The internship is an essential part of doctoral training in professional psychology. Most students access internships through the annual match sponsored by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). For two decades the match has seen an increasing shortfall of internship positions relative to applicants, exceeding 650 unmatched clinical students as of 2013. Efforts to solve this problem have not met appreciable success. This review discusses the structure of the internship placement process, including and beyond the APPIC match, and identifies the reasons for the failed efforts, which lie principally in the varied standards for an acceptable internship among doctoral programs. Efforts to establish a common standard and the need for a governance structure to enforce whatever standard is agreed upon are discussed. Projections for the future of the placement process and the imbalance are sketched, and links to other issues in the field are briefly reviewed.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Literature Cited

  1. Accredit. Counc. Pharm. Educ 2011. Accreditation standards and guidelines for the professional program in pharmacy leading to the doctor of pharmacy degree. Chicago: Accredit. Counc. Pharm. Educ https://www.acpe-accredit.org/standards/default.asp [Google Scholar]
  2. Am. Dental Assoc 2012a. Accreditation standards for dental education programs Chicago: Am. Dental Assoc http://www.ada.org/115.aspx#predoctoral [Google Scholar]
  3. Am. Dental Assoc 2012b. Frequently asked questions Chicago: Am. Dental Assoc http://www.ada.org/1444.aspx [Google Scholar]
  4. Am. Psychol. Assoc 2011. Model act for state licensure of psychologists. Am. Psychol. 8:214–26 [Google Scholar]
  5. Am. Psychol. Assoc. Board Educ. Aff 2011. BEA statement on accreditation, November 2011. Washington, DC: Am. Psychol. Assoc http://apaoutside.apa.org/EducCSS/Public/pdfs/BEA_Statement_Accreditation.pdf [Google Scholar]
  6. Am. Psychol. Assoc. Comm. Accred. (APA CoA) 2009. Guidelines and principles for accreditation of programs in professional psychology Washington, DC: Am. Psychol. Assoc http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/ [Google Scholar]
  7. Am. Psychol. Assoc. Comm. Accred. (APA CoA) 2012a. Implementing regulations Washington, DC: Am. Psychol. Assoc http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/about/policies/implementing-regs.pdf [Google Scholar]
  8. Am. Psychol. Assoc. Comm. Accred. (APA CoA) 2012b. Commission on Accreditation 2012 Annual Report Washington, DC: Am. Psychol. Assoc http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/about/coa/annual-report-2012.pdf [Google Scholar]
  9. Am. Psychol. Assoc. Comm. Accred. (APA CoA) 2012c. Public comment solicitation program G&P Roadmap: Phase I Washington, DC: Am. Psychol. Assoc http://apaoutside.apa.org/AccredSurvey/Public/ProjectMenu.asp?t=100027&ProjectID=34 [Google Scholar]
  10. Am. Psychol. Assoc. Comm. Accred. (APA CoA) 2012d. Accredited programs in clinical psychology Washington, DC: Am. Psychol. Assoc http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/programs/clinical.aspx [Google Scholar]
  11. Am. Psychol. Assoc. Comm. Train. Clin. Psychol 1947. Recommended graduate training program in clinical psychology. Am. Psychol. 2:537–58 [Google Scholar]
  12. Am. Psychol. Assoc. Counc. Represent 2006. Doctorate as Minimum Entry into the Professional Practice of Psychology. Washington, DC: Am. Psychol. Assoc http://www.apa.org/about/policy/chapter-4b.aspx#doctorate-minimum [Google Scholar]
  13. Am. Psychol. Assoc. Counc. Represent 2013. Resolution on Accreditation for Programs that Prepare Psychologists to Provide Health Services. Washington, DC: Am. Psychol. Assoc http://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/accreditation-resolution-programs.aspx [Google Scholar]
  14. Assoc. Psychol. Postdr. Internsh. Cent. (APPIC) 2010. APPIC match rates by doctoral program: 2000–2010. Washington, DC: APPIC http://www.appic.org/Match/Match-Statistics [Google Scholar]
  15. Assoc. Psychol. Postdr. Internsh. Cent. (APPIC) 2013. APPIC match statistics. Washington, DC: APPIC http://www.appic.org/Match/Match-Statistics [Google Scholar]
