Pros and Cons and feedback of the Navy's Internship program

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.
The website is referring to total hours. not face to face, big difference. If ione has 3000 hours, then i would guess about 1500 or so of those are face to face hours. Thats still alot though.

How do you know the difference? Most of the programs only list a number without specifying whether it is total hours or direct client hours.

Kyle

Members don't see this ad.
 
1. because of the way it is phased. "Students will accumulate about 3,000 hours of pre-internship clinical practicum experience" suggests thats the total number of practicum hours they will be accumulating.

2. 3000 face to face hours would mean one would have 5000-6000 total hours of practicum experience. Unless you're in a doctoral program for 8 years or so, or you have been doing 35-40 hour per week practicums during 4 years of grad school, your not gonna reach that number.
 
1. because of the way it is phased. "Students will accumulate about 3,000 hours of pre-internship clinical practicum experience" suggests thats the total number of practicum hours they will be accumulating.

2. 3000 face to face hours would mean one would have 5000-6000 total hours of practicum experience. Unless you're in a doctoral program for 8 years or so, or you have been doing 35-40 hour per week practicums during 4 years of grad school, your not gonna reach that number.
why do you think its automatically half? just curious.
 
Members don't see this ad :)
Its just an estimate.

Unless all 3000 of those hours were psychotherapy, then things like scoring, conceptualization, report writing, treatment plan writing, chart/medical record review etc. add up to alot. Plus, you will (or should) be adding supervison hours into all that. Count in didactics, rounds, etc. I think a little less than half is a good estimate.

Just for some perspective, the average number of face to face hours for an applicant at time of APPIC application is 700. The "high average" is about 1360. Obviously there are outliners- some with more than that and some with with less. But 3000 face to face hours is probably very very rare.
 
Last edited:
Its just an estimate.

Unless all 3000 of those hours were psychotherapy, then things like scoring, conceptualization, report writing, treatment plan writing, chart/medical record review etc. add up to alot. Plus, you will (or should) be adding supervison hours into all that. Count in didactics, rounds, etc. I think a little less than half is a good estimate.

Just for some perspective, the average number of face to face hours for an applicant at time of APPIC application is 700. The "high average" is about 1360. Obviously there are outliners- some with more than that and some with with less. But 3000 face to face hours is probably very very rare.
ah, i see...
 
markp:

Someone applying for both navy and air force internships this year told me they are NOT doing any student loan repayment plans unless you were in the service before the internship. Yikes! Is this true!?
 
markp:

Someone applying for both navy and air force internships this year told me they are NOT doing any student loan repayment plans unless you were in the service before the internship. Yikes! Is this true!?

I don't think so! I would check with your recruiter or CDR Ralph, but I have never heard anything remotely like that and I know people with no prior service who are planning on using these programs. There is nothing in the regulation that would disqualify you as far as I know either, and I have read the actual regulation covering the program before.

You can't double dip, for instance if you have a commitment for 6 years from USUHS (like I do) you can't use LRP on top of that.

Read this document: http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/navme...1xG9XVe-w674KMj0A&sig2=0hmrMdw7Tlwyryv7JjLrKg

Mark
 

Attachments

  • HPLRP Accessions Service Agreement 07 (2) Blank.doc
    69 KB · Views: 334
Last edited by a moderator:
Just a quick update for those who were reading this thread.

*The Navy will pay back 40k per year in student loans for 3 years (120k total), but only upon signing up for a second tour. In other words, the initial 4 year commitment you make when you accept internship will NOT qualify you for student loan repayment. However, these policies evolve and change per needs every few years, (so ive heard).

*Internship year stipend has now been raised to 71k.

*will be more opportunity for npsych and tbi work at Bethesda now because of their merging with Walter Reed.
 
Last edited:
Markp

Do all the people coming out of UHSUS each year go, or guaranteed, the navy internship? Am i really comepting for 6 open spots as APPIC says, or is more like 4 (if 2 of the spots are guaranteed to UHSUS students)?
 
Markp

Do all the people coming out of UHSUS each year go, or guaranteed, the navy internship? Am i really comepting for 6 open spots as APPIC says, or is more like 4 (if 2 of the spots are guaranteed to UHSUS students)?

There is some good news here. The Navy, understanding how APPIC works, knows that they cannot guarantee slots at their APPIC internship sites to Navy students (HPSP or USUHS.) As a result the Navy is standing up a new internship site in Norfolk, VA with the intention of making it an APA accredited site but not being part of the APPIC match progess.

So the bottom line is that NNMC and San Diego will remain competitive APPIC sites. All USUHS and HPSP students will go to Norlfolk for their internships.

Mark
 
I am going to be the one to ask the taboo questions =) I am a PsyD student and considering on applying to the Navy Clinical Psych Scholarship. My uncle is a retired Captain. My questions are,

1. Is it different overseas for woman who are deployed verses men? I have heard some horror stories... rape, violence, ect.

