strong applicants, are second timers in the apply to internship game.

At my school you have to have an APA accredited internship to graduate. I have been racking my brain to help my friends who did not match, but cannot think of anything. Does anybody know of any suggestions, like maybe contacting sites to offer free services, etc?
 

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wow, those are low stats. I have not heard how applicants did at my school (i'm applying next year), but that sounds worriesome. I was amazed to see that APPIC already has the site match statistics up!
 
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positivepsych

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Once again, I blame the professional schools for churning out too many candidates. Just looking at CA (probably home to the most questionable PsyD programs):

Alliant, Agrosy, Calif. Institute of Integral Studies (what is that?), California Graduate Institute and all the CSPP schools, have a whopping rate of:
39-63% (and that's not including Saybrook's magnificent 0% in its history).

The quality schools have match rates at 80%+. More evidence that the APA needs to learn to be like the AMA and not accredit questionable schools...
 

psychwhy

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positivepsych: Once again, I blame the professional schools for churning out too many candidates. Just looking at CA (probably home to the most questionable PsyD programs):

Alliant, Agrosy, Calif. Institute of Integral Studies (what is that?), California Graduate Institute and all the CSPP schools, have a whopping rate of:
39-63% (and that's not including Saybrook's magnificent 0% in its history).

The quality schools have match rates at 80%+. More evidence that the APA needs to learn to be like the AMA and not accredit questionable schools...

While I am in total agreement that the profession has done a piss-poor job of creating a viable training structure and that they have permitted professional schools to grow -- apparently exponentially -- I do not believe the inference that Alliant, Argosy, et al are inherently inferior because of Match statistics is a valid assessment.

If it was, why aren't "quality" schools matching at 100% and the "others" matching at 19-43%? Why are some of these quality school students not matching TWO sometimes THREE years in a row?

I don't think there can be any argument that the number of internships has been far outstripped by the number of students.

But let's not point fingers at the many sincere and hardworking students who are not matching because they are asked to put their faith in an algorithm instead of an honest appraisal of their demonstrated skills and perceived potential.
 

edieb

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Yeah, but what are these quality students supposed to do if they do not land an internship? One girl in my program, who is very capable and works VERY hard and has very good stats (20 publications all in quality journals, great practicum experience), etc. did not match for the second year in a row. My major professor wants her to stay at her practicum site, which is in danger of losing its accrediatation, work there as an intern next year in hopes that it will not lose its accreditation. If it does lose its accreditation, she can apply to internships next year. If it does not, this will count as her internship. Would you do this? Have any other ideas for this student on how to score an internship? I understand that she is willing to do anything and go anywhere to get one.
 

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One girl in my program, who is very capable and works VERY hard and has very good stats (20 publications all in quality journals, great practicum experience), etc. did not match for the second year in a row.

Wow.

Did she only apply to the very top programs? After the first go around, I'd apply to at least a few mid-level places for safeties.

-t
 

ClinPsyD917

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Once again, I blame the professional schools for churning out too many candidates. Just looking at CA (probably home to the most questionable PsyD programs):

Alliant, Agrosy, Calif. Institute of Integral Studies (what is that?), California Graduate Institute and all the CSPP schools, have a whopping rate of:
39-63% (and that's not including Saybrook's magnificent 0% in its history).

The quality schools have match rates at 80%+. More evidence that the APA needs to learn to be like the AMA and not accredit questionable schools...



There is no denying that this is a terrible situation, and it scares the life out of me because I won't be applying to internship sites until the 2010-2011 year. Maybe APA should rethink the number of internship sites they have... who knows.

However, this isn't the place to attack the CA schools. Yes, there are way too many students applying for internships (and the schools you mentioned are likely to blame for that)... but if SOME of the students from the CA PsyD schools weren't qualified, then they would not be taking ANY APA internships, right? It's not like the internship sites try to include people from every school so it's "fair"... they take the BEST candidates, regardless. That means some of these students are as qualified as all the others applying in this process.

I feel so bad for those who have applied several years in a row and not gotten anything!! To anyone who knows someone who's gone through this, what do you do instead of the internship during your internship year? More practicum?
 

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Edieb, there must be something odd going on because I know many students with lesser records who match the first time around. Perhaps she is just applying to very competitive sites? Is she doing the clearinghouse?
 

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I feel the same way as ClinPsyD917, that all of the blame should not go to the Professional Schools. Sure, they are allowing alot more people to get this type of education, and allowing for a saturation of students applying for internships. However, if these schools are so much lower in caliber, then their students should not be being placed in competitive internships. It isn't so much about the number of students but about the quality.

Another reason for this could be the viability of the PsyD option, instead of the traditional route of PhD. From what some students have told me (granted they are PsyD students so they may be a bit biased) is that internships generally like PsyD students, and rank them a bit higher in general, because of the focused training they have in assessment and clinical practice. This focus is sometimes lacking or missing in some (not all) PhD programs.

Just a thought, and I in no way mean that PhD programs do not give as good an education as PsyD programs. It is just an opinion based on students who are going through the process.
 

