Thursday, March 06, 2008

Another shot at becoming Dr. Survivor

A classmate introduced me to a hunky doctoral candidate -- sandy hair, piercing blue eyes, rugged build; my hormones are through the roof since my date with TD -- who does research in my area of interest. He very generously sat down to help me network and brainstorm job-hunting strategies, and he also reviewed my résumé.

"Wow," he said, scanning down the page. "Ivy League undergrad degree. Master's in psychology -- you've done research. A published article and another pending publication. This is really impressive -- you're way ahead of your peers. I don't know if you've considered getting a doctorate in social work, but with all this on your résumé, you'd have no trouble getting in."

Hm. Considering all the trouble I had getting into a psychology doctoral program, and how unpleasant it was once I got there, the idea of sailing into a social work doctoral program that would appreciate my brilliance and talents is tempting.

I've been mulling the idea over, and I've decided that while I would be happy to earn a doctorate in clinical social work, I'm not willing to pay for it. I spent enough on my MSW. But if the school is willing to pay me, I'd probably be open to it.

My current school doesn't provide doctoral stipends -- of course it doesn't. But another local school, which focuses exclusively on clinical social work (Hunky Doctoral Candidate promised me I'd never have to take another boring policy class if I specialized in clinical practice), has a ton of money that they love giving to students. My program director, Sally, got her MSW there, and it was basically a free ride. And they've got a special doctoral stipend program in my area of interest.

I definitely want to work for a few years to get more clinical experience under my belt. But if I did this doctoral program, I'd be getting essentially the same clinical training I'd get in a psychology doctoral program, minus the focus on testing. Which is actually quite a tedious process, and something you can always outsource.

I haven't always been interested in research, but what the heck -- maybe after a few years practicing, I'll be in the mood for research. Who knows? I may be Dr. Survivor one of these days, and it might not cost me a thing. Definitely a better deal than The Bad Place!
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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