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"Help me decide" mega thread

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by IcedBennu, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. _Sunny

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    Hey, I'm in a similar boat as HMarie, only it's La Salle vs. Widener. The schools are comparable in terms of location (both in the Philly area) and are similar in price (although Widener is a bit more expensive). Would love to hear advice, particularly from folks who have experience with either program. I'm aware of the outcomes/stats of each school, so I would prefer advise that's beyond what's on the website.
     
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  3. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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    Depends on what your career goals are.
     
  4. _Sunny

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    I'm interested in child psych, and would like to eventually work in a clinic or integrated hospital setting. I know that may be a little vague - let me know if there's anything specific that'd be helpful for you to know about my goals.
     
  5. 1101psych

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    I'm deciding between University of Denver and Roosevelt for my PsyD. While I know there is a big difference in price, I am trying to make my decision based on all other factors.

    Any initial thoughts on which program to choose? From the interview day, Roosevelt seems like a more rigorous program, but I love the city of Denver so much. Other thoughts: Roosevelt's program is small, which is nice for faculty/student relationships, but perhaps not the best in terms of making new friends. Thoughts?
     
  6. sabine_psyd

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    Check on APA match rates for the two programs. Find out if they have the type of practicum experiences you're looking for that are congruent with your goals.

    I personally wouldn't rely much on what city I like better. It's grad school and you will be busy. Look at cost of living though as a factor.


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  7. singasongofjoy

    Psychologist 2+ Year Member

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    I second the above poster re: don't think about city. You'll be so busy it doesn't matter one bit (I mean, unless you're going to Alaska and then the whole not seeing the sun for months thing...) I went to school in a city that really does NOT suit me, but still didn't matter because I had such little free time that there was always something fun to do (and the low cost of living was a bonus). Spent all my time on campus/practicum or holed up in coffee shops with other grad students writing papers. You can do that in any city. Go for quality of training / experience. Shoot for cities you like to live in for postdoc.
     
  8. singasongofjoy

    Psychologist 2+ Year Member

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    #857 singasongofjoy, Apr 11, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  9. Lister826

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    Hello everyone,

    It may already be evident by the title of the thread, but I need help deciding between two PhD programs - Yeshiva & Adelphi.

    I'm not really sure if one is better than the other, and after factoring in the scholarships I was offered, the cost isn't much different either. According to one member here, out of all the New York schools, only Fordham produces good psychologists anyway.

    I heard Yeshiva students potentially fair better on externships and internships because they are taught CBT and have exposure to other modalities while Adelphi students are mainly limited to the psychodynamic approach.

    Anyway, what do you guys think?
     
  10. singasongofjoy

    Psychologist 2+ Year Member

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    I can't speak much to either of these programs but I think a program that gives you exposure to a broader array of modalities as well as CBT training may allow you more flexibility in the future, especially geographically. Consider also the population you think you might be most interested in working with. For example, you won't be doing any serious psychodynamic sessions with someone with developmental disability, but CBT is v. applicable. That'd be my choice if I were deciding between the two based on those factors but I'm decidedly not psychodynamic in orientation.
     
  11. Lister826

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    I did a Masters before getting into a PhD program and I kind of wish I didn't. I think taking a year in between to study for the GRE and do more research is just as valuable as doing all that while in a Masters program, but WAY cheaper. Besides, you would probably get in with your current stats.
     
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  12. Thinkin ahead

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    Hofstra PhD or PGSP-Stanford PsyD?
     
  13. sabine_psyd

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  14. redhead223344

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    What is your funding situation?? Xavier provides a first year graduate assistantship with partial tuition and $8.10 an hour (8 hrs/wk). You will still need to come up with a significant amount of $$ per month to cover your expenses that are not covered by federal loans. They do not care about your financial situation and are extremely unhelpful/rude in this regard. The program itself is good, but it is geared to rich, white kids. If you do not fit this description, I would suggest looking elsewhere. Multiple students have brought this to the faculty's attention and it has become very obvious that they do not care.