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The #1 reason people don't match is still unwillingness to relocate over all other variables. UChicago still has a 50% match rate over the past 7 years and it is a pretty good school. I find myself siding with Jon Snow on this one. If this has to be the bottleneck to quality, then it is better than nothing. If students bulk their clinical experience, remeber that they are hear to learn and not impress others with their knowledge, and present themselves as the ideal person to work with on interview, they do very well on match day. The clearing house is also full of people who withdrew or never entered the match, so it is a little skewed as an indicator that the sky is falling.
 
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Dragonstyle, you are right. There are many training sites that view the PsyD as better training for that reason. I know of clinical PhDs who are reaching their final year of school and they have yet to have real clinical experiences. Some do not even know what they want to do clinically, and their understanding of clients/patients, diagnosis, and clinical work is based largely on class discussions/descriptions, not actual experience. I know this may not be the norm, but it is also not unusual. For all the ranting against the PsyD on this site (which is actually one of the only places where it seems tolerated), I've noted that each year the very best PsyD students achieve excellent internships and postdocs. There are some sites that will not consider PsyDs, but you can note from the APPIC match stats that many of the most interesting sites do. You may also notice an increase in training directors at some prestigious sites who hold PsyD degrees.
 

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I do believe that Psy.D. programs are partially responsible for the severe shortage of internships. They are graduating a high number of students but failing to create a commensurate # of internship slots. When we just had Ph.D.s, the internship crisis was not as evident. This year approximately 900 people, mostly from APA accredited programs, did not match in the initial phase. THe vast majority of these 900 will fail to find an accredited site. If you are from my school, which requires an APA accredited internship, you are forced to stay another year. Internship is not about weeding out students. Rather, specialty/comps and your classes are supposed to do this.

She is now having to drive 5 hours to a nearby medical school on Fridays (thus, she leaves here at 3 am) to work as an R.A. all day and return back to her home at 5 pm that night. She thinks that this way she will ingratiate her way in to an internship!
 

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There is definitely a flood of people, but I'd think a large portion of those people aren't really 'competition' for a lot of the placements. I've heard that some are going for non-APA because they don't want to move (or don't care). I certainly do care, and need an APA one. What worries me is the rather screwy matching system.

-t
 

dragonstyle

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Like someone else said, I think a high number of those left without internships are the students who want a very specific site (and are not willing to budge), students who only apply to a few places and refuse to apply to backups, or students who are geographically specific about where they apply. If you factor out those students, I think the issue becomes a bit less worrysome. Still worrysome, but a bit less.
 

psychwhy

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Jon Snow: F'ing professional schools. Well, I see this as a good thing. I hope the trend continues. As the professional schools continue to saturate everything and increase their numbers every year, I think it would be in the best interest of the field if greater and greater numbers cannot match. Why? It decreases the viability of that route. Maybe people will wise up and stop going to these schools.

I so wish those perpetuating the business model "let the market forces do their job" mantra would put themselves back in the shoes of a grad school applicant!

Tell me you knew all that was to be expected of you over the next 4 - 6 years.

Medicine has apparently had a media rep for years, so from watching ER, Scrubs, Grey's Anatomy, et al, the general public has a pretty good idea of medical school leading to a lengthy and competitive apprenticeship called internship/residency.

Even though the PhD/PsyD program brochures include internship as a program requirement, I would venture a guess that most prospective students have no idea that the process is every bit as competitive -- and if you believe the tone heard here, dog-eat-dog -- as medicine.

People here repeat over and over the "advice" that you must complete an APA program and internship or your professional life is over.

What no one seems to tell the prospective students -- as Jon seems to think will osmotically be dispersed -- is the reality that clinical psychology has a glaring disparity between the number of students and available internships. Worse than that, your "Tier I" school status just might not secure you one of those precious spots because the entire system is adminstered by a computer algorithm in Toronto and its outcomes just plainly defy logic.

Please stop blaming the students -- future and current, PhD and PsyD. It's also not the students' responsibility to decode the problem and "vote with their feet" by not choosing certain programs. Whenever there is a competitive barrier to entry, prospects will avail themselves of as many options as appear viable.

It is time for the established members of the profession to stop wringing their hands and pointing their fingers this time every year. YOU created this problem. Stop pretending like other people should fix it.
 

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This is honestly getting ridiculous. Even if the schools are increasing the number of applicants, something needs to be done. How will creating a bottleneck help the situation? Most students who apply to grad school have no idea about internship match rates. This year 842 applicants were unmatched that is 25% of the total applicants who stayed and ranked. There was a 95% increase in unmatched applicants since five years ago. Even if the APA wanted to do something, what is it going to do? The only viable solution is to stop internship from being required for graduation. That just leads to the same issues as in law...you only get a job if you are in the top X percent. Not really though, because the match makes it so that no matter what you do you can't win. Besides, are you really going to tell me that 25% of applicants are not good enough to be psychologists? Also, doing this will likely lead to more people taking positions at subpar (non-APA) internship spots and lowering the level of training and internship pay in general.

For those who have already completed training and suggest that you will be okay if you are a good applicant, tell me what that means. More clinical practice? more research? getting a 3.9 instead of a 3.5? Should I have been in the middle rungs of a good program or the top 10% of a professional school? Should I use archival data for my dissertation instead of running subjects, so that it will almost be done? I hear internships like that. Keep in mind, this doe not mean that only Prof school applicants won't get a spot. Not done with your diss? Sorry no spot. You don't have X amount of clinical hours, sorry no spot. You haven't learned this test or that one ....No spot for you, come back one year!

