HELP! - PsyD or PhD or Medical Degree?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Doctor Pilot, May 2, 2004.

  1. Doctor Pilot

    Doctor Pilot Junior Member
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    Hi All,

    I have a question for all the PsyD/PhD psych students and professionals out there, if you have a few moments.

    Some background on me: I am a 24 year old who will start medical school this fall. I have always had an interest in psychology (particularly: marriage counseling, children and adolescents, burn victims, among others). I also have an interest in medicine, of course.

    I think my true talent lies in counseling people, but I am also open to plastic surgery and ER Medicine (like mom). Either way, I want to be out of any postgraduate schooling by the time I am 32.

    My questions are:

    1. If I were to consider dropping medicine and pursuing PsyD or PhD, how many years does each take?

    2. What are the admissions requirements/suggestions for each of those?

    3. How competitive are each of those (in the NY 400 mile radius)?

    4. Should I pursue neuropsychiatry since that is a fusion of medicine and psych?

    5. Should I pursue medicine, not do my residency and go straight into a PsyD program? And if I do this, do I have prescribing power?
    (For those wondering, I spoke with a 20 year experienced neuropsychologist and she said the point of this would be to have holistic knowledge for the care of my patient, both body and mind. It would help me distinguish between when a patient's condition is truly psychological in nature and truly phyiological in nature. Hence, it would make me a very distinguished person for having both degrees/abilities.)

    I realize these are lots of questions, so even if you can respond to one or two, I can use all the advice I can get.
     
  2. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler
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    3 years plus one for internship for PsyD
    4 years plus one for internship for PhD
    (correct me I'm not remembering this correctly PhD/PsyD folks)
    Neuropsychiatry is the fusion of psychiatry and neurology, not really medicine and psychiatry, as you propose. These programs require 5 year residencies IF you can get one.
    You need to complete medical school and complete one year of residency at the very least to prescribe (assuming you pass Step III). Good luck in court if you're going to prescribe based on one year residency.

    This neuropsychologist is a moron. It's completely unrealistic and doesn't make sense. To complete medical school and spend 3/4 years in psychology grad school, while at the same time you could have finished psychiatry residency is insane. If you're so concerned about therapy, go to a psychotherapeutic-oriented residency....they do exist. Psychologist prescription privilages non withstanding, to do minimum 7 years training and not be able to prescribe with a medical degree is illogical.
     
  3. breezy

    breezy New Member

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    1. If I were to consider dropping medicine and pursuing PsyD or PhD, how many years does each take?

    PsyD and PhD are the same (4 years+internship) depending on how long it takes you to complete your dissertation, PhD can end up taking longer. For PsyD's, dissertation might be an extensive literature review, which might not take as long.

    2. What are the admissions requirements/suggestions for each of those?

    Varies depending on the program, in general, a very high GPA, some prerequisite coursework (for some schools), High scores on GRE general test and GRE psych subtest, for PhD strong research background working in a psych lab, you might be competing against people who have already been published. PsyD likes more experience working with people hands-on.

    3. How competitive are each of those (in the NY 400 mile radius)?

    totally depends on the school
    PhD programs are very competetive
    PsyD area also competetive but tend to be a accept more students. however, not too many PsyD programs in the NY area (off the top of my head, Adelphi?, LIU, Yeshiva, Rutgers in NJ, Hartford in CT--More in Philly, DC, etc)
    *APA puts out a great book that would be helpful to you, listing all of the stats on acceptance rates etc at every APA accredited program in the country. I believe its called "graduate studies in clinical psychology" its like the peterson books. there is a list of all accredited PsyD programs on their website too.

    4. Should I pursue neuropsychiatry since that is a fusion of medicine and psych?

    5. Should I pursue medicine, not do my residency and go straight into a PsyD program? And if I do this, do I have prescribing power?
    (For those wondering, I spoke with a 20 year experienced neuropsychologist and she said the point of this would be to have holistic knowledge for the care of my patient, both body and mind. It would help me distinguish between when a patient's condition is truly psychological in nature and truly phyiological in nature. Hence, it would make me a very distinguished person for having both degrees/abilities.)

