[Update] Internship Offer Possibly Revoked Due to COVID--Anyone Else?

PX1985

Full Member
Dec 24, 2019
17
39
  1. MD/PhD Student
    Hey all,

    I was matched to an APA accredited site in the New York this past March. Unfortunately, I just received a phone call from the clinic director saying that their offer to me (and another intern) might be rescinded because the governing university has cut their spending and they can no longer afford to have a interns. She acknowledged that this violated our contract and she is trying to secure funding for our positions.

    Has anyone else had this issues? Have you heard of it happening recently? I'm at a loss. I'd prefer to not go through the match process again and miss the opportunity to graduate with my peers.

    Hope there is something I can do.

    [Update] - So I recently heard back from the internship director and he said that there will likely not be enough funding for the internship positions. He said they would likely lose their APA accreditation and APPIC membership because of this.

    I'd really like some help hear. Recently contacted my DCT, waiting to hear back. Is it worth taking legal action? I've worked so hard--this feels like a huge setback! Any advice on where to go from here?
     
    Last edited:
    About the Ads

    Ollie123

    Full Member
    10+ Year Member
    Feb 19, 2007
    5,217
    2,542
    1. Psychologist
      Regardless of outcome, I am very sorry to hear you are in this situation and having the associated stressors.

      I would try to stay optimistic. It does not sound like this is final by any means. It is pretty easy to 'find' money at large institutions and if this is a university-affiliated site in NYC I am guessing it will be. Reality is that interns are dirt cheap and the cost of salaries and benefits for an entire internship class is pretty negligible in the grand scheme of things. Chances are good someone up the food chain finds said money just to avoid the hassle, bad press and long-term consequences (e.g. potential loss of accreditation).

      That said, these are really unprecedented times so who knows. Our new interns started today. Several rotations that are the main draw for many people are effectively cancelled. For a number of reasons, the extent of the experience is likely going to be limited to listening in on faculty doing zoom sessions. A number of popular supervisors have had to back out of supervising this year. No one is likely to hit some of the minimum requirements for APA. And we are in better financial shape than the vast majority of places. Prepare for a weird year...
       
      • Like
      Reactions: 5 users

      cranberrysavage

      Full Member
      Dec 2, 2019
      62
      98
      1. Psychology Student
        I don't want to post much but yes, similar experience. DM me if you'd like. They risk losing their site accreditation and hopefully APPIC should push them to uphold their offer. worst case scenario you can apply to be removed from the match and reapply next round. i believe you could also potentially pursue legal action if it comes to that. this is very late notice from them as well. check these out if you haven't seen, especially #47 COVID-19 Information-APPIC FAQs. and definitely go through the informal complaint process as a first step if they do not seem to be very clearly advocating for you and looking out for you as the intern.
         
        Last edited:
        • Like
        Reactions: 4 users

        PX1985

        Full Member
        Dec 24, 2019
        17
        39
        1. MD/PhD Student
          Regardless of outcome, I am very sorry to hear you are in this situation and having the associated stressors.

          I would try to stay optimistic. It does not sound like this is final by any means. It is pretty easy to 'find' money at large institutions and if this is a university-affiliated site in NYC I am guessing it will be. Reality is that interns are dirt cheap and the cost of salaries and benefits for an entire internship class is pretty negligible in the grand scheme of things. Chances are good someone up the food chain finds said money just to avoid the hassle, bad press and long-term consequences (e.g. potential loss of accreditation).

          That said, these are really unprecedented times so who knows. Our new interns started today. Several rotations that are the main draw for many people are effectively cancelled. For a number of reasons, the extent of the experience is likely going to be limited to listening in on faculty doing zoom sessions. A number of popular supervisors have had to back out of supervising this year. No one is likely to hit some of the minimum requirements for APA. And we are in better financial shape than the vast majority of places. Prepare for a weird year...

          Thank you so much for the support and advice. I contacted my DCT and he assured me that they are working closely with both APPIC and the internship site to try and solve the issue. He also mentioned possibly taking legal action down the road if they insist on cancelling the position outright.

          Sorry that your internship program has had to make so many sacrifices. Seems like this is happening everywhere. I hope your interns are able to have a fruitful training experience considering the circumstances.
           
          • Like
          Reactions: 1 user

          summerbabe

          Full Member
          2+ Year Member
          Nov 22, 2016
          469
          822
          1. Psychologist
            Wow, I can't imagine finding out a few weeks before internship starts that the offer might be cancelled especially since you've likely already signed leases, put down housing deposits, etc.

