Rivi

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I think it would be beneficial to generate discussion on ways psychologists can increase our market, as we are all aware of the 101 ways our scope is being reduced. There has been a lot of discussion about RxP as being a means to this but I am sure there are other ways as well. My first idea:

Re-establish a psychological assessment as a necessary part of an intake interview with new patients and clients:

The majority of private psychiatric hospitals that I have worked at use a 30minute to 1hour intake interview with an assessment clinician as the primary means of gathering information on the client. Establishing personality assessments for all new patients as standard practice would benefit our field and more importantly benefit the patients that come into psychiatric hospitals and outpatient clinics.
 
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My thought would be to increase the number of suicide crisis psychologists in school districts and with large companies. LA unified school district is the only one with a dedicated suicide response psychologist and has been for a while (and he has to advocate to keep his job every year).
 
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Establishing personality assessments for all new patients as standard practice would benefit our field and more importantly benefit the patients that come into psychiatric hospitals and outpatient clinics.
And how about nursing homes? I always have thought it would be nice to have all of the patients that come into my nursing home take a brief adjective-endorsement personality measure when they enter. It would help give the us a thumbnail sketch idea as to how to approach and deal with particular patients and also provide a great means to data-mine - for example, I've always thought it would be neat to see the degree to which personality profiles of roommate dyads predict successful or unsuccessful roommate matching in the LTC environment. With enough data, you might be able to develop an algorithm based on personality profiling that would allow you to optimally match people. You could also apply this kind of research in other types of hospitals, hospital dorms, etc.
 
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I think it would be beneficial to generate discussion on ways psychologists can increase our market...

Re-establish a psychological assessment as a necessary part of an intake interview with new patients and clients:

The majority of private psychiatric hospitals that I have worked at use a 30minute to 1hour intake interview with an assessment clinician as the primary means of gathering information on the client. Establishing personality assessments for all new patients as standard practice would benefit our field and more importantly benefit the patients that come into psychiatric hospitals and outpatient clinics.
I don't believe it is ethical to perform personality testing (if we're talking about anything more than a brief screening measure) on all new patients as a standard practice to "increase our market." Not all individuals will benefit from testing or are able to tolerate it. This is a particularly bad idea in a psychiatric hospital. I have seen patients decompensate as a result of ill-advised testing.
 
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I don't believe it is ethical to perform personality testing (if we're talking about anything more than a brief screening measure) on all new patients as a standard practice to "increase our market." Not all individuals will benefit from testing or are able to tolerate it. This is a particularly bad idea in a psychiatric hospital. I have seen patients decompensate as a result of ill-advised testing.
I'm all for making sure we don't cause decompensation in patients prone to it, but I don't see how getting patients to spend maybe 5 minutes completing a brief adjective-endorsement measure (and I'm aware of a Big Five measure that takes probably less than one minute to complete) is particularly intrusive, much less "unethical." The possibilities I can see for population-based personality screening in terms of doing better care planning and improving care in the mileau seem potentially pretty well-advised, IMHO.

But I'm willing to concede that psych. patients may need extra considerations when they're transferring into an acute-care psychiatric setting. I haven't worked with that kind of population for years, so I can't comment on that, really.
 

ela

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...I don't see how getting patients to spend maybe 5 minutes completing a brief adjective-endorsement measure (and I'm aware of a Big Five measure that takes probably less than one minute to complete) is particularly intrusive, much less "unethical."
To play devils advocate; would a psychologist really be necessary for this type of assessment? Seems the type of instrument a masters level practitioner would be well qualified to administer + interpret.
 

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To play devils advocate; would a psychologist really be necessary for this type of assessment? Seems the type of instrument a masters level practitioner would be well qualified to administer + interpret.
Administer, sure. Interpret, perhaps not so much.

I believe that we should continue to shore up our efforts of promoting our unique expertise in psychometric assessment, psychopathology (theory and application), and case conceptualization. In my (albeit limited) experiences, psychologists are generally the "cream of the crop" when it comes to differential diagnosis in cases of severe and/or significantly comorbid mental disorders, and in appropriately conceptualizing these cases to optimize psychotherapeutic intervention successes.

Additionally, greater emphasis on treatment outcome/efficacy research, program monitoring (especially in multidisciplinary settings), and the like could potentially help improve our employment prospects.
 
