Feb 24, 2020
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Hi all,

I am a longtime lurker and am very grateful for all the insight on this forum, especially from the more clinically inclined members, given my research-oriented phd program's lack in this perspective. I am posting my question here to get more of this clinical perspective on the following questions:

1. How important is the internship program's prestige..
1a. For post-doc? (E.g., If I apply for postdocs at more reputable programs, will they consider the reputation of my internship program? Will it be considered when comparing me with applicants from more prestigious programs? If so, how much?)
1b. For future/job market? (E.g., same as above)

2. How important is the internship program's past record of matched students' programs (E.g., phd vs psyd distribution, "diploma mill" students, etc.)...
2a. For post-doc?
2b. For jobs/future?

3. I am sure this depends on a ton of factors, but just to get a general sense, in the clinical job market, is more weight placed on the internship program's prestige (vs. Graduate program's)?

4. For any of these questions, if the program's prestige/past match record does matter, what are some ways to compensate for completing a less reputable internship? For example, for those on the other side, if your program recently matched with or hired someone from a less reputable internship, what made them equally or more competitive, compared to someone from a more prestigious internship?

For the record (I am sure the anxiety is showing), I still matched at an APA-accredited VA site and am looking to pursue a VA career... for which, profs said none of the above matters as long as still VA connection. But again, looking for more insider perspective.

Thank you!
 

AcronymAllergy

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Hi all,

I am a longtime lurker and am very grateful for all the insight on this forum, especially from the more clinically inclined members, given my research-oriented phd program's lack in this perspective. I am posting my question here to get more of this clinical perspective on the following questions:

1. How important is the internship program's prestige..
1a. For post-doc? (E.g., If I apply for postdocs at more reputable programs, will they consider the reputation of my internship program? Will it be considered when comparing me with applicants from more prestigious programs? If so, how much?)
1b. For future/job market? (E.g., same as above)

2. How important is the internship program's past record of matched students' programs (E.g., phd vs psyd distribution, "diploma mill" students, etc.)...
2a. For post-doc?
2b. For jobs/future?

3. I am sure this depends on a ton of factors, but just to get a general sense, in the clinical job market, is more weight placed on the internship program's prestige (vs. Graduate program's)?

4. For any of these questions, if the program's prestige/past match record does matter, what are some ways to compensate for completing a less reputable internship? For example, for those on the other side, if your program recently matched with or hired someone from a less reputable internship, what made them equally or more competitive, compared to someone from a more prestigious internship?

For the record (I am sure the anxiety is showing), I still matched at an APA-accredited VA site and am looking to pursue a VA career... for which, profs said none of the above matters as long as still VA connection. But again, looking for more insider perspective.

Thank you!

My take on some quick answers (for clinical positions; I'll let others speak to the strange and fascinating world of academia):

1a) Somewhat important to unimportant, depending on the postdoc type (e.g., may be a bit more important for something like neuro)
1b) Not important in a broad sense; who you train with and the networking opportunities they can provide might help find jobs, though; but maybe a little important on a local scale in some situations? Not sure.

2a&b) Not important when separated from the prestige component; I couldn't even tell you that information about my own internship

3) Graduate program

4) I don't know that there's a substantial need to compensate; if you're able to participate in additional activities (e.g., research), or in rotations that are compatible with the type of job you're looking for (e.g., a health psychology rotation for a health behavior coordinator position), go for it

If it's a VA site, the prestige probably isn't going to matter much. Seeing a "name brand" VAMC (e.g., Palo Alto, Tampa, etc.) may cause someone to briefly say, "oh, that's great" or, "oh, they must've trained with X or Y, very nice."
 
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Sanman

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It varies, but in general no one cares. If you trained at one for the more prestigious VA centers, it may help at those VA centers or AMCs. It may be a disadvantage at a small more clinically focused VA as you may be seen as a poor fit for a job.


Be in the same circle you want your career direction to flow. You want a more clinical job, best is to go to a clinically focused internship. VA liked VA. Reseqrch oriented likes research oriented.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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Thanks for all the thoughtful responses! I think the general impression I am getting is that it doesn't matter as much (unless neuro and some other specialty fields).

Had a follow-up with this piece though:

It varies, but in general no one cares. If you trained at one for the more prestigious VA centers, it may help at those VA centers or AMCs. It may be a disadvantage at a small more clinically focused VA as you may be seen as a poor fit for a job.


Be in the same circle you want your career direction to flow. You want a more clinical job, best is to go to a clinically focused internship. VA liked VA. Reseqrch oriented likes research oriented.

I do want to end up at the prestigious VAs or AMC eventually (interviewed at several but unfortunately did not work out this round). With this goal in mind, for which I may then be a step behind according to Sanman's post, any pointers for how to make up for this? AcronymAllergy mentioned research and relevant rotations. For the research piece, is this ideally research with the VA? Or would any research be similarly beneficial (e.g., research with graduate program professors, meta-analyses)?

Also, if there is a health psychologist who would be willing to chat by PM about more specific questions, please let me know!

Again, thanks so much for everyone's time. This really helps.
 

Sanman

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To clarify, the more "prestigious" VA centers tend to be that way due to the fact that they are more active in research similar to many AMC faculty and hire people that do research more than some other facilities. If you can help with a research or process improvement project, that will help. Publishing more always helps etc. There is no magic bullet. Be a solid clinician and keep developing you area of research. Areas relevant to clinical care generally work out the best.
 
Nov 18, 2019
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Thanks for all the thoughtful responses! I think the general impression I am getting is that it doesn't matter as much (unless neuro and some other specialty fields).

Had a follow-up with this piece though:



I do want to end up at the prestigious VAs or AMC eventually (interviewed at several but unfortunately did not work out this round). With this goal in mind, for which I may then be a step behind according to Sanman's post, any pointers for how to make up for this? AcronymAllergy mentioned research and relevant rotations. For the research piece, is this ideally research with the VA? Or would any research be similarly beneficial (e.g., research with graduate program professors, meta-analyses)?

Also, if there is a health psychologist who would be willing to chat by PM about more specific questions, please let me know!

Again, thanks so much for everyone's time. This really helps.
I might be able to help a bit. Training in VA, going to an AMC for a health psych position.
 

CatLover&PsychEnthusiast

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If you’re trying to land in a competitive geographic area then prestige matters for internship/postdoc. It also helps to network with people from the geographical area or center you want to work at. If that doesn’t matter as much to you or if you’re hoping for a region that’s less competitive then probably not so much.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN
 

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