What are all the possible negative implications of NOT getting an APA internship

Mar 26, 2012
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I am just curious. This may help students considering going the route of choosing programs with poor APA match rates, or settling for non-APA placements.

Obviously, off the top of my head I can think of one or two (please add more):

1) Will be unable to work for what I understand to be the single largest employer of psychologists in the world - e.g., the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs

2) Will be unable to work for virtually any other federal agency.

3) are there more?
 

Doctor Eliza

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Sorry...a little tangential, but I am curious. How common is it for programs to require APA accredited internships? In my program, an APA internship was the only type of internship that would qualify you for graduation. (Fortunately, we had a near perfect match rate.) I thought that was common until I started reading on this board.

Best,
Dr. E
 

Member6523

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I am just curious. This may help students considering going the route of choosing programs with poor APA match rates, or settling for non-APA placements.

Obviously, off the top of my head I can think of one or two (please add more):

1) Will be unable to work for what I understand to be the single largest employer of psychologists in the world - e.g., the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs

2) Will be unable to work for virtually any other federal agency.

3) are there more?
If you want to get boarded in neuropsychology, many if not most/all of the APPCN programs require applicants to come from APA accredited internship. I think this may be the case for rehab boarding too. Many of the competitive formal post docs in other fields also require an APA internships, including MIRECCs (due to VA connection) and AMCs...so you will hamstrung in ways that will prevent you from working in higher paying and/or more prestigious positions.

Edit: You can get boarded in Div 12 or 40 without these post docs of course, but you are still limiting yourself and the connections/career opportunities you could potentially make.
 
Last edited:
Nov 21, 2012
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Sorry...a little tangential, but I am curious. How common is it for programs to require APA accredited internships? In my program, an APA internship was the only type of internship that would qualify you for graduation. (Fortunately, we had a near perfect match rate.) I thought that was common until I started reading on this board.

Best,
Dr. E
Dr. E, the latest statistic i've seen from APPIC is that about 50-55% of applicants are matching to APA Accredited Internships (with APPIC its 75%). This doesn't include all those that forgo the APPIC match as a whole. Its pretty grim.
 

Doctor Eliza

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Dr. E, the latest statistic i've seen from APPIC is that about 50-55% of applicants are matching to APA Accredited Internships (with APPIC its 75%). This doesn't include all those that forgo the APPIC match as a whole. Its pretty grim.
Yeah, I was just wondering how many programs build it in as a requirement to the program that only APA is acceptable. In my program an APPIC only internship=no degree. Was it that way for others too? I honestly assumed that it was the typical rule for APA accredited programs, but since coming here I have learned that it clearly was not.

Mercifully, I am past that point in my life and so my question is pure intellectual curiosity.

Dr. E
 

Ollie123

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I was under the impression APA was the expectation for most traditional programs. I think many (including mine) are a little flexible in that you can "petition" to be allowed to apply for APPIC-only internships and that permission may or may not be granted. However in general the expectation at all the programs I looked at and the other programs I'm familiar with is that its APA or bust. Failing to match to an APA internship means an extra year in the program - not finding a non-APA alternative.
 

psycscientist

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My program also required an APA internship and did not allow students to apply to non-APA internships.

I'd like to echo what was said previously about how many of the quality formal postdocs and AMC positions require an APA internship. My current AMC will not consider anyone without APA credentials.
 

AcronymAllergy

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My program also required an APA-accred. internship.

To add to the limitations--Mississippi (and I believe one other state) requires an APA internship for licensure, with the exception of internships that are "working toward APA accreditation."
 

paramour

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My program also requires an APA internship or there is no degree. End of story.

However, having said that, I know of ONE student in the history of the program who was allowed to complete a "created" internship after failing to match for three years. For half of her placement, she worked at a site where there is an accredited internship (although she had never applied there). From what students heard, the dept felt comfortable granting this particular exception as the student was an international student with a very pronounced accent. It could be difficult to understand her and this reportedly affected her during interviews (which she did receive during each application cycle and which was confirmed via feedback).

Everyone else has matched (to an APA-accredited site) on the second cycle if necessary.
 

Psychadelic2012

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My program doesn't require an APA internship. We have an 80+% match rate overall, usually 100% (it's a small program so 1-2 not matching throws it way off). There is, however, a strong push to go APA, especially amongst the students. We have an APPIC site nearby and there is a lot of bias against that site for many, even though some faculty suggest it as a possibility for the geographically limited.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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Here is a nice review (albeit from 2009) by The National Register that outlines some of the pitfalls associated with completing an internship that is not APA-acred. It is particularly applicable to some of the specific issues that happen when an applicant for licensure is seeking "equivalency" for their training experience, which is a requirement if you did not attend an APA-acred. internship and you want to be licensed in a state.

FYI....The National Register primarily handles "banking" of credentials, which can help speed up the licensure process when moving to a new state, etc. They do other things, but I'm less familiar with those endeavors.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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I believe my program still requires a waiver (and approval of the site) for any student who wants to apply to an APPIC site. Given that only ~55% of all match spots in APPIC last year were APA-acred...that doesn't leave much room for error.

Here are some common pitfalls:
1. It is an easy way to make a 1st cut of applicants applying for a job.
2. It limits a person's ability to be competitive for a post-doc, see #1.
3. It can limit your competitiveness (and sometimes ability) to apply for certain repayment programs.
4. It can cause problems when you try and get credentialed at a hospital or in a hospital system.
 
Last edited:
Oct 22, 2009
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I believe my program still requires a waiver (and approval of the site) for any student who wants to apply to an APPIC site. Given that only ~55% of all match spots in APPIC last year were APA-acred...that doesn't leave much room for error.

Here are some common pitfalls:
1. It is an easy way to make a 1st cut of applicants applying for a job.
2. It limits a person's ability to be competitive for a post-doc, see #1.
3. It can limit your competitiveness (and sometimes ability) to apply for certain repayment programs.
4. It can cause problems when you try and get credentialed at a hospital or in a hospital system.
...thus making the existing training in our field extremely unforgiving.