NeuroPsychosis

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Greetings,

For those PsyD holders in Neuropsychology; how difficult was it to obtain a post-doc fellowship/residency in clinical Neuropsychology? After investigating, I was not able to find how post-docs react to PsyD holders? Now, I know that reputation of doc program and performance are weighted into the process. But speaking from a measure of success rate, is the field of Clinical Neuropsychology more oriented for PsyD or PhD holders? (Okay; I had hard time structuring this question ^^), let's say I want to focus on clinical practice, but I am also interested in teaching/mentoring and a little research project on the side (if this helps you answer).

In an overall impression, if one completed an APA PsyD program along an APA pre-doc internship successfully, would you personally believe landing a Neuropsych postdoc should be a no issue?
 

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I don't know if I'd ever say that landing a fellowship is a non-issue; per the match statistics, roughly 1/3 of folks don't match every year. Although it's important to note that this, of course, only includes information on match sites.

At this point, in general, program quality and application strength are going to be more important than degree type (PsyD vs. PhD). In addition to having attended APA-accredited doctoral and internship programs with significant neuropsych experience, ideally you'll want to have at least a publication or two and some poster presentations. If you've got that and some decent letters of rec, the odds would likely be in your favor, regardless of the initials of your degree.

Anecdotal: In the limited amount of fellowship application reviewing I've done, degree type didn't factor into my decisions.
 
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WisNeuro

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Anecdotal: In the limited amount of fellowship application reviewing I've done, degree type didn't factor into my decisions.

Degree type does not matter, but program does. That being said, there are many more PsyD programs on my blacklist than PhD programs. So, if you go to one of the dozen-ish, give or take a few, reputable PsyDs, you just need a good CV, but if you're one of the diploma mills, you are not even considered seriously at some places.
 
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NeuroPsychosis

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Degree type does not matter, but program does. That being said, there are many more PsyD programs on my blacklist than PhD programs. So, if you go to one of the dozen-ish, give or take a few, reputable PsyDs, you just need a good CV, but if you're one of the diploma mills, you are not even considered seriously at some places.

1) What reason accounts to this observation ^^? Could it be that statistically there are few good PsyD schools out there compared to PhD? Or could this be because your postdoc program is more leaned towards research and so you prefer PhDs over PsyDs?

2) If you were to rank PsyD programs in California, which would be the top 3-5 you will consider taking applicants from along with a good CV? (I am interested in seeing your views on this, I know others may choose to rank differently).
 
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Justanothergrad

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1) What reason accounts to this observation ^^? Could it be that statistically there are few good PsyD schools out there compared to PhD? Or could this be because your postdoc program is more leaned towards research and so you prefer PhDs over PsyDs?
.
It's because most PsyD programs are utter and complete junk at training. This is not only the consensus here by faculty and training staff, but also by many students who have attended them and shared their experiences in threads over the years. Staff at various other internships and post docs I know who are not research oriented (zero research) share the same perception.
 

WisNeuro

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1) What reason accounts to this observation ^^? Could it be that statistically there are few good PsyD schools out there compared to PhD? Or could this be because your postdoc program is more leaned towards research and so you prefer PhDs over PsyDs?

2) If you were to rank PsyD programs in California, which would be the top 3-5 you will consider taking applicants from along with a good CV? (I am interested in seeing your views on this, I know others may choose to rank differently).

1) It is definitely because there are many known diploma mills, which are predominantly based in PsyD programs, for obvious reasons.
2) Ranking schools is generally irrelevant in this process for me. It is acceptable schools and then everybody is ranked according to CV.
 

PsyDr

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Eh, I ran into some prejudice from older people about the PsyD. For example, a friend from a phd program who was a year ahead of me saw how her supervisor reviewed my application. Didn't go well.
 
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There is definitely a bias that exists and I don't think it only exists in older psychologists. I had a supplemental supervisor (only a few years out of post-doc) who frequently commented that they 'always forgot' that I was a PsyD student, i.e., they did not associate higher quality NP work with PsyD. I don't discount that there are programs that churn out degrees to poorly educated/trained individuals but that does not necessitate all PsyD programs are poor. Comparatively to PhD programs in the area, I often felt more prepared in my clinical work. Our internship placements regionally reflect that (well respected) sites feel similarly about the training. However, I do not think that is true for other local PsyD programs, which makes me understand the bias.

In my experience (which is limited but I'll provide it anyway), success as a PsyD student in NP is even more dependent upon your willingness to obtain experiences/training/research outside of the status quo of your program. If you want to only do as much as the program requires, then there is no reason that a program should consider you over a PhD as they likely hold a PhD>PsyD heuristic. My perspective throughout my training has been ensuring that my additional experiences outweigh the bias they may hold - I also just genuinely enjoy learning and the field so the experiences weren't solely to this end. I can not speak to the success of this perspective but was happy with my internship interviews and these included sites that house APPCN post-docs. So, can you do it? I'm certainly hoping so. Are there obstacles to obtaining a post-doc? Probably, especially if you're shooting for competitive positions. Could this be completely inaccurate and just a way to provide myself some hope? Certainly but I like to believe that my work (at some point) will not be defined by the letters that follow my name and instead by the totality of that work.
 