2. Would being a Psychologist and a women effect how my patients are treated? For instance, a male patient might not open up about issues or fears to a young attractive female doctor. (not being conceited just giving an example)

3. What if I want to have kids? Am I booted out the second I am pregnant? What if I am three years into my scholarship?

4. I could NEVER kill anyone, it is against my personal code of ethics. I also don't agree with WHY we have chosen to go to war in some certain instances. That being said, I have a huge passion for helping vet's and solders with PTSD and the families that are grieving a lost soldier. Just because I could never kill someone doesn't mean I judge those who have. Would this kind of thinking not allow me to be in the Navy?

Thanks in advance!
 
I am going to be the one to ask the taboo questions =) I am a PsyD student and considering on applying to the Navy Clinical Psych Scholarship. My uncle is a retired Captain. My questions are,

1. Is it different overseas for woman who are deployed verses men? I have heard some horror stories... rape, violence, ect.

Life is different for female officers than it is for enlisted females, this is just my opinion though. Junior enlisted females are a fairly high risk in my opinion of being exploited when compared to males, and certainly when compared to female officers (especially at the rank of O3, which is where a psychologist starts) who are far less likely to be at risk of exploitation. Psychologists in general, I believe, would be less at risk than most. That said, the world is still a dangerous place.

2. Would being a Psychologist and a women effect how my patients are treated? For instance, a male patient might not open up about issues or fears to a young attractive female doctor. (not being conceited just giving an example)
I think that you'll find that your gender is both an asset and a limitation (same for men as well.) You need to identify when it is getting in the way and learn ways to compensate. It happens regardless of your gender and the patient's gender.


3. What if I want to have kids? Am I booted out the second I am pregnant? What if I am three years into my scholarship?
You can have kids, just like normal people. ;) You get 6 weeks of maternity leave and a waiver for 6 months from the physical fitness test. It's not a big deal. The maternity uniforms lack a little to be desired though (opinions of the females wearing them, not mine.)

4. I could NEVER kill anyone, it is against my personal code of ethics. I also don't agree with WHY we have chosen to go to war in some certain instances. That being said, I have a huge passion for helping vet's and solders with PTSD and the families that are grieving a lost soldier. Just because I could never kill someone doesn't mean I judge those who have. Would this kind of thinking not allow me to be in the Navy?
If you state that you are a conscientious objector, you will not be allowed to join. So if your personal code of ethics includes not killing people who would kill, rape, torture or otherwise cause serious bodily injury to you or those around you, then the military may not be a good fit.

Here is the reality of the situation: You will be required to know how to use a firearm, you will be required at times to carry a firearm, and you are a military officer. You might find yourself in a situation where you would need to use a firearm to defend yourself or others.

You will not be asked as a Psychologist to engage the enemy, at least I cannot imagine a situation where you would be asked to engage in offensive combat actions. That's not what we do, just as you wouldn't expect to see a surgeon pick up a rifle and jump into a humvee to go on patrol, you won't see psychologists doing that either. The job of psychologist is one of a non-combatant. You'll be expected to not be a combatant, but that doesn't relieve you of the right to self-defense.

Mark
 
Members don't see this ad :)
Thanks so much Mark that really shed some light on all of my questions. I guess when you put it that way, defending people against rapist, murderers ect it sounds reasonable. Maternity uniforms sound awful but I'm sure I could deal.=)

Three last questions for now.

If I were to get stationed not deployed would I be able to bring my mother? Or are you only able to bring spouses and children?

Secondly, do I go to boot camp for 12 weeks what if I can't take off of school?

Thirdly, Do I have to get vaccinations at MEPS if I have a doctors note saying I am allergic? We know how the military loves to pump the solders full of shots but I am very sensitive and have reactions.


Thanks!
 
Thanks so much Mark that really shed some light on all of my questions. I guess when you put it that way, defending people against rapist, murderers ect it sounds reasonable. Maternity uniforms sound awful but I'm sure I could deal.=)

Three last questions for now.

If I were to get stationed not deployed would I be able to bring my mother? Or are you only able to bring spouses and children?

Secondly, do I go to boot camp for 12 weeks what if I can't take off of school?

Thirdly, Do I have to get vaccinations at MEPS if I have a doctors note saying I am allergic? We know how the military loves to pump the solders full of shots but I am very sensitive and have reactions.


Thanks!

As far as i know, since you will be living off base in almost all posts, its up to you who lives with you. The miltary has no say in that. If your mom isnt currently living with you and you want her to move with you, they wont pay to move her (pack up her aprtment and such) like they do you, unless she is a dependent.

Officer training (a mini-boot camp) is 5 weeks and is in Newport, Rhode Island. You go straight from there to your internship.

Not sure about the last question.
 
Thanks so much Mark that really shed some light on all of my questions. I guess when you put it that way, defending people against rapist, murderers ect it sounds reasonable. Maternity uniforms sound awful but I'm sure I could deal.=)

Three last questions for now.