            As somebody who worked in university student affairs prior to grad school, I guarantee there are other areas that can absorb more temporary budget hits than reducing mental health services during a pandemic and possibility/likely losing APPIC interns in the future.

            Good luck, I hope something works out for you and the other intern!
             
            • Like
            Reactions: 1 user

            LadyHalcyon

            Full Member
            2+ Year Member
            Oct 30, 2016
            991
            626
            1. Psychologist
              I recently discovered the community clinic where I did one of my internship rotations is closing September as a result of Covid (and some generally unwise business decisions). The site is a consortium of sorts and, because they had already taken interns for the 2020 - 2021 year, it's a total mess. Since one rotation is no longer available, they are trying to make the other rotations pick up the slack. However, many are unable to. I feel very bad for my former training director.
               
              • Like
              Reactions: 1 user

              MiniLop

              Full Member
              7+ Year Member
              Mar 6, 2012
              196
              369
              1. Post Doc
                I'm currently on internship (ending next month) and we now have one intern (as well as plenty of staff) who tested positive for COVID. Us other interns are awaiting our test results. I'm wondering what responsibility the site has to make the incoming interns aware of this.
                 
                • Wow
                • Like
                Reactions: 3 users
                About the Ads

                WisNeuro

                Board Certified Neuropsychologist
                10+ Year Member
                Bronze Member
                Feb 15, 2009
                13,902
                15,818
                Somewhere
                1. Psychologist
                  Maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t funding for 2 years (current interns and matched interns years) required for APA internship accreditation? Maybe that’s just at VA’s?

                  I do not believe so, as you can actually be an unfunded internship and still be accredited according to APA

                  "

                  C-6 I. Intern Funding


                  (formerly C-9; Commission on Accreditation, October 1981; revised March 1992, November 2001, July 2011, November 2015)


                  This Implementing Regulation clarifies the CoA’s interpretation of Standard I.B.4.a of the Standards for Accreditation (SoA) for internship programs regarding: unfunded internships, the sufficiency of intern stipends, and the equity of stipends.


                  Unfunded Internships


                  The Commission on Accreditation (CoA) strongly discourages the use of unfunded internship positions. The CoA understands, however, the rare or unusual circumstance in which the award of an additional unfunded internship would serve to alleviate unavoidable hardship for the potential unfunded intern candidate (e.g., remaining geographically close to an ailing family member) Examples of less clearly defensible rationales would be elective geographic preference or the specific theoretical persuasion of a desired internship program or supervisor.


                  The CoA is in full support of internship positions being equitably funded; however, it will consider exceptional program and individual circumstances in which a program can offer quality training despite a lack of funding. In such cases, the "burden of evidence" lies with the program to demonstrate that the lack of funding does not adversely affect morale or quality of training.


                  In circumstances in which the case for an unfunded internship would seem to be compelling, the responsibility for documenting and the accountability for articulating the rationale for the placement rest with the doctoral and internship programs, jointly. The APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation staff are always available for consultation, but the decision to accept unfunded interns rests with the program alone. The awarding of such positions should be documented fully in both the doctoral and internship programs’ annual reports to the CoA, and the program should anticipate that site visitors may make focused inquiry into the case circumstances resulting in the ad hoc creation of an unfunded internship position.


                  Under virtually all "exceptional" circumstances, it would be the CoA’s expectancy that single or individual cases would be the source of such unfunded internships, but events can occur (e.g., closure of a nearby internship) that might constitute the kind of extraordinary circumstance necessitating the creation of more than one unfunded position in a given training year. However, in the view of the CoA, the routine or regular granting of one or more unfunded internship positions would not adhere to the spirit of the present CoA policy.


                  Programs also are enjoined to avoid the explicit or implicit communication to applicants or potential applicants that unfunded internship placements might be negotiable during recruitment at any point during the recruitment cycle. Again, maneuvers by a program and student to create the appearance of a special need after the recruiting season has ended will not be seen as consonant with the spirit of the policy.


                  Sufficiency of Funding


                  The payment of a stipend is a concrete acknowledgement that an intern in the agency is valued and emphasizes that there is a significant training component in addition to experiential learning. While recognizing that internship stipends will not rise to the level of salaries for permanent staff psychologists, it should also be clear that compensation needs to"
                   

                  PX1985

                  Full Member
                  Dec 24, 2019
                  17
                  39
                  1. MD/PhD Student
                    Hi all,

                    So I learned more about the ongoing situation. For context, please refer to the original post.