At this point is seems as if having an unpopular specialty or being willing to more to Omaha will be a more valuable asset than anything. Perhaps I should only apply to places that I have done practice so that they'll take me.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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Stopping internship for a requirement of graduation.......that is a dangerous step. I really think they need to cut the #'s of applicants, try and open up more internship spots, and find a new way to match! I want competent colleagues, not people who learned how to get through the system.

-t
 

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I know that it is a dangerous step, but the problem is getting out of hand too quickly. If their are 500 or so people this year that need to reapply next year along with increasing first time grads, what is the number going to be in a year? 700, 800? Even if they shut down programs, they need to allow for the students in the upcoming 7 years before they pull accreditation. Can the APA create that many new spots?
 

Therapist4Chnge

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I know that it is a dangerous step, but the problem is getting out of hand too quickly. If their are 500 or so people this year that need to reapply next year along with increasing first time grads, what is the number going to be in a year? 700, 800? Even if they shut down programs, they need to allow for the students in the upcoming 7 years before they pull accreditation. Can the APA create that many new spots?

I don't think that is feasible. I think increasing the # of spots is a longer term endeavor. As for the growing # of unplaced applicants....that is the million dollar question.

-t
 

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Again, don't use the Clearinghouse numbers as the indicator as they include those that never participated in the match as well. The APA has done nothing in this area. They have given no incentives to encourage internship development, no incentives to ensure only the highest qulaity applicants are admitted to graduate school, little to ensure that CPT changes would not reduce the feasibility of using graduate students and produced no data on guidance for students entering the field.

This is not new. The same problems exist at the boarding level and for some reason there is still this belief that generalist training is right for all psychologists even though it clearly does not reflect what many of us do in practice. You will not see the APA approving non-generalist grad proagrams or internship sites. If you want to take action, that would be the place to start. All programs will either comply or sue if the APA applies standards and they seem unwilling to do so at this point.
 
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Sanman

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Well, if they don't stem the tide now, increasing spots will be like trying to stop a flood with a bucket. Closing programs will help in the long run. But right now, that million dollar question is the only one that to someone that will be applying to the match next year barring any unforeseen circumstances.
 

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I know that it is a dangerous step, but the problem is getting out of hand too quickly. If their are 500 or so people this year that need to reapply next year along with increasing first time grads, what is the number going to be in a year? 700, 800? Even if they shut down programs, they need to allow for the students in the upcoming 7 years before they pull accreditation. Can the APA create that many new spots?

For some reason I never considered the "snowball" effect of those who didn't get in the previous year, and perhaps the year before, who reapply. Did the APA somehow not see this coming or do they just not care? Looking forward to this in 5 years.
 

positivepsych

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There is no need to be concerned if you are a good student at a good school. My institution's match rate is nearly perfect, and nearly all our students got their #1 choice this year. I'm not concerned in the least.

I'm glad there is a bottleneck, in fact. The APA does not need to increase the number of internship sites to meet demand, they need to cut down on the number of graduate students in the first place. If the professional schools took half as many students, there would be no bottleneck in the first place. Problem solved.

Quite frankly, it is irresponsible for a graduate school to accept any student that might not match. But hey, professional schools only care about collecting tuition, not the interests of the students or the field, so the current situation is not surprising. You reap what you sow.
 

psychwhy

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positivepsych: There is no need to be concerned if you are a good student at a good school. My institution's match rate is nearly perfect, and nearly all our students got their #1 choice this year. I'm not concerned in the least.

I'm glad there is a bottleneck, in fact. The APA does not need to increase the number of internship sites to meet demand, they need to cut down on the number of graduate students in the first place. If the professional schools took half as many students, there would be no bottleneck in the first place. Problem solved.

Quite frankly, it is irresponsible for a graduate school to accept any student that might not match. But hey, professional schools only care about collecting tuition, not the interests of the students or the field, so the current situation is not surprising. You reap what you sow.

We're all happy you're this blissfully confident.
But what you seem to be ignoring is that some of the people who have been blindisided by not matching are, well, you!

This would all be well and good if every top tier student made it through without a bump, nevermind a scratch. But that is not what's happening.

Yes, a majority of good students at top programs do Match ... but a fair number do NOT . . . and that number is rising.

Oh, and yes, the APA should cut down on the number of graduate students, because there is such a glut of psychologists out there! How 'bout remember the supposed reason we got into this business -- helping the mentally ill? It isn't about making life tidier for the students at the "good" schools.

Still hoping that this "debate" stops blaming the students and starts focusing on the system ... (not holding out much hope, though)
 

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There are contributing factors to all sides.....

I think the APA needs to evaluate their standards, and assess the current problems in the system (matching, abundance of people not placing, etc) I think the increase in students is at least partially based on the opportunity to grow their membership.

The schools need to evaluate their program, students, and make sure that the level of each are what they should be.

The grad students need to be aware of the potential issues that they may encounter. In years past, I have known a number of students at top programs who considered internship as an after thought, and were rudely met by not only not getting their top choice , but not matching at all.

