APPIC internship match survey results for Division 54 student members

Internship match survey results indicate that Division 54 student members fare well in the match process overall

By David Janicke and Christina L. Duncan, PhD

Participants were recruited via announcements sent to the Division 53 and 54 email lists, directors of child and/or pediatric psychology internship programs, and directors of graduate clinical training programs with child or pediatric psychology areas of concentration. In an effort to promote better outcomes for Division 54 students in the future, the SPP Executive Committee was interested in creating and administering a survey to gather information about the match and application process of our student members. The following brief article summarizes data from this survey. A more extensive analysis and presentation of all the data from this survey will be submitted for publication in the coming months.


Participants were recruited via email announcements sent to the Division 53 and 54 listservs, directors of child and/or pediatric psychology internship programs, and directors of graduate clinical training programs with child or pediatric psychology areas of concentration. The email explained the study and eligibility criteria and provided a link to an informed consent and the survey, which was administered using Google software. Data was collected from March 27 to May 16, 2012.

To be eligible to complete the survey, individuals must have: 1) participated in the APPIC internship match program during either of the last two yearly cycles (2010-11 or 2011-12), and 2) been a past or current student member of Division 53 and/or 54. Data reported here are for Division 54 student members only. The study was approved by the University of Florida’s governing Institutional Review Board.

Study authors designed the 47-item survey with input from several Division 54 executive committee members and was piloted with graduate students for clarity and utility before implementation. The survey’s general content areas assessed included match results, graduate program characteristics, general-training experiences and clinical hours, pediatricpsychology specific training experiences, and research productivity.

Results & Discussion

A total of 98 Division 54 student members completed this survey. As of May 30, 2012 there were 433 student members of Division 54 (this includes undergraduate and graduate students, interns, and postdoctoral fellows); consequently, our response rate likely represents a sizable portion of those students who were eligible to apply for internship.

Of these 98 students, 57 participated in the 2010-11 match, 39 participated in the 2011-12 match, and two students participated both years in the match. A total of 91 out of the 98 students (92.9 percent) were placed with an internship site during their first year participating in the APPIC match program. For the purposes of brevity, we will use the term “matched” to refer to this group for the rest of this article.

Of the 91 applicants that matched, 87 indicated that they matched with a site during phase one of the match process (vs. phase two or the postmatch vacancy process). Division 54 student members’ match rate is much higher than recent national statistics (i.e., 77.5 percent of applicants who submitted rankings were placed with an internship site, accredited or non-accredited, during phase one or phase two of this past cycle). However, it is important to note that given the voluntary nature of this survey, these data are subject to response bias. It may be that a greater percentage of students who did not match with an internship chose not to complete this survey. Thus, we cannot be certain if our match rate reflects the actual match rate of all Division 54 student members who participated in the APPIC internship match program over the past two years.

A total of seven (7.2 percent) did not match during their first year participating in the match program. Of these seven, two did not match during the 2010-11 cycle, but then matched during the 2011-12 cycle. Five of the seven applicants first applied in the 2011-12. Of these five, two indicated that they planned to apply again during the 2012-13 cycle, while the other three indicated that they did not plan to participate. These three reported that they were from School Psychology doctoral programs.

Demographic and program characteristic information for the 98 applicants is displayed in Table one, broken down by APPIC match outcomes during their first year of participation (the two applicants that applied in both cycles were included in the “did not match” category based on their match outcome the first time they applied). While it would be inappropriate to draw any definitive conclusions from this small sample, the data show that Division 54 students from Clinical PhD programs did quite well, as 69 of 71 (97.2 percent) matched; 12 of 14 (85 percent) from Clinical PsyD programs matched; while six of nine (66.6 percent) from a School Psychology program matched.


Table One: Applicant Demographic & Graduate Program Characteristics

    Match Did Not Match
N   91 7
Gender Male 14 (15.4%) 3 (42.9%)
Female 77 (84.6%) 4 (57.1%)
Race Non-Hispanic 78 (85.7%) 6 (85.7%)
White 2 (2.2%)  
Hispanic 4 (4.4%) 0
Non-Hispanic 3 (3.3%) 0
Asian-American 3 (3.3%) 1 (14.3%)
Other 4 (4.4%) 0
Field of Study & Degree Clinical – PhD 69 (75.8%) 2 (28.6%)
Clinical – PsyD 12 (13.2%) 2 (28.6%)
School – PhD 6 (6.6%) 3 (42.9%)
Counseling – PhD 3 (3.3%) 0
Combined – PhD 1 (1.1%) 0
Accredited Graduate Program? Yes 91 (100%) 5 (71.4%)
No 0 2 (28.6%)


Table two displays the application information, as well as the pediatric psychology experience and research productivity data, broken down by match outcome. The two applicants who applied in both cycles are not included, as the application and pediatric experience information they provided in the survey was from their second application cycle. A number of interesting points are worth highlighting:

  • The modal range of internship sites to which applicants applied was 11 to 15 sites (60.4 percent).
  • The number of interviews applicants completed was normally distributed, with the modal number of interviews falling into the seven to nine range (30.8 percent).
  • Over 65 percent of applicants reported that they matched with one of their top two ranked choices.
  • 72 percent of those who matched reported no training experience in a pediatric primary care setting.
  • Almost 60 percent of applicants reported that they matched with an internship site for which they expected at least 50 percent of their training experience would focus on pediatric psychology.


