Clifford Alarez

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I'm a current neuropsychology internship applicant from the Midwest. My goal is to eventually end up on the West Coast since my partner is there. BUT, I have some really great opportunities in my area and am considering ranking the Midwest programs higher with the hope that a great internship will open West Coast doors for post doc.

How hard is it to break into California if you didn't do your training or internship there? I've been cautioned by Midwest supervisors that this can be incredibly difficult, which would definitely play a role in how I rank.
 

PsychPhDone

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I'm a current neuropsychology internship applicant from the Midwest. My goal is to eventually end up on the West Coast since my partner is there. BUT, I have some really great opportunities in my area and am considering ranking the Midwest programs higher with the hope that a great internship will open West Coast doors for post doc.

How hard is it to break into California if you didn't do your training or internship there? I've been cautioned by Midwest supervisors that this can be incredibly difficult, which would definitely play a role in how I rank.
Where in CA and what kind of setting would you be looking for?
 
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Kadhir

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VAs in general are notoriously nepotistic, especially the more well known ones that match with good interns. At my VA, it's pretty much guaranteed unless you end up being... weird. I'm not sure what the West Coast climate is like in particular, but most folks I know in CA (VA or AMC) trained there for internship and/or graduate school. I'm not sure the problem is quite as severe as other places (e.g., NYC), but it must exist to some degree.

That being said, it is obviously not impossible, especially if you have connections and can get a foot in the door with at least an interview. You will also want to check-- and this is really important-- that your postdoc application year won't be an "off" year for sites. I interviewed at a socal VA for internship, and at the time, the prospects were pretty dim because of this reason- none of places I wanted to go in the area, including the VA, were recruiting for the next year.
 

PsychPhDone

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Primarily looking at southern California. I'm trying to do a VA internship since I don't have VA experience. I think I'd likely apply to both VA and AMC sites for post doc. Thanks for any advice!
The academic-oriented VAs in SoCal are pretty competitive. Though it's not impossible to secure a postdoc there if you weren't an intern there, it's certainly much easier if you were. Being at a solid VA site for internship will help, so if one of the SoCal VA sites isn't in the cards for you, you could make a good midwest VA work for you.
 
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