I'm rather frustrated by the process of the current system. I have seen very qualified applicants miss out because they didn't pick the right mix of sites. I think what most concerns me is that the process takes much of the control away from those involved, and instead rely on a 'system' to make it all work. I know it is the applicant's option to pick the sites, but then it becomes purely a numbers game...if you get all top applicants at certain sites, and very mediocre ones at another, it can leave the top candidates in the cold because they all cancelled each other out, and the mediocre placements get their spots because of chance, not ability.

Admittedly part of me wants to be able to arrange my own placement and be done with it (that's how it's done in business, and that how i've always done it), but for a myriad of reasons (ethical, etc) that can't happen. I guess i'll be praying to APPIC that my top site wants me as much as I want them. :laugh:

-t
 

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Psychwhy:

1) Maybe you shouldn't have gotten your degree online. You brought it upon yourself.

2) It's rare that a good student at a good school does not match. In my experience, these people are the ones that only apply to competitive sites, only apply in a certain geographical location, didn't seek much clinical training, or suck at interviewing because of their own (PD) issues. It is rare you will find a competent student who can't match if they lower their standards a bit, spread out, and are socially competent.

3) If you actually look at the research and economic forecasts, there is actually an oversupply of psychologists in places like CA, which will only worsen in the next 10 years. Is it a coincidence that there is also a ton of professional schools in CA? No.

4) If the APA wants to help mental illness, quality control will make the biggest difference. I'm sick of seeing questionable PhD's practice under MFT licenses and questionably-trained social workers take psychologist jobs because they're willing to work for pennies on the dollar.
 

psychwhy

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positivepsych: 1) Maybe you shouldn't have gotten your degree online. You brought it upon yourself.
Of course!
A regionally accredited doctorate in clinical psychology is utterly wortheless! Thanks for clueing me in!

But, again, what you conveniently ignore is that some of you "elites" aren't matching either.

positivepsych: 2) It's rare that a good student at a good school does not match. In my experience, these people are the ones that only apply to competitive sites, only apply in a certain geographical location, didn't seek much clinical training, or suck at interviewing because of their own (PD) issues. It is rare you will find a competent student who can't match if they lower their standards a bit, spread out, and are socially competent.
"In your experience", eh? You mean your N=1 school, sample of what(?) 15 students? Step out from behind your rose colored glasses stand and start looking at the national statistics.

Just how are these PD candidates making it through your program in the first place?

And if you're the one championing drumming out the "lessers" by raising standards, why are you simultaneously encouraging "competent" students to "lower their standards" just so they can secure an internship?

Either we have a system that works and makes sense or we don't.
Which is it?

positivepsych: 3) If you actually look at the research and economic forecasts, there is actually an oversupply of psychologists in places like CA, which will only worsen in the next 10 years. Is it a coincidence that there is also a ton of professional schools in CA? No.
What is it with the prooftexted references? How about the lack of psychologists in oh, North and South Dakota, Tennessee, Mississippi, -- let's just say anyplace that's not southern California, Chicago, Atlanta, NYC, Boston?

positivepsych: 4) If the APA wants to help mental illness, quality control will make the biggest difference. I'm sick of seeing questionable PhD's practice under MFT licenses and questionably-trained social workers take psychologist jobs because they're willing to work for pennies on the dollar.
And many of the rest of us are sick of seeing confirmation biased statements like "No one I know has any difficulties."

And wanna know why people practice under MFT licenses and social workers are encroaching in what was traditionally psychology's domain -- because the profession of psychology is more interested in turning in on itself instead of unifying and presenting a cohesive, coherent, and CONSISTENT message of what we can offer the public.

Want an example of psychology's status? Columnist Kathleen Parker, commenting on the recently released report on the oversexualization of girls: "When it comes to figuring out what's gone wrong with our culture, we can usually rely on the American Psychological Association to catch on last."

Yeah, we need more cogent commentary like "you brought it on yourself."
 

positivepsych

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I didn't mean it to be as much as of a personal affront. I meant, anyone who goes to an online school should know and accept the fact that they might have trouble matching. They should know that before they make the choice, and once they make the choice, there is no sense in complaining about it. If matching worries the person so much, they shouldn't have chose an online school in the first place.

Second, "regional accreditation" means nothing nowadays. Accreditation is a joke, and some places have no right to be accredited (e.g. online programs). If your complaint is about psychology's public image, I can tell you that I've been told by members of the public that a clinical psychology degree is a joke nowadays because you can get the degree online. How's that for public image? Online degree programs degrades the value of a Ph.D. degree. I don't know a single pharmacist, dentist, or any other clinical doctorate get their degree online, and everybody still respects those professionals.

Also, I'm not advocating that competent students lower their standards. Some students, having graduated at the top of their class consistently, think they can waltz into the most competitive internships simply based on their previous history. Sometimes, sometimes not. My point is that sometimes hubris is at fault for unsuccessful matching if you're an otherwise good candidate. People put too much emphasis on where they do their internship... it's only a year.

Of the say, hundreds of psychologists, that graduate from professional schools, how many are willing to relocate to North and South Dakota? Not very many. Since a lot of prof. schools are in major cities, they want to stay there, and continue to contribute to the oversupply.