    I agree about the holistic part. if you have the patience. It really sounded to me that you were very interested in working with people in a therapeutic capacity. it seems to me that neuropsychology (a lot of testing), psychiatry, neuropsychiatry will be a whole lot of diagnosing, prescribing and follow-up, but not much of a chance to do therapy. If you are indeed interested in therapy, PhD or PsyD would be a good fit, but you will also get this exposure in psychiatry. you can always specialize in neuropsychology as a PhD, PsyD. as for helping you to distinguish between whether the person's condition is truly psychological or physiological, I don't think you would necessarily need both degrees to do that. one or the other would certainly do.

    hope this helps. I'm a PsyD student and chose the field because I thought I would make a great therapist. I also have a strong interest in neuropsych and have found that the degree has given me tons of options. I couldn't be more pleased with my choice.

    good luck, tough choices.
     
  4. lazure

    lazure Senior Member
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    Hi,
    I am in a clinical psych doctoral program and am pursuing a PhD. I understand your dilemma and despite being happy in my program I too ask myself at times whether I should have gone to med school instead. The prestige is much greater and societal respect, too (if I had a penny for every time I was asked whether I need just a BA to be a psychologist.....)... But then I remind myself how much satisfaction I get out of research, data analysis etc. I do biologically based research (cortisol reactivity) but my chief passion is the study of behaviour and how it links to certain physiological markers. I also enjoy conducting therapy, more so than psychological assessment. I also don't see myself prescribing medication as I am more interested in behavioural rather than biological functioning, though I respect the important links between the two.

    The truth is that you will always question yourself no matter what route you will take and the grass will always seem greener on the other side. I strongly believe that the skills and abilities that we have can be used in multiple career paths and there is not a single career path that fits us. You need to decide what fits you better, that's all.

    Good luck and feel free to PM me with any questions regarding PhD programs...
     
  5. Svas

    Svas Senior Member
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    As I have pointed out elsewhere, the above numbers are inaccurate.

    3 years didactic
    2 years (simultaneous with the above) clinical
    1 additional year of internship
    2 years post doc

    You need to pass the EPPP (Examination for professional practice in psychology), a national exam and your State's respective exam. If you specialize, you can also take a board exam that is administered by the American Boad of Professional Psychology (about 3 years after the above).

    The average amount of time that most take to complete a Ph.D. in psych is 6 years, SD of 1 year.

    The amount of time and requirement for the Psy.D. are the same, although the PsyD often requires a CRP (case review) versus a large sample study dissertation.
     
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  6. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler
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    You mentioned previously that you were baffled by the notion that people believed the PsyD degree to be 3 years. That is because it was often the case, depending on institution requirements and willingness/ability/time, etc to complete a case presentation/dissertation/thesis/oral report within that time frame. I know of students now completing their PsyD curriculum requirements and "project" within 3 years.

    http://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/time.html

    As you correctly assert, in reality it is often longer. Although, the notion exists that this is due to personal constraints, however, rather than overbearing workload.
     
  7. PublicHealth

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    Many PsyD programs are three years in length because they require a Master's degree prior to matriculation.

    Most PhD programs are designed to be 5 years in length -- 4 years of courses, research (M.A. along the way), clinical practica, and 1 year of internship. I'd be curious to know if it's possible to graduate in less than the traditional 5 years, especially if your dissertation is completed early in your training.
     
  8. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler
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    Indeed, it is done. I had essentially completed my dissertation (busy work) before the end of my second year. It was a little more stressful and I had to work a lot of weekends, but it's do-able. I was insistant in not staying 5 years to finish it. :hardy:
     
  9. sasevan

    sasevan Senior Member
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    I'm curious as to how you both completed the thesis for the masters degree and also "essentially completed" the dissertation for the doctoral degree after only two years of school. :rolleyes:
    I'm confused as to how the program that you attended permitted you to develope a testable hypothesis, prepare a literature review, design an appropriate research method, complete the dissertation proposal, and then collect relevant data, analyze and summarize results, as well as discuss research limitations and research implications, all before the completion of even half the program length :confused:
    Also, there's of course the reality that even when all of the above has been done that there's no certainty of the dissertation being "essentially completed" as the entire process is carefully scrutinized in the dissertation defense, the result of which may lead to significant modifications to, or even rejection of, said dissertation. ;)
     
