Difference between revisions of "Psychology Expert Answers" - Student Doctor Network Wiki

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Below are some frequently asked questions that have been answered by SDN Psychology experts.

If you have a question that is not answered here, please visit the SDN Confidential Consult forum to ask your question of our expert panel.

I do not have any research experience. Should I work at a lab (either business setting or university) for few years before applying for Ph.D in Psych?

Hello. My undergrad was psychology and social behavior major and have master in Social Work. I work as a MSW social worker (doing counseling and case management for about 4 years), but what I realize is that I do have stronger passion in psychology and want to study more about it. However, I do not have any research experience to apply for Ph.D. Is it wise to build some research experience before I apply to Ph.D programs, even though the position is research assistance or the research is irrelevant to psychology? Or should I just go for Ph.D programs without those experience? I would appreciate if you psychology experts answer my question and save me from endless thoughts.

mark-ER

From what I know within my current and prior academic settings (& I waited 1 week for someone more knowledgable to reply), you do NOT absolutely need to have prior research experience. Yes, it helps but it is not a prerequisite. More to the point, it is important to show commitment to the field - research is one way to do so, another strong way is to do counseling as a MSW for several years, as you have. Depending who is interviewing you, it may be important to show interest in what they are working on and desire to be involved in some academic capacity. Again, may be program-dependent. Good luck.


Job to Gain Experience while studying Psychology

I am going to be transferring to finish my BA in Psychology, I wanted to know if anyone knows of any kind of shadowing, clinical, or any kind of job that I could look for while finishing my major. I am looking for a job that would allow me to gain some experience or knowledge in the applied field of psychology/psychiatry.

Mr.Smile12

Have you checked with your career services office at your undergraduate institution? You may also want to ask your professors for their advice. I would hope that your interactions with your faculty could give you insight about what they did to get more experience in applied psychology.


I got a D in Gen Chem II Lab. Should I Retake it?

I am a cognitive science major at an Ivy League school considering graduate school in psychology, neuroscience, or a closely related field. I received an A- in Gen Chem I Lab, but due to personal issues did much worse in the second semester lab course. This, summer, I am debating which of the following classes will most help me get into grad school for psychology/neuroscience:

-Gen Chem II Lab (retake for a better grade) -A molecular biology lab (probably more relevant to neuroscience) -Multivariable Calculus

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Mr.Smile12

Yes, you should retake that lab. Did you ever let your instructors know of your difficulties? Usually you can go through the process of withdrawing from the course under those circumstances.

As for courses that will get you into graduate school, have you asked your professors? You're going to need their help eventually in any application to graduate school, so it may be better to meet them and talk about your interests in graduate education, their opinions on what classes and topics would be helpful, and whether there may be opportunities for research that you can participate in to really strengthen your potential application.


Low EPPP Pass score

I recently took the EPPP and passed with a score of 538. I have read that 500 is the score to beat but I am concerned due to other posts I have read that take about the score being "unofficial" and people hoping that when they get their official score it will be similar and passing. Additionally, if you get higher than a 500 does it really matter what your score is? Do you get employment preference or even (because I'll be applying for internship next year) internship preference if you score much higher? I'm worried that my "passing score" isn't a good enough pass. Can anyone shed some light on this?

AcronymAllergy

I do not believe there will be any change in the score once you receive the "official" version; it's a matter of verifying and reporting it to your state board. This was the process as of a couple years ago. And no, the actual score itself, assuming it's above 500, will not matter going forward. I have never heard of, nor seen an employer ask for this score or provide any preference based on it. In general, the only bodies requesting it will be state boards with which you are pursuing licensure, and all that will matter on their end is whether or not it was passing.


Well, Im a senior in high school and I want to be a psychiatrist. Would psychology be a good major for me?

Well I just got accepted a great university, Grand Canyon University. I want to become a psychiatrist, but I need to know if Psychology would be a good major for me. Im looking at majors, but Im not for sure which to chose. I really want to help the addicts but im not for sure on the pathway to doing that. Can you please help?

Pathdocmd

Major in something that you enjoy. You can major in anything and go to medical school. Public health, sociology, social work, might give you some background in helping those with drug addiction. Talk to people in the field and ask them.


Psychology Post Bacc (Medical) for Psychology Student

Hi, thanks for reading my story :)

I am currently about to graduate (Dec, 2016) with a double major in economics and psychology. To be honest, I was balancing a lot throughout my undergraduate career and my GPA took a pretty decent hit, I'll end up having a 2.4 (at the lowest) or2.8 (highest) when I graduate in the fall. I never considered medical school in the past but in my last year I realized I wanted to be psychologist. I have no science background at all, and a fairly low GPA so I want to go to a post bacc program to raise my GPA & give me the necessary courses for medical school.