The profession of psychology is less plagued by a public image problem than a self-policing problem. Psychologists used to make a good living and have a lot of choices in the 80s and early 90s, before managed care, and runaway oversupply came into the picture.
 

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I still plan on having a successful career...it just won't be strictly clinical. I think that is a growing reality for our profession. The days of just hanging a shingle are over.

As for internship placements....yes it is a year, but an important year. Once you get licensed, most of this stuff won't matter (outside of boarding and specializing), but first you need the license. I am concerned about the quality of professionals out there, but even moreso at the MS/MFT/SW level because of the increased # of hires in that area. We have our problems, but in the bigger picture...it pales in comparison to the rock (insurance) and the hard place (cheaper and lesser trained alternatives).

-t
 

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Positivepsych,
It's not just prof schools and online programs that are suffering. I believe Edieb goes to a traditional program. I go to a well regarded program and had 2/9 not match. One was geographically limited, but the other just happened for no reason that is known to me. Even if it is one person, that is scary. Also, it won't be the just top candidates that are affected. The bulk of candidates will be in the middle of the class. A prof school grad isn't generally applying to CHOP, MGH, etc. They are applying to more average sites. So, what happens when that safety choice prefers to take a candidate that makes it their top choice? What happens when everyone wants a college counseling center job? The way the match works is that all people have to settle. With the glut of applicants, the programs no longer have to. If the online grad takes to bottom barrel internship, what happens to the mediocre grad that lost in the luck of the draw. What happens when you can't practice what you want because of the glut? You're out of luck because someone wants to work at your backup as their first choice. Thus, get your first choice or lose. If the bottom of the barrel get smart, there may be no clearinghouse in a couple of years. Thus, the bottleneck will not necessarily have the outcome everyone here desires it to have.
 
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psychwhy

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positivepsych: I didn't mean it to be as much as of a personal affront. I meant, anyone who goes to an online school should know and accept the fact that they might have trouble matching. They should know that before they make the choice, and once they make the choice, there is no sense in complaining about it. If matching worries the person so much, they shouldn't have chose an online school in the first place.
I do appreciate your clarification but that does not erase the fact that part of the reason online programs suffer such prejudice is that a fair number of people -- inside and outside the profession -- perpetuate it by unilaterally declaring that all such programs are sub-standard and/or inappropriate.

And for the record, when I enrolled in a distance program, I did anticipate there would be some extra hurdles. I did hope that in a profession where the entry level degree is ostensibly a doctorate that there would be a bit more intellectual curiousity and honest discussion about a new learning modality instead of the reflexive dismissal I have encountered from many.

positivepsych: Second, "regional accreditation" means nothing nowadays. Accreditation is a joke, and some places have no right to be accredited (e.g. online programs). If your complaint is about psychology's public image, I can tell you that I've been told by members of the public that a clinical psychology degree is a joke nowadays because you can get the degree online. How's that for public image? Online degree programs degrades the value of a Ph.D. degree. I don't know a single pharmacist, dentist, or any other clinical doctorate get their degree online, and everybody still respects those professionals.

I would agree that accreditation is a joke in many contexts (including APA's own standards). But, like it or not, regional accreditation (RA) is what makes a degree "real." Yes, accreditation is voluntary and many unreputable programs have long flowing explanations why they chose not to secure regional accrediation. Be that as it may, for better for worse, it still is the standard for legitmacy.

And before you dismiss the validity of RA so quickly, keep in mind that, in 80% of US jurisdictions, a RA doctorate is all that is required for licensure as a psychologist. You may not have much faith in the value of RA, but it is quite likely that you are about to practice in a state where your colleagues only needed an RA degree.

It also gets tiring when people simultatneously distance psychology from other healthcare professions when discussing training like internships, but still claim that educating a psychologist is just the same as educating a physician, dentist, nurse, etc. When being totally honest, members of the latter group acknowledge their training is mostly technical/vocational, in other words, has a large hands on component. You cannot teach gross anatomy online, for example. But you also cannot teach auto repair online either. This isn't about complexity of subject matter but the nature of the material.

There is a reason why the original "psychologist degree" was the doctor of PHILOSOPHY.

Still, every reputable online program has face-to-face learning activities. You want to debate that facet of online programs is not adequate, that's a reasonable point of contention. But, please stop pretending that it isn't part of the training. Even the APA offers continuing education programs online, nowadays.

Oh, and a large segment of the general public believe that psychologists can read minds, that all mental health practitioners are the same, and care about where Anna Nicole Smith is to be buried, so I do not put a lot of value on what the general public knows about training in professional psychology. Your comment, however, does illustrate how poor a job APA has done at making "psychology a household word."

positivepsych: Also, I'm not advocating that competent students lower their standards. Some students, having graduated at the top of their class consistently, think they can waltz into the most competitive internships simply based on their previous history. Sometimes, sometimes not. My point is that sometimes hubris is at fault for unsuccessful matching if you're an otherwise good candidate. People put too much emphasis on where they do their internship... it's only a year.
Actually you did when discussing how best to be successful in Matching.

