During the long wait until Feb. 23-the day students will learn whether they've been matched to an internship-students understandably worry about what Match Day will bring. gradPSYCH debunks some myths about the process.
I'm not going to get one of my top picks
In 2006, 71 percent of matched applicants said they agreed or strongly agreed that they were satisfied with their match; 79 percent of matched students received one of their top three choices; 45 percent matched to their No. 1-ranked site and 66 percent to one of their top two choices.
Two-step disclosure is meant to be torture
APPIC's two-step notification process-informing students on the Friday prior to Match Day whether they've been matched, then revealing the site the following Monday-leaves many students anxiously awaiting news of whether they got one of their top picks, where they'll be living, and where their colleagues might land.
Although the wait may seem like torture, there is a good reason for the delay, say APPIC officials. Students who don't get matched need a few days to adjust mentally and prepare their application materials to enter the APPIC Clearinghouse, when unmatched sites are posted for the first time.
If I don't get matched, I'm doomed
Students who don't get matched initially still have a fair chance of landing an internship through the APPIC Clearinghouse. In 2006, approximately two-thirds of the 731 unmatched students found placements through the Clearinghouse. And some top-flight internships are available, say APPIC officials. Some are there because they joined late because of a funding delay, didn't initially receive many applications or sought interns taken by other sites. See January 2007 and March 2005 for just a few examples of success stories.
Moreover, entering the Clearinghouse doesn't mean you are a poor candidate or a bad therapist, says APAGS Chair Kristi Sands Van Sickle, PsyD, herself a Clearinghouse veteran. Well-qualified students often aren't matched in the initial round: Some may have ranked too few sites, tried too hard to strategize or limited themselves geographically.
If a problem arises with my match, I'm stuck
While it's true that matched students are contractually bound to attend their internships, APPIC does have an informal resolution process to address serious Match problems or dire circumstances, such as a student's sudden illness or a serious conflict between a student and his or her training director.
Former APPIC Chair Nadine Kaslow, PhD, handles the process. She consults confidentially with students experiencing difficulties with their internship experiences.
Only in rare, dire circumstances-such as if a student is diagnosed with cancer-would a student be released from their Match commitment, she says.
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