teenyfish

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Jan 5, 2013
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I am currently a college senior finishing up a biology degree. I originally wanted to go to PA school (still might), but I am having cold feet. I have a psychology minor and flirted with the idea of changing my major to behavioral neuroscience many times but never took the plunge. I would say I have taken around 6 psych courses including statistics, abnormal, developmental and biological psychology. The last three courses I took with the same professor who is a clinical psychologist. She would always relate her clinical experiences to the material and in doing so made me want to pursue that profession. I would always back out and say it wasn't "practical" for me, as most of my experiences are in biology. However, now that I'm really starting to re-look at potential career options I would like to explore clinical psychology.

I have research experience, but it's in behavioral ecology & insect sociobiology. I worked in the lab as a volunteer for a year, then worked as a research assistant for a year and a half and did a directed study. From this I have one oral presentation, and three poster presentations of the work I did with other students. I left the lab soon after as I didn't enjoy the work. I go to a school with co-op programs, and I have worked in the pharmaceutical industry, physical therapy and currently as a medical assistant. I would say the only psychology related extracurricular I have done is working as direct support at a group home for individuals with developmental disabilities, which I did part time for two years.

If I were to pursue clinical psychology, what would the next steps be? Should I work in a lab for a while? Possibly start a masters? I would like to be in neuropsychology ideally, so I could use some of my biology background that I enjoy as well.
 

psycscientist

7+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2011
798
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Psychologist
I am currently a college senior finishing up a biology degree. I originally wanted to go to PA school (still might), but I am having cold feet. I have a psychology minor and flirted with the idea of changing my major to behavioral neuroscience many times but never took the plunge. I would say I have taken around 6 psych courses including statistics, abnormal, developmental and biological psychology. The last three courses I took with the same professor who is a clinical psychologist. She would always relate her clinical experiences to the material and in doing so made me want to pursue that profession. I would always back out and say it wasn't "practical" for me, as most of my experiences are in biology. However, now that I'm really starting to re-look at potential career options I would like to explore clinical psychology.

I have research experience, but it's in behavioral ecology & insect sociobiology. I worked in the lab as a volunteer for a year, then worked as a research assistant for a year and a half and did a directed study. From this I have one oral presentation, and three poster presentations of the work I did with other students. I left the lab soon after as I didn't enjoy the work. I go to a school with co-op programs, and I have worked in the pharmaceutical industry, physical therapy and currently as a medical assistant. I would say the only psychology related extracurricular I have done is working as direct support at a group home for individuals with developmental disabilities, which I did part time for two years.

If I were to pursue clinical psychology, what would the next steps be? Should I work in a lab for a while? Possibly start a masters? I would like to be in neuropsychology ideally, so I could use some of my biology background that I enjoy as well.
I would say pursue a full-time RA position in a clinical psychology lab (preferably one in your area of interest). You could potentially do a research-based Master's degree, but it's not necessary if you can get some good clinical psych research experience. It will be hard otherwise for you to articulate fit at a clinical psychology Ph.D. program if you have not really gotten any experience with that type of research (i.e., how do you know that's what you want to do if you have no experience?).
 

Koogy

Dreams, passions, & purpose = fulfillment
Jan 4, 2015
113
15
You need to talk to a good vocational counseling psychologist, do a few value sorts, investigate what each profession does, and see how well your MBTI, Strongs interest inventory, and RAISEC match what you want to do. Within the value sort, you can google that and find a a few helpful guides. Basically, you need to evaluate a) your interests, b) your priorities, and c) how much time you want to be in school. Let's start with A. What
 

Koogy

Dreams, passions, & purpose = fulfillment
Jan 4, 2015
113
15
A) What is it about neuropsychology interests you? Is it the research? Investigation? Being on the cutting edge of science?
What is it that interests you about PA? Is it the study of the body? The in person contact w clients?