"It is rare you will find a competent student who can't match if they lower their standards a bit, spread out, and are socially competent."
(emphasis added)

This, to me, is one of the greatest flaws in the Match -- that applicants are required to "play" the system. It is practically impossible to, for the sake of argument, study at Harvard and then intern at Mass General. In fact, according to APPIC, your chances of staying in the same state are pretty low. I was told by several TDs that they seek geographic diversity.

So, here you are -- either marginally or seriously in debt but nonetheless not rolling in dough -- required to undertake a nationwide tour to interview, then effect a major relocation, probably have to do it again a year later for post-doc, all the time recouping your expenses on an intern's average salary of $21,500.

And while it may be "just a year" (actually two when you factor in a probable post-doc fellowship), who says one must pack up and move in order to complete it? By default, this would seem to place an unwarranted burden on anyone who wasn't single, childless, and free from any serious obligations. Are you trying to insinuate that someone who is married, a parent, perhaps has a sick family member, is not qualified to be a psychologist because moving about the country would be a hardship?

Also, I think there are a fair number of people who would disagree with the "its just a year" assessment. Especially when you consider the number of people who insist that it must be an APA accredited internship, people do seem to place a particular value on where you intern. Finally, why shouldn't we have some say in where we spend that year?

positivepsych: Of the say, hundreds of psychologists, that graduate from professional schools, how many are willing to relocate to North and South Dakota? Not very many. Since a lot of prof. schools are in major cities, they want to stay there, and continue to contribute to the oversupply.
Again, a fair point. It is sad that large tracts of the country remain underserved.

However, in my grad school cohort, a prevailing reason for enrolling in a distance program was to have access to advanced training that simply is not available in most rural/semi-rural parts of the country in anticipation of returning to the area.

Also worth considering, the US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics lists psychologist as an occupation growing faster than average: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos056.htm

positivepsych: The profession of psychology is less plagued by a public image problem than a self-policing problem. Psychologists used to make a good living and have a lot of choices in the 80s and early 90s, before managed care, and runaway oversupply came into the picture.
This is also true. But the profession's lack of unity and cohesiveness is just as much to blame for allowing managed care and unchecked growth to occur. A senior psychologist recently told me that your overall assessment is correct (except he put the time frame as the 70s - 80s). He also framed it as academia was largely jealous of the financial success of practioners during that time so made access to the training programs more difficult.

How's that for a welcoming (and intelligent) profession?
 

MidPsy

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Does anyone know/have experience on the difficulties of employment if you have a non APA accredited but is an APPIC member internship?
 

Quynh2007

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hm....just curious, but do these online schools have research opportunities? How do you do a dissertation? Do they have an IRB? How do their students get committee members from other departments/similar areas for their dissertation oral defense? How do these students know which professors will be best to serve on his/her preliminary comphrensive exam/paper and dissertation committee? could you elaborate on the retention rates, length of study, and where most of these people end up doing? thanks :)
 

psychwhy

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Quynh2007: hm....just curious, but do these online schools have research opportunities?
Depends upon the school -- I recently learned that the Fielding Graduate University has quite an active and collaborate research program.

Quynh2007: How do you do a dissertation?
Just like everybody else -- propose, collect data, analyze data, write, defend.

Quynh2007: Do they have an IRB?
Of course.

Quynh2007: How do their students get committee members from other departments/similar areas for their dissertation oral defense? How do these students know which professors will be best to serve on his/her preliminary comphrensive exam/paper and dissertation committee?
As I'm sure even conventional students are not very familiar with faculty outside of their narrow specialty, I'm guessing the process is pretty similar -- you read university profiles, ask advisor(s)/specialty faculty for input, inquire of various faculty, have a conversation, decide.

Quynh2007: could you elaborate on the retention rates, length of study, and where most of these people end up doing? thanks :)
As I am a graduate of such a program and not a member of the admissions staff, I don't have retention rates at my disposal. Length of study depends on many factors, just like in conventional programs, generally tied up with dissertation progress, but usually 3 - 6 years.

What are they doing after graduation? Most are working in the field for which they trained.
 

Neuro-Dr

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Again, I'm just going to add this one point since I think there is a "bigger picture" here. I've taken externs, interns and fellows for the past 8 years and the single most important variable was their ability to convince us that we would "want" to work with them. Most students that get to interview have the needed background. When you consider those around you that don't match there are a few trends that emerge.
1.) Geographic limitations - as previously stated
2.) They don't get interviews and thus have no chance to match - these people don't have the background for the sites they are applying to
3.) get ample interviews/don't match - in these cases I think either they are doing something in the interview that makes the site think they are arrogant, a bad fit, or have some personality issues. This happens a lot. The other reason could be that they were just barely making it on their skills, but that would suggest they did not pick an adaquate number of sites along the spectrum.

Most student can control these variables and when they do, they become part of the 80% that match.
 

Quynh2007

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Depends upon the school -- I recently learned that the Fielding Graduate University has quite an active and collaborate research program.

Just like everybody else -- propose, collect data, analyze data, write, defend.

