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Psy.D. Match Rate Exceeds National Average

By Rachel Judy | April 15, 2011

This fall, doctoral student Lori Hall will leave the classroom and begin work as an intern at Broughton Hospital in Morganton, N.C. At Broughton, she'll assist with group and individual therapy and administer psychological testing to patients suffering from a variety of mental conditions and illnesses. This internship is her final step to complete the doctoral program in clinical psychology (Psy.D.).

Like Hall, all students in the Psy.D. program must complete a one-year internship that gives them hands-on experience in their field of interest. To earn these internship spots, Regent University students recently participated in a nationwide matching process, which connects eligible students with internship positions in the United States and Canada.

Eighty-six percent of Regent's eligible students were matched this year; a number significantly higher than the national average of 79 percent.

"This year's match rates show that our students have the knowledge and experience to be very competitive in real world settings," explained Dr. Bill Hathaway, dean of the School of Psychology & Counseling. "Exceeding the national match rate shows that prestigious facilities around the country recognize Regent students are well-prepared to use their training as full-time clinicians frequently engaging the most challenging clinical situations."

The matching process is facilitated by the Association of Psychology Post-Doctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) to ensure a fair and unbiased process for the placement of interns around the country.

"The internship process is a competitive national process, similar to that of medical residency placement," said Dr. Lynn Olson, associate professor and director of clinical training in the School of Psychology & Counseling. "This is their professional clinical placement—the final training before they receive their doctorate."

This year, 4,199 applicants were vying for just 3,166 available internships in the United States and Canada. Sixty-seven percent of the Regent students matched were placed at American Psychological Association (APA) sites.

Thorayya Said Giovanelli was matched with the Memphis VA Medical Center in Tennessee, where she will work in a variety of areas from testing to therapy for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. "I really appreciate the fact that I can get excellent clinical training while giving back to the men and women who serve our country so bravely," she said.

"Our students have participated in the matching program since it was initiated in 1999," Hathaway said. "There has been a standardized internship process in psychology for decades, but the matching system made the process more fair and more efficient. Over the years, we have worked to help students increase their chances of successfully navigating the match in light of their career goals."

For Psy.D. student Brandon Ware, the streamlined match system not only made the application process simpler, but it gave him the chance to connect with other students in the process. "I was able to form a partnership with another doctoral candidate in which we edited one another's essays and cover letters and provided useful feedback to one another," he said. "This was immensely useful as it provided a source of motivation, form of support and some relief from the ... task of simply reading and editing your own work endlessly."

Learn more about Regent's Doctoral in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) program.


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