Health psychology these days intersects a tremendous amount with clinical mental health issues as well as physical health issues even in nueropsych. Consider trauma; neuroscientists have mapped out how early trauma is triggered and housed in the Limbic system and that undersolved trauma leads to everything from IBS and fibromyalgia to chronic pain and heart problems. The fields intersect ttemendously (just read anything by (Bessler Van der kolk and you'll get the idea )because Descartes was proven wrong: the mind is not separate from the body but all parts of the humans being (physical/biological , emotional,
Spiritual, social, genetic endowment) are intricately connected and intersect.... and a sick body leads to a sick mind and vice versa. So whichever field you chose, you won't go wrong. Both fields (medicine and behavioral/clinical psych) are growing and in need of good researchers and clinicians.

Consider what is important specifically to you.
What is driving your tension or struggle to make a decision towards one or the other? Is it significance? Income potential? Lengths of schooling? You have to evaluate all of these. But in the end, you won't know what you "will like" until you are in the field.

Since you have some research experience, I would focus on your GRE scores and apply to clinical psych courses for next fall, minimum of 12. Find a health psych program and you'll find your nich.

These are my recommendations. I am biased towards clinical and health psych. If you'd like more info, private message me.
 

futureapppsy2

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You need to talk to a good vocational counseling psychologist, do a few value sorts, investigate what each profession does, and see how well your MBTI, Strongs interest inventory, and RAISEC match what you want to do. Within the value sort, you can google that and find a a few helpful guides. Basically, you need to evaluate a) your interests, b) your priorities, and c) how much time you want to be in school. Let's start with A. What
Do vocational psychologists really use the MBTI? I thought pretty much everyone actually trained in psych considered it to be bunk.
 

WisNeuro

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Do vocational psychologists really use the MBTI? I thought pretty much everyone actually trained in psych considered it to be bunk.
No. Anyone who knows how research works, has an IQ >75, or can independently feed them self knows how much the MBTI is a worthless piece of ****.
 
Mar 24, 2014
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No. Anyone who knows how research works, has an IQ >75, or can independently feed them self knows how much the MBTI is a worthless piece of ****.
lol. Some of my cohort was talking about it as of it was meaningful in one of my graduate classes. I thought I was out on the loop because I didn't know anything about it and then the forensic psychologist who was teaching the class politely ripped it to shreds. I remember them talking about IJTP profiles or something and that is about it. I do think they had IQs of greater than 75, they just didn't know much about psychometrics yet. :)
 

AcronymAllergy

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lol. Some of my cohort was talking about it as of it was meaningful in one of my graduate classes. I thought I was out on the loop because I didn't know anything about it and then the forensic psychologist who was teaching the class politely ripped it to shreds. I remember them talking about IJTP profiles or something and that is about it. I do think they had IQs of greater than 75, they just didn't know much about psychometrics yet. :)
I'd say it's interesting in much the same way that astrology is interesting. It can also play to our pride when it starts discussing how rare and uniquely special each type is.
 
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I'd say it's interesting in much the same way that astrology is interesting. It can also play to our pride when it starts discussing how rare and uniquely special each type is.
I'm a cancer and unique and special too! The really important question is, if I were to get a doctorate in astrology, then would I be able to call myself doctor doctor?
 

AcronymAllergy

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I'm a cancer and unique and special too! The really important question is, if I were to get a doctorate in astrology, then would I be able to call myself doctor doctor?
My friend was trying to convince me to get my doctorate in business for this exact reason. The sad thing is, I didn't immediately tell him he was off his rocker.
 

PsyDr

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I always thought the interesting thing about the MBTI is that it demonstrates how many people profoundly want and value personality testing.

...so long as no one has to pay for it, or have their narcissism offended by consulting an expert.
 

MamaPhD

Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
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Aug 2, 2010
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If I were to pursue clinical psychology, what would the next steps be? Should I work in a lab for a while? Possibly start a masters? I would like to be in neuropsychology ideally, so I could use some of my biology background that I enjoy as well.
With your strong biological science background and a good amount of psychology coursework under your belt, I think you'd be best served working in a lab to really get a feel for what clinical psychology research is like. If you could work with a faculty member who is doing psychophysiology, psychoneuroendocrinology, or imaging-related work, that might fit nicely with your knowledge of biology, but cast a broad net and see what hooks you. You'll find that biology factors into many topics in clinical psychology. In fact, federal funding priorities now heavily favor investigators who study biological mechanisms of mental phenomena and disorders.