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  10. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler
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    Simple....I used the dissertation as my master's thesis - shortened it to a "thesis" level rather than a complete length dissertation. :rolleyes: I never said I completed both.
    I have news for you - Psychology grad school is not that difficult. There is lots of free time if you're a quick reader with good retention/comprehension.
    As you know, the literature review is by far the longest, most arduous portion of the project. After that is completed, however, the rest can flow fairly quickly. The sample I studied (autistic children), with the necessary exclusion criteria cut the sample size down considerably, yet maintained statistical power with the multivariate analysis I used. Since the most salient findings were to be descriptive and correlative, the data analysis was not overbearing. Once the design and data are in place, an extended weekend is all that was needed in this case to arrive at the outcomes I was looking for.

    Exactly...that's why it was allowed to be transformed into a thesis, which requires much less scrutiny and time. If you're accusing me of lying, Sasevan, why not be man enough and just say it? ;)
    By the way, the project can be seen in the APA archives circa 1998 as a poster presentation: The influence of trace elements and neurotoxins on the aberrant behavior of autistic children.
     
  11. sasevan

    sasevan Senior Member
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    Anasazi23,
    I didn't say that you were lying because unlike you I don't jump to conclusions on scant information; instead I inquire and see where the information leads without biasing the direction by preconceptions. ;)
    Now that you have responded to the inquiry and provided more information I'm able to better draw the conclusion that you were lying; you did not essentially complete a dissertation. ;)
    You completed a thesis. :thumbup:
    You should have been man enough from the beginning and just said that as opposed to vainly inflating your accomplishment by misrepresenting it. Just stick to the facts. :thumbdown:
    I suggest that if you do that you will neither misrepresent yourself nor psychology and you may just change your mind about RxP and not turn into the medical fundamentalist that you are fast becoming.
    Don't jump to conclusions, inquire without preconceptions, and stick to facts.
    This is what the scientific method is all about which you presumably were trained in during your two years of psychology. Did four years of osteopathic medicine erase that? :confused:
    Seriously, I'm confused and concerned. I believe you went to NYCOM which is my first choice for med school outside of Florida but if your current attitude represents that school's culture I will most definitely reconsider. :(
     
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  12. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler
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    Sasevan...

    It is not my intention to argue with someone who has essentially no idea what the hell they are talking about with someone else's life. You weren't at the meetings with the dissertation chair, you weren't at the meetings with my school dean in which it was decided that the 50+ pages of additional data and literature review was to not be included so as to make it more appropriate to a master's thesis. Unless you have some sort of super powers we're not aware of, don't do exactly what you accuse me of - jumping to conclusions when you have no clue what the facts are.

    You say that you've drawn the conclusion that I'm lying and you have further concluded that I have completed a thesis. I'm glad for your support. For years I had been wondering if I had really finished it. As you know, a dissertation has some qualitative, and often quantitative differences in its content. How could you know that the myriad additional statistics, much extended literature review, research implications, etc etc was deliberately left out in order to make it a more appropriate master's project? Simple, you drew your own conclusions without facts.

    In case you didn't get it - I put the "essentially finished" comment with additional parenthesis so that reasonable readers would see what I was talking about with regard to the differences. Apparently you missed this. In my school, Master's theses were not required. In fact, they were not part of the policy at all - students generally did not obtain terminal master's degrees. The dissertation materials were finished and formulated. But instead of presenting them as a disseratation, since I was leaving the school, they were kind enough to be flexible and let me present it as a thesis and take a master's competency exam in order to obtain the terminal master's.

    You say I jump to conclusions on scant information. Care to elaborate? If you're referring to the psychologist prescription issue - talk to me after you complete medical school and a GOOD neuropsychiatry rotation.

