Health Ministry tells students not to study clinical psychology

Ministry says field is flooded, warns of 2-year waiting list for internships, urges developmental or educational psychology studies instead

Illustrative photo of a psychologist talking to a patient (KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images)
Illustrative photo of a psychologist talking to a patient (KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images)

The Health Ministry sought to dissuade university students from enrolling for degrees in clinical psychology, describing the market as flooded and recommending developmental or educational psychology instead.

An announcement posted in Hebrew on the ministry’s website explained that to qualify as a clinical psychologist takes a minimum of 11 years, from the beginning of a bachelor’s degree until full qualification — longer than it takes to become a doctor.

The Health Ministry stated that students from Israel and abroad “who are interested in learning and qualifying in clinical psychology should know that they face a long process, while at the same time there is a need and lack in other fields of psychology.”

The reason, the ministry explained, is that there are far more applicants than positions, and very few internships available. However, due to a shortage of clinical psychologists from among the Arab, Ethiopian and ultra-Orthodox communities, students from those groups will have easier access to funding and placements, it added.

The ministry calculates that by the end of 2016, there will be about 400 students on the waiting list for internships, with a wait time of about two years. The ministry said that it is currently working to try and shorten this waiting time.

Qualification for developmental and educational psychology, meanwhile, can be completed in nine years, according to the ministry, and grants are easier to obtain while there is no waiting period for internships.

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