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Working As a Clinical Fellow

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Getting Information
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $66,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Clinical Fellow Do

Psychologists study cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by observing, interpreting, and recording how people relate to one another and their environments.

Duties

Psychologists typically do the following:

  • Conduct scientific studies of behavior and brain function
  • Collect information through observations, interviews, surveys, and other methods
  • Identify psychological, emotional, behavioral, or organizational issues and diagnose disorders, using information obtained from their research
  • Research and identify behavioral or emotional patterns
  • Test for patterns that will help them better understand and predict behavior
  • Discuss the treatment of problems with their clients
  • Write articles, research papers, and reports to share findings and educate others

Psychologists seek to understand and explain thoughts, emotions, feelings, and behavior. Psychologists use techniques such as observation, assessment, and experimentation to develop theories about the beliefs and feelings that influence a person.

Psychologists often gather information and evaluate behavior through controlled laboratory experiments, psychoanalysis, or psychotherapy. They also may administer personality, performance, aptitude, or intelligence tests. They look for patterns of behavior or relationships between events, and use this information when testing theories in their research or treating patients.

The following are examples of types of psychologists:

Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose, and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Clinical psychologists help people deal with problems ranging from short-term personal issues to severe, chronic conditions.

Clinical psychologists are trained to use a variety of approaches to help individuals. Although strategies generally differ by specialty, clinical psychologists often interview patients, give diagnostic tests, and provide individual, family, or group psychotherapy. They also design behavior modification programs and help patients implement their particular program.

Some clinical psychologists focus on certain populations, such as children or the elderly, or certain specialties, such as the following:

  • Health psychologists study how psychological and behavioral factors interact with health and illness. They educate both patients and medical staff on psychological issues and promote healthy-living strategies. They also investigate and develop programs to address common health-related behaviors, such as smoking, poor diet, and sedentary behavior.
  • Neuropsychologists study the effects of brain injuries, brain disease, developmental disorders, or mental health conditions on behavior and thinking. They test patients affected by known or suspected brain conditions to determine impacts on thinking and to direct patients’ treatment.

Clinical psychologists often consult with other health professionals regarding the best treatment for patients, especially treatment that includes medication. Currently, Illinois, Louisiana, and New Mexico allow clinical psychologists to prescribe medication to patients. Most states, however, do not allow psychologists to prescribe medication for treatment.

Counseling psychologists help patients deal with and understand problems, including issues at home, at the workplace, or in their community. Through counseling, they work with patients to identify their strengths or resources they can use to manage problems. For information on other counseling occupations, see the profiles on mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists, substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, and social workers.

Developmental psychologists study the psychological progress and development that take place throughout life. Many developmental psychologists focus on children and adolescents, but they also may study aging and problems facing older adults.

Forensic psychologists use psychological principles in the legal and criminal justice system to help judges, attorneys, and other legal specialists understand the psychological aspects of a particular case. They often testify in court as expert witnesses. They typically specialize in family, civil, or criminal case work.

Industrial-organizational psychologists apply psychology to the workplace by using psychological principles and research methods to solve problems and improve the quality of work life. They study issues such as workplace productivity, management or employee working styles, and employee morale. They also work with management on matters such as policy planning, employee screening or training, and organizational development.

School psychologists apply psychological principles and techniques to education and developmental disorders. They may address student learning and behavioral problems; design and implement performance plans, and evaluate performances; and counsel students and families. They also may consult with other school-based professionals to suggest improvements to teaching, learning, and administrative strategies.

Social psychologists study how people’s mindsets and behavior are shaped by social interactions. They examine both individual and group interactions and may investigate ways to improve interactions.

Some psychologists become postsecondary teachers or high school teachers.

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How To Become A Clinical Fellow

Although psychologists typically need a doctoral degree in psychology, a master’s degree is sufficient for some positions. Psychologists in independent practice also need a license.

Education

Most clinical, counseling, and research psychologists need a doctoral degree. Students can complete a Ph.D. in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree. A Ph.D. in psychology is a research degree that is obtained after taking a comprehensive exam and writing a dissertation based on original research. Ph.D programs typically include courses on statistics and experimental procedures. The Psy.D. is a clinical degree and is often based on practical work and examinations rather than a dissertation. In clinical, counseling, school, or health service settings, students usually complete a 1-year internship as part of the doctoral program.

School psychologists need an advanced degree and certification or licensure to work. The advanced degree is most commonly the education specialist degree (Ed.S.), which typically requires a minimum of 60 graduate semester credit hours and a 1,200-hour supervised internship. Some school psychologists may have a doctoral degree in school psychology or a master’s degree. School psychologists’ programs include coursework in both education and psychology because their work addresses education and mental health components of students’ development.