If I were to get stationed not deployed would I be able to bring my mother? Or are you only able to bring spouses and children?

As noted above, your mother can live with you off post with or without her being a dependent. Many times people can get a single parent declared a dependent (which implies that you are legally responsible for them and their care.) If she is a dependent the rules are somewhat different. It is not a very common situation. I would not expect them to allow you to claim your mother as a dependent without a pretty good reason.

That said, you can still have her live with you in off base housing. I wouldn't see this as being a problem or something that you could not work around.


Secondly, do I go to boot camp for 12 weeks what if I can't take off of school?

As others have stated, it's 5 weeks... they'll make sure you get the opportunity to enjoy RI. It's actually pretty easy time.

Thirdly, Do I have to get vaccinations at MEPS if I have a doctors note saying I am allergic? We know how the military loves to pump the solders full of shots but I am very sensitive and have reactions.

No but it's possible that they might not let you in, depends on what you are allergic to. The vaccinations happen at boot camp, they will be gentle and they will not stick you against the doctors orders.

Mark
 
Awesome Guys thanks! They should pay you for posting! Or Mark, you should write a Navy Clinical Psych student dummy handbook =)
 
Thank you for all the information on these threads. I feel like I've learned so much by reading them!

I did some searching and found an upper age limit for UHSUS (30) and 35 with a waiver. That leaves me out, but how about the HPSP scholarship? I've looked and can't find any specific age limits, but I'm only just starting to understand all this.

I haven't yet begun to even apply to a psy d program; but would really like to serve military personnel stationed overseas, especially in Okinawa where I'd hope to use my Japanese and counseling skills.

Any ideas are welcome and thank you to everyone who is helping me understand this field!
 
Thank you for all the information on these threads. I feel like I've learned so much by reading them!

I did some searching and found an upper age limit for UHSUS (30) and 35 with a waiver. That leaves me out, but how about the HPSP scholarship? I've looked and can't find any specific age limits, but I'm only just starting to understand all this.

I haven't yet begun to even apply to a psy d program; but would really like to serve military personnel stationed overseas, especially in Okinawa where I'd hope to use my Japanese and counseling skills.

Any ideas are welcome and thank you to everyone who is helping me understand this field!

Not so quick... I got my slot at USUHS at 40 WITHOUT A WAIVER.

There are 2 things to consider.

1. Prior service subtracts from the number (i.e. served 9 years 40-9=31)

2. USUHS medical school and graduate programs DO NOT PLAY BY THE SAME RULES, The clinical psych program is part of the graduate school and not the medical school. They didn't blink an eye about my age. They just took me (provided I would pass the medical.)

If you think you are a good match to the program and you are UNDER 42, I would encourage you to apply.

Mark
 
So I've been reading this over and it has been very helpful, but I just want to make sure I have my facts straight about the Navy program

I will be graduating college in fall with a psychology major. So if receive entrance into a PsyD program and I apply to the HPSP I will receive 100% tuition assistance? Am I correct? Will I have a difficult time being accepted into this program? -- In addition, will I be disqualified for having a benign brain tumor that has been removed?

Thanks for any help. I plan to talk to a recruiter to help me understand all of this.
 
So I've been reading this over and it has been very helpful, but I just want to make sure I have my facts straight about the Navy program

I will be graduating college in fall with a psychology major. So if receive entrance into a PsyD program and I apply to the HPSP I will receive 100% tuition assistance? Am I correct? Will I have a difficult time being accepted into this program? -- In addition, will I be disqualified for having a benign brain tumor that has been removed?

Thanks for any help. I plan to talk to a recruiter to help me understand all of this.

You will not be able to apply to HPSP until after you complete your first year has been my understanding, but I could be wrong. Each service has it's own rules, I have not heard the specifics on the Navy program yet, so I don't know if you can apply immediately after gaining acceptance or not.

Once you are accepted, yes, you should receive 100% tuition plus a stipend to live on, that is my understanding of the program. For each year on the program you incur a year of service obligation.

Will you have a difficult time getting accepted? That all depends on the number and quality of people applying and how you rank against them. It's a competitive program, meaning that the Navy is looking to fill these slots (4-6 per year) with the most qualified people they can find. Let's assume that 24 people are interested in these slots... you're looking at a 15-25% chance of getting a scholarship. If there are 100 people applying, then your chances decrease, assuming all other factors are equal... The numbers don't tell the whole story as most people who apply for these things tend to think that they have a good chance at them and assume that there is less competition and thus easier. USUHS gets a fairly low number of applicants when compared to some top programs, but that doesn't mean that the competition is any less vigorous for slots. The same applies here, just because a large number self-select out, don't think that the remaining pool won't be pretty competitive.

