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SJHH ... / Mental Health & Addiction Services/ Mental Health Services/ Psychology Training/ Psychology Residency Program/ Application Process

Application Process

Qualifications

Preference will be given to candidates registered at CPA or APA accredited clinical psychology or clinical neuropsychology doctoral programs, although applicants from non-accredited programs may also apply.  Applicants from non-accredited programs will be required to demonstrate their program’s equivalency to accredited programs.  Prior to beginning the residency, applicants must have completed all of the requirements of their doctoral program except for the dissertation, including a minimum total of 600 practicum hours.  Practicum hours include a minimum of 300 direct client contact hours, which may be any combination of intervention and assessment, as well as supervision and support hours (no minimums required for these activities).  It is anticipated that candidates applying to the General Stream will have a relatively greater number of intervention hours, whereas candidates applying to the Neuropsychology Stream will have a relatively greater number of assessment hours.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to have their dissertation data collection / analysis completed prior to beginning their residency.

Applicants are required to provide a cover letter with the application that outlines their individual training goals for the residency year, including a listing of their top three rotations of interest.  Applicants are asked to describe in their cover letter the training and experience they have to date that prepares them for depth training in major areas of interest, as well as a rationale for choices of breadth training options.  Applications are submitted electronically through the APPIC online application system.  Applications are thoroughly reviewed by program faculty and rated based on many factors including (in no particular order), breadth and depth of assessment and treatment experience (particularly in areas related to the top three rotations as indicated by the applicant in their cover letter), relevant didactic training (e.g., coursework, workshops attended), progress toward completion of their doctoral degree (e.g., dissertation status, with higher ratings given to those who have their proposal approved and data collection underway at the time of application), letters of recommendation, research experience, quality of writing samples (e.g., essays on the APPI), and other information from the application materials.  Note that applicants are not ranked based on the raw number of practicum hours reported in the APPIC application, as long as the minimum required hours have been completed (in other words, additional practicum hours will not necessarily confer an advantage to applicants).  A well-rounded candidate across these various areas is preferred.  Applications are then rank ordered based on their global file review ratings as part of the interview selection process.  During interviews, candidates will be evaluated based on their answers to various clinical, ethical and empirical questions posed, as well as faculty’s impressions regarding interpersonal and communication skills; capacity to think 'on the spot', etc.

The St. Joseph’s Healthcare Predoctoral Clinical Psychology Residency Training Program is committed to offering equal opportunity employment and encourages applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, religion, cultural or ethnic background, gender, sexual preference, and disability.  The program will make all efforts to ensure program access to those with disabilities by ensuring the accessibility of the physical site and by making further necessary accommodations on a case-by-case basis through liaison with the Director of Training.

The program accepts applications from both Canadian and US citizens enrolled in clinical psychology doctoral programs in Canada and the USA.  However, it should be noted that US citizens will be required to pursue additional steps prior to starting to internship in order to obtain a legal permit to learn and work in Canada should they match to our program.  This may involve, among other steps, obtaining an independent medical examination at the student’s personal expense.

Application Materials and Deadlines

The residency begins on the first working day in September and ends on the last working day in August.  The deadline for receipt of applications is November 4, 2016. 

Applicants must register for the internship Match, using the online registration system on the Match website: http://www.natmatch.com/psychint

Applications are to be submitted via the AAPI Online Centralized Application ServiceNo printed documents are to be mailed directly to our program.  The AAPI Online may be accessed at http://www.appic.org by clicking on “AAPI Online.”

The following materials must be included in the AAPI online submission:

  • A cover letter that clearly indicates the applicant's training and career goals, their preferences for top three rotation choices, and the reasons behind these choices. Please read the information below for more instructions regarding content of the cover letter.

At St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, we emphasize both depth of training within an area of primary interest, as well as breadth of training.  Residents in the General Internship stream typically complete a primary major rotation (ranked #1), which represents an area in which they have achieved some experience and skill and wish to extend and refine those skills.  Residents also complete a secondary major rotation (ranked #2) that may represent an additional area of depth training or an area of breadth training.  Depending on interests and experience, some residents will complete a double major, with equal training experience in two substantive major rotations across the year.  Applicants with an equal level of interest in two primary major rotations should indicate this preference in the cover letter.  Many residents also complete a minor rotation (ranked #3) that is typically an area of breadth training.

Applicants are encouraged to explain how they have prepared to undertake depth training, for example, highlighting relevant course work and indicating the number of clients with relevant clinical presentations they have treated and with what modality of intervention (e.g., an individual applying to complete a major rotation in anxiety disorders will be expected to have had some experience working with an anxiety population within a CBT framework).  Applicants are also encouraged to elaborate on their rationale behind choices for breadth of training, and how this relates to knowledge and skills acquired to date and to career goals.