Graduates with a master’s degree in psychology can work as industrial-organizational psychologists. When working under the supervision of a doctoral psychologist, master’s graduates can also work as psychological assistants in clinical, counseling, or research settings. Master’s degree programs typically include courses in industrial-organizational psychology, statistics, and research design.

Most master’s degree programs do not require an undergraduate major in psychology, but do require coursework in introductory psychology, experimental psychology, and statistics. Some doctoral degree programs require applicants to have a master’s degree in psychology; others will accept applicants with a bachelor’s degree and a major in psychology. 

Most graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology find work in other fields such as business administration, sales, or education.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

In most states, practicing psychology or using the title of “psychologist” requires licensure. In all states and the District of Columbia, psychologists who practice independently must be licensed where they work.

Licensing laws vary by state and type of position. Most clinical and counseling psychologists need a doctorate in psychology, an internship, at least 1 to 2 years of supervised professional experience, and to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. Information on specific state requirements can be obtained from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. In many states, licensed psychologists must complete continuing education courses to keep their licenses.

The American Board of Professional Psychology awards specialty certification in 15 areas of psychology, such as clinical health, couple and family, or rehabilitation. The American Board of Professional Neuropsychology offers certification in neuropsychology. Board certification can demonstrate professional expertise in a specialty area. Certification is not required for most psychologists, but some hospitals and clinics do require certification. In those cases, candidates must have a doctoral degree in psychology, state license or certification, and any additional criteria of the specialty field.

Training

Prospective practicing psychologists must have pre- or post-doctoral supervised experience, including an internship. Internships allow students to gain experience in an applied setting. Candidates must complete an internship before they can qualify for state licensure. The required number of hours of the internship varies by state.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Psychologists must be able to examine the information they collect and draw logical conclusions from them.

Communication skills. Psychologists must have strong communication skills because they spend much of their time listening to and speaking with patients. 

Observational skills. Psychologists study attitude and behavior. They must be able to watch people and understand the possible meanings of facial expressions, body positions, actions, and interactions.

Patience. Psychologists must be able to demonstrate patience, because conducting research or treating patients may take a long time.

People skills. Psychologists study and help people. They must be able to work well with clients, patients, and other professionals.

Problem-solving skills. Psychologists need problem-solving skills to design research, evaluate programs, and find treatments or solutions for mental and behavioral problems.

Trustworthiness. Psychologists must keep patients’ problems in confidence, and patients must be able to trust psychologists’ expertise in treating sensitive problems.

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Clinical Fellow Career Paths

Clinical Fellow
Speech Language Pathologist Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Speech Language Pathologist Clinical Supervisor Nursing Director
Interim Director
10 Yearsyrs
Speech Language Pathologist Clinical Supervisor Director
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Research Fellow Consultant Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Research Fellow Adjunct Professor Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Research Fellow Project Manager Program Director
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Fellow Consultant Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Fellow Adjunct Faculty Registered Nurse Supervisor
Director Of Health Services
10 Yearsyrs
Fellow Team Leader Program Director
Director Of Residential Services
7 Yearsyrs
Graduate Student Clinician Clinician Clinical Manager
Director Of Clinical Operations
12 Yearsyrs
Graduate Student Clinician Clinician
Clinical Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Graduate Student Clinician Clinician Nurse Manager
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Project Manager Program Director
Department Director
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Program Manager Clinical Director
Outpatient Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Professor Nurse Practitioner Nurse Manager
Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services
11 Yearsyrs
Residency In Internal Medicine Physician Registered Nurse Case Manager
Health Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Residency In Internal Medicine Clinical Instructor Clinical Pharmacist
Clinical Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Instructor Senior Instructor Division Chief
Chief Of Service
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Clinical Fellow?

Average Yearly Salary
$66,000
Show Salaries
$53,000
Min 10%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Novartis
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Nevada
Avg Experience Level
1.4 years
How much does a Clinical Fellow make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Clinical Fellow in the United States is $66,822 per year or $32 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $53,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $82,000.

