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Not quite sure of the correct path…

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by piernas, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. piernas

    piernas 10+ Year Member

    Dec 1, 2003
    Hi all,

    I have been pondering what to do career-wise for quite awhile. I have a psychology degree, and was pre-med during college. I always thought I would go onto medical school, but after working 3 years in clinical research, I find that clinical medicine doesn’t interest me all that much….except for psychiatry (and psych research). But, I don’t really think I have the drive to complete medical school, especially with the lack of interest in other fields, and I enjoy my friends, family and free time too much!

    So, some alternatives have been floating around in my head. I have been thinking about becoming a PA in psych or a psych NP. I do like research though, and sometimes think I could give or take the patient contact. I am pretty interested in nutritional and alternative medicine in the treatment psychiatric disorders, especially depression. Maybe I should become a RD and get an MA in counseling? Or maybe a PhD in clinical psychology (although I don’t have that great of a GPA – 3.4, may not be that competitive of an applicant)? I haven’t really even been able to find a program that matches my interests….

    Sorry, I feel like I am all over the place…any advice?
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  3. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Cenpatico National 10+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    Well if you enjoy your freetime that much, a Ph.D should be out, since it is nearly as demanding as medical school in terms of the number of hours you will put into classes. Your years of clinical research would serve you well for a Ph.D however, and although your GPA is below the average for those accepted, a 3.4, doesn't exclude you automatically. It al comes down to career goals really. If you could specify what you want to do exactly, then people could give better recommendations.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
  4. solumanculver

    solumanculver 7+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2005
    I think that you need to evaluate your career goals. What do you mean when you say that you're not interested in clinical medicine or research at all, except for psychiatry? Some people say that and mean that they want to become psychiatrists but are dreading their surgery and internal medicine rotations. If that's what you mean, then that in no way means that you shouldn't go to medical school. Most of the people who go to medical school are convinced that they want to be "x" and are dreading their "y" and "z" rotations, so you would be no different than everyone else in that respect.

    On the other hand, if you mean that you're not interested in learning about the endocrine system, cardiovascular system, and all of that biology stuff, but you want to work with the mentally ill... then I think that you should avoid medical school altogether, as well as NP school and PA school... I suppose you should consider psychology graduate school in that case, although I suppose that they have to learn a certain amount of that stuff as well (right?).

    I don't know a lot of RD, but I think you might be able to go down that path and still maintain a certain amount of free time (I hope I'm not offending any dietitians, correct me if I'm wrong).
  5. JockNerd

    JockNerd 5+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2007
    I was just about to write a post that said exactly this. I don't think any med student likes everything about med school (I have a gay friend who complained endlessly about his Ob/Gyn rotation...), so that shouldn't be the reasons someone chooses to not go the med route.

    Any decent psych PhD program won't give you any more free time than med school, and you'd probably have to be ready to move to get in (if that affects the friends/family thing), especially if you have unique interests.

    I've heard bad things about how rough things are on the RD route from some former classmates. I think the counseling MA wouldn't be useful to it, personally... seems to be a big investment for no real return. There are alternatives to build clinical skills if that's that the intention behind that was.

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