Regarding your surgery, I would expect that you will need a medical waiver at the minimum. It may or may not be medically disqualifying. Bumed makes those decisions, but this is something you want to resolve early in the process. Nothing sucks more than going through the whole process only to find out that you can't do it because you have a non-waiverable medical history. Medical waivers are normally not too big of a deal, but they get persnickety about certain things, in my case I had LASIK surgery... waiverable but a bit of a hassle to get everything checked out.

Mark
 
I heard that they prefer PhD and PsyD applicants and if you are in a decent program you stand a good chance of acceptance. Apparently they get a ton of social work applicants, so it is a bit more competitive for them. However, this is what a friend of mine in a PhD program who received the scholarship told me, not first hand experience. Also, you need to pass a physical exam-- and many people do not pass it.
 
I heard that they prefer PhD and PsyD applicants and if you are in a decent program you stand a good chance of acceptance. Apparently they get a ton of social work applicants, so it is a bit more competitive for them. However, this is what a friend of mine in a PhD program who received the scholarship told me, not first hand experience. Also, you need to pass a physical exam-- and many people do not pass it.

HPSP scholarships are allocated per specialty (at least in the Navy.) Clinical psychology is a specialty, so the spots available WILL NOT go to a clinical social worker (AFAIK) because these specific slots are only for clinical psychologists who will be going to a captive internship in Portsmouth once they have completed their graduate training.

You do need to be able to pass the physical stuff when you go to officer development school, however upon acceptance of the scholarship you must be within height and weight standards for the military... The military still discriminates against those who choose a sedentary life style... for how long, who knows.

Mark
 
You do need to be able to pass the physical stuff when you go to officer development school,
Mark

And what are those requirements by the way....I am in ok shape, but cant do marathons or anything...haha
 
And what are those requirements by the way....I am in ok shape, but cant do marathons or anything...haha

They are age dependent... http://usmilitary.about.com/od/navy/l/blfitmenu.htm

For me:

Easy

At the very minimum to gain entrance you need an overall score of good low or better.:

44 sit ups in 2 mins, 34 push ups in 2 mins, and run 1.5 miles in 14:30 for a 40-44 year old.

However you younger folks... you get to do more. :)

20-24 year old members have to do 58 situps, 47 push ups, and a 12:00 run time (8 min mile).

What I did last year:

80 sit ups in 2 mins, 70 push ups in 2 mins, and equivalent of 12:30 run on the bike.

This is NOT a hard test, and it gets easier as you get older.

Mark
 
will those who are currently taking anti-depressants or any other medications be turned down based on this fact?

also, what about recovering addicts?
 
will those who are currently taking anti-depressants or any other medications be turned down based on this fact?

also, what about recovering addicts?

There is sometimes a perception that the military takes just about anyone... if you've ever watched Stripes or Full Metal Jacket you might be left with this perception... however the reality is that the military is pretty selective.

Depends... Anti-depressants and other medications can be disqualifying for entry to the military, you have to be 1 year drug free and without symptoms. Recovery from addiction may be disqualifying as well, if you have had a diagnosis of substance dependence, you're out, it's not waiverable from what I can tell, but I would talk to a recruiter to be sure.

There are about 41 things that are NOT WAIVERABLE:

HIV, AIDS, ARC, or any history of such.
single kidney
missing arm or leg
seizure disorder in past 5 years
Diabetes (I or II)
missing eye(s)
cataracts
keratoconus
glaucoma
refractive surgery (LASIK/PRK may be waiverable)
lens replacement
anaphylaxis from insect bites or food
cirrhosis
corneal transplant
Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis
Severe Deformation of the mouth, throat, or nose
Severe Scoliosis
Eating Disorders
Severe Recurrent Headaches
Hepatitis (B or C)
Malignant hyperthermia or hyperpyrexia
MS
Severe Orthopedic Problems that limit range of motion
Otitis Media
Pes Cavus
missing lung
pregnancy
prosthetic joints
psychiatric conditions, to include: Schizophrenia, Major Depressive Disorder, recurrent, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorders, Sexual Disorders, Personality Disorder.
History of retinal disease
Undescended testes
Spinal Fusion of more than 2 vertebra
History of drug or alcohol abuse or diagnosed substance dependence
neurofibromatosis
Intestinal bypass or stomach stapling
Severe head injury in past 5 years
Latex Alergy
Anabolic Steriod use history or usage in the past 2 months. Chronic usage requires a waiver.


This list is probably not exhaustive of the things that are not waiverable and there are a number of waiverable conditions that may or may not be waived depending on the circumstances.

Hope this helps.

Mark
 
Last edited by a moderator:
oh, and do i get a gun? haha

When I was in the military if you called your weapon a gun you had to hold your penis in one hand and your weapon in the other and sing, "This is my weapon, this is my gun. One is for killing, one is for fun!" :eek:

No, I don't know what the women had to do...
 
They are age dependent... http://usmilitary.about.com/od/navy/l/blfitmenu.htm

For me:

Easy

At the very minimum to gain entrance you need an overall score of good low or better.:

44 sit ups in 2 mins, 34 push ups in 2 mins, and run 1.5 miles in 14:30 for a 40-44 year old.

