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The Chicago Campus’ Clinical Psy.D. program’s unique research clerkship course proves to be strikingly successful

The Clinical Psy.D. Program on the Chicago Campus has been home to a unique program since 2007. Research Clerkship has proven to be so advantageous to students, that it has been expanded to include every student enrolled in the Clinical Psy.D. Program instead of just those in the child and adolescent major area of study group as originally intended.

“We envisioned Research Clerkship as a mentorship process that would provide students with support in developing research skills and acumen,” said Tom Barrett, Ph.D., department chair. “During the 2007 cohort’s fourth year in the program, however, all of the child and adolescent track students successfully matched for internship and nearly 70% of them obtained APA accredited slots. Noticing their success, we decided to make Research Clerkship available to all of the students in the program.”

The strategic move proved to be a smart one. When the 2011 cohort sought internships this past winter, 91 of the total class of 92 were successfully matched for internships and 65% matched with highly sought-after APA positions. “We had one of our most successful years yet,” said Dr. Barrett.

Research Clerkship begins for incoming students almost before they step foot on the campus. During the summer, prior to their arrivals, students receive packets of information describing the clerkships being offered by faculty members. Hitting the ground running the first week that they’re on campus, they attend the department’s clerkship fair where they are matched with a faculty mentor with whom they will work to conduct research or scholarship projects.

“Research Clerkship is a two-semester-long, first year course. However, most second year students and many third and fourth year students remain involved as unpaid ‘research assistants,’” commented Dr. Barrett. “We don’t know of any other program that offers the course.”

In addition to publishing articles from research conducted, by the time they graduate, many students have presented posters or workshop presentations at conferences — locally, nationally and internationally.


About Dr. Barrett

Dr. Thomas BarrettFrom 1990 – 2010, Dr. Barrett served as Executive and Clinical Director of the Hanna Perkins Center for Child Development and during that time was a member of the Center’s child psychoanalytic training Faculty. or more nearly 35 years he has maintained a private practice as a psychologist and child/adolescent psychoanalyst. Dr. Barrett holds degrees in Child Development and Clinical Psychology from Michigan State University and undertook post-graduate training in Infant Mental Health with Prof. Selma Fraiberg at the Child Development Project of the University of Michigan.