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Administer, sure. Interpret, perhaps not so much.

I believe that we should continue to shore up our efforts of promoting our unique expertise in psychometric assessment, psychopathology (theory and application), and case conceptualization. In my (albeit limited) experiences, psychologists are generally the "cream of the crop" when it comes to differential diagnosis in cases of severe and/or significantly comorbid mental disorders, and in appropriately conceptualizing these cases to optimize psychotherapeutic intervention successes.

Additionally, greater emphasis on treatment outcome/efficacy research, program monitoring (especially in multidisciplinary settings), and the like could potentially help improve our employment prospects.
Administer, definitely not. Interpret, possibly not (a well-trained masters clinician could probably do it). Make use of in quantitative research, quality improvement studies, etc.? You need a psychologist for that.
 
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For the neuro/assessment folks...

Integrating more into hospitals and particular specialty areas would offer the best insurance reimbursement options, but the work would be highly variable. The neuro assessment world is a bit in flux, but it seems like splitting time in different places offers both flexibility and stability. I'm not that concerned because i've networked pretty well, but i've heard it can be a tough market if you are not active in div 40 or div 22.

I'm looking to stay in academic medicine, work jointly on research in an outside dept (pref. Neurology), and do a handful of neuro assessments on the side. For better or worse, as an early career psychologist you are limited by where and with whom you trained, so plan accordingly.
 
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My comment was not referring to brief/screening measures. I did qualify that.
Whoops, true, you did qualify that, apologies.

Of course, without even getting into the ethical issues, I don't think it's even *practical* (and certainly not cost-effective) to do population-based personality assessment, say, as part of an intake interview. Screening, as you indicated, is a different matter.
 

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I know people who don't even like personality assessment with therapy clients, let alone making it standard for everyone.
 
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I know people who don't even like personality assessment with therapy clients, let alone making it standard for everyone.
Research seems pretty clear that coping style and trait resistance (to begin with) are pretty relevent for treatment planning and all are deriveable from many personality-based measures. I generally like it when I can get most of my long-term therapy patients to complete a PACL or ideally an MMPI prior to starting a course of therapy, and then try to apply prescriptive therapy principles to case planning.
 

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I know people who don't even like personality assessment with therapy clients, let alone making it standard for everyone.
I've found personality assessment invaluable when i've had differential questions, but reimbursement and feasability are both limiting factors. Surprisingly i've found little resistance in the in-patient (non-psychiatric) setting, but out-pt personality assessment has been much harder. If I bundle it with neuropsych assessment and justify it for R/O reasons, I can usually get the okay. Most insurance companies will limit the reimbursement time, so test selection is paramount.
 

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So establishing it as standard practice may be stretching it a bit too far. There are still so many potential benefits to psychological assessment that aren't being used in many private psychiatric hospitals (All Universal Health Service facilities that I am familiar with employ no psychologists, for example) and other outpatient settings.
thats not true of of ALL UHS facilities. i'm one of three psychologists on staff where i work.
 

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one area i think psychologists would be of use is in foster/adoptive parent settings....im always astonished to see how little assessment goes into the extensive pre-qualifying process that foster parents go through. i dont know that any of these placement agencies even employ psychologists....in my work with children who have been abused in such settings and the stuff we frequently see on the news about foster parents abusing and neglecting children, i have seen a great need to get psychologists (more) involved in that process.

i dont know that it would pay particularly well, but it is most definitely an area where we could prevent some trauma...
 

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thats not true of of ALL UHS facilities. i'm one of three psychologists on staff where i work.
i will say, though, that our doctorates are not required....to be a therapist at my facility you only need to have a masters and you dont need to be licensed.
 
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Want to improve the job market? Shut down or de-accredit all professional schools. Diploma mills are killing this profession... at least the clinical practice side of it.
 
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Want to improve the job market? Shut down or de-accredit all professional schools. Diploma mills are killing this profession... at least the clinical practice side of it.
Agreed - they also kill the credibility of the profession in general by offering an easy way to basically pay for a doctoral degree that many of their students would not otherwise be qualified for in terms of meeting admission standards for university-based programs. They're the equivalent of Carribean medical schools.