I guess what I meant was do they get funding for it? if they needed to set up a lab, access to statistical analysis software, etc, how does their school provide for that or is it up to the student to be resourceful (apply for grants, fellowships, etc)?

p.s. even though I'm not on the admissions committee, I know my school's retention rate.
 

edieb

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What do you mean they have to make you want to work with them?>
 

NeuroPsyStudent

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Neuro-Dr., it is great to hear from the source! I am struggling with the whole question of how to present as well trained/experienced and enthusiastic, while at the same time humble, flexible, and fully open to new ideas. I believe I am all of those things, but it is hard to know how active to be in interviews. There is a fine line between confidence/preparedness and arrogance.
 

Ollie123

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I'm actually curious how the whole "online" thing works too for clinical psych. And please don't interpret that as me looking down on it, I'm just honestly curious how it works (curiosity is what makes us want PhDs after all;) ).

Do you see clients over webcams? Or do you see them in-person and then upload videos? What if you want to do something like incorporate physiological tests into your research? I assume many people don't have ready access to equipment for skin conductance, EKG, EEG, etc. in their area, unless a major university is nearby. Do you do the testing locally or are you more on the "planning" end of research and have your subjects run by other people elsewhere in the world? If the testing is done locally, where is it done, do you have to rent out labspace for yourself somewhere?

Again - please don't take offense. Clinical psych just always struck me as something that would be impractical to offer online, so it surprised me to hear that it is being done.

Also - to whoever said pharmacy doesn't offer degrees online, it definitely does. I know someone in an online Pharm D. program.
 

psychwhy

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Ollie: Do you see clients over webcams? Or do you see them in-person and then upload videos?
What you are referring to here is tele-psychology/psychiatry, not exactly the same thing. Providing services online is still very much in its infancy with many ethical/licensing hurdles to overcome. (Though, during my internship, our facility was beginning to employ this very modality.)

In terms of student/client contact, we have to complete practica, internship, post-doc, just like everyone else. The difference is that usually online students have to find their own practicum placements as there is no affiliated teaching hospital/counseling center.

Ollie: What if you want to do something like incorporate physiological tests into your research? I assume many people don't have ready access to equipment for skin conductance, EKG, EEG, etc. in their area, unless a major university is nearby. Do you do the testing locally or are you more on the "planning" end of research and have your subjects run by other people elsewhere in the world? If the testing is done locally, where is it done, do you have to rent out labspace for yourself somewhere?
I would venture a guess that this would not be a viable topic for someone in an online program (though, who knows if they already had such connections).

Remember, many online students are already working as Master-level whatever (clinicians, researchers, etc.) so they probably have some latitude in conducting a research project at wherever they currently are working.

Then again, we have the entire World Wide Web at our disposal!

Ollie: Also - to whoever said pharmacy doesn't offer degrees online, it definitely does. I know someone in an online Pharm D. program.
That's good to know ... I wasn't personally very familiar with pharmacy curriculum. Given there aren't many compounding pharmacists out there today, I would say that the amount of hands-on chemistry/lab skills necessary is proably pretty minimal.
 

edieb

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I don't understand what all the flack is regarding getting your Ph.D. on-line. I imagine that this route is much more difficult than is going (physically) to class everyday. You have to be very self-motivated, even more so than those in traditional programs. Most of what was taught in my Ph.D. program could have been taught just as well, if not better, on-line than in person.

Even if all this in not the case, many of us forget to mention that not everybody can move hundreds of miles away to go to school for 4-6 years. Should that preclude you from being a psychologist??
 

Ollie123

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I agree with you that it takes a LOT more motivation to keep up with an online class.

My university offered certain courses online, and let me tell you, they were some of the most failed classes at the university because it was very easy to slack off and not keep up on lectures/work/etc.

That being said, I think for certain degrees it makes more sense. History, English, Business (to some extent, the quantitative end of business at least)...anything that is going to be largely classwork dependant. Clinical psychology is inherently people-oriented, so I think anything that lessens direct human contact is going to raise eyebrows. That isn't to say those who do so are RIGHT in doing so, but I can understand why they would.

I've tried to keep an open mind about it even though I was certain I wanted a traditional program. It sounds somewhere between difficult and impossible to conduct the kind of research I want to through an online program, which is one of the reasons. I'm certainly glad for the clarification given to me above for how practica worked and the like....I never really understood how "supervision" and the like worked in an online program. Assessment classes and the like I would think would depend largely on student/teacher interaction, something that is MUCH more difficult in an online setting.

I do think its something that is going to become more and more accepted as time goes on...online courses are only going to increase as time goes on.
 

psychanon

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Even if all this in not the case, many of us forget to mention that not everybody can move hundreds of miles away to go to school for 4-6 years. Should that preclude you from being a psychologist??

Sorry, but yeah. If your individual circumstances prevent you from obtaining a degree via a route that provides the proper caliber of training, then sorry, but maybe you should do something else. Becoming a psychologist is not an inalienable right.
 

Lunabin

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Does anyone know/have experience on the difficulties of employment if you have a non APA accredited but is an APPIC member internship?

I don't know this from experience, but there are many sites/agencies that cannot hire you without an APA internship and/or an APA program - the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, for example, and I imagine most federal level positions.

This whole argument of professional versus traditional versus online training is a moot point. If you look at the APPIC stats of matches across program, there is a huge range for both professional and traditional schools! I'd like to see someone actually tease out the stats and present the data before making any conclusions.