    You state that I am not a man, and am vainly inflating my accomplishments - which is interesting because it appears as though you are jumping to conclusions without data. While the date is not published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal, the truth is that I have male genitals and there is a master's degree in an oak frame somewhere in my attic. Truth be told, I could give a crap about my master's degree. I associate it with a lot of dogma, frustration, and am ultimately glad I left to pursue another degree. I don't use the letters after my name, and probably never will. I hardly see this as vain inflation of my "accomplishments." I simply brought them into the discussion when people accused me of having no basis to judge how psychologists are trained.

    You accuse me of misrepresenting myself (how?), psychology, and having no memory of the scientific method. It is easy for the immature mind to be a slave to the scientific method and its ramifications. While I agree that the scientific method is of utmost importance in conducting research, there is no law that states that you cannot have an opinion about a given topic. You yourself have given many opinions and statements very far removed from the scientific method - I will not iterate them here. Do not be a hypocrite.

    The fact of the matter is that you are insulted by my opinions, don't like the fact that I left psychology for a medical degree (although you appear to state you are going to do the same thing), are providing opinions without the rigorous hypothesis-testing of the scientific method, and are upset that I'm telling the truth that psychology grad school does not require the hours of same hours of study or clinical exposure as medical school. While I don't fault you for having non scientific-method supported opinions, the rest is a more personal issue for you.

    I have news for you. The majority of the information given to you in medical school is not cited by references. You take it from the professor and assimilate it. Much of medical practice is not drawn from scientific-method tested research. Only recently has evidence-based medicine become closer to a standard. I suggest that you do not attack these people, call them liars, tell them they are not real men/women, and that they are vainly misrepresenting themselves to their medical school class or their patients.
     
  13. sasevan

    sasevan Senior Member
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    Anasazi23,

    There you go again; misrepresenting my statement by characterizing it as allegations against your credentials and purported masculinity. :(

    Then again, you include the following quote in all your posts:
    ------------------------------------------------------
    I never lie. I willfully engage in a campaign of misinformation.
    --Fox Mulder


    Your unwarranted accusations as to my intentions, personalization, projection, and exhibition of hypermasculinity suggest features of paranoid personality disorder. :(

    Please, don't misinterpret what I just said: I DIDN'T say you had the aforementioned maladaptive behavioral pattern. I would never be as presumptuous as to diagnose you as such. However, I am being very honest about this. Check it out: DSM, psychodynamics, consult a psychiatrist or psychologist. :)
     
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  14. PublicHealth

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    Stop the insanity! You guys are both respectable professionals who have offered the people on SDN copious amounts of useful information. For the sake our paranoid personalities, let's get back to more practical posts.
     
  15. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler
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    Agreed. In typical SDN fashion, it appears that we both have been victims, perhaps, of the all-important lack of "context" or misinterpretation that occurs in the written word as opposed to face-to-face conversations.

    I'm not even sure how this whole argument came about....it certainly is possible that my opinions are viewed as attacks on clinical psychology. I do not intend this. I would be lying, however, if I said that some emotinality does not get involved with regard this prescription privilage business. Very understandibly people will inevitably pick up on these emotions, and have their own responses, as I have had to others.

    My advice to Sasevan: Florida has much nicer weather. Medical school is miserable enough. Go to where you will be happiest. I'm pretty sure you'll get a good residency and be successful regardless of where you go. Just try not to let the attendance policy bother you too much (if it is still in place). Think of it as a 9 to 5 job, I suppose.

    Best of luck. :luck:

    p.s. I'm a big x-files fan. The signature is sort of how I feel the show portrays the entire conspiratorial theme in a sentence, whilst twisting semantics and whatnot. Of course, it can be applied to our "real world" in many fashions by many groups, organizations, peoples, etc. - that's all. :)
     
  16. Svas

    Svas Senior Member
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  17. Svas

    Svas Senior Member
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    I'm not sure that it's unproductive to let this continue, PH. I don't mean to sit here and cheer anyone on, but there is critical material being discussed in the context of this disagreement & squelching would not allow it to reach some reasonable conclusion. I would agree that personal attacks serve little purpose, but Anasazi has opened himself up to this by presenting what appears to be misinformation.

    It's a myth to think that getting a Ph.D. is easy. He's suggesting that. It's just as much a myth to think that Med school is easy.

