Scientist-practitioner training at the internship and postdoctoral level: Reflections over three decades

Ricardo F. Muñoz, James L. Sorensen, Patricia A. Areán, Alicia F. Lieberman, Laurie Fields, Valerie A. Gruber, Sharon M. Hall, Joel H. Kramer, Yan Leykin, Keith McBurnett, John R. McQuaid, Linda J. Pfiffner, Judith J. Prochaska, Susan D. Scheidt, Martha Shumway, Janice Y. Tsoh, Patricia van Horn, Hugo Sosa, Dale E. McNiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Clinical psychology training for research-oriented scientist-practitioners tends to have a gap in research training during the predoctoral internship year. In 1982, the Clinical Psychology Training Program (CPTP) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) began a 2-year clinical and clinical research training program combining an American Psychology Association (APA)-accredited internship and a postdoctoral fellowship. The goal of the program is to prepare graduates for leadership roles as principal investigators who are licensed clinicians able to function as independent practitioners. This article conveys the philosophy behind the program, its structure, and the results of the program over the last 31 years. The CPTP accepted 142 trainees, of whom 46 (32%) were minorities and 78 (55%) were women. CPTP fellows have published over 250 articles, chapters, and books with their mentors and have contributed to submitting research grants with them. The vast majority continued research and academic activities after graduation. The most recent self-study for APA accreditation reported that of 43 trainees admitted in the 10 years between 1999 and 2008, 41 (95%) went on to academic positions, research, or clinical positions in academic settings or research positions in other settings; 1 obtained a clinical position; and 1 provided no information. The program serves as a model for clinical psychology nationally, allowing for uninterrupted clinical research training during the internship and postdoctoral years, nurturing clinical psychologists committed to clinical research careers, and contributing substantially to the clinical research productivity of the host department.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
JournalTraining and Education in Professional Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Clinical psychology
  • Clinical research
  • Internship
  • Postdoctoral training
  • Scientist-practitioner

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychology(all)


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