Table Two: Participant Application Information

    Match Did Not Match
N   91 5
Applicant Ranking of Internship Site with which they Matched 1 37 (40.7%) N/A
2 24 (26.4%)  
3 9 (9.9%)  
4 or lower 18 (19.8%)  
No Response 3 (3.3%)  
Number of Site Applications <5 Sites 1 (1.1%) 0
6–10 Sites 10 (11%) 0
11–15 Sites 55 (60.4%) 2 (40%)
16 or More Sites 25 (27.5%) 3 (60%)
Number of Interviews <3 Interviews 4 (4.4%)

5 (100%)

4–6 Interviews 21 (23.1%) 0
7–9 Interviews 28 (30.8%) 0
10–12 Interviews 23 (25.3%) 0
>13 Interviews 15 (16.5%) 0
Amount of Pediatric Inpatient Experience None 28 (30.8%) 5 (100%)
1 Semester 8 (8.8%) 0
2–3 Semesters 11 (12.1%) 0
4–6 Semesters 16 (17.6%) 0
2+ Years 28 (30.8%) 0
Amount of Pediatric Inpatient Experience None 28 (30.8%) 5 (100%)
1 Semester 8 (8.8%) 0
2–3 Semesters 11 (12.1%) 0
4–6 Semesters 16 (17.6%) 0
2+ Years 28 (30.8%) 0
Amount of Pediatric Outpatient Specialty Experience None 19 (20.9%) 2 (40%)
1 Semester 11 (12.1%) 1 (20%)
2–3 Semesters 15 (16.5%) 2 (40%)
4–6 Semesters 15 (16.5%) 0
2+ Years 31 (34.1%) 0
Amount of Pediatric Primary Care Experience None 66 (72.5%) 4 (80%)
1 Semester 6 (6.6%) 1 (20%)
2–3 Semesters 7 (7.7%) 0
4–6 Semesters 7 (7.7%) 0
2+ Years 5 (5.5%) 0
Number of First-authored Manuscripts None 45 (49.5%) 3 (60%)
1 Manuscript 19 (20.9%) 2 (40%)
2–3 Manuscripts 18 (19.8%) 0
4–5 Manuscripts 5 (5.5%) 0
6+ Manuscripts 4 (4.4%) 0
Number of Published Manuscripts None 25 (27.5%) 2 (40%)
1 Manuscript 15 (16.5%) 2 (40%)
2–3 Manuscripts 15 (16.5%) 0
4–5 Manuscripts 19 (20.9%) 1 (20%)
6+ Manuscripts 17 (18.7%) 0
% of Expected Internship Site Training Focusing on Pediatric Psychology 0% to 25% 16 (17.6%) N/A
25% to 50% 20 (22.0%)
50% to75% 14 (15.4%)
>75% 40 (44.0%)
No Response 1 (1.1%)
Total Intervention Hours   Mean = 739 Mean = 405
Median = 602 Median = 350
Range: 250-2500 Range: 150-769
Total Assessment Hours   Mean = 328 Mean = 249
Median = 242 Median = 250
Range: 10-1500 Range: 164-331
Total Supervision Hours   Mean = 471 Mean = 242
Median = 406 Median = 234
Range: 150-1222 Range: 200-300


Roughly 50 percent of applicants who matched reported having at least one first-authored, peer-reviewed publication, while almost 40 percent reported being an author on four or more peer-reviewed publications.

  • For those applicants who matched, the range of intervention hours reported was broad (250 to 2,500 hours). Similar broad ranges were reported for total assessment and supervision hours. We did not conduct statistical analyses to examine group differences. However, examination of these data provides some notable contrasts between groups:
  • All five applicants who did not match each participated in three or less internship interviews despite applying to at least 11 internship sites. Only 4.4 percent of those who did match participated in three or less interviews.
  • There were dramatic differences in the distribution of responses pertaining to the amount of pediatric inpatient and outpatient specialty clinic experiences. All five applicants who did not match reported that they had no pediatric inpatient experience and at most, one year of pediatric outpatient specialty clinic experience. In comparison, of those who matched, almost 50 percent had more than one year of inpatient experience. Moreover, 50 percent had more than one year of pediatric outpatient specialty clinic experience.
  • Finally, there appeared to be substantial differences in the mean number of reported intervention hours, assessment hours, and supervision hours between those who matched and did not match to internship.

Summary and Implications

Based on our survey results, it appears that Division 54 student members are faring well in the internship match process overall, despite the competitive nature of the situation. Our data also suggest some key components that may help increase competitiveness. Specifically, applicants have better match outcomes when they come from accredited graduate training programs (particularly clinical), interview at more than three internship sites, have some inpatient pediatric experience, and have more than one year of outpatient pediatric specialty experience. Students should acquire at least 850 clinical hours combined across assessment and intervention experiences to be at the median level. Research productivity may be one factor that can help increase the odds of matching, and should be emphasized as one way that an applicant can excel. To continue to support our student members in the internship match process, it will be important for Division 54 to continue to gather, analyze, and disseminate information regarding the internship match process and outcomes, with the goal of enhancing their overall success.

A special thank you to Sharon Berry, Christopher Cushing, and Ric Steele for their helpful comments during the development of this survey and brief article.