Friday, February 1, 2013

A fork stuck in the road

   I have two interviews lined up next week for clinical internships.  I think I have a shot at both of them (knock on wood!), but they are both very different and could potentially lead to me leading 2 quite different lives in the next few years.

The first internship is at a clinic affiliated with the state hospital, and it is probably my top choice in terms of actual work I'd be doing. I wouldn't be working with committed psychiatric cases or anything of that sort (what most people think of when I talk about the state hospital.) I'd be doing  a subset therapy specialty, and one which is relatively new and which interests me.  At the hospital the therapists and doctors work on teams to treat patients who have chronic illnesses or continuing concerns... e.g. postpartum depression, MS, cancer, etc.  to provide holistic patient-centered care.

One thing in particular that is appealing about this particular internship, in addition to the fact that the work itself interests me, is that many of their interns have gone on to a pretty prestigious PhD program that is affiliated with the hospital. I admit that I am considering applying/transferring to that PhD program, and the benefits are phenomenal-- full tuition remission, $40k stipend, health insurance, great research support, etc. They only take 2-3 students on a year, so I'm not counting any chickens or anything, but I've talked to the director of the program and she mentioned if I got this internship I'd be on the right track to get into the program.

At the same time though, if I got this internship it would mean that I would likely be away from Jedi/home 4 nights per week.... which is A LOT. And exhausting. But, I tell myself, it would only be for a year.... but still. It's a lot.

The second internship has the benefit of being closer to home-- it's only 40 minutes away, but they have a satellite clinic I could potentially work at that is only 5 minutes from where I live. The downside is that the work is less interesting to me--it's a lot of court-mandated cases and home visits (and given our catchment area I anticipate that could entail a lot of driving on back country roads in bad weather and could potentially end up being almost as much driving as if I were going to the State hospital.)

The plus side of this internship, in addition to it being closer to home, is that they are often hiring. Whether I were to decide that I wanted to be done with my program after the MA portion or continue on to do the PhD at the school I'm currently at (I'm debating... the cost is nothing to sneeze at), if Jedi and I decide to stay in this area I would likely have to work under the license of someone else in an agency setting for 2 years before I can practice independently.  This internship site is the closest to where we live that would offer that possibility, and part of me thinks it would be good to start working for them as an intern and then have a leg up if/when the time came to apply for a position with them.

Both are good options and I'm lucky/glad I have them. Most of my classmates don't have interviews lined up or anything yet, which would leave me panicked!  Our cohort is very large this year and we are competing with students from the state university for the few internship slots-- it's entirely possible that some of us won't end up with internships (the school says this is unlikely, but there are at least 2 students from the smallish 2013 class that didn't get their internships until November and internship placements are supposed to happen by April/May... so early bird gets the worm!)

I do like to try to plan everything out ahead of time though-- I know that one internship over another is no guarantee of an admissions letter or a job offer in either case and I should be more focused on what I'll be learning--but my mind can't help wandering to the "what if" scenarios and trying to play them all out in my head!

I guess by this time next week it will be a little more clear depending on which internship I get offered, if in fact, I get offered ANY of them...! (horrors!)

I also have another application out to a third clinic so that is also a possibility if neither of these works out.  Que sera, sera...

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