                    [Update] - So I recently heard back from the internship director and he said that there will likely not be enough funding for the internship positions. He said they would likely lose their APA accreditation and APPIC membership because of this.

                    I'd really like some help hear. Recently contacted my DCT, waiting to hear back. Is it worth taking legal action? I've worked so hard--this feels like a huge setback! Any advice on where to go from here?
                     
                    • Care
                    Reactions: 1 user

                    PhDStudentCP

                    Full Member
                    Jun 2, 2020
                    14
                    17
                    1. Psychology Student
                      Im so sorry it's worked out like this. I'm currently externing at a NYC hospital and theres no issue with any of the funding for our interns. It's bizarre to hear that this is occurring in NY, where the hospitals are typically well-resourced..

                      Legal action sounds like an option. Maybe consult with your lawyer to gauge how successful you might be if you were to bring legal action against the hospital.

                      Another option, albeit very undesirable, is to perhaps complete the internship without payment? If you have the financial resources to live off savings or family support for the year, that might be an option. Just to avoid the setback of having to wait another year for internship.

                      So sorry they've put you in this spot : ( I hope it all works out
                       

                      Ollie123

                      Full Member
                      10+ Year Member
                      Feb 19, 2007
                      5,217
                      2,542
                      1. Psychologist
                        Also very sorry to hear this. I would definitely talk to the DCT and to APA/APPIC.

                        A lot depends on your goals and personal circumstances. If I "could" go unfunded, I would consider it in this circumstance. I might explore options with my graduate institution for funding, especially now with lots of things done remotely. Will APA and the internship site grant you a time allowance to TA? Pay you to work on grants? It might necessitate some extremely long hours, but it is worth considering. This also depends whether the internship is even open to people going unfunded. Depending on your debt situation, I would consider a small loan and living an exceedingly barren life for a year. It's unfortunate this is in a major metro, since NYC isn't exactly doable on 12k/year

                        Would you have funding at your home institution? If yes and it were me, I would seriously consider taking an extra year and reapplying if the funding was necessary for me to remain solvent. Technically, I think APA does not normally allow that, but if they did not grant an exception this circumstance I would go out of my way to make life hell for literally everyone involved, up to and including threats of personal lawsuits and ethics complaints.
                         
                        • Like
                        Reactions: 3 users

                        WisNeuro

                        Board Certified Neuropsychologist
                        10+ Year Member
                        Bronze Member
                        Feb 15, 2009
                        13,902
                        15,818
                        Somewhere
                        1. Psychologist
                          Sure you could think about legal action, my initial thought is that you will have a slim chance of winning such a lawsuit as force majeure is in play here. Also, I can't imagine it won't burn bridges. So, going to have to weigh the pros and cons on that one. I, personally, would not pursue legal action in this particular circumstance.

                          I do agree with others about seeing what may be possible at your home institution, also contacting APPIC and the APA about what possible options they may have to help.
                           
                          • Like
                          Reactions: 1 users

                          Spydra

                          Full Member
                          7+ Year Member
                          Aug 16, 2014
                          394
                          399
                          1. Psychology Student
                            I personally would not consider an unfunded internship, even in this circumstance. Since this circumstance is not at all your fault and NY has lots of other internship sites I wonder if another site(s) would be open to extending offers to you and perhaps the other interns that are now displaced, who knows maybe some didn't fill all their slots. This seems like the kind of thing the involved DCTs, APPIC, and the site that can no longer take you should be working to set up. Now if such a thing is possible it may mean settling for a year with slightly different experiences than you hoped for, but I think that is way better than waiting a year.
                             
                            • Like
                            Reactions: 8 users

                            mxbz

                            Full Member
                            10+ Year Member
                            Aug 26, 2011
                            859
                            553
                            USA
                            1. Psychology Student
                              I would put the onus on the site and APPIC to find you a different, funded internship, and I'd threaten to pursue legal action if they are unable to deliver on that.

                              FWIW, I had a colleague not match, opt not to pursue phase two but ultimately receive an offer from one of their top choices about two weeks before their start date -- Apparently the site came into additional funding and was able to fund an additional intern than they had initially anticipated.
                               
