Internship Musing

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by PositivelySkewed, 09.30.14.

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  1. PositivelySkewed

    PositivelySkewed

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    Had a discussion with a fellow intern today about the 2,000 hour requirement. She thinks that after the contracted 2,000 hours, interns should be free to leave and have fulfilled their requirement. I commented that it's pretty much understood that most interns will accumulate well over 2,000 hours in their internship year (hell I've heard stories of this happening before Christmas). Also commented that it would possibly burn bridges leaving before a year has transpired.

    This seems like a pretty important issue that hasn't been explored (2,000 hours vs. 1 yr)-- anyone have insight into this? I was surprised looking into the contractual stuff that this isn't more specifically laid out.

    Her conversation also got me to thinking-- some of the lower paying intern slots might actually pay interns lower than minimum wage. This also seems important (in light of the Internship Nightmare thread where an intern might be taking legal action against her site).
     
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  3. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    I assume that someone starts sometime in the summer for internship, as most do. If so, it's impossible to get 2000 hours by XMas. That refers to your paid hours by the way.
     
  4. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    It will depend on how each state's laws are written, though it is presumed to be 12mon/2,000hr in the vast majority of states. I'd be concerned about a site that piles on hours, as it is supposed to be a training experience. When I went through internship we had to keep meticulous records of our hours for the VA, though it was really interesting to see how each week was spent. Hours were required outside of "core" VA hours to accrue 2,000 hours in the given timeframe (because of vacation time), but we still made it pretty easily because of time spent writing neuropsych reports, journal club, etc.
     
  5. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-VA 7+ Year Member

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    2000 hours in 6 months is 80 hours per week. What intern is working 16 hours days?!
     
  6. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    A 40-hour a week job will get you 2080 hours in a calendar year.Most states just require the completion of that year, as long as a certain percentage of hours are assumed to be direct clinical contact.
     
  7. OneNeuroDoctor

    OneNeuroDoctor Clinical Neuropsychologist 2+ Year Member

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    You have to do 12 months regardless of the hours accumulation. Some interns start earlier than other and may finish sooner. Some internships have overlap of 2-3 weeks between cohorts and they allow 2-3 weeks sick/vacation time.

    Some sites let interns off on Fridays or part of Friday but the interns may work ten hour days the rest of the week.

    Most stipends are below the minimum wage poverty level and some interns qualify for food stamps but most take out additional student loans.

    Many sites have electronic records so if you are writing reports, progress notes, ect... at home you can count this time but you still have to do a full year.
     
    Last edited: 09.30.14
  8. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    I don't know about most internships being below the poverty line. That's about 11k. Any VA internship is the low to mid 20's. Out of the 14 that I applied to, I think the lowest was 20k.
     
  9. OneNeuroDoctor

    OneNeuroDoctor Clinical Neuropsychologist 2+ Year Member

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    Some are in the 12000 to 16000 range and if you are supporting family it would be poverty level. Some internships are unpaid.
     
  10. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Assuming you are a single parent or have a spouse that is not working. I don't think those are most inernships though. I imagine the mean stipiend is much higher than that, especially considering the sheer number that the VA offers.
     
  11. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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  12. inurfase

    inurfase 2+ Year Member

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    Its such a revelation to read perspectives from different places. I'm a doctor in India, now a practising interventional radiologist. When I was an intern here (2006-7) we worked upto 90-100 hours/week... Monday-Saturday 12hours/day, 2 24 hour duties per week and every 3rd Sunday on call...
     
  13. inurfase

    inurfase 2+ Year Member

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    And got paid about the equivalent of 40 dollars a month...
     
  14. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Ouch, yeah, knowing what we do about fatigue and decision making, I'm ok with limiting medical residents hours on the clock to a manageable level.
     
  15. smalltownpsych

    smalltownpsych 2+ Year Member

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    In my mind, it is a one-year internship. Hours counting is more for the MA level folks. I finished my requirements for post-doc hours about a month before the year was up and got my license but I continued my supervision and ended at one year. In a few years, the month or two won't matter too much in the scheme of things. Everything seemed magnified during the pressure cooker of a solid APA internship. There was lots of drama at our site and I don't think that is too unusual, it can be pretty intense at times. Now that I am out in the real world as independent licensed psychologist, I am grateful for that experience. As a clinical director, I witnessed directly the difference in ability to navigate ethical dilemmas, professionalism, capacity to handle stress while maintaining sound reasoning skills that a newly graduated doctoral student has over an LPC in the same situation and I think some of that can be attributed to the APA internship process.
     
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  16. DynamicDidactic

    DynamicDidactic Ass of Prof 5+ Year Member

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    fortunately, there is a growing empirical base showing that these types of training experiences are detrimental to patient health.
     
  17. inurfase

    inurfase 2+ Year Member

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    Hey I wasn't saying I'm a fan... Its just what happened... And unfortunately still does...
     
  18. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist 10+ Year Member

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    :whistle:
     
  19. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    You have to stay until they inform you that you have completed the requirements. Good luck with hour counting. It will never fly.

    Mark
     
  20. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Plug for the VA internships. I rarely worked more than 45 hours in a week. Maybe like 3 weeks out of the year that happened.
     
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  21. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-VA 7+ Year Member

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  22. PositivelySkewed

    PositivelySkewed

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    Wow I have talked to about a dozen of my intern friends at a variety of placements and only two average under 50 hours a week. Several are over 60 and come in on Saturdays and Sundays to catch up on notes and write reports. I average about 50 hours a week.
     
  23. PositivelySkewed

    PositivelySkewed

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    And I feel like I've gotten off lightly.
     
  24. PositivelySkewed

    PositivelySkewed

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    Also on two of my interviews, during the candid conversation portion with the then current interns, they warned all of the interviewees that their sites worked them to death and that on occasion they put in close to 70 hour weeks.
     
  25. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-VA 7+ Year Member

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    The difference in learning and competencey attainment one gets when they leave work at 5 vs 7 or 8 seems negligible to me. I don't understand why internships are providing work that can't be accomplished within the actual hours of clinic operation.
     
  26. Ollie123

    Ollie123 7+ Year Member

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    I think for some sites, its just about being understaffed and that burden falling on the interns to be cheap labor. Some locations (*cough* NYC *cough*) have a reputation for making it much less about the training experience and much more about milking the cheap labor for all its worth...something I think is only possible because its considered a desirable location and they know people will do anything to stay.

    I'm probably coming in around 45 most weeks with internship stuff, though bump that up to more like 60-65 when you factor in post-doc applications and the fact that I am unwilling to totally lose all the research momentum I've built up over the last decade. Nowhere near the worst, but I definitely have colleagues in other settings (like the VA) with shorter hours and/or more research time built in.
     
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  27. OneNeuroDoctor

    OneNeuroDoctor Clinical Neuropsychologist 2+ Year Member

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    One thing I was not aware of until doing my internship was the involvement of the current intern cohort on reviewing applications for the next intern cohort and participation in the whole process.

    I normally put in 12 hour days but only four hours on Fridays as they gave us time to do dissertation related activities on Friday afternoon.
     
  28. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

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    Like WisNeuro, I very rarely worked more than 40-45 hours/week on internship, and never did so based on duties that were explicitly required. Anytime I clocked more than that, it's because I was working on extra stuff (e.g., dissertation).

    Edit: Also, just in my experience, many of the interns I know who consistently worked/talked about working long hours were, in many ways, forcing it on themselves by being inefficient with their time. Taking twice as long as was needed to interview patients, write reports, prepare presentations, etc.
     

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