I think psy.d. programs should have to follow the model of the few excellent university-based programs in order to be accredited. Otherwise, the APA is just endorsing a for-profit business in which people receive lower quality training, begin already at an opportunity disadvantage (match rate, anyone?), and still get the same degree.
 
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Want to improve the job market? Shut down or de-accredit all professional schools. Diploma mills are killing this profession... at least the clinical practice side of it.
Agreed. I am stupefied at the fact that these diploma mills (not ALL PsyD programs) are not only willing to over-saturate the job market and ultimately drive down pay scales for all of us, but they also screw over the trainees that get caught with astronomical debt at a social worker's salary. Until we raise the bar for training in our profession and expand our scope of practice, the job market will continue to wither away.
 
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Why stop there? Why not just stop awarding people clinical psychology degrees entirely, starting now? That would guarantee market share.
Why stop there? Because that is where the problem lies. I do not mean to offend you or anyone else who is a graduate of a professional school, but can you really say that programs that take in classes of up to 60-100 potential psychologists each year are not bad for the job market and bad for the students? Really? Correct me if I am wrong, but I have seen a few of your other recent posts where you are rather direct and honest about the pitfalls of that choice. Have you not complained about the debt you incurred, described your decision as "rushed", reported that others in your cohort as "struggling" and "drowning" financially (although you have managed well, which is great), advised a pre-psych student to wait, get more experience, and seek a fully-funded program, and aren't you currently having difficulty getting a VA job in a desired location?
 
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Why stop there? Because that is where the problem lies. I do not mean to offend you or anyone else who is a graduate of a professional school, but can you really say that programs that take in classes of up to 60-100 potential psychologists each year are not bad for the job market and bad for the students? Really?
I don't recall what my cohort size was, I think it was more like 20, but I do agree that there is a relationship between larger class sizes and decreased quality when it comes to education.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I have seen a few of your other recent posts where you are rather direct and honest about the pitfalls of that choice. Have you not complained about the debt you incurred, described your decision as "rushed", reported that others in your cohort as "struggling" and "drowning" financially (although you have managed well, which is great), advised a pre-psych student to wait, get more experience, and seek a fully-funded program,
This is all true.

The reason why I said "why stop there" is pretty straightforward. Yes, if you eliminate professional schools, you can improve the earning power, the "market" for psychological services, simply because you've decreased supply. Ergo, you can improve the "market" even further by eliminating funded programs as well. At some point I think one has to acknowledge that part of the ire against professional schools is guild protectionism - I think a lot of the protestations of concern for the financial well-being of students considering professional school education is at times a little forced. Really, some of the concern is simply economic - more clinical psychology graduates (regardless of whether they are from funded programs or not) means more competition for students in funded programs, and for the existing pool of psychologists already out there in the job market. Maybe some professional school grads aren't serious competition (Argosy, Fielding, etc.), but many are.

and aren't you currently having difficulty getting a VA job in a desired location?
I actually have a VA job already, and at least at the time I applied for it, it *was* the desired location. I've since switched my sights to the Pacific Northwest. I'm pretty confident that in time, I'll get the nibble. But, 'tis the Federal Government, I've only just starting sending out applications, so I have a bit to wait. I haven't received a single rejection yet...
 
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I don't recall what my cohort size was, I think it was more like 20, but I do agree that there is a relationship between larger class sizes and decreased quality when it comes to education.
20 is a far cry from 60, so I do not mean to suggest that your program is one in the same with the biggest offenders. However, when the typical class-size at funded PhD programs is often <8, one must wonder if a class of 20 is getting comparable individual training.

The reason why I said "why stop there" is pretty straightforward. Yes, if you eliminate professional schools, you can improve the earning power, the "market" for psychological services, simply because you've decreased supply. Ergo, you can improve the "market" even further by eliminating funded programs as well. At some point I think one has to acknowledge that part of the ire against professional schools is guild protectionism - I think a lot of the protestations of concern for the financial well-being of students considering professional school education is at times a little forced. Really, some of the concern is simply economic - more clinical psychology graduates (regardless of whether they are from funded programs or not) means more competition for students in funded programs, and for the existing pool of psychologists already out there in the job market. Maybe some professional school grads aren't serious competition (Argosy, Fielding, etc.), but many are.
Well, you'd have to shut down about 3 funded programs to match one professional school of your more conservative class size. Imagine how many you'd have to cut to match the 60-100 class size diploma mills. My point is that the funded PhD model programs are NOT the ones flooding the market with under-qualified doctoral clinicians who ultimately end up competing with master's level clinicians and thus driving down the pay scale. Yes, there is a selfish component to my rage against professional schools, but it is not necessarily for fear of direct competition (as I am seeking academic medical center employment) but because of their potential to de-legitimize the profession on the larger scale.
 