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ClinicalABA

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I definitely show a bias when comparing PsyD applicants vs. Ph.D. applicants. It's not a hard and fast rule, like always take the Ph.D. over the Psy.D., but more in the form of feeling the need to investigate a littler further to add a qualifying statement (e.g., he's got a PsyD, but has really good experience with the population, solid references, etc). Please note that this reflects a changed attitude towards the degree from "oh, s/he's only got a Psy.D." It may be an unfair bias at the individual level, but these large professional schools with cohorts of 50 students often (usually?) have poor admission standards, with a perceived goal of increasing revenue vs. meeting community needs.
 
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Therapist4Chnge

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Back when I went through fellowship, the university hospital’s HR dept had to submit a bunch of paperwork to be allowed to add “PsyD” as an option to my name badge, as they only had MD, DO, MD/PhD, or PhD available in the system. The conversation I had with the hr rep was....long. It was one of many weird quirks I ran into during my time there. I think hospitals are more aware now.

There is definitely still a bias at some places, but i’d argue it is justified bc of the range in training standards the APA allows programs. During internship/fellowship/my first faculty gig I felt like I had to work harder, publish more, and do more to “prove” I belonged because of some pre-existing biases. Some of the medical faculty had some odd comments when they learned I was a PsyD and not a PhD, but some quick education about the degree cleared it up. I published more than most in my dept, so that helped a lot. Once I demonstrated I was an effective clinician and researcher, it was a non-issue, but I definitely felt like I was swimming upstream in the beginning.

When I reviewed fellowship apps I definitely had a bias against standalone programs (PsyD & PhD) and anyone without at least 3-5 posters/presentations and at least 1-2 publications. My reasoning was our fellowship program was 25%-50% research based and funded, so research ability was an important aspect of training. I didn’t care about the degree per se, but it was harder to find as many solid PsyD candidates.
 
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NeuroPsychosis

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Well, now if I have a choice between Pepperdine, PCOM, or Alliant (SD) where I can call the safest spot to put my foot in? I understand the financial issues with each and I am aware of that consequence as a PsyD bound. However, If I were then to decide to step in the PhD spots, then I would definitely be going for that route (I limited my PhD apps to only strong programs) . But since acceptances are not out yet, so I cannot conclude. But for now I am constructing my path to the PsyD backup plan.
 

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Strong pass on Alliant. Besides the questionable training associated with Alliant programs, there are also some internships and fellowships that will automatically weed out your application. FWIW...i won’t consider an Alliant graduate bc even though neuropsych is a niche speciality with limited numbers, there are still enough candidates around who attended more trusted and proven programs and completed the requisite fellowship training i’d rather hire. I know this isn’t fair, but it’s my livelihood and i’m not going to roll the dice on a graduate from Alliant/Argosy/Fielding/etc. FWIW, the SD program is probably the best of the Alliant campuses, but that doesn’t change my overall view of their reputation and questionable competency i’ve seen over the years.

In regard to PCOM...I’m not very familiar with their faculty nor neuro training, though their student outcome data was better than expected. Cost is very high (100% dealbreaker if you are taking loans) and their APA-acred internship match rate went from very bad to quite good (in recent years). Only APA-acred match rate matters, so be careful id a program tried to conflate their APA-acred & APPIC member data. Average completion time was fine (6yr).

For Pepperdine....RIDICULOUS cost...$62,000/yr! That is likely the most expensive tuition i’ve seen for a clinical program. Hard pass. As for match data...quite similar to PCOM. I haven’t stayed up on the most recent years of match data, though I know overall (all programs) it is better compared to 5-10+ years ago, so i’m not sure how much weight i’d give to the last few years of data.

You’d be better served to wait s year or two and re-apply to only PhD/PsyD programs with full or near full funding. Paying off $100k (more like $300k after interest and living expenses) is a long road.
 
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NeuroPsychosis

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By the way, do Neuropsych (or post-docs in general) fellowships/residencies look at undergraduate transcripts when applying to them? or only graduate work is what matters at that point?
 

WisNeuro

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By the way, do Neuropsych (or post-docs in general) fellowships/residencies look at undergraduate transcripts when applying to them? or only graduate work is what matters at that point?

We don't really care about undergrad GPA at that point. Undergrad GPA is only applicable to grad school admission in it's usefulness. Even then it's a terrible predictor given grade inflation.
 

NeuroPsychosis

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I know this might be unrelated, but isn't weird to have discovered that more PhD programs are not requiring the GREs to their admissions? I just know Pepperdine that does that, and now Stanford also dosen't require GREs. It seems now universities are quite discovering stiff about the true measure of ability on that exam....
 

WisNeuro

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I know this might be unrelated, but isn't weird to have discovered that more PhD programs are not requiring the GREs to their admissions? I just know Pepperdine that does that, and now Stanford also dosen't require GREs. It seems now universities are quite discovering stiff about the true measure of ability on that exam....

It's not that it's not measuring ability. It's very good at measuring general intelligence. It's just that it's not a good discriminator for success in grad school, loosely defined (# of pubs in some studies). This is partially because you are generally looking at a restricted range on one hand, and a diminishing return on g once you reach a certain level and other factors come more into play.
 
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