  • A Curriculum Vitae (including education, clinical experience, research experience, administrative experience, workshops and seminars taken, awards and scholarships, publications, presentations, committees, editorial experience, etc.)
  • APPIC Application for Psychology Internship (AAPI, which includes the DCT's verification of eligibility and readiness)
  • All graduate transcripts
  • APPIC Standardized Reference Form (SRF) Beginning with the 2015-2016 internship application cycle, APPIC requires all internship programs, students, and letter-writers who participate in the Match to use the APPIC Standardized Reference Form (SRF) in lieu of a typical, free-form letter of recommendation. Students should ensure that those who will be providing their references are informed about the requirement to use the SRF.

    St. Joseph’s program requires three standardized letters of reference, using the SRF: at least one of which is from a supervisor familiar with the applicant's academic skills, and at least one from a supervisor familiar with the applicant's clinical skills.  Note that the program may contact referees who provide letters or who are listed on applicant CVs to obtain further information.

    A copy of the new APPIC SRF may be downloaded here:

    http://www.appic.org/Portals/0/downloads/Standardized_Reference_Form_Final_1.27.15.doc

    FAQs about the SRF may be downloaded here:

    http://www.appic.org/Portals/0/downloads/FAQ_SRF_2.5.15.docx 

Neuropsychology Stream

Residents in the Neuropsychology Stream will complete a primary major rotation in Clinical Neuropsychology as well as one additional rotation.  Given the flexible nature of our training program, based on the experience and individual goals of the resident, the second rotation may be fairly substantive or more of a minor experience.  Applicants wishing to apply to the Neuropsychology Stream should state this intention in the cover letter. 

Neuropsychology Stream applicants should indicate their top two choices for breadth rotations (ranked #1 and #2), and explain their rationale for seeking additional or new training in these areas.

Research

Residents are provided with a half-day per week of protected time for research and are required to present at least one research poster at the McMaster Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences annual research day. Residents may use their research time to work on dissertation related research, or get involved in ongoing research projects at St. Joseph's either within their areas of clinical training interests or in other areas.  Applicants are asked to discuss their research interests and ideas of how they would like to spend their research time during residency in the context of the cover letter.

Questions regarding the application materials should be directed to: 

Dr. Heather McNeely
Phone: 905-522-1155 ext. 36422
Email: hmcneely@stjoes.ca 

Applicants selected for interview may be asked to provide examples of clinical writing (de-identified integrative reports).

Successful candidates will be required to produce documentation of up to date immunizations (including MMR and varicella) as well as 2-step tuberculosis skin test results upon beginning the residency and may be required to complete a standard Police Check (these documents should not be submitted with the application).

Privacy and Application Materials

In accordance with federal privacy legislation (Personal Information Protection and Electronics Documents Act) you should be aware that we are committed to only collecting the information in your application that is required to process your application. This information is secured within Psychological Services at St. Joseph's Healthcare and is shared only with those individuals involved in the evaluation of your internship application. If you are not matched with our program, your personal information is destroyed within four months of Match Day. If you are matched with our internship program, your application and CV will be kept for up to 10 years, and will be available only to those involved in your supervision and training including your rotation supervisors, the Director of Training, and relevant administrative support staff.

Interview and Selection Procedures

The Clinical Psychology Residency Program at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton follows the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) Match Policies in the selection of residents, which can be found on the APPIC web site at www.appic.org.  This residency site agrees to abide by the APPIC policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any resident applicant.

Additional Information Required After a Successful Match

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton requires matched applicants to participate in two mandatory Human Resources meetings prior to the start of the placement. Prior to September 1, 2017, an appointment will be arranged for you with the Benefits Section, Human Resources in order to discuss employment related details.  To complete the necessary documentation at this meeting, you must bring your (1) social insurance number, (2) birth certificate, (3) bank name, address, and account number (bring a void cheque if available), and (4) professional Degree and/or transcripts

An appointment will also be arranged for you with the Employee Health Office for the purpose of a pre-placement health assessment.  You will be required to provide your record of immunization or other proof of up to date immunization including the 2 step TB test. 

 

Our Program Code Numbers for the APPIC Match:

General Internship: 184611
Neuropsychology Stream: 184612
Candidates who have been selected for an interview will be notified by December 2, 2016.

Interviews will take place on the following dates:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Monday, January 16, 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017                     

Although an in-person interview is preferable, it is not required. In cases where an in-person interview is not feasible, a telephone interview will be scheduled in advance. For those applicants who are able to attend an on-site interview, there will be a group orientation session with the Director of the Residency Program and other applicants, two individual interviews with at least two members of the training faculty and an opportunity to meet informally with several (if not all) of the current residents. The total duration of the visit is expected to take half a day, either one morning or one afternoon overlapping the lunch hour. Those who participate in a telephone interview will speak by phone with the Director and at least two other faculty members, and will be provided with contact information of current residents. Details of the interview day will be distributed to individuals selected to attend.