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Previous research suggests that mentorships are quite important in the development of junior professionals in a range of fields, including psychology. Yet some evidence suggests that clinical doctoral students may be less frequently mentored by graduate faculty than other psychology doctoral students. Results of a survey of clinical and experimental psychology doctorates who earned the degree in four distinct time frames from 1945 to the present indicated that clinical PhDs (53%) were indeed less likely than experimental PhDs (69%) to be mentored. Potential explanations for this discrepancy include the nature of clinical training, diffusion in clinical training, and the advent of professional training models. The implications of less frequent mentoring for clinical doctorates are discussed, and several recommendations for addressing this phenomenon are offered.


Originally published in Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, & Practice, Vol 37(4), 2000, 325-334.