VA postdoc in NY/NJ area - thumbs up or down?

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New Member
Sep 18, 2023
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Hi, I'm looking into postdocs for the upcoming year and was considering applying to VAs in the NY/NJ area. I haven't worked at a VA yet, but have experience working with trauma and would like to continue getting more training. I was wondering how competitive VA postdocs are and if anyone had any advice regarding applying to a VA or thoughts as to why not to apply to a VA. Thanks!

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At the places I've been at, not particularly competitive. In a very desirable metro area and/or at more prestigious VAs or desirable specialties (e.g. neuropsych) they will be more competitive. On the other hand, a geropsych postdoc may wind up going unfilled for example. Those with VA experiences typically are at an advantage, but I wouldn't let that stop you. You may also be competitive for staff psychologist positions without a postdoc and can always get more trauma focused training on the job (e.g. CPT/PE roll out trainings).
It will depend on how far out you are willing to travel and whether you are talking train only or willing to have a car. manhattan will be more competitive than more suburban areas because plenty of New Yorkers don't want to leave the city. Most will have moderate competition though as VA post-docs tend to pay more.