    Further, you will not be exposed to any CBT-focused courses until later in your training and the prof who teaches this is said to be horrible. The first and second years are primarily psychodynamic focused. Kind of irritated with this program after my first year (can you tell??). REALLY wish I had accepted my offer to IUP. They do have a good practicum program where they match you to various sites in the area, and the program has a great reputation in the Cincinnati area. Hope this helps!
     
    #863 redhead223344, Apr 24, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  15. atroposlachesis

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    Hi all! I don't know if anyone else has covered this exact topic before, so here goes my strange disjointed question.

    I minored in Psych in college, but didn't do too well thanks to an untreated medical condition. After treatment, I then received my Master's in Counseling, which I did very well in. Halfway through, I realized I actually had a passion for research, and starting volunteering at a community action research institute. I was actually published as a co-author in an APA textbook.

    I would like to go more in-depth into research, as well as expand my toolbox as I've always felt very limited by classic counseling talk therapy modalities. This started my interest in Occupational Therapy. I'm lucky enough to have been accepted to the top OT program in the country and will be participating in research there. But I still have my doubts. As I read through my textbooks for next year, I find myself coming back to the brain and topics in neuropsychology every single time. I am so profoundly fascinated by the myenteric "gut brain" connection and its role in mental health disorders. I think there is so much ripe opportunity for research in this area and I would love to be a part of it.

    Sooo...that takes me to my big question. If you were me, what would you do? Would you go into OT, with relative job security? Or go into neuropsychology with all of its hassles, competition, but access to fascinating research?

    Thank you in advance for any thoughts!
     
  16. sabine_psyd

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    I am not familiar with OT, so I can't address that specifically. I think that it is important to do some self reflection and through that process differentiate your passions, your interests, and what is a reasonable and feasible career goal. I hope this response isn't too generic, and it is based on my own experiences trying to figure out if clinical psychology was the best career goal for me. In college I had to decide among psychology, pharmacy, and medicine. I found that psychology worked best for me because I wanted to focus on assessment and intervention, and believed that for me psychology had more of a focus on the human condition as opposed to my two other aforementioned interests. I also wanted to have time to devote to my child, and psychology permits that more than medicine.

    It is definitely important to think of the pros and cons of your two career options. I think it is definitely important to consider that you have been accepted into the top OT program. Congrats!! That is an amazing accomplishment, and that would likely open up amazing opportunities for job placement into excellent institutions. An accomplishment like that, along with the career opportunities that would lead to, should not be given up without serious self reflection and time.


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  17. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
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    These are not closely related career choices, so I think it comes down to what you value most. Research careers are difficult to enter and sustain but some people have the drive and risk tolerance for it. There are a lot of OTs working in quasi-mental health roles, and a small number doing research, but there really isn't much of a role for OT in gut-brain disorders. You might consider clinical health psychology programs as an alternative.
     
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  18. pandapanda

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    I have not applied, but I am in the process of deciding which of the three PsyD programs to eliminate from my list: LaSalle, Widener, and Denver (I am for sure applying to PGSP & Rutgers).

    Does anyone have any thoughts, perhaps even regarding the location? I would like to gain information that's not on their websites already.

    Are there research assistantships opportunities at all? What is the atmosphere like? Do students maintain a positive relationship with the faculty? Is the internship matching process competitive?

    P.S. If it matters my GPA is 3.8, GRE Verbal 94%, Quant 81%, AW 60%.
     
  19. psych.meout

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    Why aren't you applying to any PhD programs?
     
  20. pandapanda

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    I am applying to 4 PhD programs. But those are easier to narrow down due to the need to match research interests with the faculty.
     
    #869 pandapanda, Oct 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  21. chicandtoughness

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    Not sure if it matters, but Widener has a captive internship. That may be a pro or a con, depending on whether you'd like to do all your training at the local facilities or not.
     
  22. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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    Con
     
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  23. psych.meout

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    I'm pretty gaming the internship match system with a (2-year half-time!) captive internship site, because their applicants aren't good enough to compete with applicants from other programs is big 'ol con.
     