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20 is a far cry from 60, so I do not mean to suggest that your program is one in the same with the biggest offenders. However, when the typical class-size at funded PhD programs is often <8, one must wonder if a class of 20 is getting comparable individual training.
Probably not. I felt like I had to be very assertive to get the attention I needed when I was in school.

Well, you'd have to shut down about 3 funded programs to match one professional school of your more conservative class size. Imagine how many you'd have to cut to match the 60-100 class size diploma mills. My point is that the funded PhD model programs are NOT the ones flooding the market with under-qualified doctoral clinicians who ultimately end up competing with master's level clinicians and thus driving down the pay scale. Yes, there is a selfish component to my rage against professional schools, but it is not necessarily for fear of direct competition (as I am seeking academic medical center employment) but because of their potential to de-legitimize the profession on the larger scale.
I'm personally interested in academic medical center appointments as well, so direct competition is always possible. In fact, prior to being hired at the VA I had completed three interviews for a hard-money, professorship appointment at San Francisco General. Almost got it too - unfortunately the funding got pulled just as I was being hired (this was in 2007 when the financial crisis was just getting underway) and I ended up at the VA.

I think academic med. center appointments are certainly do-able for a number of my cohorts. However, for many others, they are the "de-legitimizers" I suppose, I'm aware of a couple of others who are in rough shape after graduation. Runs the gamut.

Anyways, so, I acknowledge your concession that guild protectionism is part of the argument against professional schools. For what it's worth.... I'm feeling less invested in this thread as a go. :rolleyes:
 
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DrGero,

Agreed. Again, I did not mean to rub you or anyone else the wrong the way. I am raging against the system itself. Nice chatting with you. :)
 
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DrGero,

Agreed. Again, I did not mean to rub you or anyone else the wrong the way. I am raging against the system itself. Nice chatting with you. :)
I'm sorry if this is sounds like a dumb question, but I'm not sure of the answer. What makes a school a degree mill? Is it all psyd programs? Or is it based on yearly class size? Or something else? I am just curious.

In response to the OP's thread topic: It'd be great if we had the funds to spend on commercials like the drug companies do. I think millions of people end up on an antidepressant instead of actually working on their problems. We are invisible compared to the drug companies who are working 24/7 to promote their products.
 
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Want to improve the job market? Shut down or de-accredit all professional schools. Diploma mills are killing this profession... at least the clinical practice side of it.

i guess that you're the judge and jury in deciding that ALL traditional school folks are better educated and more skilled > people from professional schools. Nice shortcut you're taking there. If this is the case can you please describe your definition of a professional school?

But i guess you're OK with the overflowing LCSW market, which takes a huge bite out of the therapy side of things.
 
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i guess that you're the judge and jury in deciding that ALL traditional school folks are better educated and more skilled > people from professional schools. Nice shortcut you're taking there. If this is the case can you please describe your definition of a professional school?

But i guess you're OK with the overflowing LCSW market, which takes a huge bite out of the therapy side of things.
My problem is with large, non-university affiliated professional programs in psychology that are businesses, not institutions of higher learning. These are the diploma mills (to Jekyl) IMO. The ones that lower admission criteria down to not even requiring the GRE in some cases- the ones that charge outrageous tuition and fees without funding- the ones that flood the market with 60+ new Dr. Buyadegree's every year who are ultimately unprepared to attain a competitive internship, and thus continue to obscure the view of psychology as a legitamate science by competing with master's level clinicians who had sense enough to not waste time and money for a watered down doctorate. I do not view LCSWs and professional school PsyD's the same because one is not wearing the guise of a rigourously trained academic practitioner.
 