I've done some research but also have a lot of unanswered questions: a) I've seen a lot of programs to help raise GPA's and others to give you the coursework needed but not a lot of the same, do you have any you could recommend me to start my find with? b) Would you be able to tell me your experience with a post bacc program? c) What's the difference between a credential post bacc program and a non other than the obvious answer of receiving a credential. Would the credential matter when applying to medical school? d) Some post bacc programs are intended for "undergraduates" while others are for "masters/phd" I'm assuming this means which route you're going to, but I'm confused how to determine which I am. I am entering this program to eventually get my master's, not a second BA correct?

So sorry for the length!

casedentalmed

Your decision can be made easier with a health professions advisor who can look at your entire academic schedule first. The major issues that are not addressed include whether you have taken the traditional prerequisite courses. I only presume that you have not taken any of them based on what you have written, so the first thing you need to do is find a postbac program that can give you the basic biology, chemistry, physics, social sciences, and other courses you need to first establish a biomedical science foundation. Many of these programs would be geared to career-changers or academic record-enhancers. You could get a certificate or a degree.

A national directory is kept by AAMC: https://apps.aamc.org/postbac/ . For many of the other questions, you may need to contact the program director to get information to address the rest of your questions


Neuroscience Careers

I am going into my Senior year of Undergrad and I am still unsure of what career path I will take. I have been leaning towards a Phd in neuroscience until recently, when I began to consider Neuropsychology. I'm not sure of exactly what I want to do, but I know I want to work in a hospital setting and do research.

The drawbacks I am facing are that while I don't want to work with animals in my research, I also don't want to spend my career interviewing clients. My ideal career would actually be neuropathology, but that requires an MD, which I am not currently prepared to face.

Any suggestions as to career options would be amazing, thank you!

casedentalmed

The Society for Neuroscience has a pretty good website for career paths for those interested in neuroscience in general. http://neuronline.sfn.org/Career-Specific-Topics/Career-Paths


Becoming a Counseling Psychiatrist

Currently I'm a junior in high school. I want to become a counseling psychiatrist, because I feel that, by doing so I can help people in the most ways. However I'm concerned that it may be impossible for me to become a psychiatrist if I struggle with blood. I just want to help people, how can I best do that?

casedentalmed

Counseling for mental health does not consist of just psychiatrists. You should explore all the health careers related to mental health therapists and providers, including clinical psychologists: <a href="http://explorehealthcareers.org/en/Career/96/Psychologist" rel="nofollow">http://explorehealthcareers.org/en/Career/96/Psychologist</a> and licensed professional counselors. Go to <a href="http://explorehealthcareers.org/en/Field/17/Mental_Health" rel="nofollow">http://explorehealthcareers.org/en/Field/17/Mental_Health</a> to begin this exploration.


How important is math for becoming a psychiatrist

I have had my heart set on working in psychology for most my life. I just got into The university of Texas after taking classes at a community college for two years. I have a high gpa but I have not taken a single math or science class yet. I tried taking a business math last semester, dropped the class because I was failing, and am now taking a intermediate algebra class. I am understanding it a bit better but not much. I'm worried about how much math is used to become a psychiatrist? I know going to med school will require me to get better than I am, which I'm hoping to do through lots of tutoring. I am not so bad at science, it comes much easier for me although the math aspect is a struggle. Is it incredibly hard to become a psychiatrist without a large understanding of math?

casedentalmed

First things first, you need to graduate from medical school to even consider whether you can be a viable candidate for a psychiatry program. The content of your math classes are probably not as critical as the ability to think and analyze data from those math classes. Indeed, an inability to handle mathematical analysis may set you up for more difficulty when it comes to understanding doses for drugs, statistics for epidemiology, or even financial issues as it pertains to patients and insurance coverage. While one does not need to know the minutia of finite math to be a physician, the logic is critical, and one of the main proofs would come from success in math and quantitative-oriented science coursework.


How important is math for becoming a psychiatrist

I have had my heart set on working in psychology for most my life. I just got into The university of Texas after taking classes at a community college for two years. I have a high gpa but I have not taken a single math or science class yet. I tried taking a business math last semester, dropped the class because I was failing, and am now taking a intermediate algebra class. I am understanding it a bit better but not much. I'm worried about how much math is used to become a psychiatrist? I know going to med school will require me to get better than I am, which I'm hoping to do through lots of tutoring. I am not so bad at science, it comes much easier for me although the math aspect is a struggle. Is it incredibly hard to become a psychiatrist without a large understanding of math?

casedentalmed

First things first, you need to graduate from medical school to even consider whether you can be a viable candidate for a psychiatry program. The content of your math classes are probably not as critical as the ability to think and analyze data from those math classes. Indeed, an inability to handle mathematical analysis may set you up for more difficulty when it comes to understanding doses for drugs, statistics for epidemiology, or even financial issues as it pertains to patients and insurance coverage. While one does not need to know the minutia of finite math to be a physician, the logic is critical, and one of the main proofs would come from success in math and quantitative-oriented science coursework.


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