However you younger folks... you get to do more. :)

20-24 year old members have to do 58 situps, 47 push ups, and a 12:00 run time (8 min mile).

What I did last year:

80 sit ups in 2 mins, 70 push ups in 2 mins, and equivalent of 12:30 run on the bike.

This is NOT a hard test, and it gets easier as you get older.

Mark

Mark,

Are those the same physical test requirements for those wanting to do USUHS military psych for Navy? And are those 3 (sit ups, push ups, run) the only exercises tested? I see on that site you linked that swimming is listed.. and you mentioned a bike. Just curious what I should aim for and what to focus on :)
 
Last edited:
Mark,

Are those the same physical test requirements for those wanting to do USUHS military psych for Navy? And are those 3 (sit ups, push ups, run) the only exercises tested? I see on that site you linked that swimming is listed.. and you mentioned a bike. Just curious what I should aim for and what to focus on :)

Sometimes you have a choice as to which method of testing (for the run section) that you wish to endure. Some prefer swimming, others running, for some the elliptical trainer, and I perform best on the bike. The standard is the run, and that is what I would initially focus on because at ODS you will be expected to pass the run.

So sit-ups, push-ups, running, and yes, touching your toes. For ODS you will be expected to demonstrate a very basic level of competency at swimming, but if you are unable to pass you will have to swim many mornings at o'dark thirty working to pass the swim qual. The swim qual is not terribly difficult but for new swimmers can be a challenge.

Mark
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
There is some good news here. The Navy, understanding how APPIC works, knows that they cannot guarantee slots at their APPIC internship sites to Navy students (HPSP or USUHS.) As a result the Navy is standing up a new internship site in Norfolk, VA with the intention of making it an APA accredited site but not being part of the APPIC match progess.

So the bottom line is that NNMC and San Diego will remain competitive APPIC sites. All USUHS and HPSP students will go to Norlfolk for their internships.

Mark

I want to expand on this, because this point was brought up regarding the APA accreditation of the Portsmouth internship when I went to APA this year.

It is possible that you could be rejected by the Portsmouth training director after completing USUHS or an HPSP scholarship when applying to that site, and then you would have to compete in the APPIC match. The likelihood of this happening is pretty low I would imagine, but it is important to make clear that the acceptance of a USUHS or HPSP training slot does NOT guarantee an internship placement at Portsmouth.

Hope that clears things up. More than likely, if you have a Navy HPSP or USUHS slot, you will be going to Portsmouth.

Mark
 
Sometimes you have a choice as to which method of testing (for the run section) that you wish to endure. Some prefer swimming, others running, for some the elliptical trainer, and I perform best on the bike. The standard is the run, and that is what I would initially focus on because at ODS you will be expected to pass the run.

So sit-ups, push-ups, running, and yes, touching your toes. For ODS you will be expected to demonstrate a very basic level of competency at swimming, but if you are unable to pass you will have to swim many mornings at o'dark thirty working to pass the swim qual. The swim qual is not terribly difficult but for new swimmers can be a challenge.

Mark

Thanks for the response!

About swimming... I swim quite well since I grew up near the ocean, but I never learned how to dive, lol. Should I learn?
 
Thank you for all the information on these threads. I feel like I've learned so much by reading them!

I did some searching and found an upper age limit for UHSUS (30) and 35 with a waiver. That leaves me out, but how about the HPSP scholarship? I've looked and can't find any specific age limits, but I'm only just starting to understand all this.


The HPSP does have age limits and other limits. The Navy gives only 3 year scholarships - so you apply after you start your first year and you would be applying for a scholarship that pays for your last three years of school. You have to be 42 prior to graduating, but that may be heading northward in the Navy and Army in the very near future according to Dr. Getka who directs the Navy's programs.

The Air Force has an age limit of 42 as well, but they award scholarships for 2 years, intended for your last year of class and your intern year, and then you only get it for your last year of class if you wind up landing a military internship.

Both services, and the Army, pay your tuition and fees, and pay you a healthy monthly stipend of currently just over $2k per month.

It is possible to get an age waiver, on a case by case basis.
 
Im curious about the Navy internship, as it seems like it would provide excellent in-depth training across a variety of orientations.

I am concerned about the phrase "operational psychology" that is included in the description on the APPIC site. Im curious if anyone who has been through this internship could share their experience. The concern is that military / navy psychologists were involved in some ethically hairy stuff at gitmo ("inhanced interrogation") - something I'd really like no part in.
I guess Im curious what the level of expectation is for navy psychologists to be involved in "operational psychology" as opposed to providing treatment to troops.
 
Im curious about the Navy internship, as it seems like it would provide excellent in-depth training across a variety of orientations.