  16. Assoc. State Prov. Licens. Boards 2013. Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP). Peachtree City, GA: Assoc. State Prov. Licens. Boards http://www.asppb.net/ [Google Scholar]
  17. Baker J, McCutcheon S, Keilin WG. 2007. The internship supply-demand imbalance: the APPIC perspective. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 1:287–93 [Google Scholar]
  18. Baker TB, McFall RM, Shoham V. 2009. Current status and future prospects of clinical psychology: toward a scientifically principled approach to mental and behavioral health care. Psychol. Sci. Public Interest 8:67–103 [Google Scholar]
  19. Belar CD. 1992. Conferences on internship and postdoctoral training. Teaching Psychology in America: A History AE Puente, JR Matthews, CL Brewer, L Charles 301–10 Washington, DC: Am. Psychol. Assoc. [Google Scholar]
  20. Belar CD. 2011. A developmental milestone. Monit. Psychol. 42:649 [Google Scholar]
  21. Belar CD, Bieliauskas LA, Larsen KG, Mensh IN, Poey K, Roehlke HJ. 1989. The National Conference on Internship Training in Psychology. Am. Psychol. 4460–65 [Google Scholar]
  22. Belar CD, Kaslow NJ. 2003. The history of accreditation of internship programs and postdoctoral residencies. Setting Standards in Graduate Education: Psychology's Commitment to Excellence in Accreditation EM Altmaier 61–89 Washington, DC: Am. Psychol. Assoc. [Google Scholar]
  23. Berger J. 2011. Intern gap frustrates clinicians in training. New York Times Nov. 8:D5 [Google Scholar]
  24. Burstein AG. 1980. Remarks from the chair. APIC Newsl. 5:1–2 [Google Scholar]
  25. Clay RA. 2011. Unintended consequences. Monit. Psychol. 42:1166 [Google Scholar]
  26. Collins FL, Callahan JL, Klonoff EA. 2007. A scientist-practitioner perspective of the internship match imbalance: the stairway to competence. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 1:267–75 [Google Scholar]
  27. Counc. Chairs Train. Counc. (CCTC) 2010. Psychology Internship Development Toolkit Washington, DC: CCTC http://www.psychtrainingcouncils.org/InternshipToolkitCCTC.pdf [Google Scholar]
  28. Counc. Chairs Train. Counc. (CCTC) 2011. Minutes of CCTC meeting, March 24, 2011. Washington, DC: CCTC [Google Scholar]
  29. Delton AW, Cosmides L, Guemo M, Robertson TE, Tooby J. 2012. The psychosemantics of free riding: dissecting the architecture of a moral concept. J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 102:1252–70 [Google Scholar]
  30. Dietz T, Dolsăk N, Ostrom E, Stern PC. 2002. The drama of the commons. The Drama of the Commons E Ostrom, T Dietz, N Dolsăk, PC Stern, S Stonich, EU Weber 3–36 Washington, DC: Natl. Acad. Press [Google Scholar]
  31. Dietz T, Ostrom E, Stern PC. 2003. The struggle to govern the commons. Science 302:1907–12 [Google Scholar]
  32. Eby MD, Chin JL, Rollock D, Schwartz JP, Worrell FC. 2011. Professional psychology training in the era of a thousand flowers: dilemmas and challenges for the future. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 5:57–68 [Google Scholar]
  33. Fed. State Med. Licens. Boards 2012. State-specific requirements for initial medical licensure. Euless, TX: Fed. State Med. Licens. Boards http://www.fsmb.org/usmle_eliinitial.html [Google Scholar]
  34. Fouad NA, Grus CL, Hatcher RL, Kaslow NL, Hutchings PS. et al. 2009. Competency benchmarks: a model for understanding and measuring competence in professional psychology across training levels. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 3:Suppl.S5–26 [Google Scholar]
  35. Grus CL, McCutcheon SR, Berry SL. 2011. Actions by professional psychology education and training groups to mitigate the internship imbalance. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 5:193–201 [Google Scholar]
  36. Hardin G. 1968. The tragedy of the commons. Science 162:1243–48 [Google Scholar]
  37. Hatcher RL. 2011a. The internship supply as a common pool resource: a pathway to managing the imbalance problem. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 5:126–40 [Google Scholar]
  38. Hatcher RL. 2011b. Managing the internship imbalance: response to commentaries. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 5:217–21 [Google Scholar]
  39. Hatcher RL. 2013. New quality standards for internship training: implications for doctoral programs, students, the internship match, and beyond. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 7:185–94 [Google Scholar]
