About 79 percent of psychology students participating in the 2008 Match found an internship this year--an improvement over last year's mark of 75 percent, according to the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC).
As of Match Day on Feb. 25, 2,749 applicants were matched with a slot for the 2008-09 internship year, says APPIC Match and Clearinghouse Coordinator Greg Keilin, PhD. That left 743 participating applicants unmatched. Last year, 842 applicants were unmatched.
Despite the slight improvement, the number of unmatched applicants was the second highest number to date since the computerized Match and Clearinghouse process started in 1999, Keilin says. The numbers show that the imbalance between internship supply and demand continues to be a serious problem, he says.
"Even though we're seeing signs of improvement, there's still a tremendous amount of disappointment out there," Keilin says.
Of the participating applicants who did match, 48 percent got their first choice, and overall, 69 percent of participants were matched to one of their top two choices. Last year, 45 percent of applicants got their first choice. And while the number of internship positions grew by 174 from last year, the number of participating applicants vying for an internship grew, too, with an additional 61 applicants.
APA's Center for Psychology Workforce Analysis and Research is gathering data to develop a detailed picture of the psychology workforce-information that will help the profession advocate for greater funding for psychology education and training, says Catherine Grus, PhD, APA's associate executive director for professional education and training.
"Psychology receives very little federal funding in comparison to other health-care disciplines, and we need to have a louder and data-informed voice," she says. "Students can certainly help by becoming involved in advocacy efforts."