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Psychiatry (MD/DO) or Clinical Neuropsychology (PhD)

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by madball, Oct 26, 2001.

  1. madball

    madball Junior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Sep 20, 2001
    Boston, MA
    Dear All:

    I am interested in mental health. As an undergraduate, I took a course in human neuropsychology at my local medical school and loved it. However, I am also interested in medicine but my stats aren't up to par. Does anyone know the major differences and/or similarities between psychiatry and clinical neuropsychology?

    Thanks!

    madball
     
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  3. alina_s

    alina_s Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    20
    Sep 24, 2001
    Seattle
    Madball-
    I used to work in a research group with several clincial neuropsych grad students and I'm in med school now. As far as admissions, the clincial neuropsych route may not be much easier. In that school, at least, students were basically completing the requirements for both the clinical psych and neuropsych programs. They had to be admitted to the clinical program and that is BY FAR the most competitive area of psychology. Most of the students in that program had worked for professors in the program before they were admitted or had pretty impressive publication records. Professionally, I think that most clinical neuropsychologists do a lot of evaluations and do not usually have regular, returning patients. Neuropsychologists evaluate neurosurgery candidates, psychiatric patients, stroke and head injury patients...Most work for hospitals or rehab centers. As a psychiatrist, you would likely work with a neuropsychologist at times but wouldn't administer the tests themselves. Although you could work in the psych ER and have lots of one-time meetings, it is also possible to have more developed relationships with returning patients. For either neuropsych or med school, it would be a good idea to get some research experience but the contacts are more necessary for grad school. Hope this helps.
     
  4. madball

    madball Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    10
    0
    Sep 20, 2001
    Boston, MA
    Alina_s:

    Thank you for your reply! By the way, at which school did you work with the neuropsych graduate students? Also, do you foresee clinical psychologists moving toward the neurobiological model of mental healthcare? Will clinical psychologists be able to prescribe meds?

    Thanks again!

    Madball
     
  5. alina_s

    alina_s Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    20
    Sep 24, 2001
    Seattle
    Madball-
    Glad to help. I worked at the University of Cincinnati Psychiatry Department. As far as the future of clinical psych...I don't know a lot. Psychology and psychiatry are extremely diverse fields, with attitudes ranging from "it can't be real research if you aren't using a microscope" to classic psychoanalysis. My guess is that clinical psychologists will be able to (if they can't already) write prescriptions under supervision, like nurse practicioners. The laws vary state by state, though. If you are heading for clinical psych programs, make sure to find one that is APA accredited; there are probably more unaccredited programs , with less competitive admissions, but your job opportunities would be much more limited.
     
  6. cchoukal

    cchoukal Senior Member Moderator 10+ Year Member

    1,984
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    Jul 10, 2001
    SF, CA
    The US gov't has for at least a decade sponsored a program for clinical psychologists in the military to receive training (quite comprehensive, I thought) to prescribe medications commonly used to treat psychiatric disorders. The american psychological association has long been lobbying to perscription privlages. A number of psychologists I know are against the idea because they feel it makes psychologists "third class citizens in the house of medicine" (recognizing their position that psychiatrists are already second class citizens :)). Anyway, it's a hot debate right now, and one that probably won't end soon. Good luck with the grad program.
     

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