Today I completed my first job shadow of a school psychologist and it was quite satisfying! Although I was somewhat stupid and entered the program without having a very solid understanding of just what a school psychologist entitles, I can confirm that this morning was every bit what I wanted it to be. My assigned psychologist was kind enough to drive my poor U-pass ladened bum around the city (really need to work on getting that car for next year’s practicum) and we did some follow ups of previous patients through observations. It was rather exciting working with the school principals, teachers and special need assistants compiling evidence to make a diagnosis. I quite enjoyed just how much work goes into understanding psychological problems. Absolutely fascinating. I’m honestly a little at loss for words here because I plain out had a ton of fun (oh rhyme!).
I am quite excited about tomorrow’s discussion on licensing psychologists for prescriptive duties. It turns out that in the United States, there are programs as long as two years!) to train psychologists with the proper background (and some are offered in night classes to allow you to practice simultaneously). I believe there are two states which currently allow this practice (not sure about Canada). I am certainly not as interested in the intricacies of drugs as I am with behavior (especially after being reminded by somebody’s first year organic chemistry notes on the bus this morning), but seeing how intricately related the pediatricians/pharmacists and psychologists are, it certainly looks useful, if not necessary.
I am somewhat aghast at new policies potentially limiting the usage of school psychologists which maybe in place next year. They are thinking of limiting diagnoses due to limited funding. This could spell a tighter job market for school psychology, and perhaps a larger push towards clinical psychology in my future. Although another world altogether, after speaking with my mentor, it really does seem like a fascinating career choice. I mean it might not be Rorschach flaming some poor bastard, but otherwise I am truly content.