  24. pandapanda

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    Yeah, I actually decided to take Widener off my list. I felt that the curriculum wasn't too challenging and I had mixed feelings about the captive internship system.
     
  25. himala

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    I would go with APA internship match rates (want to really get an APA accredited one and therefore be able to have better chance at competitive postdocs, jobs, etc.). Locations is bottom priority because you will be way too busy anyways.
     
  26. ctpsy11

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    I don't know. I got a few grad school offers to solid clinical PhD programs and decided to go with my intuition about which school was best based on interview and how it felt, etc -- instead of picking a school with a more prestigious name and a better location. In the end of the day I was pretty busy/miserable at the less good school I had felt so good about during interviews...sometimes i wonder if i made the right choice? California sure would've been nice...
     
  27. hurricanesum1

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    Just wondering your thoughts on Pepperdine Psy.D.. generally good reputation? Do people tend to roll their eyes at someone with this degree behind closed doors, as they might with those who have degrees from Alliant/Agrosy/Chicago School? I do qualify for tuition aid, so I am concerned more about having a useful and respected degree at the end of five years. Thanks for your help.
     
  28. artsyann

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    It's a very conservative and religious school. If you are okay with that you may like it. Just know that going in.
     
  29. psych.meout

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    How much "tuition aid" are you talking about?

    Scholarships - Pepperdine University - Graduate School of Education and Psychology

    PsyD in Clinical Psychology | Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology Degree Program | Pepperdine University GSEP

    82*$1,510 = $123,820
    $123,820 * 0.75 = $92,865

    $92,865 for tuition alone is still quite expensive after scholarships are applied.
     
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  30. Elizabeth1444

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    It's funny - discuss a problem in 5 years)
    This boy maybe has finished studying at all. But I want to say my opinion.
    I want to wish all students to believe only their inner voice and go to the institution that is closer to your liking. Very often relatives, parents are mistaken, and we spend a lot of time in the empty. Because of personal experience, I can say that it's very sad, to realize after 5 years of training that everything was in vain.;););)
     
  31. psych.meout

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    huh?
     
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  32. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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    If you're going for an academic route the whole way, the gero track program may be the way to go. With the caveat that you will also publish more there in your area than the other, more generalist program. Look at the research productivity of the POIs and their students in recent history, who is getting out more pubs (as long as they are quality journals)?
     
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  33. PSydapplicant96

    PSydapplicant96 Incoming Psychology PhD Student

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    Hi everyone! Right now, my 2 top choices for PsyD programs would be University of Hartford and LIU Post. I, of course, have to see where I get in, but if I were to be optimistic and had a choice... which should I choose?

    I love LIU Post for their supportive environment, faculty, trauma team, dual emphasis on CBT/psychoanalysis, DBT opportunities, values, and got an overall good feeling at the interview.

    I love Hartford for their child/adolescent track, emphasis on working with the underserved, faculty interests, the wide range of settings to work in, etc. I also had an overall good feeling at the interview.

    Basically, both programs have unique aspects I really love. One thing I wonder with LIU is if there is a sense of community there. If the majority of students are commuting from afar, will I be able to make friends I can actually spend time with? Hartford typically has students living in apartments nearby. I'd love to hear thoughts others may have!
     
  34. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist
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    Mod Note: Merged into the "Help Me Decide" sticky.
     
  35. Justanothergrad

    Justanothergrad Counseling Psychologist
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    Hartford has a mean 6.2 years to complete with an average cost of 26k per year and a limited number of stipends (lets call it 156k total cost for tuition excluding books and any other living expenses you have to take loans for) and APA match rates ranging from 58% to 100% over the last 7 years (98/100 the last two years). The average match rate is around 75%, which is bad. Not all of those are paid internships. That seems like a horrible choice given the financial cost and what that means for long term earnings.

