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Wondering what would be a good area to go into

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saintbern45

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Hello all. I am looking for some advice on what area I should go into. My interest primarily lies in psych. I have been debating what route. I could see myself doing both the clinical aspect and research. From a research standpoint I am interested in the root cause or malfunction in the brain pertaining to mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. Or coming up with treatments for them. So what would I get phd in psych and do a thesis on something in that area? Or something more specific like Neuropsych? Pathophys? Pharma?
 
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deleted343839

Your interests seems too broad right now to decide on a training path. Depending on the specifics of what you want to do, a clinical psych, non-clinical psych, neuroscience, or pharmacology doctorate might be a good fit. An MD/PhD (academic psychiatry) could also be a great way to go with these interests. But the key is to narrow your career interests first, then decide on what kind of training you will need to best achieve those goals. I would suggest you take coursework in behavioral neuroscience and look for opportunities to work as a research assistant in labs that interest you.
 
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saintbern45

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Your interests seems too broad right now to decide on a training path. Depending on the specifics of what you want to do, a clinical psych, non-clinical psych, neuroscience, or pharmacology doctorate might be a good fit. An MD/PhD (academic psychiatry) could also be a great way to go with these interests. But the key is to narrow your career interests first, then decide on what kind of training you will need to best achieve those goals. I would suggest you take coursework in behavioral neuroscience and look for opportunities to work as a research assistant in labs that interest you.

Unfortunately I am a non trad. I graduated 2 years ago, and I guess I am not exactly interested in throwing away more money to the machine that is college education just to take classes. :/
 

Ollie123

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I agree that it is going to be very difficult given the breadth of your interests.

If you want both clinical AND research, you are pretty much limited to clinical psych or medical school (some other paths like nursing or social work may be options too, but generally don't align well with the neuroscience work). If you are willing to give up the clinical piece you have a wider range of options like experimental psychology, neuroscience, public health or any number of alternatives. To be remotely competitive for clinical psychology programs that will set you up well to conduct research, you will need a hefty dose of research experience (i.e. working in a lab for multiple years). That may have the added advantage of providing you the opportunity to take classes for free, as some institutions let employees take courses for free (or heavily discounted).
 

DRMomma

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FWIW, it might be worth your time to do more of a back to basics approach and job shadow individuals whose positions align with potential career paths.
 
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deleted343839

Unfortunately I am a non trad. I graduated 2 years ago, and I guess I am not exactly interested in throwing away more money to the machine that is college education just to take classes. :/

Are you working in an area that is relevant to your career interests, or is it possible to make such a move into a relevant job? Whatever your next steps, you need to be able to show an admissions committee that you are taking steps to prepare yourself for a career in XYZ field. Sometimes that means a little extra coursework (for instance, this would be necessary if you were thinking med school and need the usual pre-reqs), but it could also mean getting hands-on experience.
 

smalltownpsych

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Are you more interested in neuroanatomy, biochemistry, behavior, emotions, thinking? Also, keep in mind that you will need a high undergrad GPA and ability to score high on either GRE or MCAT to get into a clinical psychology program or med school. When you say that you are intersted in the root cause that doesn't narrow it down because there are multiple dynamically interacting etiologies for mental illness. I focus on the neurobiology of attachment and how that relates to emotional regulation and learning and how disruptions to that process lead to emotional and interpersonal problems and vulnerability to a variety of mental disorders. Others focus on genetic factors or biochemical factors or socio-environmental factors. There is a lot of stuff to study, that's for sure.
 
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