erg923

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My problem is with large, non-university affiliated professional programs in psychology that are businesses, not institutions of higher learning. These are the diploma mills (to Jekyl) IMO. The ones that lower admission criteria down to not even requiring the GRE in some cases- the ones that charge outrageous tuition and fees without funding- the ones that flood the market with 60+ new Dr. Buyadegree's every year who are ultimately unprepared to attain a competitive internship, and thus continue to obscure the view of psychology as a legitamate science by competing with master's level clinicians who had sense enough to not waste time and money for a watered down doctorate. I do not view LCSWs and professional school PsyD's the same because one is not wearing the guise of a rigourously trained academic practitioner.
I generally agree with Kayjay, but would just add that it is readilty apparent that many of these graduates come out very well prepared and hold many, many important positions in academic med, BOP, VAs, the armed forces, etc. I would also add that I sit on a state ethics panel and all (and I mean ALL) of the ethics committee in this state is made up of professional school grads. They truly are the practitioners of this state, as there is simply not enough university programs to keep up with the demand necessitated here. Its a good thing they are here or else finding a PP psychologist would be alot more difficult for the average joe. That said, it is saturated now in some urban areas.

I would say its the tendency for people to fall through the cracks and be granted their degree anyway that is real issue here. This simply should not be allowed to happen and generally does not happen in traditional programs. However, I think its quite apparent that the majority come out perfectly well trained....but at a very unreasonable cost. That will be the downfall of professional schools, I think. We will see.

I have mixed feelings about the internship thing you mentioned. Not competitive for competitive internships? Come on, man. I dont know where you are in your program, but even in highly respected programs like mine internship is more about getting out and getting on with you life than anything else. Yes, I want a good site and yes I wanna learn X, Y, and Z. But like many people, I simply want to quit moving my spouse all around the country, buy a house and have kids already. I had no real desire (or need) to apply to the Harvard and Yale caliber places. And because I didn't bother to try to publish a million articles while i was here, no, i wouldn't have been competitive for them anyway. That was my personal decision. Too bad writing grants and publications is such rewardless activity...maybe I would have had more motivation for it..haha. Internship is highly personal and if you wanna stay in state or take a nonAPA accredited one (which holds an unfair monopoly over the system and people careers as a result, IMHO), fine by me. Just do your homework.

PS: I got some tough news for ya Kayjay. Our traditional, prestigious, R-1 universities are businesses too. You dont think they want professors to bring in all that grant money purely for the advancement of "science", do you? You know the university itself is entitled to a certain percentage of every grant that comes through its doors, right?
 
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Well said. The complete disconnect from the realities of work after all the name dropping etc.. is over, which most students have these days, is very hard to believe.
 

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PS: I got some tough news for ya Kayjay. Our traditional, prestigious, R-1 universities are businesses too. You dont think they want professors to bring in all that grant money purely for the advancement of "science", do you? You know the university itself is entitled to a certain percentage of every grant that comes through its doors, right?
Absolutely.

I work at a top academic medical center at an R1, and the amount of money you bring in (research and/or billing) directly dictates your value. Everything is broken down to billing units, # of uniques, and ultimately being able to cover your "cost" to the department. Grants buy out %'s of that billing, and each person (clinician, researcher, or blend) is responsible for their piece.

Well said. The complete disconnect from the realities of work after all the name dropping etc.. is over, which most students have these days, is very hard to believe.
Names matter to an extent (once you finish your training), but outside of the highest reaches of academia....they really don't. APA-acred. (program & internship) is probably the bigger predictive factor. Much like medical school, students tend to be the most outspoken about rankings and status....because everyone else is too busy working and trying to stay employed. :laugh:
 
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Huh? I never said a thing about prestige or Ivy league. I simply said "competitive internship," which applies to a wide variety of academic, medical, forensic, VA and other accredited training sites--many of which receive 150+ applications for 5-7 positions. I'd say that is competitive. Diploma mills (which I don't have to name b/c we all know who they are) have horrendous match rates for accredited internships. Thus they are also the major source of doctoral level clinicians stuck at dead-end community centers. Funny how someone can defend professional schools by slamming LCSWs when in reality, if one doesn't value the scientist practitioner model, has no desire to work at academic hospitals or for universities, and is really in it for the craft of providing therapy then why wouldn't they pursue an LCSW or LPC and save $100,000? Is the title of "Dr" really that alluring?

