boba_psych

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Hi all,

I'm a 3rd year PhD student, a long time lurker, and have gained a fair amount of insight on this board so far on pursuing training in neuropsychology. I was wondering if I could get your opinions on a few questions regarding applying for neuropsychology internships (I am planning on applying next cycle as a 4th year student):

1. I have heard that it is common to take a 5th year to get extra externship hours, and that this increases your competitiveness for matching at a neuro internship site. I was wondering whether any of you took an extra year in your program to do this, and if you felt it increased your competitiveness, as well, wondering if anyone felt they were competitive without the extra year of externship?

(For context, counting my next practicum placement, I will have completed 3 practica in neuropsychology with varied experiences in psychotherapy, cognitive remediation, and neuropsychological assessment; though hours are a bit on the low side due to disruptions in training related to the pandemic).


2. My program is fairly new, and working towards better supporting neuropsych interested students, but we do not have a neuropsycholoigist as a faculty member - this point often comes up in my interviews with training directors for externship applications, though is rarely discussed in depth. Would this put me at a disadvantage for internship?

(also other context, I will be completing a neuropsych relevant dissertation - we have faculty that study cognitive neuroscience with clinical populations. We also have a neuropsychological assessment course, and I'm taking the clinical neuroanatomy course from NAN)


3. My partner will be applying for residency at the same time as I will be applying for internship. I have heard of couples matching when you are both applying for residency, but seeing as we are applying for match in two different match systems/disciplines, just wondering if there is a way to increase the chances of matching in the same general geographical area or hospital?


4. Aside from clinical hours and research experiences, what other experiences can help with increasing a neuropsych applicant's competitiveness?
 

WisNeuro

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1. Really depends on where you are at with hours and research productivity.
2. Probably, though that could be made up with LORs if those are from known quantities to some reviewers.
3. The couples match is a crapshoot. Most match, but you tend to match much lower down your list. I'd have a frank discussion about couples match vs. living apart for one year.
4. Turning research experiences into product. I'd say that having posters/pubs matters more in neuro than in more generalist internship sites.
 
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1. Really depends on where you are at with hours and research productivity.
2. Probably, though that could be made up with LORs if those are from known quantities to some reviewers.
3. The couples match is a crapshoot. Most match, but you tend to match much lower down your list. I'd have a frank discussion about couples match vs. living apart for one year.
4. Turning research experiences into product. I'd say that having posters/pubs matters more in neuro than in more generalist internship sites.
All else being equal, is there a "safe" number of pubs/posters to shoot for? (Edit: beyond, naturally, "as many as possible.")
 
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WisNeuro

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All else being equal, is there a "safe" number of pubs/posters to shoot for? (Edit: beyond, naturally, "as many as possible.")

Kind of depends on the site and how research oriented they are. If you can, push to get a pub. After that, you should have presented some posters at national conferences (AACN, INS, NAN).
 
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AcronymAllergy

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All else being equal, is there a "safe" number of pubs/posters to shoot for? (Edit: beyond, naturally, "as many as possible.")

Just one publication, especially if first-authored, combined with a handful (e.g., half-dozen) of posters will significantly help your application. Multiple pubs will look even better. If at all possible, as WisNeuro said, try for at least one publication.

Edit: And by publication, I specifically mean a manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal. Book chapters will probably not be nearly as helpful (although can be great if they're in addition to manuscripts), and encyclopedia entries even less so.
 
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boba_psych

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Thanks for your replies! From what I've gathered from previous posts, a neuropsych applicant should have at least somewhere around 200 intervention and 400 assessment hours. For those who are training directors for internship, have these requirements changed somewhat for your internship sites? I know some sites on the appic directory now don't have specific minimums, but it's hard to know how many hours are competitive enough to apply given potentially lower bars to be measured against because of the disruptions in training.

I'm also interested to see how this will play out with each successive year of applications (i.e. the cohort above me experienced disruptions in their last 1.5 years of practicum, vs my cohort has potentially more time in the future to continue to experience covid related disruptions). Just food for thought I guess!
 

WisNeuro

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600 total would be on the low end for a good amount of sites. It will meet the requirements to apply but it would be pretty low compared to the usual applicant field. The pandemic could have affected this, but in typical years, it would be low.
 
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mxbz

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Thanks for your replies! From what I've gathered from previous posts, a neuropsych applicant should have at least somewhere around 200 intervention and 400 assessment hours. For those who are training directors for internship, have these requirements changed somewhat for your internship sites? I know some sites on the appic directory now don't have specific minimums, but it's hard to know how many hours are competitive enough to apply given potentially lower bars to be measured against because of the disruptions in training.

I'm also interested to see how this will play out with each successive year of applications (i.e. the cohort above me experienced disruptions in their last 1.5 years of practicum, vs my cohort has potentially more time in the future to continue to experience covid related disruptions). Just food for thought I guess!
I recently matched to one of my top choices for neuro- internship training with ~500 hours of intervention + ~500 hours of assessment + solid research experience in the field -- Peers of mine have been told in the past that they were considered less competitive for certain neuro- internships because their intervention hours were too low, but YMMV
 
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str63

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600 total would be on the low end for a good amount of sites. It will meet the requirements to apply but it would be pretty low compared to the usual applicant field. The pandemic could have affected this, but in typical years, it would be low.
Agree, this would definitely be on the low end and likely wouldn't be a competitive number for our site unless your background/experiences were spectacular. Those who generally receive interviews for neuropsych at our site have 800+ total hours (generally more in assessment than intervention, but still a decent amount in intervention). Granted, this was before COVID and I am certain that those applying this year had lower overall numbers.
 
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Psy443

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Just to chime in as an n=1. I was in the low/mid 300s in both assessment and intervention hours. I applied/matched this year exclusively to neuro tracks at VAs/AMCs and had no problem getting interviews. The rest of my application was very strong, but I do not come from a particularly powerhouse program or anything. At least in my experience applying during covid, as long as I was a little above the site minimum, it did not seem to be an issue. Of course take this as just an anecdote. I am just an upcoming intern and have obviously never been a part of a selection committee.
 
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