    He completed a thesis. He can call it a dissertation all he wants . . . but he didn't complete a dissertation. The paper/book/tome he produced resulted in a master's degree. By definition, he would have had to complete either a considerable extension of that work or a different one to have a dissertation at this point.

    These issues, and others, are exactly what I'm concerned about. We talk about safety issues with regard to medication. I have no question that psychologists can be taught to safely prescribe a limited formulary. I have data to support that given the DoD project. I have evidence that MD/DO's can prescribe safely AND I have data that demonstrates that many DO NOT prescribe safely. How do we explain this other than to say that getting through medical school is NOT magical and does not insure that one will be able to prescribe safely? What is our error rate? In fact, when you or anyone else makes a diagnosis . . . what is your error rate?

    Error: We need to talk about this concept more often. Psychiatrists make errors all the time. Are we saying that medical school training enables us to make less diagnostic errors than psychologists? We probably ought not to say that, since there is not a shred of evidence to support that argument. Are we saying that we are quicker to recognize a physical disorder masquerading as a mental health condition? How good are we at that? Are we better at catching fakers or malingerers that psychologists? Are we better are recognizing real psychological disorders and recognizing that they are not medical conditions? Are we better at differentiating MD from an adjustment disorder? Better at differentiating ADHD from bipolar disorders? Depression from dementia? Do we understand functional neuroanatomy better than the average board certified neuropsychologist? Do we understand neuropathology as well as the same group of neuropsychologists? Do we make more or less errors than our Ph.D. colleagues? Do we know?

    I spend a fair amount of my day correcting the diagnostic "errors" of my students and colleagues. I spend a fair amount of my day correcting the medications and dosages of my students and colleagues. MOST of the errors are pharmacokinetic ones, not pharmacodynamic ones. Yesterday, I dealt with a consult from neurology that went something like this:

    27 y/o female with hx of partial complex seizures on 1200mg of tegretol. History of poor control, although over the last 3 months she has seen the neurologist 3 times and has looked better and better on each visit. Last levels of the carbamazepine was 85 3 months prior. ETOH use reported as occasional and smokes 1.5 packs per day. Patient comes into the hospital with breakthrough status of her partial (curent episode lasting greater than 30; & evidence that she has probably been seizing for at least 2 days). CBC upon admission demonstrates a depressed WC (3.2). Neurologist admits loads her on Depakote and within 12 hours, her EEG is clear. 8 hours later she develops disorientation and appears to be hallucinating. 4th year psych resident starts her on very low dose Haldol. She rips into tonic/clonic seizures within 12 hours. Urine output is reduced & is orange in color. No new levels have been drawn by the time I get there.

    So, when I'm called to make the consults with my students in tow . . . who do you thing correctly defined the condition and made the correct call that results in the patient improving dramatically over a few hours?

    BTW, for the purpose of case review . .. what would you (or anyone) do with this case? (I love these)

    Finally, I am NOT a fan of narcissism. I *am* a fan of confidence. I am REALLY not a fan of the type of narcissism that reads, "I know something you don't know . . . and you can't learn it." A derivation of this is "I know something you don't know, and you can't learn it unless you're just like me." This arrogance is typically political, demonstrates unacceptable prejudice and has NO place in the practice of medicine. We are here to learn and teach. All of us.

    S
     
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  18. sasevan

    sasevan Senior Member
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    Anasazi23,
    Agreed.
    Instead of arguing endlessly about whether PhD/PsyD should or should not have RxP maybe we can accept Svas, Sanman, and PublicHealth's challenge and begin a discussion as to under what circumstances may psychologists be permitted to prescribe.
    P.S. NSUCOM is obviously my first choice but I have to admit that NYCOM has always held an attraction because of its proximity to the City.
    Good-luck on beginning your psychiatry residency. :luck:
     
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  19. PublicHealth

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    Excellent point. Svas has gotten us off to a great start. I'd be interested in how he defines "limited formulary."
     
  20. Svas

    Svas Senior Member
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    Those that are consistent with the DoD guidelines.
     
