After six months of searching out dream opportunities, honing application essays, and prepping for interviews—not to mention another two months of waiting—clinical psychology doctoral students nationwide found out on February 21 where they would complete their clinical internships.

“Match Day” brought rewarding news to Suffolk. The University’s match rate exceeded the national average for American Psychological Association-approved programs, which are the most selective in the country. Our doctoral students were matched with prestigious sites nationwide—the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, the Boston Consortium in Clinical Psychology, and the University of Michigan Human Adjustment Center, among others.

Set Up for Success

This success is not surprising given the growing prestige of Suffolk’s doctoral program in clinical psychology. The program received 257 applications for the fall 2013 cohort of 10 students, and typically admits fewer than 5 percent of applicants.

Suffolk’s program is distinguished by a scientist-practitioner model. “Our research component is front and center,” says Gary Fireman, professor and chair of the Psychology Department. “Our PhD students are trained to be active researchers, clinical practitioners, and teachers. They are publishing peer-reviewed journal articles and presenting papers at conferences, and our faculty is recognized for closely mentoring and working collaboratively with students in their scientific research.”

Thriving in the Healthcare Community

The year-long internship is the culmination of a doctoral candidate’s clinical training. Before interning, students must first complete three years of Suffolk’s intensive coursework, as well as many hours of supervised work in clinical practicum settings. Suffolk has strong practicum affiliations with institutions such as Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard University’s McLean Hospital. “They love our students,” Fireman says. “Suffolk students do consistently outstanding work in their practica.”

“Our program and our graduates are deeply integrated into the healthcare community,” adds David Gansler, associate professor and director of clinical training. Suffolk’s doctoral alumni work as post-docs, clinicians, researchers, and academics in such arenas as Children’s Hospital Boston, New York University Medical Center, and Judge Baker Children’s Center of Harvard University.

Helping the Underserved

Eva Woodward, an aspiring mental health therapist and researcher, is poised to become one such success story. After authoring five peer-reviewed papers during her time at Suffolk, she matched into the behavioral medicine track at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

When Woodward was choosing where to pursue her doctoral studies, the emphasis on social justice at Suffolk appealed to her. “The faculty are incredibly skillful clinicians and researchers who are also diverse in their ways of thinking about how to alleviate human suffering,” she said. “No matter where I have worked—veterans’ hospitals, research labs, community centers—the core competencies in social justice taught in this program have been and will always be relevant.”

This longstanding reputation for helping underserved populations, as well as a focus on cutting-edge research and preparing students to pass demanding licensure exams, has led to the program’s success.