Author Archives: Jerrold Yeo

About Jerrold Yeo

I am an international student studying Clinical Psychology at the Graduate School of Professional Psychology, University of Denver. My interests reside primarily in neuropsychology and cultural issues, in addition to integrated health care and rehabilitation psychology.

Now that you’ve submitted your internship application…

For many students training to be Health Service Providers (HSP), the internship application process tends to be one of the most stressful periods of their graduate school training. Preparing applications by looking through training brochures of multiple internship sites, writing cover letters, completing essays, logging hours… the list goes on. It is difficult to really practice self-care during this intensive process, and sometimes we find ourselves struggling to complete an application in the eleventh hour. A number of sites have early deadlines, some before November, while others go straight through to the end of November/early December. Students can choose different ways of submitting their applications, some opting to submit in batches, based on deadlines, while others may opt to submit all applications at one time.

If you’ve finished submitting your application at this point, CONGRATULATIONS! This is the perfect time to take a break!

sunny-man-person-legs

Some students may be thinking, “Now is the time to prepare for my interviews, plan travel, etc.” As someone who has been through this same process last year and also taking part in it again this year, my advice is this: DON’T DO IT.

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international

Integrated Healthcare and the Current State of Affairs

Experts from around the world met in November 2015, in Washington, D.C., to participate in a 2 ½-day summit,international “Global Approaches to Integrated Health Care: Translating Science and Best Practices into Patient-Centered Healthcare Delivery”.

Approximately 85 psychologists, physicians, public health workers and policy analysts met in person for the interdisciplinary summit as well as more than 400 virtual attendees from around the world, who viewed the proceedings via a live video simulcast. Two APAGS representatives, Justin Karr and Jerrold Yeo, attended the summit and provide their impressions and thoughts on this experience below.

Justin Karr

Dr. Tor Levin Hofgaard, the President of the Norwegian Psychological Association, spoke at the Summit and clarified a famous statement that he once made, in which he claimed that, “we should have psychologists at IKEA.” He meant that psychologist should be located where people are already going, decreasing stigma around mental health care and increasing the normality of seeing your psychologist. Integrated healthcare bears a special importance for health service psychologists, as we aim to collaborate with other medical professions by incorporating mental and behavioral health services into primary care. Ideally, psychological services can become as commonplace and de-stigmatized as a standard medical check-up, where people have a professional attend to their mental health within the same setting where they receive other medical services.

As a student, I saw the Summit as both awe-inspiring and daunting. The evidence promoting an integrated healthcare model is astounding. With cost-savings, improved health outcomes, and even higher clinician satisfaction ratings, there is an overwhelming amount of published research supporting the implementation of integrated healthcare. During a working group session of the Summit, one presenter actually stated, “We don’t need any more research,” clarifying that there is more than enough research to support moving forward with implementation. However, many barriers stand in the way of actualizing more widespread integrated services, including many changes that need to occur in funding structures, healthcare policies, current practices and educational standards.

Although the barriers are significant, the Summit left me with great optimism, as leaders across fields and occupational sectors came together to help make integrated healthcare a more common reality for the patients we serve. Dr. Arthur C. Evans, the Commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Service (DBHIDS), shared one of his favorite sayings at the Summit, “Inherent in every community is the wisdom to solve its own problems.” As a community psychologist, he quoted this statement during a panel on special populations, emphasizing the involvement of local community members in the policy-making that directly affects their lives; however, I feel it also applies to our community as healthcare professionals. As Health Service Psychologists, we are members of the healthcare community, and with our colleagues across disciplines, we possess the wisdom to actualize integrated health care and support the well-being of the patients and clients that benefit from our services.

I look forward to seeing the continued integration of healthcare in my remaining time as a student, and over the course of my life as a psychologist. However, I do not see myself as merely an observer, but as a part of this change. As students, we will inherit many of the impending reforms coming to our clinical practice, and we must ensure that we voice both our support and concerns as these changes will surely impact our training and careers. Students must be actively engaged in the decision-making that determines training standards; not only during our graduate education, but also throughout our careers.

One discussion at the Summit emphasized the need to change patient expectations, where healthcare consumers expect access to integrated services every time they enter into a primary care facility. In the same light, we as students must expect effective training in collaborative practice that operates across disciplines. As consumers of graduate education, we are significant stakeholders in this enterprise, and we must have opportunities within our training to experience modern healthcare models in a way that best prepares us to work with other disciplines. In turn, I look forward to not only the changes that occur in practice following this Summit, but also the changes that will occur in education. As we prepare for an improved integration of care, I hope that we, as the next generation of psychologists, will become more appreciative of our fellow healthcare disciplines throughout our training; and in the same light, I hope that other disciplines will become more appreciative of health service psychology, understanding the unique and essential role of psychological services in the true integration of care.

Jerrold Yeo

Although the atmosphere of the summit was a little intimidating as it was well-attended by many key people in the field, I felt welcomed as a student representative attending the conference. I had never seen so many leaders of psychology from diverse cultures and backgrounds in the same room, and bouncing ideas and thoughts off them in addition to the networking experience felt surreal.

A number of points stuck with me as I listened to the many keynote speakers and panels throughout the summit. Listening to how different healthcare systems work in different countries and learning about the differences between them helped make me more aware of any challenges that I might face as a soon-to-be professional, (e.g., reimbursement, payment systems and Medicaid to aid lower-income families). It was also fascinating to hear a possibly controversial argument about not needing any more research on integrated care; but the take home message that I got from that was that we are doing good research on the topic, but have not been able to implement it as effectively as we would have liked.

It was also very interesting to hear the patient perspective at a professional summit like this. I think it provided a very real touch to the whole summit as we get reminded of why we do this: for the people. E-patient Dave, who is an activist for healthcare transformation through participatory medicine and personal health data rights, also reminded us that we should try to engage patients in their own treatment, to empower them to find out more about their own difficulties and make informed decisions.