                              • Like
                              Reactions: 2 users

                              beginner2011

                              Beginner's Mind
                              10+ Year Member
                              Apr 13, 2011
                              467
                              534
                              1. Post Doc
                                FWIW, I had a colleague not match, opt not to pursue phase two but ultimately receive an offer from one of their top choices about two weeks before their start date -- Apparently the site came into additional funding and was able to fund an additional intern than they had initially anticipated.

                                Wow, that's a really fortunate turn of events. Was this during the pandemic or in a previous year?
                                 

                                cranberrysavage

                                Full Member
                                Dec 2, 2019
                                62
                                98
                                1. Psychology Student
                                  Hey! I would also suggest:
                                  -You have the right to apply to be removed from your match and therefore (if officially removed) re-apply this application cycle.
                                  -APPIC should be involved and mediating to assist you-- if you have not filed a formal/informal complaint with them, i recommend doing so ASAP. here is the link. you have to file an informal complaint prior to a formal one. Problem Consultation
                                  -if you're not already familiar with it, consider the post-match vacancy service Post-Match Vacancy Service -- i am not sure how it would work between applying to be removed from your match and reapplying versus PMVS, you may have to decide about one first, but there could be sites in there for you.

                                  I'm so sorry this is happening. After all the work you've put in to get to this point, its awful to have it pulled away from you at the 11th hour. I hope APPIC is doing right by interns and advocates well for you. i believe legal action may be a possibility, but then again at this point you are faced with deciding between trying to fight for what "should be," aka the contract they signed and the promises they made to you by participating in match, and what is most workable in this moment, aka "how can i complete an internship, this one or otherwise, and finish my degree." Best of luck.
                                   
                                  • Like
                                  Reactions: 3 users
                                  About the Ads

                                  cranberrysavage

                                  Full Member
                                  Dec 2, 2019
                                  62
                                  98
                                  1. Psychology Student
                                    This makes my stomach churn. I am so sorry.
                                    Yeah...I would say my site is doing moderately well but I definitely have frustrations/major concerns too. Biggest frustration is that most people are very dismissive of any concerns about exposure. I have friends at other sites where interns are routinely being exposed. And I have moderate PPE at my site (basic medical face masks-- no eye protection, still trying to get an n95, and no enforcement of clients wearing their masks), but honestly will be pretty surprised if I don't get COVID this year doing my internship duties. Its a horrible decision to be making-- say no, or take this last step to get the hours I need to get the postdoc I need, finish my degree, and get what I've been working towards for so long.
                                     
                                    • Like
                                    Reactions: 1 user

                                    chicandtoughness

                                    mental health clinician (LMHC)
                                    5+ Year Member
                                    Dec 7, 2014
                                    409
                                    244
                                    1. Pre-Medical
                                      This makes my blood boil. I actually quit my previous job in May of this year because they were not taking ANY precautions for COVID (in May! two months after shutdowns were ordered!) Staff wore cloth masks, but patients didn't have to. We were still admitting folks from the outside without requiring any testing. This was in a residential program, so if someone comes in with COVID you can bet EVERYONE is getting it. Sure enough, a staff member tested positive, but despite this, nothing changed. We were told to just carry on with our jobs, no problem. Didn't offer us time off to get tested, didn't even encourage us to get tested. I came down with a fever that same week, and they told me they expected me back in the office ASAP. I said **** that and left.

                                      I have zero tolerance for workplaces that do not put staff and patient safety first. How are we supposed to care for folks if we get sick? We even had a staff meeting to discuss this, and when my colleagues asked straight up if we could implement testing for new patients and enforce face masks/social distancing, our medical director shrugged and said, "You'll be fine, we always ask people when we admit them if they have a fever or cough." Um, someone admitting could be asymptomatic?!
                                       
                                      • Like
                                      Reactions: 1 users

                                      foreverbull

                                      Full Member
                                      5+ Year Member
                                      Sep 8, 2015
                                      1,270
                                      1,729
                                        This makes my blood boil. I actually quit my previous job in May of this year because they were not taking ANY precautions for COVID (in May! two months after shutdowns were ordered!) Staff wore cloth masks, but patients didn't have to. We were still admitting folks from the outside without requiring any testing. This was in a residential program, so if someone comes in with COVID you can bet EVERYONE is getting it. Sure enough, a staff member tested positive, but despite this, nothing changed. We were told to just carry on with our jobs, no problem. Didn't offer us time off to get tested, didn't even encourage us to get tested. I came down with a fever that same week, and they told me they expected me back in the office ASAP. I said **** that and left.