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  21. thethrill

    thethrill Junior Member
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    SVAS you cling to the DoD study. We should all trust the military, right. The DoD is a biased and inaccurate study. The DoD is not nearly enough evidence to support PhD prescription priviledges. The study is terribly flawed and does not have significant power.
     
  22. sasevan

    sasevan Senior Member
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    Hi Svas,
    I suggest that you ignore this and every other post from this medical fiundamentalist as I fully intend to do from now on.
    He has consistently presented himself as the epitome of prejudice and I can still hardly believe that he is a physician. He could well serve as the poster child for the following:

    "My mind is made up, don't confuse me with the facts." :p

    I'm sure that you and other reasonable individuals can see easily through his lame circular arguments.
    I suggest that we concentrate our energy on continuing to dialogue with those who may have a different opinion from us but who are open and fair minded. :)
     
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  23. thethrill

    thethrill Junior Member
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    Sasevan,

    You may not like what I have to say, but I am in the trenches and have a feel for what young physicians think. I believe I represent the majority of residents in my program. I think about this all the time and I am constantly asking people their thoughts. Psychologist prescribing medications is a huge deal in the medical world. I may not like what you have to say but I am eager to hear what you think. It is okay to have an opinion but I believe that as a physician or a human being for that matter we should respect other peoples opinions and try to understand why other people have those opinions. Ultimately, patient care is what matters. The dumbing down of medicine is a concern of mine. The Flood gates have opened in the last decade. PA's, NP's, RNA's etc... Where does it end. At what point do all medications become OTC. I work side by side with PAs and NPs and there is definitely an educational difference, it is undeniable. Psychologist training is not nearly as complete or as intense as medical school and residency. If you deny this I know that you are not truly a physician. Finally, I am not prejudice. I am a goof ball that makes friends with everyone I meet. I am definitely passionate about medicine and psychiatry.
     
  24. Svas

    Svas Senior Member
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    Okay . .. tell me what study that we as medical professionals have done to determine that psychologists, NP's, PA's, optometrists, podiatrists, etc., are not safe? I promise to listen. But I really do want you to tell me about what demonstration project proves your point. Otherwise, we have the "one hand clapping" dilemma.

    S
     
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  25. Svas

    Svas Senior Member
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    I wish I had read this post before I replied.

    S
     
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  26. thethrill

    thethrill Junior Member
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    There has never been a study to show that wiping front to back reduces UTI's. Get my point. PA's, NP's, Podiatry, etc... have not expand beyond their bounds as of yet, therfore; there can be no study because these professions have not expanded beyond there bounds. you will find no data about NP's and PA's because if anyone gets sued it's the attending physician. Podiatrist get sued all the time I will try to find some data for you, they also have extremely high malpractice if they do surgery.
     
  27. Svas

    Svas Senior Member
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    This is so silly that I'm struggling to even write this . . . I know you're not one of my residents - - -

    When the PA's, NP's etc got prescriptive authority . . . they were asking for authority that WAS beyond the scope of their then current "bounds." I still think that it's beyond the bounds of the psychiatric NP and believe they need to take the 2 years of training that psychologists are getting.

    http://www.medfriendly.com/psychologist.html#difference

    S
     
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  28. MTpsych

    MTpsych Junior Member
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    Uhm, people...

    There's a thread on the clinical rotations forum you might want to take a look at. It's about someone deciding on psychiatry/psychology programs, but lately has turned to the very interesting debate about prescription priviledges.

    If you people already saw it, then ignore this message and continue with this interesting topic.

    :)
     
  29. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler
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    It's not misinformation
    ....although if it were, it would be entirely and willfully unintentional. :D

    Gaddy, C. D., Charlot-Swilley, D., Nelson, P. D., & Reich, J. N. (1995). Selected outcomes of accredited programs. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 26, 507-513.

    Summary - Ph.D.s take considerably longer
     
  30. Svas

    Svas Senior Member
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    I understand that people may take longer to complete Ph.D.'s - mostly because of the time it takes to gather the data for larger scale dissertative work. However, by design, the two programs have the generally the same didactic and clinical requirements. I think that in order not to mislead people, you need to clarify this whenever you post the time differences. It's not like the Ph.D.'s reguire 124 hours of course work and Psy.D's require 96 (for example). Both require comps, both require clinical competency reviews, both require defense, both require similar coursework, both require two years clinical practicum and a year of internship. Both require a major (dissertation, etc) work be completed before completing the degree.

