I wish to discuss the profound impact that the issue of APA-accreditation has had upon my entire career as a clinical health psychologist. In 1996, I started my doctoral program in Clinical Health Psychology; this doctoral program was jointly offered through Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as well as Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf graduate schoolof Psychology.
My doctoral program was initially fully APA-accredited, as a graduate program in Health Psychology. It was decided to incorporate a clinical component into my doctoral program; consequently, it was necessary to reapply for APA accreditation.
When I matriculated in my doctoral program, I was informed that my graduate degree would be fully accredited by the APA, by the time that I completed my doctorate. This never happened, however. Honestly, it has had devastating consequences for my entire career.
Since I was unable to state that I had graduated from an APA- accredited program, my range of career options was severely restricted. For example, numerous tenure-track academic positions, in which I was most interested, were completely eliminated as viable options.
As a result, my employment prospects were severely restricted. I can’t help but believe that my current health status has been severely adversely impacted by the intense degree of unexpected stress that this issue has induced. I completed a year-long practicum placement, during my master’s degree at Connecticut College, at the West Haven VA Medical Center.
Consequently, I became most interested in completion of my pre-doctoral internship at the very same VA. Due to my doctoral program’s failure to obtain full APA accreditation by the time that I had finally finished my doctorate, in 2001, it was not possible for me to complete my pre-doctoral internship at this VA.
As a result, I missed out on potential opportunities to teach at Yale Medical School. Actually, I knew the chief of psychology at the West Haven VA Medical Center. He critiqued my M.A. thesis, required for my degree in Behavioral Medicine at Connecticut College. He was most interested in having me complete my pre-doctoral internship in Health Psychology at the West Haven VA Medical Center. I have thought, countless times, of the profound impact that my doctoral program’s APA accreditation status has had upon my potential range of employment options. In turn, my stress level was substantially elevated, for am extended period of time. I have to believe that this had a deleterious, enduringly negative impact, upon my current health status. Just imagine: I invested tens of thousands of dollars into the completion of my graduate training, only to find that my actual range of career options was severely restricted, for a reason that was entirely beyond my control. I completed my advanced training as a single mother. Both my daughter and myself were diagnosed with chronic illnesses during my advanced training, too. It takes enormous stamina to ever successfully complete a very rigorous doctoral program. I did so, with the immense additional challenges associated with being a single mother, diagnosed with more than one chronic illness.