I do think that some programs are a better quality of training than others, but contrary to someone's previous statement, applying for internship IS another screening process. Applicants are invited for interviews based on credentials and qualifications - the interview weeds out the best and worst matches.

Yes, some of the onus rests with the students - because you have to finish school and get through this. There are things you can do to give yourself a better chance at matching (like being flexible with geography, not being too specialized, etc.).

BUT, schools and the APA are NOT doing their share to help this growing problem. Yes, enrollments are high (and growing) in professional programs, but why limit the growth of the field by cutting this?

Why not develop more internship and training sites? Why not try to establish psychology as a standard and even common profession in regional hospitals, clinics, etc.? I'm amazed that psychologists are only consultants in these settings, and not usually staff positions. Why are interns and unlicensed postdocs still billed at tech rates (this has major implications for how we - as doctors - are perceived and paid)?!?

There are major implications on a systemic level that are being ignored in this argument, and they will affect each of our careers over the coming years. We can continue to press blame and belittle each other, or we can actually do something to better the profession (for ourselves and future students/professionals).

I should be posting on "things I hate about psychology" list - because this entirely split argument (phd - psyd; professional - traditional) only highlights the worst this field has to offer.
 

psychwhy

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Lunabin: I don't know this from experience, but there are many sites/agencies that cannot hire you without an APA internship and/or an APA program - the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, for example, and I imagine
Why not develop more internship and training sites?
This is absolutely not true.

Yes, VA requires APA program and internship, but most other federal programs do not.

For example, the Bureau of Prisons does not even require licensure! But those that do are able to satisfy licensure with a valid license in any state -- and you can be sure that many choose the state with the most lax requirements!

They do, however, require that you be under 40 years of age (because, inexplicably, psychologists are considered federal law enforcement officers -- not exempted like physicians and clergy).

The US Public Health Services "requires" graduation from an APA program, not internship. I say "requires" because they do offer waivers.

I know this from personal experience as I externed at a federal prison and have an active application with the USPHS.

Lunabin: Why not try to establish psychology as a standard and even common profession in regional hospitals, clinics, etc.? I'm amazed that psychologists are only consultants in these settings, and not usually staff positions. Why are interns and unlicensed postdocs still billed at tech rates (this has major implications for how we - as doctors - are perceived and paid)?!?
Ahh, well, therein lies the rub. Remember, that in the history of the two professions, psychology sought to distance itself from the "medical model" -- and is now paying the price when it comes to doctoral training. If you monitor the medical boards on SDN, you will learn that medical residency programs are funded through federal Medicaid/Medicare Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs, to the tune of $40 BILLION dollars. On the other hand, psychology only gets $1.5 MILLION.

Internship programs in psychology simply cannot compete on the same level, which helps explain the $21,500 average annual salary for a psych intern.
 

Lunabin

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Psychwhy - - Okay, so I stand corrected. I'm in the process, however, of searching for postdocs, and find that many prefer (if not require) APA internships... And, honestly, given the surplus of psychologists out there, programs have more than enough applicants and can afford to be picky.

(The question I was refering to was asked by Midpsy and got buried in trash talk about professional schools)

As for the rest of my point, I just think that there is much that can and needs to be done in terms of organizational and systemic change for our field. I'm surprised to not hear more on this discussion at higher levels...

On a personal note, I don't care much for these arguments and critiques of professional schools. They're here, and here to stay. The students have great educations and clinical experience, and like everyone else, work hard - not to get a degree - but, to be good at what they do!
 

Duckygirl

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...As for the rest of my point, I just think that there is much that can and needs to be done in terms of organizational and systemic change for our field. I'm surprised to not hear more on this discussion at higher levels...

On a personal note, I don't care much for these arguments and critiques of professional schools. They're here, and here to stay. The students have great educations and clinical experience, and like everyone else, work hard - not to get a degree - but, to be good at what they do!

Amen to that. We hear the agument over and over again about school programs. I work at a private practice in Portland, OR, under a ridiculously successful, well-respected clinical psychologist. He received his PhD in the early 1980s from what was (at that time) the top-ranked clinical school in the nation (he also received his BA from an Ivy League school). He hated his doctorate program and worked with professors and advisors who he considered to be void of ethics and morals, both professionally and personally. His two most important pieces of advice are:
1) Getting a degree is about the quality and fit of your education and training REGARDLESS of what kind of program you choose nowadays. He whole-heartedly believes there are excellent PsyD programs that far surpass the quality and exposure of PhD programs.
2) Nobody cares. For people who plan to go into practice, the notion of what kind of program you went to is almost nonexistent. What's more important is knowledge of your field and your passion to serve. This is true of other clinicians at our clinic. Where our clinicians went to school is totally irrelevant- our clinicians' quality of skills is divided much more by people who were passionatley driven to specialize and be knowledgeable about clinical psychology than it is by PhD vs. PsyD. Also, while graduating from many programs requires an APPIC internship, being hired in many areas of clinical work does not. Most of the private practices in our area don't give a rip about where you went to school or what kind of intership you had.

Current students and applicants get so caught up in biases of one thing or another. Go out into the real world and ask around. Do some career education. Think a little more globally than your own 12-person department. Find what works best for you do it. Don't worry so much about telling everyone else how wrong they are because they're not doing everything just like you.
 
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