Impact of APA Accreditation Status

In 1996, I enrolled in my doctoral program in Clinical Health Psychology, at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Yeshiva University, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. Of course, I had intended to complete a graduate program that was fully accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

When Yeshiva University initially offered a doctorate in Health Psychology, it was fully accredited by the APA. It was subsequently decided that this program would be revised, to incorporate a clinical component, into the five-year curriculum.

As a result, Yeshiva University had to reapply for APA accreditation, as a doctoral program in Clinical Health Psychology. Thankfully, my doctoral program was eventually awarded full APA accreditation.

Most unfortunately, however, this full APA accreditation only occurred after I had been awarded my Ph.D., in 2001. There was no “grandfathering” possible for those graduate students who had completed their doctoral degrees prior to this reception of APA accreditation.

This accreditation status has had a profound impact on the full range of employment opportunities that were fully available for me to pursue. I really wanted to pursue an academic career in Clinical Health Psychology. However, not being able to say that I had graduated from an APA-accredited program automatically closed multiple career options for me.

Over the past years, I have often wondered how this entire experience has altered the course of my health, both physically and mentally. After all, I had invested a considerable amount of time, as well as tens of thousands of dollars, to complete an advanced degree that didn’t yield the career opportunities that I had originally expected to receive.

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