And yes, as Erg pointed out, universities are also interested in grants and profits. Of course. But that revenue is at least invested back into education and training opportunities. The same cannot be said for programs that collect $20K per year while not providing any in-house training and offering classes that are often taught by lower level professionals. Anyway, if certain people here want to pretend like these types of programs are NOT a cancer to our profession, go right ahead. I prefer to live on a little island known as the real world.
 

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Ok, as a said, I agree with you, for the most part.

However, I cant help but pick-up on your not so subtle disdain for the thousands of psychologists who work in the actual "real world"...that is, not in the world of academic medicine/psychology. Why are those who chose to work in community mental health center settings so inferior to those working in academic settings? The last time I checked, the majority of licensed psychologists dont have ties with academic facilities.

I am also a big believer in the scientist-practitioner model, and in general, prefer its overarching goals/philosophy. However, the more you go through, the more one has to come to terms with the realities of the market place and realize that the only person who probably cares about this model after you graduate is YOU. I have completed 3 external practicums and have never once had a physician ask or care about my program, much less ask if I was a "scientist-practitioner." I think they would just prefer that we do our jobs. I think traditional programs can indeed be faulted for being myopic at times by not encouraging or exposing its students to the multiple career options a ph.d can provide, as well for often not providing training in the real world aspects of clinical practice, PP, and business management. Something that I know for a fact that a local professional school in my area does. I have often thought of seeing if I can sit in on that class.

Also, I would encourage you not disparage too much the plethora of clinicians that come from some of these programs. As I pointed out before, my state would not have a fully stocked set of psychologists to provide services if we didn't. They are indeed the real world work horses of the mental health system in this state.
 
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As someone with a non APA internship because I chose to raise my kids in a healthy manner, who makes 6-figures easily without the BS of academia, enjoy your prestige. As they say about $$, you can't take it with you. BTW, our future lies in our interaction with physicians in the real-world and they could care less where you went to school, what prof thought you were special so you could do all of his/her research, or where you interned, but whether or not you can do what you do better than others. Focus on that.
 
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Stigmata, I'm curious...what kind of setting do you work in/what do you do? It is encouraging to hear that there are psychologists making 6 figures! Lately, it seems that all I hear about are psychologists barely breaking $60,000.
 
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I am a partner in a 3 psychologist, consulting and assessment based private practice. We have multiple contracts to do a variety of assessments, teach at the local primary care residency program, do psychopharm consults, do VA neuropsych, and a bunch of other stuff. We are expanding faster than we thought and just hired 2 clinical assistants to help with test administration etc..
 

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I am a partner in a 3 psychologist, consulting and assessment based private practice. We have multiple contracts to do a variety of assessments, teach at the local primary care residency program, do psychopharm consults, do VA neuropsych, and a bunch of other stuff. We are expanding faster than we thought and just hired 2 clinical assistants to help with test administration etc..
Err, not to stir the hornets nest, but psychopharm consults?

You know what, nevermind.
 

erg923

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Err...not when's hes qualified to do it.

I'm sure you know how thats possible for psychologists, and yes, we all know its controversial.... on these boards. Not sure about in the real world though...
 
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Ok, as a said, I agree with you, for the most part.
And I agreed with you. :)

However, I cant help but pick-up on your not so subtle disdain for the thousands of psychologists who work in the actual "real world"...that is, not in the world of academic medicine/psychology. Why are those who chose to work in community mental health center settings so inferior to those working in academic settings? The last time I checked, the majority of licensed psychologists dont have ties with academic facilities.
I have no disdain for the individuals themselves, it is the professional schools that are overwhelming the market for no reason other than large profit margins that I am not so hot about. Therapists are in no way inferior to researchers. It takes a ton of skill to be able to build rapport and successfully help a patient. In fact, it takes a lot of innate ability, unlike some academic skills like research design, stats, and scientific writing, which a person can just pick up with enough practice. So one is not better or worse than the other. I am saying that people should NOT slam LPCs and LCSWs for choosing an educational path that is in line with the job they actually want to do and that will not bankrupt them in the process.

