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PhD in clinical psychology or public health (mch)??


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Hi all!

So I graduated last year from UCLA with an MPH/MSW and am currently running a teen parenting program, providing individual and group therapy as well as coordinating and handling grant applications/evaluation reporting for the program...I'm also working towards my LCSW so I can have the option of independent practice.

Here's my question- I've been thinking seriously lately about going back to school to get my PhD, as I'm interested in getting more in-depth experience in research. Originally I had assumed I would go back for a PhD in Public Health, specifically MCH as this is my area of interest (I've worked a lot in women and adolescent health, both domestically and internationally). However, after talking to my Public Health professor/mentor from grad school, he really encouraged me to go into a PhD in clinical psych...

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? He seems to think that I will have more opportunities/valuable skills with a PhD in clinical psych. My other concern is likelyhood of getting in- I know that clinical psych is like the "plastic surgery" of PhDs, as in, it's notoriously hard to get into. I don't have published research, although I have a lot of work in research. I did well in grad school and have lots of experience, but I'm not sure that's what they would be looking for, especially since my undergrad was not in psychology (it was anthropology, although I did get an MSW so I have lots of experience in psychology)....

Ideas? I'm looking at starting 2011, as I'd like to continue to work with my program for a bit (I love it :), but am anxious to start looking into programs and narrowing my focus...


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I think that it depends on what exactly you want to do. If you're more interested in researching health education and community initiatives you'd be better off staying where you are or doing health/community psychology, maybe even program evaluation. It is seriously easier to get into Med School than it is to get into Clinical Psych. I'd recommend looking at the research some local Clinical Psych programs are doing and then see if you can wiggle into their lab.

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