    LIU indicates that they offer some form of assistantship to most students, but the amount paid for the assistantship is well below (9-15k max a year) the amount owed for tuition (25k a year for years 1-3, and then approximately 14k afterwards + fees + insurance). So you're better off on basic loans than Hartford, but you're still promising yourself to walk out with 100k+ of loans so I wouldn't get excited since that means an average starting sallary 60-65k of a psychologist is gonna leave you earning about 45k (or less) before tax for the first ten years... a substantial cut on an already low salary given the spent cost in time. The match rate is consistently higher than Hartford (closer to 85% on average) but rarely breaks 90% in the last 10 years, and that should also send off some red flags.

    You should always hear warning bells when the programs direct (on their websites) how to get early loan payments to cover basic living expenses (LIU).

    I would take a full time job for a year and volunteer in a research lab, with clinical opportunities (suicide hotline, whatever), open myself geographically and program wise and then apply to programs that aren't going to restrict my longterm earnings as both of these programs do. I doubt either are going to get a great recommendation from anyone here for the reasons above.
     
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  36. inert Psychologist

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    I need help gaining insight into how well respected the following three Counseling Psychology PhD's are in terms of clinical training: UCSB's Combined program in Clinical, Counseling, and School PhD, Arizona State University's Counseling PhD, and UT Austin's Counseling PhD. I've been accepted to SB and Austin and just waiting on ASU but as someone coming with a research-only oriented background I wasn't sure what to look for in terms of great clinical training and don't have any mentors in the field practicing to provide any input. Research wise I know the programs strengths and weaknesses (but if anyone has any input in this regard that'd be great too) just seeing if clinical-wise there is a clear cut ranking between them.
     
  37. wtfook

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    I don't really know much about any of the schools, although we did just hire a new faculty member and he recently graduated from ASU. I went to his job talk and his research was very sophisticated and he answered every question, even the SUPER hard ones from our statistics expert, well. This doesn't help you on the clinical end but normally if a program can put out tenure track calibre students, they can probably put ensure those students are meeting their clinical benchmarks so as to look like solid, well rounded candidates.

    On a more helpful end, here are some things to look for when it comes to clinical training at a doctoral program:

    - Do they have a dedicated Director of Clinical Training? Or is that individual wearing a lot of hats? For example, is their DCT also a research faculty member who has their own advisees or is their sole job to teach classes and be the DCT? This can sometimes indicate how much emphasis the program places on clinical training.

    - Does the site have its own in-house clinic? When a site has its own in-house clinic, that normally covers your 1st practicum experience. It's nice because it means you don't need to apply the first year, you know the program has deep enough roots to build up its own clinic, and your foundational training should be uniform and solid because it's run by an APA accredited program that has a vested interest and making sure you get the 1st year training you need to be competitive for the following year of practicum applications. I will say that it's not TERRIBLE if they do not have an in-house clinic. It just means more work for you. It may be more of a problem if they don't have an in-house clinic AND they don't have a dedicated DCT.

    - Think about what you want to do clinically and decide if that school is in a diverse enough area to provide LOTS of practicum opportunities. ALSO, how well do their students match into those places? It seems like all of your choices are in major cities so you probably wont need to worry too much about this, but that might also mean you'll be competing with lots of other schools for the same spots. At some point in either 3rd or 4th year you will need to apply for practicums and branch out of your school. You wanna know you're in an area where they offer opportunities that will prepare you for the internship you want and that the school has a history of matching their trainees at these places.
     
  38. inert Psychologist

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    Thank you for sharing this info! While I was interviewing they mentioned 3 alumni recently secured TT positions which was very reassuring.

    This is great stuff to consider, I should be able to find most of this information going through the program's handbooks and asking some of the students follow-up questions. This was very helpful thank you very much.
     
  39. wtfook

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    No problem! Good luck!
     
  40. psyd_123

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    Hi :) I applied for Fall 2018 Psy.D. programs. I live in Northern California so I have a pretty good sense of the Nor Cal schools and their reputations in comparison to one another, but not so much for Southern California schools and how they compare. (Obviously I will make this decision on a variety of factors and on my own later, but I would love to get perspective on reputations, etc.).

