Presentation Title: Site Director of Training's Perspective: Conflicts of Interest in Writing Letters of Recommendation

Abstract: The Illinois Psychological Association Predoctoral Internship Consortium (IPAPIC) was founded in 2009 to join together training organizations in Illinois into a consortium for the purpose of creating new internships to serve underserved populations. A second goal of the Consortium was to add to the existing pool of internship training positions available to students in a climate of increasing competitiveness and internship imbalance. IPAPIC currently has six participating training sites. These training sites do not have the resources to be “stand-alone” internships and are linked agencies. Training and supervision responsibilities are shared, as are standards for training, procedures, and didactic learning experiences. Both urban, suburban, and rural training sites are included in the IPAPIC Consortium and provide students with a choice of broad exposure to different populations, models of service delivery, and supervisory styles. The Chicagoland area was designated in 2009 (Seawell, Krohn, Gorgens, and Cornish), as having the lowest match rate of the four United States regions studied (Northeast, West, Midwest, and South), and of the thirteen cities tracked by APPIC data in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. Chicago had 9183 applications for 365 positions or 3.975% combined site match rate over four years. One of the missions of IPAPIC is the creation of new training opportunities to impact this national supply/demand imbalance. When internship applications at IPAPIC are received, great care is taken by Consortium training staff to scrutinize these applications carefully, and students are interviewed with the same attention to detail. When a selected applicant is matched with IPAPIC we do all in our power to create an safe, clinically appropriate, and growthful environment for a trainee to develop h/her competencies for readiness to practice. In the past we have had the unfortunate occasion to call an academic Director of Training when there were problems related to competency and professionalism. We were dismayed when we were told that the problems we were encountering were problems that had been evident throughout a student’s training. We believe that this is a serious ethical issue which has impacted us in multiple ways, i.e. in terms of our own time and energy, of our great concern for the welfare of our clients, and for the growth and development of our other interns.

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