  40. Hatcher RL, Fouad NA, Campbell LB, McCutcheon SR, Grus CL, Leahy KL. 2013. Competency-based education for professional psychology: moving from concept to practice. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 7:225–34 [Google Scholar]
  41. Hess C, Ostrom E. 2003. Ideas, artifacts, and facilities: information as a common-pool resource. Law Contemp. Probl. 66:111–45 [Google Scholar]
  42. Holaday M, Glidewell R, Brandon J. 1997. APA doctoral program requirements, predoctoral internships, and professional licensure. APPIC Newsl. 22:21, 33–35 [Google Scholar]
  43. Hutchings PS, Mangione L, Dobbins J, Wechler FS. 2007. A critical analysis of systemic problems with psychology pre-doctoral internship training: contributing factors and collaborative solutions. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 1:276–86 [Google Scholar]
  44. Keilin WG. 1998. Internship selection 30 years later: an overview of the APPIC Matching. Program Prof. Psychol. Res. Pract. 29:599–603 [Google Scholar]
  45. Keilin WG, Baker J, McCutcheon S, Peranson E. 2007. A growing bottleneck: the internship supply-demand imbalance in 2007 and its impact on psychology training. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 1:229–37 [Google Scholar]
  46. Keilin WG, Thorn BE, Rodolfa ER, Constantine MG, Kaslow N. 2000. Examining the balance of internship supply and demand: 1999 Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers' match implications. Prof. Psychol. Res. Pract. 31:288–94 [Google Scholar]
  47. Lally SJ, Paszkiewicz WB. 2011. Are there fish in the sea as good as ever came out of it? A response to using the common-pool resource paradigm to resolve the internship imbalance. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 4:205–8 [Google Scholar]
  48. Larkin KT. 2011. Behavioral contingencies involved in common pool resource management. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 5:213–16 [Google Scholar]
  49. Larkin KT. 2012. Models for reducing the demand for internships. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 6:249–57 [Google Scholar]
  50. Liaison Comm. Med. Educ 2013. Functions and structure of a medical school. Standards for accreditation of medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree. Washington, DC: Liaison Comm. Med. Educ http://www.lcme.org/publications/functions.pdf [Google Scholar]
  51. Madson MB, Hasan NT, Williams-Nickelson C, Kettmann JJ, van Sickle KS. 2007. The internship supply and demand issue: graduate student's perspective. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 1:249–57 [Google Scholar]
  52. McCutcheon SM. 2011. The internship crisis: an uncommon urgency to build a common solution. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 5:144–48 [Google Scholar]
  53. McGrath R. 2011. Resolving the internship imbalance: expanding the commons or limiting the cattle. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 5:202–4 [Google Scholar]
  54. Meyerson DA, Meyerson LN, Bolson A, Wilson GA. 2013. A legal “case” against the internship placement system and a proposal to fix the system and the internship imbalance. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 7:174–84 [Google Scholar]
  55. Miville ML, Adams EM, Juntunen CL. 2007. Counseling psychology perspectives on the predoctoral internship supply-demand imbalance: strategies for problem definition and resolution. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 1:258–66 [Google Scholar]
  56. Natl. Matching Serv 2009. Results for the pharmacy residency matching program. Toronto: Natl. Matching Serv http://www.natmatch.com/ashprmp/stats/2009applstats.html [Google Scholar]
  57. Natl. Matching Serv 2012. Results for the dental residency matching program. Toronto: Natl. Matching Serv https://natmatch.com/dentres/aboutstats.html [Google Scholar]
  58. Natl. Resid. Matching Program 2012. Results and data: 2012 main residency match. Washington, DC: Natl. Resid. Matching Program http://www.nrmp.org/match-data/main-residency-match-data/ [Google Scholar]
  59. Norcross JC, Castle PH, Sayette MA, Mayne TJ. 2004. The Psy.D.: heterogeneity in practitioner training. Prof. Psychol. Res. Pract. 35:412–19 [Google Scholar]
