Succeeding in Graduate School: The Career Guide for Psychology Students

By Steven Walfish; Allen K. Hess | Go to book overview

Pertinent to the establishment of electronic files, in 1999, the National Register of Health Service Providers (address given earlier) established the National Psychology Trainee Register, designed to allow psychology interns and postdoctoral residents to file, electronically, information on their graduate training and supervised experience. For psychologists planning to enter health service positions, using this register allows for an early determination of acceptability of these training and experience. Moreover, with this information already on file in the National Psychology Trainee Register, later applications for credentials (after licensure is obtained), such as listing in the NR, an APA Certificate of Proficiency, or the ABPP diploma, will be a much briefer and surer process than the current ones.


Virtues of Carefulness and Thoroughness

All the advancements in electronic technology have not overcome the need for two virtues in the real world of credentialing: carefulness and thoroughness. The writer of this chapter has more than 25 years of service as a reviewer and board member of credentialing organizations; it is from that experience that this last section has emerged. Although spell-check will catch spelling errors, it will not catch errors like writing the current date in the space that asks for one's birth date, or dates of the internship being shown as taking place before one entered graduate school. What is a reviewer to conclude when an applicant does not provide requested confirmation of supervision received, or indicates he or she graduated from an APA-approved internship when there is no official listing of such an internship? Or if an applicant indicates his or her degree is in psychology when the transcript says “Family Studies”? Sometimes these are simply errors of carelessness; at other times they are misrepresentations caused by misunderstandings, such as believing an internship was APA approved because the faculty in the APA-approved doctoral program said it was OK to accept that internship.

Although many of these errors or misrepresentations can be clarified by contacting the applicant, the credentialing process is then delayed, often for months. Moreover, reviewers, when faced with such errors, often then question the professional qualities of the applicant: If the application is completed carelessly or thoughtlessly, does this say something about how the psychologist keeps progress notes or communicates psychological assessment results to schools or courts? Hopefully, these few sentences say enough about the virtues of carefulness and thoroughness.

To sum up this chapter, there are highly effective strategies, from graduate school through to the age of retirement, for developing successful and deeply satisfying careers as fully credentialed professional psychologists. I hope that you as readers will make frequent use of them.


REFERENCES

American Psychological Association (1995). Education and training beyond the doctoral degree. Madison, CT: International Universities Press.

American Psychological Association (1999). Graduate study in psychology. Washington, DC: Author.

Bent, R. J., Packard, R. E., & Goldberg, R. W. (1999). The American Board of Professional Psychology, 1947–1997: A historical perspective. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 30, 65–73.

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