    Any insight would be helpful on the following schools (especially in comparison to one another):

    Loma Linda University
    University of La Verne
    Wright Institute
    Azusa Pacific University
     
  41. psych.meout

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    They're all expensive and don't have great licensure or match rates, though Loma Linda suspiciously jumped from 47% to 100% in the past two years. Did they add a captive internship?
     
  42. DCDMB

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    I am in a bit of a predicament. I applied to PsyD and PhD programs in Clinical Psychology as well as Rutgers' MSW/PhD Social Work joint program at the recommendation of a former faulty member who said that I have a strong passion for including social justice framework into my psychotherapy, that social work might be a good option and leading to an LCSW would make just as strong a therapist.

    I was accepted into PCOM's PsyD program and am waiting on another PsyD. I received a decent funding package to cover basically 1.5 years of 5 years.
    I was accepted into the joint MSW/PhD at Rutgers in Social Work. I received full funding for my coursework plus grad assistantship position

    Here's my concern: I really see myself as a clinician. My background is in academia so the idea of doing research is exciting but not my ultimate endgame, at least at the moment. The Rutgers' PhD portion of the joint program is policy- research focused, which does fit me better than say a quantitative psychology PhD. That said- i think my training as a clinician would be stronger at PCOM

    Any thoughts? Words of advice?
     
  43. Hk328

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    Have you compared the student handbooks for each program? LCSWs provide therapy as well, so examining the two programs to see how in depth the clinical training programs actually are could be a good starting point in making your decision. Compare what classes you will be taking from each school. Is it possible for you to also speak to current students in both programs to get a better sense of the clinical training in each? I've met a number of LCSWs who got their degrees from Rutgers, and they have all said excellent things regarding their training program.

    Also, funding is an important factor to consider as well. You said PCOM is giving you 1.5 years of funding for a 5 year program. How much debt will you accumulate towards the end of the program? How are you able to accommodate living expenses while in school? Both programs are intensive and won't really allow for a job, so that is also an important thing to consider.
     
  44. DCDMB

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    Thanks - this is helpful. I do need to speak with some current students to get a sense of the clinical training.

    I'd likely accumulate somewhere in the 70k range for PsyD and likely less, maybe 40K at Rutgers for living expenses only over the course of time.
     
  45. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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    That PCOM estimate of debt seems a bit low. Especially if you factor in living expenses with the tuition.
     
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  46. DCDMB

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    yes- probably at the low end; but I have some other sources of funding that helps offset some of that. you're right though - likely closer to 90
     
  47. psych.meout

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    Isn't Rutgers only half funded?
     
  48. PsychCaRIH

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    The reason the Wright's match rate was lower in past was that many students were non-traditional, came from MA programs, had families, or married to the area. The school didn't require that folks applied to APA internship sites, so many did APPIC, or even CAPIC. That's been changing over the years and newer cohorts have only been able to apply to APA or APPIC internship sites. The cohorts have also started to be younger and more able to move for internship. Folks who go to the Wright still find that they are competitive for very good sites, lots of folks I know matched at VAs, hospitals, and school sites that are APA accredited. The cohort that came in last year is the first one that will only be allowed to apply to APA sites, so you will be seeing an even bigger uptick in match rates.
     
  49. psych.meout

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    If they are "very competitive," why did only 76% match to an accredited internship last year
     
  50. PsychCaRIH

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    As I stated... many folks want to stay in the Bay Area and/or plan on private practice and choose not to apply to APA accredited sites. Or only apply to APA sites because they are told that they have to but have no plans on matching with them. APPIC fits their needs, especially if their goals include continuing in community mental health or private practice. This and next years match rates will reflect the change in the cohorts (next year will be the first year folks will only be applying to APA sites and this year they were "strongly encouraged."
     
  51. psych.meout

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    Do you not see how this emblematic of larger problems with the overall program? Maybe the program should do some quality control in admissions instead of having cohorts that are twice as large as my entire program.
     

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