    Given your background, I would suspect that you already knew this material.

    S
     
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  31. breezy

    breezy New Member

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    My program (PsyD) is designed to take 5 years. It is possible to finish in 4, which I am trying to accomplish, but the faculty strongly advises students against doing this. Completing MY program in 4 years invovles "fast-tracking" through the coursework--which I absolutely would not recommend if you have no prior experience in psychology. In my program it also means passing your comps, having your CRP proposal approved, and applying for internship all withinin the same semester (fall of your third year). 5-year people have it much easier as all of these things are spread out over the course of the year. Very few "fast-trackers" in my program pass their comps early. Few people attempt it at all, and at least 50% of those that do fail. It has been my personal exerience that even with an M.A. in psych prior to starting my doctoral work--finishing in 4 years is extremely challenging and really looked down upon at my school. As this is my 5th consecutive year of graduate school, having taken no time off after undergrad, I have been really determined to get out as soon as possible. Most of my friends are taking their time. In addition, my program is mostly female, and I have seen that school can take a back seat to life as people start their families in their late twenties and early thirties. So i also know of people that have taken 7 years to complete the program. Any woman with children that finishes in 5 years is amazing in my opinion.
     
  32. rpost3

    rpost3 Senior Member
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    definitely go to med school. slmost every clinical psych TA i had as an undergrad says they regret going to grad school and wishes they just went to med school intead. its easier to get in, takes about the same length (7 years on average for PhD, 4+3 for med school), and in med school, you dont have the added weight of dissertation defenses, professors dicking with you just to keep you there for the free labor, etc. Med school sounded less stressful, offers a better quality of life upon completion, and gives you more flexible alternatives (ie you may decide you like something else through your rotations). PhD candidates mainly described their life as hell, whereas med students seem to like it. it was enough to change my mind
     
  33. lazure

    lazure Senior Member
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    There are some relatively satisfied clinical psychology PhDs to be. Yes there's a lot of politics involved but show me a setting where there isn't ;) I personally enjoy the research very much and am considering an academic position....not all paths to happiness lead through med school :) as a clinician, I will not have to be on call and can close my private office at 5pm....
     
  34. medtechv79

    medtechv79 Senior Member
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    haha. U guys seem like u got off the subject for a while?
    DRPILOT-I'm no expert but if u are interested in medicine and psychology why don't u just go into psychiatry? U can help pts. and prescribe medications....Dropping out of residency and going into another PHD pgms sounds soo...senseless all that hardwork (4yrs) for nothing! And u can get paid more with an MD degree am I not right? I don't know maybe u should just stick with the med school plan until u really decide if its for u or not....
     
  35. JRB

    JRB Member
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    With an interest in medicine and psychology, another option you should consider is Health Psychology; particularly if you think you would gain more personal satisfaction by working closely with patients and their families on the psychosocial and behavioral aspects of health and disease.

    Health psychologists work in medical settings, and the patient is treated from a collaborative care model. If you are interested in working with children and their families, this is a good field to pursue as the field is lacking in Pediatric Health Psychologists.

    I have several colleagues who work with peds, and absolutely love what they are doing. One works on a burn unit, another is in oncology, one works wtih children with sickle cell, and the other works at a craniofacial center.

    Also, as the field of medicine continues to evolve, new models of managing chronic disease are emerging. Type 2 diabetes is a prime example of an area that is being carefully studied with regard to the impact of collaborative care on the practice of medicine. Kaiser-Permanente has led the way in introducing novel ways for physicians and health psychologists to collaborate in caring for these patients, and thus far their data looks promising with regard to health outcomes, patient satisfaction, and cost-effectiveness.

    I concur with other posts who have discouraged you from pursuing both a medicine and psychology degree (unless that's just what you really want to do). Think about how you see yourself working with people, consider the type of information you are drawn to and how you like to learn, and consider the economic issues.


    JRB
     

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