Real Clinical Fellow Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Clinical Fellow (Moonlighter) Massachusetts General Physician's Organization Boston, MA Jun 18, 2016 $313,050
Clinical Fellow The Univ. of Ala. at Birmingham (UAB) Birmingham, AL Jul 01, 2015 $242,614
Clinical Fellow (Moonlighter) Massachusetts General Physician's Organization Boston, MA Jan 07, 2016 $187,830 -
$229,570
Manager, Fellow Clinical Pharmacology Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation East Hanover, NJ Nov 21, 2016 $149,350
Clinical Fellow/Instructor Washington University In St. Louis Saint Louis, MO Jan 07, 2016 $120,000
Clinical Fellow National Institutes of Health, HHS Bethesda, MD Jul 01, 2015 $113,490
Clinical Fellow University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC Jan 08, 2016 $104,083
Clinical Fellow University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC Mar 08, 2016 $104,083
Clinical Fellow/Instructor Washington University In St. Louis Saint Louis, MO Jul 01, 2015 $100,800
Clinical Fellow Moonlighter Greater Boston Urology, Brockton Division Brockton, MA Apr 01, 2015 $100,176
Clinical Fellow Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA Jan 07, 2016 $77,136
Clinical Fellow National Institutes of Health, HHS Bethesda, MD Jun 28, 2015 $76,646 -
$96,646
Clinical Fellow National Institutes of Health, HHS Bethesda, MD Jul 01, 2015 $76,646 -
$101,646
Clinical Fellow Stanford Hospital and Clinics Stanford, CA Jan 07, 2016 $76,606
Clinical Fellow Mount Sinai Medical Center New York, NY Jul 01, 2015 $76,165
Clinical Fellow Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Inc. Boston, MA Jan 07, 2016 $76,093
House Staff/Pgy-7 Clinical Fellow New York University Hospitals Center New York, NY Jul 01, 2015 $75,958
Clinical Fellow Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center West Islip, NY Jun 30, 2016 $68,975
Neonatal Clinical Fellow Tufts Medical Center Boston, MA Jul 31, 2015 $68,740
House Staff Pgy-4 Clinical Fellow New York University Hospitals Center New York, NY Jul 01, 2015 $68,685
House Staff/Pgy-4 Clinical Fellow New York University School of Medicine New York, NY Jul 01, 2015 $68,684
House Staff/Pgy-4 Clinical Fellow New York University Hospitals Center New York, NY Jul 01, 2015 $68,684

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Top Skills for A Clinical Fellow

  1. Language Disorders
  2. Clinical Trials
  3. Treatment Plans
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assessed, diagnosed, and treated speech language disorders in children in the home and on an out patient basis.
  • Provide palliative care to critically ill children, participate in clinical trials for new therapies for childhood cancers.
  • Collaborated with occupational therapists to develop functional treatment plans, including sensory integration programs.
  • Completed paperwork/reporting functions independently, as well as participated in IEP development and meetings.
  • Facilitated individual, family, and group therapy sessions using solution-focused therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy.

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Top 10 Best States for Clinical Fellows

  1. California
  2. North Dakota
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Nevada
  5. Alaska
  6. Connecticut
  7. Utah
  8. Wyoming
  9. Delaware
  10. New York
  • (840 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)
  • (27 jobs)
  • (38 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (8 jobs)
  • (143 jobs)

Clinical Fellow Demographics

Gender

Female

59.2%

Male

24.2%

Unknown

16.6%
Ethnicity

White

54.1%

Asian

16.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.5%

Black or African American

10.7%

Unknown

5.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.1%

French

9.5%

Chinese

9.5%

German

7.1%

Russian

6.0%

Mandarin

4.8%

Cantonese

4.8%

Korean

2.4%

Italian

2.4%

Portuguese

2.4%

Arabic

2.4%

Swedish

1.2%

Swahili

1.2%

Turkish

1.2%

Hindi

1.2%

Dutch

1.2%

Vietnamese

1.2%

Thai

1.2%

Carrier

1.2%

Hebrew

1.2%
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Clinical Fellow Education

Schools

Adelphi University

10.8%

New York University

9.7%

University of Florida

7.5%

University of Pittsburgh -

7.5%

Saint John's University - New York

5.4%

Columbia University

4.8%

George Washington University

4.8%

Syracuse University

4.3%

Indiana University Bloomington

4.3%

University of Chicago

4.3%

American University

4.3%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

4.3%

Wayne State University

3.8%

University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

3.8%

Teachers College of Columbia University

3.8%

Ball State University

3.8%

University of Alabama

3.2%

James Madison University

3.2%

University of South Florida

3.2%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

3.2%
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Majors

Speech-Language Pathology

29.5%

Communication Disorders Sciences

15.3%

Medicine

10.3%

Clinical Psychology

8.6%

Law

7.5%

Physiology And Anatomy

5.0%

Social Work

2.7%

Nursing

2.6%

Public Health

2.4%

Counseling Psychology

2.2%

Psychology

1.9%

Special Education

1.8%

Mental Health Counseling

1.5%

Pharmacy

1.5%

Biology

1.3%

Genetics

1.3%

Business

1.2%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

1.2%

Speech Communication And Rhetoric

1.0%

Chemistry

1.0%
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Degrees

Masters

50.4%

Doctorate

27.9%

Other

13.4%

Bachelors

5.4%

Certificate

2.3%

Associate

0.2%

License

0.1%

Diploma

0.1%
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Clinical Fellow Videos

My MRC Senior Clinical Fellowship: Dr Richard Coward

FMLM Clinical Fellow Scheme 2014-15

Muj Husain, Clinical Fellow, General Medical Council

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Updated May 19, 2020