Many times during the summit I questioned myself: “What am I doing here? As a student, what can I do?” These questions kept running through my mind as I attempted to socialize and network with these high-flying professionals. Only during the second part of each day did my question get answered. The second half of each day was devoted to small group discussion and brainstorming. Justin and I were split up into different groups so that we could provide a unique student perspective.  Personally, I advocated for the education of the general public from a young age to expect integrated care, which appeared to be well received. Where we shined was that we, as students, were able to provide a perspective that could complement the policy changes that the leaders in the field were proposing.

Through this summit, I think that I became inspired to become more involved in the advocacy of integrated care and provide more comprehensive services to my clients. As a student attending this summit, it became clear to me that, as future leaders in the field, we have to pave the way for psychology to be a part of the integrated care system by establishing important connections with other professions and advocating for psychology to be used more effectively and efficiently in the provision of health care services.

Editor’s Note: Justin Karr (University of Victoria) is the current APAGS Member-at-Large for Membership Recruitment/Retention and Jerrold Yeo (University of Denver) is a former member of the APAGS Convention Committee.

Toronto Convention

Convention Program Highlights

Toronto ConventionConvention is finally here! It’s time to plan your Convention schedule being sure to include some fun time!

To help with that, here are some interesting programs that APAGS is offering, both at the Convention Center and in the APAGS Suite (located at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel):

Thursday, August 6
Student Led Resistance: Mobilizing for Social Justice Post #Ferguson
10-11:50 a.m., APAGS Suite

Following Ferguson, we have a discussion around how students can mobilize around social justice and get involved.

Friday, August 7
Hands on Stats: A Guide to Basic Statistical Analysis
1-2:50 p.m., APAGS Suite

The stats training was a hugely successful and popular session last year, so we brought it back with more information that you may not learn in graduate school.

Friday, August 7
Student Town Hall
2-250 p.m., Convention Centre

Come join fellow students and APAGS leaders for a difficult dialogue to discuss student reactions to the APA investigation (the Hoffman Report) and potential action steps that students should take.

Friday, August 7
Financial Literacy for Students and Recent Graduates
4-5:50 p.m., Convention Centre

Money seems to always be an issue for graduate students and early career psychologists. Here we discuss tips and strategies on overcoming debt.

Saturday, August 8
Alternative Career Paths with a Doctorate in Psychology
9-10:50 a.m., Convention Centre

Another successful symposium last year, this year we have extended it to 2 hours and brought in psychologists from Google, National Academy of Sciences, California State Legislature, and also an International Mental Health Program Evaluation expert.

Saturday, August 8
Non-Traditional Students and Graduate School: Shared Experiences, Personal Challenges, and Open Discussion
11-11:50 a.m., Convention Centre

You asked, we deliver. We received many requests for a discussion on issues that non-traditional students face, and here it is!

And of course, how could we forget our Internship Series:

Friday, August 7
Internship Workshop 
8-9:50 a.m., Convention Centre

This popular reoccurring workshop is for students applying for internship. Tips and strategies are provided on writing essays and managing the stressful application process.

Saturday, August 8
Meet and Greet with Internship Training Directors 

1-1:50 p.m., Convention Centre

Meet with various Internship Training Directors to find out what makes an attractive internship candidate!

Saturday, August 8
Conversation Hour with APPIC 
4-4:50 p.m., APAGS Suite

If you have any questions about the APPIC and the application process, here would be the place to ask!

Don’t forget about having fun at Convention! APAGS offers social events to help students relax and network after long days of Convention. If you are going to Convention alone and would like to meet up with other students, we have a platform for doing that just before our social hour, called Flying Solo. This will be held at the APAGS Suite on Thursday, August 6. After the flying solo event, people usually form groups to get to the APAGS Social together.

The APAGS Social this year will be held at Malaparte, which is a short 6-minute walk from the Convention Centre, or 15 minute walk from the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Don’t forget the date and time, which will be on Thursday, August 6, from 6p.m.-8p.m.

With all these interesting programs, it’s hard not to get excited for Convention itself! If you need more help, don’t forget to check out the Convention Survival Guide.

See you at Convention!

Toronto skyline in the day

Early Convention Tips and Tricks

Are you planning to go to the APA Convention in Toronto on 2015? It may be tough to think about something that seems so far away, but it might be helpful to start planning since this year it will be in another country!

When preparing to trToronto skyline in the dayavel to Canada, the first thing you need is a passport. If you do not already have one, or need a replacement or renewal, you should definitely consider applying soon. Processing times take anywhere between 8 business days to 6 weeks depending on how urgent you need it. Get started today by visiting the Bureau of Consular Affairs. Passport

After getting your passport, there are other steps that you might want to consider planning in advance. If you submitted a proposal that was accepted for presentation and you are a first author, your registration fee will be waived if you are also an APAGS member!

Other ways to get some funding for travel would be to look at travel grants.  Different sections and divisions of APA offer various types of funding. APAGS offers the Convention Travel award for first time convention attendees.  The deadline to apply for this award is TODAY, April 1, 2015. The APA Science Directorate also offers assistance for psychology graduate students to travel to the Convention.

Some APA Divisions of APA also offer funding for Convention travel. Be sure to check with any Division to which you are a member to see what type of funding is provided for students to attend Convention. You may also consider joining your Division’s listserv to get information on services and funding provided by your Division.

After getting your passport, and applying for funding, low cost travel would be the next thing for you to consider. Sites like Expedia  and Kayak  are popular for cheap travel, while accommodation sites include Hostels.com and AirBnB  among others.

Do stay tuned for more tips and tricks to help you plan your Convention travel!