I am concerned about the phrase "operational psychology" that is included in the description on the APPIC site. Im curious if anyone who has been through this internship could share their experience. The concern is that military / navy psychologists were involved in some ethically hairy stuff at gitmo ("inhanced interrogation") - something I'd really like no part in.
I guess Im curious what the level of expectation is for navy psychologists to be involved in "operational psychology" as opposed to providing treatment to troops.

Operational psychology is a VERY broad term. Personally, I am in a Navy internship, and I am very excited about the roles that Navy psychologists play in "Operational Psychology". Your worry isn't about "Operational Psychology", but rather one rather small specific area that may or may not actually be what you think it is.

Operational psychology could be running a clinic in a role 3 hospital in Afghanistan to deploying on a carrier for a cruise through the Mediterranean Sea, providing support for soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines in either context.

Operational psychology could be embedding with a Marine unit as the unit psychologist.

Operational psychology could mean working with recently repatriated persons who need psychological support at a critical time for them and their families.

Operational psychologists work for all sorts of different organizations, whether it be Naval Special Warfare, Marine Special Operations Command, at the Marine Barracks in D.C. selecting marines for presidential support duty, or in Quantico helping keep tabs on Marine Embassy Guards.

Operational psychology could also be providing psychological services at gitmo in a role where there is no prisoner contact (e.g. providing services for the staff and guards).

Would you be uncomfortable with overseeing the teaching of SERE school techniques (which includes causing temporary discomfort US troops in preparation for what it is like to be captured by the enemy.) Psychologists act in these environments as the safety valve to ensure that training is realistic enough to properly train troops but not so realistic to cause permanent damage (psychologically or physically). One could argue that BUD/S training for the Navy SEALs also causes considerable discomfort and psychological stress as well... It is another example of where an "operational psychologist" might work.

Operational psychology, more often than not, includes providing care for the troops where they need it most. Rarely, are Navy psychologists involved in a consultant role regarding enemy combatants (if that is even the case).

Please realize that Navy psychologists work hard to make sure that they uphold ethical and legal standards. The internship provides didactic training on ethics and unique aspects of military psychology. If you're looking to park your butt in an MTF (Medical Treatment Facility) this is probably not the place for you. While many people shape their careers to avoid operational assignments, you will likely get one if you stay for more than 4 years (and even if you don't).

Operational psychology, isn't, and shouldn't be a dirty word.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Markp - thank you very much for your informed and detailed response. My concern stems not so much from wanting to "park my butt" in an MTF, but wanting just such an elucidation of what the term, previously unknown to me, entailed. I've been reading a bit about the PENS report, including some descriptions of key contributors (psychologists) who were engaged in designing/observing enhanced interrogation at guantanamo.

Teaching SERE techniques would not be as concerning as what appears to have happened at times in the recent past; utlizing these techniques (developed for situations in which soldiers are being held by agents not beholden to the geneva conventions) in an offensive manner (entendre x 2 intended).


http://ethicalpsychology.org/
http://motherjones.com/politics/2008/03/enablers
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/12/us/12psychs.html?_r=2&hp=&pagewanted=all

It was interesting to read some of the recent issues of the Naval Psychologist newsletter, in that they each included an ethical vignette - not the sort that most psychologists would face in day to day practice.

Lots for me to chew on. . .
 
Markp - thank you very much for your informed and detailed response. My concern stems not so much from wanting to "park my butt" in an MTF, but wanting just such an elucidation of what the term, previously unknown to me, entailed. I've been reading a bit about the PENS report, including some descriptions of key contributors (psychologists) who were engaged in designing/observing enhanced interrogation at guantanamo.

Teaching SERE techniques would not be as concerning as what appears to have happened at times in the recent past; utlizing these techniques (developed for situations in which soldiers are being held by agents not beholden to the geneva conventions) in an offensive manner (entendre x 2 intended).


http://ethicalpsychology.org/
http://motherjones.com/politics/2008/03/enablers
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/12/us/12psychs.html?_r=2&hp=&pagewanted=all

It was interesting to read some of the recent issues of the Naval Psychologist newsletter, in that they each included an ethical vignette - not the sort that most psychologists would face in day to day practice.

Lots for me to chew on. . .

No doubt, it is a VERY challenging environment from an ethical standpoint. Please don't think that I minimize the importance of that in any way. Some of the things that have been reported on may not be 100% accurate. Certainly there is a lot of ethics training going on to help make sure we err conservatively to avoid what might appear to be unethical behavior.

Good luck... I might add, the most important part of Internship (assuming it's an ethical place to work) is the quality of training... It's a real challenge at Portsmouth NMC. I am learning an amazing amount and being pushed hard.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Mark (or anybody else knowledgeable),

Can you comment on the opportunity to do non-traditional clinical work? In other words, I don't particularly enjoy the "clinical psychotherapy" part of clinical psychology, and I'm interested in knowing what else is available as a clinical psyc.

