Early Career Boot Camp: A Novel Mechanism for Enhancing Early Career Development for Psychologists in Academic Healthcare

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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to describe a pilot mentoring program for Early Career Psychologists (ECPs) working in Academic Health Centers (AHCs) and synthesize the lessons learned to contribute to future ECP and AHC career development training programs. The authors describe an early career development model, named the Early Career Boot Camp. This intensive experience was conducted as a workshop meant to build a supportive network and to provide mentorship and survival tools for working in AHCs. Four major components were addressed: professional effectiveness, clinical supervision, strategic career planning, and academic research. Nineteen attendees who were currently less than 5 years post completion of doctoral graduate programs in psychology participated in the program. The majority of boot camp components were rated as good to excellent, with no component receiving below average ratings. Of the components offered within the boot camp, mentoring and research activities were rated the strongest, followed by educational activities, challenges in AHCS, and promotion and tenure. The article describes the purpose, development, implementation, and assessment of the program in detail in an effort to provide an established outline for future organizations to utilize when mentoring ECPs.

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