                                        I have zero tolerance for workplaces that do not put staff and patient safety first. How are we supposed to care for folks if we get sick? We even had a staff meeting to discuss this, and when my colleagues asked straight up if we could implement testing for new patients and enforce face masks/social distancing, our medical director shrugged and said, "You'll be fine, we always ask people when we admit them if they have a fever or cough." Um, someone admitting could be asymptomatic?!

                                        I'm not sure how many of us believe that our employers always put our safety first, but Covid-19 has really underscored which companies and organizations are willing to put profits over lives. A colleague of mine who teaches adjunct was basically told "either agree to teach at least partially in person or forfeit teaching these classes"--and said colleague refused and lost the classes altogether. Another colleague's employer didn't require masks for employees or patients until mid-April or May, and their employer praised the "heroes" willing to go into skilled care facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks and sent the implicit message that this was the expectation--to risk their safety and patients' to keep working as they were before, even though some staff at the facilities were wearing masks below their noses and failed to follow any sound safety protocol.

                                        If you have a job in which your employer said you can do telehealth indefinitely and/or can work from home safely, you're better off than many others, including some psychologists in the field. I'm actually surprised we haven't had more stories about this happening in here.
                                         
                                        • Like
                                        Reactions: 7 users

                                        PX1985

                                        Full Member
                                        Dec 24, 2019
                                        17
                                        39
                                        1. MD/PhD Student
                                          Im so sorry it's worked out like this. I'm currently externing at a NYC hospital and theres no issue with any of the funding for our interns. It's bizarre to hear that this is occurring in NY, where the hospitals are typically well-resourced..

                                          Legal action sounds like an option. Maybe consult with your lawyer to gauge how successful you might be if you were to bring legal action against the hospital.

                                          Another option, albeit very undesirable, is to perhaps complete the internship without payment? If you have the financial resources to live off savings or family support for the year, that might be an option. Just to avoid the setback of having to wait another year for internship.

                                          So sorry they've put you in this spot : ( I hope it all works out

                                          Hey there,

                                          Thanks for the reply. Yes I'm consulting with a lawyer very soon to see what options are available. I might be able to complete the internship without payment (if I lived with family nearby). Just need to figure out if the site will remain accredited through APA...
                                           
                                          • Like
                                          Reactions: 1 user

                                          PX1985

                                          Full Member
                                          Dec 24, 2019
                                          17
                                          39
                                          1. MD/PhD Student
                                            Also very sorry to hear this. I would definitely talk to the DCT and to APA/APPIC.

                                            A lot depends on your goals and personal circumstances. If I "could" go unfunded, I would consider it in this circumstance. I might explore options with my graduate institution for funding, especially now with lots of things done remotely. Will APA and the internship site grant you a time allowance to TA? Pay you to work on grants? It might necessitate some extremely long hours, but it is worth considering. This also depends whether the internship is even open to people going unfunded. Depending on your debt situation, I would consider a small loan and living an exceedingly barren life for a year. It's unfortunate this is in a major metro, since NYC isn't exactly doable on 12k/year

                                            Would you have funding at your home institution? If yes and it were me, I would seriously consider taking an extra year and reapplying if the funding was necessary for me to remain solvent. Technically, I think APA does not normally allow that, but if they did not grant an exception this circumstance I would go out of my way to make life hell for literally everyone involved, up to and including threats of personal lawsuits and ethics complaints.


                                            My DCT and a member of APPIC did not seem flexible in terms of providing additional funding. I proposed several solutions (TA/GA work, additional funding through the institution, etc.), but they did not seem to gain much traction. They are looking into additional funding sources as we speak. Fingers crossed!
                                             
                                            • Sad
                                            Reactions: 1 user

                                            PX1985

                                            Full Member
                                            Dec 24, 2019
                                            17
                                            39
                                            1. MD/PhD Student
                                              Hey! I would also suggest:
                                              -You have the right to apply to be removed from your match and therefore (if officially removed) re-apply this application cycle.
                                              -APPIC should be involved and mediating to assist you-- if you have not filed a formal/informal complaint with them, i recommend doing so ASAP. here is the link. you have to file an informal complaint prior to a formal one. Problem Consultation
                                              -if you're not already familiar with it, consider the post-match vacancy service Post-Match Vacancy Service -- i am not sure how it would work between applying to be removed from your match and reapplying versus PMVS, you may have to decide about one first, but there could be sites in there for you.