  60. Norcross JC, Ellis JL, Stone MA. 2010. Getting in and getting money: a comparative analysis of admission standards, acceptance rates, and financial assistance across the research-practice continuum in clinical psychology programs. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 4:99–104 [Google Scholar]
  61. Ostrom E. 1990. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action New York: Cambridge Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  62. Parent MC, Williamson JB. 2010. Program disparities in unmatched internship applicants. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 4:116–20 [Google Scholar]
  63. Parks CD, Joireman J, Van Lange PAM. 2013. Cooperation, trust and antagonism: how public goods are promoted. Psychol. Sci. Public Interest 14:119–65 [Google Scholar]
  64. Peterson DR. 2003. Unintended consequences: ventures and misadventures in the education of professional psychologists. Am. Psychol. 58:791–800 [Google Scholar]
  65. Robiner WN, Yozwiak JA. 2013. The psychology workforce: trials, trends, and tending the commons Washington, DC: Natl. Regist http://www.nationalregister.org/trr_spring2013_Robiner.html [Google Scholar]
  66. Rodolfa ER, Bell DJ, Bieschke KJ, Davis C, Peterson RL. 2007a. The internship match: understanding the problem—seeking solutions. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 1:225–28 [Google Scholar]
  67. Rodolfa ER, Owen JJ, Clark S. 2007b. Practicum training hours: fact and fantasy. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 1:64–73 [Google Scholar]
  68. Sayette MA, Norcross JC, Dimoff JD. 2011. The heterogeneity of clinical psychology Ph.D. programs and the distinctiveness of APCS programs. Clin. Psychol. Sci. Pract. 18:4–11 [Google Scholar]
  69. Schaefer MR, Perl R, Newman GH, Morrison A. 2011. Shifting the paradigm: alternative perspectives and solutions to increasing the availability of quality internships. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 5:209–12 [Google Scholar]
  70. Schaffer JB, Rodolfa E, Owen J, Lipkin R, Webb C. et al. 2012. The examination for professional practice in psychology: new data-practical implications. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 6:1–7 [Google Scholar]
  71. Sheridan EP, Matarazzo JD, Nelson PD. 1995. Accreditation of psychology's graduate professional education and training programs: an historical perspective. Prof. Psychol. Res. Pract. 26:386–92 [Google Scholar]
  72. Silver RJ, Miller R, MacDonald J, Lee R. 1980. A review and evaluation of the 1980 APIC Clearinghouse operations. APIC Newsl. 6:110–13 [Google Scholar]
  73. Siskind Susser 2012. Pharmacist licensing requirements by state Memphis, TN: Siskind Susser http://www.visalaw.com/IMG/pharmacistchart.pdf [Google Scholar]
  74. Stedman JM. 1989. History of the APIC selection process. APIC Newsl. 14:35–43 [Google Scholar]
  75. Stedman JM, Costello RM, Gaines T, Solway KS, Zimet CN. 1991. The intern marketplace: issues of supply and demand. J. Train. Pract. Prof. Psychol. 5:7–22 [Google Scholar]
  76. Stedman JM, Schoenfeld LS. 2010. Knowledge competence in clinical and counseling training and readiness for internship. J. Clin. Psychol. 67:1–5 [Google Scholar]
  77. Stedman JM, Schoenfeld LS, Carroll K, Allen TF. 2009. The internship supply-demand crisis: Time for a solution is now. Train. Educ. Prof. Psychol. 3:135–39 [Google Scholar]
  78. Tuma JM, Cerny JA. 1976. The internship marketplace: the new depression?. Am. Psychol. 31:664–70 [Google Scholar]
  79. Vasquez MJT. 2011. The internship crisis: strategies and solutions. Monit. Psychol. 425:5 [Google Scholar]
  80. Walton SM, Mott DA, Knapp KK, Fisher G. 2011. Association between increased number of US pharmacy graduates and pharmacist counts by state from 2000–2009. Am. J. Pharm. Educ. 75:76 [Google Scholar]
  81. Weiner IB, Fox RE. 1971. Uniform dates for announcing internship awards: a goal of the APIC. Prof. Psychol. 2:199–200 [Google Scholar]
  82. Yamagishi T. 1986. The provision of a sanctioning system as a public good. J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 51:110–16 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error