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Psy.D. Employment?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Borderline, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. Borderline

    Borderline *Insert Witty Title* 2+ Year Member

    Nov 20, 2008
    Here's the problem: My undergraduate department head thinks Psy.D.'s are the scum of the earth. Hence, I know virtually nothing about them. I've done a good bit of research, and learned a lot, but I'm still pretty fuzzy on their employment options.

    It it pretty much an private practice degree? I think I'd really enjoy working at a hospital, but the only designated psych hospital I really know anything about only has Ph.D.'s on staff. Can anyone provide links to private hospitals with Psy.D.'s on staff?

    I'm just trying to make sure I'm making the right decision between Ph.D. and Psy.D..
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  3. Olivia101884

    Olivia101884 5+ Year Member

    Oct 24, 2008
    That's so unfortunate that your dept. head thinks that. There are many Psy.Ds at venerable hospitals and institutions. I live in Manhattan and have worked at two hospitals where people with Psy.Ds were directors. Furthermore, one of my best friends works at Mt. Sinai (also in NYC) in Autism, and she always tells me how impressed she is with psychologists, and that if she didn't want to become a medical doctor, she'd want a Psy.D. She continually praises the clinical and diagnostic skills the Psy.Ds have, and says that for her program at least, having a Psy.D. seems to be preferred over a Ph.D.

    The stigma has also lifted in teaching. I just got my Masters from Columbia, and one of my professors had a Psy.D. In addition to teaching, he also directed a prominent substance abuse clinic and had a private practice.
  4. KTpsych

    KTpsych 5+ Year Member

    Mar 5, 2008
    There's a difference between what the top PsyDs do and what the average PsyD does. I don't have any stats, but from what I've gleaned from others (including PhDs who practice at hospitals), the PhD is still the more respected choice if you want to work in a hospital.

    This is not an anti-PsyD post. I think there's a lot of be said for that particular model, though I think its theory is better than its application in some places. That being said, the PsyDs that garner the most respect, and are considered to be the best, are the ones like Rutgers, which run themselves fairly similarly to a balanced clinical PhD program.

    Can someone work at a hospital if they have a PsyD? Yes, it's possible. But it's probably going to be an uphill climb.
  5. psydd

    psydd 2+ Year Member

    Oct 12, 2008
    New York City
    my adjunct professor is a psy.d., and he is currently:

    1. working full-time at a hospital conducting therapy with juvenile sex offenders as well as coordinating the program itself.

    2. conducting therapy with juvenile sex-offenders and their families in therapeutic foster care, part-time.

    3. teaching undergraduate courses, part-time.

    he said that he uses the hospital as his base, because it's where he gets all his benefits and everything.

    in general, it seems like psy.d's are fairly versatile. for instance, the head of my college's counseling center is a psy.d. she isn't involved with any aspect of therapy. she literally just runs the place. so, you know. i guess there are options. and working at a hospital is definitely one of them.
  6. Cosmo75

    Cosmo75 Post-Doctoral Fellow 2+ Year Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    There are many very successful PsyD's working in hospitals and academia. With that being said, there are still biases. It depends on who's running the psych department and how open they are to the degree. As you can see with your dept. chair, there are some strong negative opinions. Which is unfortunate. I think if you go the PsyD route and do research and "look like" a PhD you'll be better off in the academic hospital market. This has been my position and I've had good success, both with securing an APA internship and a research post-doc at an academic hospital. I feel very well rounded because I have the PsyD clinician model and added in research for the past 5 years. I'm not sure I would be where I'm at if I took the PhD route. Not a diss to PhD's at all. I just think I've had more flexibility to explore my own research ideas with this path.
  7. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist 10+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2005
    i consult in two separate hospitals. One psych, one general. They recruited me so it was not so much an uphill battle. I chose to stay a consultant because the money is much better. the only battle i have with them is to give me 2 weekends a month off.

    Both UHS and Psychiatric Solutions (both extremely large behavioral health hospital groups) have psyds in many of their hospitals. i suggest you google them and look at individual hospital staff. could take a while as this covers well over a hundred hospitals.

    i would be cautious if you want to practice on staff at a hospital with a psyd or with a phd. but more with the psyd. hospitalists make imo crap salaries which may make it hard to make any repayments of student loans you might incur. but if you have no debt for whatever reason, then it should be no problem.

    good luck to you.
  8. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 5, 2005
    This is an empirical question, really, and I don't know the answer. I can say I've seen PsyDs working at hospitals. I can't imagine there being too much difficulty procuring a position at a hospital. The difficulties start to arise when you get to more "high-end" places. . . academic medical centers. But, even there, in clinical roles, PsyDs exist, though perhaps at much lower frequencies than PhDs. A hospital affiliation, even as a private practitioner, is probably valuable. I think those that are most successful wear many hats. Being competitive in today's market is a combination of background (have you specialized? Did you follow accepted practice for specialization? Are you exemplary in some way? ), luck (position opens at the right place and time, your competition isn't better than you), networking (know people in power in locations you want to work or, alternatively, know people who know people in power), and persistence. A degree from an impressive school, internships at well known places, postdocs with well known faculty, successful employment in big markets, high profile situations. . . all will help you get what you want. This goes for clinical or research, or combination jobs. It pretty much applies to any field. So, getting a PsyD from Rutgers is likely a significant boost compared with a faceless Argosy program. Doing an externship at UCLA with *insert big name here*, is going to look better than doing one at the local pain clinic in Destin Florida. An internship at UF working with the likes of Bauer, Heilman, etc. . . is going to get more mileage than an appic accredited program in rural Kansas with whoever they have there. So. . . right place, right time, seek opportunities, especially early on, that enhance your resume and help you learn.
  9. PsychBoxe

    PsychBoxe Postdoctoral Fellow 7+ Year Member

    Nov 17, 2008
    I currently have an adjunct professor who graduated from CSPP with a PsyD. I talked to him yesterday about job outlooks and he assured me that the PsyD makes someone very competitive when looking for a career in a hospital. He works at a hospital and clears 100k a year, that is not counting what he makes from teaching. He said that he knows some Psy D's who make a little less and there are some who make more. I guess it is all how you network in your internships. Overall, he gave me the impression that many hospitals see the PsyD and the Phd as equal degrees.
  10. Borderline

    Borderline *Insert Witty Title* 2+ Year Member

    Nov 20, 2008
    Thanks to everyone for all of the help. I'm really starting to lean towards the Psy.D. degree much more than the Ph.D.. The extra freedom in choosing your research is very appealing to me, and knowing that there are positions open in hospitals is quite reassuring.

    Now I just wish I could get into Rutgers. LoL
  11. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    The Beach
    Just to clarify, you have flexibility to choose your research with either type of program, there just might be a different emphasis on the amount of research you would do in each program. "Fit" is still most important, as you need to make sure there is an available fit in research and someone willing to work with you. For Psy.D. programs they may not have as formal of a process of matching, but if a person wants to work with anxiety research, that would require someone who is doing work in that area, or it'd be pointless.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  12. Ollie123

    Ollie123 10+ Year Member

    Feb 19, 2007
    I also want to chime in and say it probably depends on the PhD program how much flexibility you have in your research.

    My advisor has been awesome about me exploring whatever I want to and getting involved in his projects, and others projects. Other advisors are different though, so it can be very hit or miss. Just wanted to make sure no one went away thinking all PhD students had dictators for advisors;)

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