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Unique perspective???????????

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by nobleheart, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. nobleheart

    nobleheart in process 2+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I recently earned a B.S. in Medical/Molecular Biology and am a licensed physical therapist assistant(specializing in acute neuroscience), am 75% through my B.A. in Psychology, and have an A.S in chemistry(organic chemistry emphasis.)

    Sorry about the long list, but i wanted to let you know where I am coming from.

    I had planned on attending med school up until about six months ago. But, through some serious "soul searching", I have made the decision to pursue clinical psychology. I live in rural oklahoma, which makes the clinical psychology program at U. Tulsa a great match.

    Now for some questions:

    Undergraduate research opps?
    Tips for pre-neuropsych foundation?
    Any outside info about U. Tulsa clinical psych program.
    Is it in my best interest to get Masters before Ph.D.?

    any other info or critiques would be greatly appreciated.
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  3. LadyInRed

    LadyInRed 2+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Nobleheart, my first comment would be don't underestimate your background! My circumstances are somewhat similar to yours. I have a B.S. in Biology from an Ivy League and did my minor in neuroscience, and at one point thought I was premed. I was very concerned about my background when applying to clinical psych schools, but during interviews it seemed that people welcomed the more biological background for neuropsych tracks. Your mol bio experiences are also a good way to differentiate yourself during your application essays. So to answer your question about tips for a pre-neuropsych foundation, if you've done research work in Mol Bio or chem, that's a great start. If you've published, even better. I decided to shadow a number of different neuropsychologists to get aquainted with various assessments and know what I was getting myself into, but besides that, I didn't choose to pursue a research position in a neuropsych lab before applying, and it worked out fine since I had other lab experiences. If you aren't sure about neuropsych, you may want to pursue a Masters to narrow down what you want to do. But if you are confident about wanting to go into neuropsych and are only considering a Masters because you are not sure how prepared you look to admissions committees, I'd say just apply for PhD programs - your background will suit you well.
  4. anybutpretty

    anybutpretty 7+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2006

    I'm sorry to be terribly unhelpful, but I'm currently in the position to have to choose between pursuing medical school or graduate school, and I'm really torn. What made you pick clinical psychology?

    Also, from what I've heard, it's only really good to get a Master's degree if you need more research or simply more focused experience in your subject of interest. It sounds like you have plenty of that!
  5. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    The Beach
    I was there too. What helped me was doing some brainstorming. I thought about areas in my life I'd like to incorporate into my career, and then I compared the aspects of each (Psychiatry vs Clinical Psych). I went back and forth, but ended up on psych because it fit better with my other interests. I think it is something you should work with and really think about, so don't rush it.

  6. nobleheart

    nobleheart in process 2+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Why clinical psych? Well, a lot of reasons. The one that seems to resound the most is the fact that I want combine art(humanity) and science into a cohesive amalgamation. In medicine, the norm tends to be cold and elitist(not always mind you, but usually.) I also started looking closer at my qualities as a practitioner, and found that my strengths tend to lye within the psychological and social arena, providing my patients with emotional comfort and really sitting down with them and involving them and their families in education and solution brainstorming.

    The light bulb came on when I took my "humanities" requirment for my BS. It was the first non-lab course I had taken in nearly 2 years. I had taken nearly every biology course available at my school and assumed I knew what "made us tick." But, when I looked into what motivated people, why we behave the way we do, I found that biology(lab-science) only provided about half of the answers.

    also that true preventative medicine must begin by intervening in behavior...
  7. NeuroPsyStudent

    NeuroPsyStudent 2+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2007

    That is a really nice way to sum up the best of clinical psychology today: confluence of humanity/art and science. On the human/art side, maybe you are familiar with Bruce Wampold's book, "The Great Psychotherapy Debate"? He summarizes a large collection of psychotherapy studies and notes that overall, the major currative factors in therapy are contextual and are best understood outside of the medical model. Science produces the finding that the humanity of the individual clinician is the most important currative factor.

    That is why I believe that measures like GREs should not be so important in Clinical Psych interviews, particularly if a person is training to become a clinican. I bet measures like the adult attachment interview and indices of insight would be better predictors of currative potential. Of course, there are many ethical concerns about use of such assessments in a determinative way, but I'm just saying that the human side is really key in this field. Sometimes we forget that behind p values, managed care, and the endless and divisive debates between CBT, psychodynamic, behavioral, and gestalt proponents.

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