To this point I've been leaning heavily towards the USAF internships, as I know the USAF doesn't deploy often or for extended periods, and I know they have a good quality of life. I'm 30 and want to start thinking about family soon, so that's important to me. I've primarily hopeful for Washington DC because among other things, they have a forensics mini-rotation, and one with the NSA (Nat'l Security Administration). So I know there's some stuff, at least during internship, that gives a chance for "excitement" away from the normal routine of psychotherapy based clinical work.

I understand I'll still have to do a fair amount of clinical work during my internship year, but my hope would be to find something with a different focus (either base/assignment, or specialty position) afterwards.

Like I said, prior to this point I've only considered USAF because I of the reasons I mentioned earlier. But I really want to serve my country, and so I'm also now considering the Navy, but I don't know much about what opportunities are there. Can anybody give info on the abundance and types of non-traditionally clinical opportunities there are with the Navy (and USAF for that matter) as the thought of having to do therapeutic work all day isn't overly appealing to me.

Thank you very much.
 
You'll find that your first assignment more than likely will be a pretty traditional psychotherapy/assessment/generalist type of assignment and will more than likely be at a major medical center... after that is when you usually start seeing the more interesting assignments. Doesn't mean that opportunities to do more interesting stuff won't be available, but the more interesting positions usually require a little more time in which to gain an understanding of the military at large.
 
You'll find that your first assignment more than likely will be a pretty traditional psychotherapy/assessment/generalist type of assignment and will more than likely be at a major medical center... after that is when you usually start seeing the more interesting assignments. Doesn't mean that opportunities to do more interesting stuff won't be available, but the more interesting positions usually require a little more time in which to gain an understanding of the military at large.


Hey Markp, is there alot of PE being done by DoD psychs at the major medical centers. I know its all over the VA, but was wondering if EBTs for PTSD such as PE and CPT are widely available to the folks when still active duty.
 
Hey Markp, is there alot of PE being done by DoD psychs at the major medical centers. I know its all over the VA, but was wondering if EBTs for PTSD such as PE and CPT are widely available to the folks when still active duty.

Yes, and as interns we get specific training on both protocols. Personally, I like CPT better, and typically use it more often, but PE has it's place too. I was exposed to CPT @ USUHS, so I am a bit more comfortable with it than PE. Navy and USAF definitely are using both at most major medical centers and I have seen it in use outside the major centers as well by active duty psychologists. We are heavily "encouraged" to only use EBTs, but I know from time to time military psychs will grab a technique or two from outside the empirically supported protocols if treatment is problematic or a specific purpose exists for using a particular technique.

Mark
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Yes, and as interns we get specific training on both protocols. Personally, I like CPT better, and typically use it more often, but PE has it's place too. I was exposed to CPT @ USUHS as well, so I am a bit more comfortable with it than PE. Navy and USAF definitely are using both at most major medical centers and I have seen it in use outside the major centers as well by active duty psychologists.

Mark

I will voice my bias/preference for PE. :D

Good to know though. I was just curious.
 
So for a Navy deployment, I thought I read somewhere earlier that it does NOT mean you spend 6 months on a Navy vessel. Can somebody speak as to what Navy deployments are typically known to be for clin psycs? I know USAF tends to go 3-4 months possibly once ever 4-year commission (but some don't even go). And I understand that it may change in the next couple years depending on what happens in the middle east, but is general policy sea bound or land bound? Thanks.

Also, random question.....can clin psycs still try BUDS, or are you limited to clin work only?
 
So for a Navy deployment, I thought I read somewhere earlier that it does NOT mean you spend 6 months on a Navy vessel. Can somebody speak as to what Navy deployments are typically known to be for clin psycs? I know USAF tends to go 3-4 months possibly once ever 4-year commission (but some don't even go). And I understand that it may change in the next couple years depending on what happens in the middle east, but is general policy sea bound or land bound? Thanks.

Also, random question.....can clin psycs still try BUDS, or are you limited to clin work only?

Deployments are multifaceted, there are both shipboard deployments and ground deployments. Navy will not deploy psychologists until they are licensed.

For instance, you could do a tour at a Role 2 or Role 3 hospital in Afghanistan, and that would be a 6 month (typically) deployment. Alternatively you might be assigned to a carrier (3 year tour) with that carrier deploying for up to 6 months at a time, but not always at sea. Carrier duty doesn't happen for a first assignment out of internship though... so no worries there. You would likely have 3+ years experience and licensed prior to being considered for a shipboard assignment.

BUD/S (the training to become a Navy SEAL) is only available to the line officers, not medical officers. There is no practical way to be both at the same time. Navy SEALs are trained to ridiculous standards that would leave little time for psychological pursuits. The training pipeline just for basic SEAL qualification is over 2 years long, and would not allow for the full development of skills needed for an early career psychologist. Some days, I think I would prefer SEAL training over the Portsmouth internship... while the demands are far less physical, they require constant attention to detail and considerable commitment. Graduation from the Navy clinical psychology internship at Portsmouth is definitely something you earn.