                                              I'm so sorry this is happening. After all the work you've put in to get to this point, its awful to have it pulled away from you at the 11th hour. I hope APPIC is doing right by interns and advocates well for you. i believe legal action may be a possibility, but then again at this point you are faced with deciding between trying to fight for what "should be," aka the contract they signed and the promises they made to you by participating in match, and what is most workable in this moment, aka "how can i complete an internship, this one or otherwise, and finish my degree." Best of luck.

                                              Exactly! Thanks again for the support throughout this process. The PMVS actually still has several APA acred. sites with available positions! Hoorah! Who knows, maybe a change of scenery would be best after all this madness.
                                               
                                              • Like
                                              Reactions: 1 users

                                              psych.meout

                                              Full Member
                                              5+ Year Member
                                              Oct 5, 2015
                                              2,215
                                              2,085
                                              1. DO/PhD Student
                                                Ugh, OP this really sucks. Hopefully you're able to get a funded accredited site soon.

                                                APPIC did a webinar today and while they acknowledged that this kind of thing is a possibility, they think it's rare and would be unlikely for the upcoming application cycle. They stressed that the contracts and their legal weight would keep sites to their side of the deal.
                                                 
                                                • Like
                                                Reactions: 1 user
                                                About the Ads

                                                cranberrysavage

                                                Full Member
                                                Dec 2, 2019
                                                62
                                                98
                                                1. Psychology Student
                                                  Exactly! Thanks again for the support throughout this process. The PMVS actually still has several APA acred. sites with available positions! Hoorah! Who knows, maybe a change of scenery would be best after all this madness.
                                                  Glad to hear that about the PMVS! I can also say its definitely hard to feel trust/positive regard towards my site after the my experiences with them related to this. So, if you were able to switch to another site and get paid, and not feel so disregarded, it could be a much happier year in the long run.

                                                  And I completely agree with other posters about institutional problems, employers not valuing employees...and think it needs to be acknowledged how very little power trainees have in this situation. Even the original poster--as far as I am aware even in their extreme situation they can't even just choose themselves to decline their current site and reapply to other sites, they have to apply to be removed, re-apply, etc. We are contractually obliged to hold up their end and complete their year, and we can't apply to be removed except in very extreme situations. At my current site, another concern I have is that I have, maybe 5 sick days available for the year but also am told to stay home if I have even 1 symptom of coronavirus-- like a sore throat-- and that is obviously not only unrealistic, but if I were to do so I would look like an unreliable/lazy intern and get worse letters of rec for postdoc. Everything I'm doing is with my letters of rec in mind, and it leads me to have to make decisions against my wellbeing, and honestly others' wellbeing in that case. If I could quit my job, find a job that valued my wellbeing and didn't put me in positions like this, I would. As an intern, I can't, for myriad reasons. Honestly, I would really like to see established psychologists and organizations like APPIC and APA doing a lot more to advocate for us. So far all I've seen is basically a few emails which truly boil down to "please don't abuse your interns in this new, COVID-19 way, thanks."
                                                   
                                                  • Like
                                                  Reactions: 2 users

                                                  WisNeuro

                                                  Board Certified Neuropsychologist
                                                  10+ Year Member
                                                  Bronze Member
                                                  Feb 15, 2009
                                                  13,902
                                                  15,818
                                                  Somewhere
                                                  1. Psychologist
                                                    Honestly, I would really like to see established psychologists and organizations like APPIC and APA doing a lot more to advocate for us. So far all I've seen is basically a few emails which truly boil down to "please don't abuse your interns in this new, COVID-19 way, thanks."

                                                    Honestly, many of these problems are coming from leadership at the top of these healthcare organizations. Some of these issues are not unique to trainees, and are things that all employees are dealing with. As for APA, they have done tremendous amounts of work here between national and state legislation, particularly in relation to telehealth and reimbursement issues, not too mention advocating to state psych boards about variance in hours due to the pandemic. To say that they are doing nothing is just being woefully ignorant of the situation.
                                                     
