Thanks for the thoughtful reply! I wasn't worried until I began researching internship sites in more detail....and almost every one has 100 to 200 applicants from 3 to 8 spots!! TBH it scares the **** out of me , I didn't realize how abysmal the numbers are. I come from a pretty solid clinical psych PhD program, lots of hours, a handful of publications, and I still don't know if I can fight against those odds..You're missing the big picture though - don't focus on who is competitive one way or another because it isn't the thing that makes you the most likely to interview or place at a site (much less be happy). Find fit at an APA Accredited site, apply to the site, then rinse/repeat.
Why are you so worried about competitiveness of the site?
This was one of those things I hated hearing people tell m, but I'll tell you anyway: "It works out." If you're concerned about match but come from a good program with hours/pubs/etc, know that the odds are on your side and only getting better with more and more sites opening/getting funding. From your other post, you are in CA and that goes against you though, so consider region when you are looking. If you can, don't be regionally bound. There are so many awesome programs out there in 'less than ideal' locations. Everyone wants to be at the beach, but you'll be amazed at how the number of applicants/spots/program name does not reflect intern happiness, training quality, balance with /actual/ life, etc.Thanks for the thoughtful reply! I wasn't worried until I began researching internship sites in more detail....and almost every one has 100 to 200 applicants from 3 to 8 spots!! TBH it scares the **** out of me , I didn't realize how abysmal the numbers are. I come from a pretty solid clinical psych PhD program, lots of hours, a handful of publications, and I still don't know if I can fight against those odds..
I think this is a good point. Certainly no one should feel the need to apply to sites that aren't a good fit solely because of prestige, but I don't think that prestige is meaningless, either. I did my internship at what is, objectively speaking, a prestigious site - it's mentioned as such on SDN when threads like this come up, for example. Sites are often (though not always) considered prestigious because of the caliber of training that they can offer, and my training experience was stellar. When I presented at conferences, people commented on my affiliation with that site, and it came up during fellowship and job interviews, too. It wasn't the most important factor, but it definitely helped to give me an advantage. That doesn't mean that going to a less prestigious site is detrimental, or that people should obsess over the relative prestige of every site on their list, but in some situations the prestige factor may come into play.I agree wholeheartedly that going where you fit and where the training is suited to your needs is ideal.
However, this notion that prestige does not matter is simply untrue. If you can get identical training at a Harvard affiliated institution versus insert-lesser-known-site-here, then of course go to Boston. When you apply for a fellowship or a faculty position, having a prestigious institution on your CV looks nice. It won't define you, nor will it be the reason why you get the job, but it's a cherry on top.
Again, I would not suggest you sacrifice fit/happiness for an Ivy League institution, but all things being equal, why wouldn't this factor matter?
The best advice I received (and the advice I give to students now) was to rank the sites by how they addressed my clinical needs as an individual. A site can have the most interesting rotations around, but if they don't fit an aspect of training I want/need, then it is far less useful to me than a place that would help round out my training and make me a solid clinician.If two sites are in a dead heat, then sure, possibly bump one up based on the fact that it's well-known. But personally, I definitely ranked some well-known sites lower than those from which I got a better feel, but that didn't have quite the same name cache.