Now, if you are asking if you can work as a psychologist within the Naval Special Warfare community, yes, that's possible. BUD/S has a staff psychologist on duty.
 
...Alternatively you might be assigned to a carrier (3 year tour) with that carrier deploying for up to 6 months at a time, but not always at sea. Carrier duty doesn't happen for a first assignment out of internship though... so no worries there. You would likely have 3+ years experience and licensed prior to being considered for a shipboard assignment.

JUST for the sake of confirmation, you are NOT saying that I'd be assigned (i.e. stationed) aboard a carrier, and therefor living on the boat for 3 years, are you? Or are you saying assigned to work on it every day, go home to my wife, kid, house, every night, with the exception of living on it for 6 months when it goes out at sea for deployment?

I just wanna know what I'm getting myself into if I opt for Navy. It wouldn't be the end of the world if I had to spend my 6 months or so away from my wife, kid, dog, and house. I know if I go military that will likely happen, and I know it may be aboard a boat if I go with the Navy. But for the other 2.5years after internship, I want a house to go home to, with some grass I can mow. Navy gives you that right?

BUD/S (the training to become a Navy SEAL) is only available to the line officers, not medical officers....Now, if you are asking if you can work as a psychologist within the Naval Special Warfare community, yes, that's possible. BUD/S has a staff psychologist on duty.

Thanks for clearing that up. I figured it would work that way but just wanted to ask. For anybody interested in doing something a little more on edge, this may be of interest, http://www.mamc.amedd.army.mil/psyc...landOperationalPsychologyResidencyProgram.pdf My buddy said it's post-internship, and open to all branches.

If I go to the USAF, hopefully I can do something with the SERE group. I've heard you can do some pretty lively stuff with the AF, but you have to pass the actual SERE training. We'll see. Anyway.....please clarify my question about boat living in the Navy. :D
 
JUST for the sake of confirmation, you are NOT saying that I'd be assigned (i.e. stationed) aboard a carrier, and therefor living on the boat for 3 years, are you? Or are you saying assigned to work on it every day, go home to my wife, kid, house, every night, with the exception of living on it for 6 months when it goes out at sea for deployment?

When the boat is in port, you go home every night, just like a normal job... Sometimes carriers are out for 200+ days in a year, other times they are in dock getting rebuilt for over a year at a time. It can be feast or famine... Most times it works out to 6 months at sea and 6 months in port, per year. It's quite variable.

I just wanna know what I'm getting myself into if I opt for Navy. It wouldn't be the end of the world if I had to spend my 6 months or so away from my wife, kid, dog, and house. I know if I go military that will likely happen, and I know it may be aboard a boat if I go with the Navy. But for the other 2.5years after internship, I want a house to go home to, with some grass I can mow. Navy gives you that right?

After internship, prior to licensure, you will be able to go home every night (pretty much with few exceptions, like being the overnight duty officer or some other occasional duty.) The 2.5 years following internship will not be as a carrier psychologist (or not very likely until 3 years post internship). You might get deployed to Afghanistan for 6 months though, once you are licensed.

Thanks for clearing that up. I figured it would work that way but just wanted to ask. For anybody interested in doing something a little more on edge, this may be of interest, http://www.mamc.amedd.army.mil/psyc...landOperationalPsychologyResidencyProgram.pdf My buddy said it's post-internship, and open to all branches.

The Navy does this, but more informally... Yes, you get to go to SERE school and get the adventure there before you can work with NSW or SOCOM. Pretty much one of the tickets you need to get punched before you go there.

If I go to the USAF, hopefully I can do something with the SERE group. I've heard you can do some pretty lively stuff with the AF, but you have to pass the actual SERE training. We'll see. Anyway.....please clarify my question about boat living in the Navy. :D

Like I said, all three branches use SERE qualified psychologists. I have already done the SERE orientation training (which is nothing special, but a step in the right direction.) and many psychologists get SERE orientation... but you cannot be qualified until you go to SERE school and experience it.
 
So for a Navy deployment, I thought I read somewhere earlier that it does NOT mean you spend 6 months on a Navy vessel. Can somebody speak as to what Navy deployments are typically known to be for clin psycs? I know USAF tends to go 3-4 months possibly once ever 4-year commission (but some don't even go). And I understand that it may change in the next couple years depending on what happens in the middle east, but is general policy sea bound or land bound? Thanks.

Also, random question.....can clin psycs still try BUDS, or are you limited to clin work only?

I'm not sure where you got this info on AF deployments for psychologists, but from what I have been told it is not accurate. I'm applying right now for an AF internship, and the training directors have told me that deployments are minimum 6 months, and if you get attached to an Army unit it can be 8ish months. They also said that it's on a 6 months deployed/1 year at home cycle. Also, they emphasize that you WILL be deployed once you get licensed. Compared to the other branches, it seems that Army deploys the longest (12 months) and Navy the shortest (6 months) with AF somewhere in between.
 
Top