                                                    • Like
                                                    Reactions: 3 users

                                                    cranberrysavage

                                                    Full Member
                                                    Dec 2, 2019
                                                    62
                                                    98
                                                    1. Psychology Student
                                                      Honestly, many of these problems are coming from leadership at the top of these healthcare organizations. Some of these issues are not unique to trainees, and are things that all employees are dealing with. As for APA, they have done tremendous amounts of work here between national and state legislation, particularly in relation to telehealth and reimbursement issues, not too mention advocating to state psych boards about variance in hours due to the pandemic. To say that they are doing nothing is just being woefully ignorant of the situation.
                                                      I don't disagree with any of what you've said, and I do appreciate those actions by APA. I'm not ignorant of the situation, I am speaking from my own personal experience. Maybe my frustration is more with APPIC. Specifically though, I am stating I feel like those with more power should be advocating for interns (maybe grad students as well) in their unique and somewhat vulnerable situation, and particularly in situations such as this. As I said, we have almost no room to negotiate or leave positions as other employees have (I acknowledge everyone can't with a snap of their fingers, but more than we can). APPIC could be doing things like just coming down harder on institutions (they can withdraw apa accreditation) about yanking funding or rotations, being clear and communicative with interns and connecting them to resources if they don't intend to be advocates themselves. Or psychologists who are supervising can take the steps to ensure intern safety, such as pushing for proper PPE, not expecting us to work with COVID+ patients or in settings with a high risk of getting COVID. There are institutional failures that individual psychologists as middlemen have a fair amount of power to push back on.
                                                       
                                                      • Like
                                                      Reactions: 2 users

                                                      WisNeuro

                                                      Board Certified Neuropsychologist
                                                      10+ Year Member
                                                      Bronze Member
                                                      Feb 15, 2009
                                                      13,902
                                                      15,818
                                                      Somewhere
                                                      1. Psychologist
                                                        I don't disagree with any of what you've said, and I do appreciate those actions by APA. I'm not ignorant of the situation, I am speaking from my own personal experience. Maybe my frustration is more with APPIC. Specifically though, I am stating I feel like those with more power should be advocating for interns (maybe grad students as well) in their unique and somewhat vulnerable situation, and particularly in situations such as this. As I said, we have almost no room to negotiate or leave positions as other employees have (I acknowledge everyone can't with a snap of their fingers, but more than we can). APPIC could be doing things like just coming down harder on institutions (they can withdraw apa accreditation) about yanking funding or rotations, being clear and communicative with interns and connecting them to resources if they don't intend to be advocates themselves. Or psychologists who are supervising can take the steps to ensure intern safety, such as pushing for proper PPE, not expecting us to work with COVID+ patients or in settings with a high risk of getting COVID. There are institutional failures that individual psychologists as middlemen have a fair amount of power to push back on.

                                                        To the first point, punishing programs because their parent healthcare organization is hemorrhaging hundreds of millions of dollars would not really fix the problem. It would just lead to a massive shortage of internship positions in future years. This is an unprecedented situation that no one planned for, and many things that seemed like guarantees, now aren't. And, many contracts/agreements are out the window now that force majeure can be used in legal settings.

                                                        As to the second issue, it does sound like it sucks at your institution. From my experience, at least in our state, we are not having that issue. But, I would also caution against assuming that psychologists have any power to push in some organizations. Most orgs do not have psychologists officially on medical staff, and no voting rights in the org. Couple that with the increase in midlevels and the fact that most training programs are money losers for healthcare orgs, and the leverage to push admin is pretty small.

                                                        I'm not saying it doesn't suck, it really does, but I think people have a very myopic view of how things actually operate at the organizational and state levels.
                                                         
                                                        • Like
                                                        Reactions: 1 users

                                                        Psycycle

                                                        Psychologist, ABPP
                                                        15+ Year Member
                                                        Jul 9, 2006
                                                        728
                                                        531
                                                        1. Psychologist
                                                          To the first point, punishing programs because their parent healthcare organization is hemorrhaging hundreds of millions of dollars would not really fix the problem. It would just lead to a massive shortage of internship positions in future years. This is an unprecedented situation that no one planned for, and many things that seemed like guarantees, now aren't. And, many contracts/agreements are out the window now that force majeure can be used in legal settings.

                                                          As to the second issue, it does sound like it sucks at your institution. From my experience, at least in our state, we are not having that issue. But, I would also caution against assuming that psychologists have any power to push in some organizations. Most orgs do not have psychologists officially on medical staff, and no voting rights in the org. Couple that with the increase in midlevels and the fact that most training programs are money losers for healthcare orgs, and the leverage to push admin is pretty small.