I am also a big believer in the scientist-practitioner model, and in general, prefer its overarching goals/philosophy. However, the more you go through, the more one has to come to terms with the realities of the market place and realize that the only person who probably cares about this model after you graduate is YOU. I have completed 3 external practicums and have never once had a physician ask or care about my program, much less ask if I was a "scientist-practitioner." I think they would just prefer that we do our jobs.
I couldn't disagree with you more. I think that part of being a psychologist is either contributing to science or practicing in a scientifically-informed manner. That is our job. I don't mean just checking up on the literature every now and again or providing EBTs. Psychologists are often natural fits for program development and evaluation because of our ability to manage systems, measure results, and determine contributing factors in a relationship. The mental health community also looks to us to synthesize and disseminate information, even if it is presenting at local conferences or seminars. If the scientific side is not someone's bag, then again, what is so wrong with choosing a solely applied degree? Getting back to the major topic, I think this loosey goosey, muddled, lack of identity among psychologists is part of what threatens the job market. One way to clean it up is to tighten the belt on doctor factories.
 
Jul 29, 2010
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Therapists are in no way inferior to researchers. It takes a ton of skill to be able to build rapport and successfully help a patient. In fact, it takes a lot of innate ability, unlike some academic skills like research design, stats, and scientific writing, which a person can just pick up with enough practice. So one is not better or worse than the other. I am saying that people should NOT slam LPCs and LCSWs for choosing an educational path that is in line with the job they actually want to do and that will not bankrupt them in the process.
I, too, have wondered why trainees opt for some of the overpriced professional school programs that have borderline-poor stats (poor match and degree completion rates) when there are more direct options for clinical training. Not to be overly cynical, but in some cases I really think the desire for the "Dr" is the underlying factor.

I think that part of being a psychologist is either contributing to science or practicing in a scientifically-informed manner. That is our job.
I also agree with this point not as a fact, but as an ideal. In order to "increase our market" (original topic of this thread), clinical psychologists have got to FINALLY define who and what we are. Clearly, the therapist only side is not going to sustain us as there are plenty of other professionals who are well equipped to provide services. So the scholarly and administrative aspects of our training are critical. I do think that paring down the mushroom effect in terms of diploma mills (redirecting aspiring therapists to other routes) could help to clarify things so that when we announce ourselves as clinical psychologists, people won't give us the :confused:.
 
Jun 18, 2010
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I, too, have wondered why trainees opt for some of the overpriced professional school programs that have borderline-poor stats (poor match and degree completion rates) when there are more direct options for clinical training. Not to be overly cynical, but in some cases I really think the desire for the "Dr" is the underlying factor.



I also agree with this point not as a fact, but as an ideal. In order to "increase our market" (original topic of this thread), clinical psychologists have got to FINALLY define who and what we are. Clearly, the therapist only side is not going to sustain us as there are plenty of other professionals who are well equipped to provide services. So the scholarly and administrative aspects of our training are critical. I do think that paring down the mushroom effect in terms of diploma mills (redirecting aspiring therapists to other routes) could help to clarify things so that when we announce ourselves as clinical psychologists, people won't give us the :confused:.
I can vouch that one of the reasons I did the professional school thing is because I wanted to be called "doctor" and get out of school before I was 40, so I don't think that's a cynical point. People make career and school choices often for emotional reasons, and I am no exception to that.

That being said, I take the scientist-practitioner model, and the 'administrative' skillset befitting a doctoral-level practitioner extremely seriously. I usually am supervising two students at a time, and have aspirations to supervise other clinicans as I advance my career. I think an appropriate end-point for my career would be at an academic medical center teaching medical students and supervising and managing clinical training programs.

Currently, I probably am looking up and reading at minimum a half-dozen journal articles a week just to inform my practice. I consider it critical that I have my fingers in some kind of research-related activity (whether it be working on an article for publication, running a clinical evaluation, etc). I'm a therapist, but I'm far more than that - because I *inform* and try to continually adjust my practice with rigorous, empirically-based thinking as befits a doctoral-level scientist, as opposed to a masters-level clinician, who I consider more just someone who has 'mastered' clinical skills only and is not trained to apply what they've learned, as a scientist-practitioner necessarily. If any of this makes any sense.

If I just saw patients all day and didn't read (or conduct) basic research, and avoided supervisory opportunities, I think my Ph.D. would have been a waste - I might has well have been an LCSW or MFT.