We’re Psyching the Vote for APAGS Member-at-Large, Practice Focus! During the month of April, APAGS members can submit an elections ballot for elections for APAGS chair-elect and four members at large (link contains position descriptions and official bios). Members will get an email with voting instructions on April 1. This post is the second in a series of six between now and March 31 in which candidates voluntarily answer our questions in 200 words or less, to give voters some insight into what they will bring to their prospective positions.
Our question for APAGS Member-at-Large, Practice Focus:
Right now, APAGS is focused on ending the internship crisis for health service psychology students. What questions or concerns related to psychological practice would you have the committee focus on so that we’re prepared to meet the demands of the field for future generations of trainees?
Stephen Lupe responds:
Currently, the field of health service psychology is in a state of transition. It is expanding in to new and exciting areas such as integrated care. It is imperative we as an organization plan for this transition. It should be a priority we develop more training opportunities with a focus on interprofessional collaboration. The future of psychological practice is going to rely on psychologists’ ability to work collaboratively with professionals from other disciplines. I will lobby for more grant opportunities for site development. In addition, it is time we as an organization empower graduate students to advocate for themselves in the areas of expanding practice. We need to shed many of the past ideas of what practicing psychologist do and empower students to use their skills in new and exciting ways. APA/APAGS should continue to develop initiatives to expand practice and support the efforts of the next generation of psychologists. I will push for APA/APAGS to continue to explore emerging areas of practice, develop initiatives to highlight the need for interprofessional collaboration, and develop training opportunities and support funding for these opportunities.
Jerrold Yeo responds:
A couple of questions always on the mind of every health service psychology student: “Will I match?”, “Can I afford it?”. The state of the internship crisis has been improving over the years, but statistics may not mean so much when we are the ones who do not match. As someone who has been unsuccessful in the application process this past year, it has been particularly salient to me. Some of the things we should focus on for students would be ending the internship crisis AND ensuring internships provide affordable stipends. It pains me whenever I see training sites in very expensive locations offering stipends under $25k, which is not affordable for the debt-ridden student. This can be exponentially more difficult for students who are less financially well-off, having to take out substantially more loans to train at an expensive city, or internationally (Canada). I also think that students in health service psychology should have sufficient access to training in integrative healthcare, as collaboration and consultation with healthcare professions are an essential part of today’s practice. Another area to address would be cross-border access (Canada) to internship positions, and the logistics involved in applying for and matching across the countries.
Be on the look out tomorrow for our next post in this series and be sure to vote when you receive your APAGS electronic ballot on April 1! — APAGS Staff.