                                                          I'm not saying it doesn't suck, it really does, but I think people have a very myopic view of how things actually operate at the organizational and state levels.
                                                          This is SO true. And it's quite the interesting experience to be perceived as having all of this power and thus be assigned responsibility, but to not actually have the power.
                                                           
                                                          • Like
                                                          Reactions: 1 users

                                                          singasongofjoy

                                                          Full Member
                                                          5+ Year Member
                                                          Dec 4, 2014
                                                          953
                                                          774
                                                          1. Psychologist
                                                            Hey there,

                                                            Thanks for the reply. Yes I'm consulting with a lawyer very soon to see what options are available. I might be able to complete the internship without payment (if I lived with family nearby). Just need to figure out if the site will remain accredited through APA...
                                                            I wonder if you could go straight to APA to ask about this unique situation. I mean i guess they typically can't speak much about specific programs but maybe they've already had conversations about what would happen in these types of scenarios given the current environment.
                                                             
                                                            • Like
                                                            Reactions: 1 users

                                                            PX1985

                                                            Full Member
                                                            Dec 24, 2019
                                                            17
                                                            39
                                                            1. MD/PhD Student
                                                              I wonder if you could go straight to APA to ask about this unique situation. I mean i guess they typically can't speak much about specific programs but maybe they've already had conversations about what would happen in these types of scenarios given the current environment.

                                                              Sent an email inquiry today! Going to call them in the next few days if they do not respond.
                                                               
                                                              • Like
                                                              Reactions: 2 users

                                                              PX1985

                                                              Full Member
                                                              Dec 24, 2019
                                                              17
                                                              39
                                                              1. MD/PhD Student
                                                                Hey all,

                                                                I was matched to an APA accredited site in the New York this past March. Unfortunately, I just received a phone call from the clinic director saying that their offer to me (and another intern) might be rescinded because the governing university has cut their spending and they can no longer afford to have a interns. She acknowledged that this violated our contract and she is trying to secure funding for our positions.

                                                                Has anyone else had this issues? Have you heard of it happening recently? I'm at a loss. I'd prefer to not go through the match process again and miss the opportunity to graduate with my peers.

                                                                Hope there is something I can do.

                                                                [Update] - So I recently heard back from the internship director and he said that there will likely not be enough funding for the internship positions. He said they would likely lose their APA accreditation and APPIC membership because of this.

                                                                I'd really like some help hear. Recently contacted my DCT, waiting to hear back. Is it worth taking legal action? I've worked so hard--this feels like a huge setback! Any advice on where to go from here?

                                                                [Update p. 2] - Everything worked out! Fortunately, they were able to find the funding and I started this week! Thanks for the support everyone!
                                                                 
                                                                Last edited by a moderator:
                                                                • Like
                                                                Reactions: 25 users

                                                                CatLover&PsychEnthusiast

                                                                Full Member
                                                                2+ Year Member
                                                                Jun 21, 2018
                                                                85
                                                                108
                                                                  As to the second issue, it does sound like it sucks at your institution. From my experience, at least in our state, we are not having that issue. But, I would also caution against assuming that psychologists have any power to push in some organizations.

                                                                  Their experience with their institution isn’t uncommon. I’ve heard of several of these instances from fellow trainees. I think their point is very valid with regards to protocols that psychologists make for their trainees, when they have control over that. I know of such examples. It’s these instances when the psychologist has a choice to allow telehealth but makes trainees come in anyway because that’s what they’re used to doing, that are problematic and disregard trainees safety and their value as people.
                                                                   
                                                                  • Like
                                                                  Reactions: 1 users

                                                                  WisNeuro

                                                                  Board Certified Neuropsychologist
                                                                  10+ Year Member
                                                                  Bronze Member
                                                                  Feb 15, 2009
                                                                  13,902
                                                                  15,818
                                                                  Somewhere
                                                                  1. Psychologist
                                                                    Their experience with their institution isn’t uncommon. I’ve heard of several of these instances from fellow trainees. I think their point is very valid with regards to protocols that psychologists make for their trainees, when they have control over that. I know of such examples. It’s these instances when the psychologist has a choice to allow telehealth but makes trainees come in anyway because that’s what they’re used to doing, that are problematic and disregard trainees safety and their value as people.

                                                                    Likely some geographic variation. Definitely not the case in our metro area anywhere as we've had multiple metro-wide discussions about these protocols as it related to internship and postdoc training.
                                                                     
                                                                    • Like
                                                                    Reactions: 1 user
                                                                    About the Ads

                                                                    Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

                                                                    1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
                                                                    2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                                                                    3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                                                                    4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
                                                                    5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
                                                                    6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                                                                    7. This thread is locked.