Apr 11, 2015
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hello guys.
I was a public health / biology major, but I wasn't enjoying the classes I was taking.
I remember the Psych / Abnormal Psych courses I took at my JC and I do believe that is what I want to do.

My public health degree requires a minor and I am leaning towards psychology.

I enjoy working with people and research is an interest of mine. I'm currently working on two public health research projects (not psych related) at my university.

However, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do next.

When I graduate in a year or so, I was very interested in the Ph.D or PsyD. I'm not sure if research is required, but I would be very interested in working with patients versus research (specifically under served populations and veterans)

My current GPA is a 3.5ish but I still have a whole year - 1.5 year left of classes.

Do I need to get a degree in psychology to do that? Do I need to get a masters in psychology to apply or can I follow a MPH in behavioral sciences (my plan currently) and then apply?

I noticed my school only requires a bachelor's and some required classes in psych, but I'm assuming my minor will cover most of it. I hope anyways.

So yeah, I guess I'm brand new to this so any help would be appreciated :)
 

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Mod Note: Moved to the Psychology Ph.D./Psy.D. forum.

Some quick answers:

1) No, you generally don't need a psychology degree, but you do need to complete the pre-req courses for the doctoral programs to which you'll apply. An MPH could be beneficial and might make you stand out a bit relative to other applicants, although keep in mind that many of them may have masters degrees in psychology/counseling as well.

2) You will need research experience to be competitive for doctoral program admission (usually at least 1-2 years' worth), yes. Your public health work will certainly help in this regard, but there's little replacement for direct psychology research experience (even if not in the areas in which you'd like to eventually work).

And after getting into a doctoral program, you'll likely need to be actively involved in research while there, not just for the sake of degree requirements, but because participating in and conducting research will help you to be an active consumer (and possibly creator) of it in your professional career.
 
Mar 24, 2014
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Rural Area Medical Facilty
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Psychologist
How could the public health research not be psych related? :) I know what you mean when you say that, my point is that there will always be a psychological component to any health issue and that connecting prior experiences as you make this shift could be helpful.
 
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B
Apr 11, 2015
9
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
So to work with patients requires a lot of research still? That is fine I enjoy the research and the scope it can help people, I just want to be more one on one (or group) with patients versus behind the scenes I suppose.

I'm hoping with a background that public health gives me will allow me to see beyond just whats in front of me (disparities in this population and such)
 
Mar 24, 2014
4,393
3,841
Rural Area Medical Facilty
Status
Psychologist
So to work with patients requires a lot of research still? That is fine I enjoy the research and the scope it can help people, I just want to be more one on one (or group) with patients versus behind the scenes I suppose.

I'm hoping with a background that public health gives me will allow me to see beyond just whats in front of me (disparities in this population and such)
Ability to conduct research is a core competency of a psychologist. I believe it is also essential to have that knowledge and experience for effective service delivery as well. That being said, the amount of research that clinical psychologists are involved in varies considerably. I enjoy research myself but I also like providing treatment and other aspects of practice more. Hence, I haven't done any research since grad school. I have provided psychotherapy, taught, oversaw and redesigned a treatment progrm, participated in community interventions, coordinated and collaborated with school officials, law enforcement, family services, religious leaders, and testified in court as an expert witness. The research provides me a solid foundation for all of this work, but I am way too busy in the community to do much of it currently.
 
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