Small but mighty.
That’s an accurate way to describe Dalhousie’s clinical psychology program. It’s among the smallest of its kind in the country, but the program is home to some of Canada’s top researchers, according to a recent study.
The study, titled “Assessing the Publication Productivity of Clinical Psychology Professors in Canadian Psychological Association-Accredited Canadian Psychology
Departments” assesses Canadian clinical psychology profs according to their number of publications and their number of citations in other publications. It then lists the top 11 male and 11 female professors in Canada.
Dalhousie outperformed many universities, tying for the title of school with the largest number of high-performing professors. Three Dal profs rank among the top 11 in the men’s and women’s categories: Dr. Patrick McGrath in the men’s group and Dr. Sherry Stewart and Dr. Christine Chambers in the women’s.
“This article shows the outstanding calibre of our clinical psychologists and program,” says Dean of Science Chris Moore. “Three of our profs are among the top 22 out of 255 in Canada. That’s a phenomenal achievement.”
A supportive community at Dal
As the founder of the program, Dr. McGrath has a deep knowledge of clinical psychology at Dal and credits the spirit of teamwork for helping him achieve success.
“At Dal, you don’t compete with each other; you compete with the rest of the world,” he says.
Dr. Chambers agrees. She also acknowledges the support she received during her maternity leaves as contributing to her productivity.
“I’ve had three maternity leaves in the last six years and I’ve received excellent support during that time from my granting agencies, staff, faculty and Dal,” she says. “Having that support makes me more productive.”
The encouraging atmosphere coupled with a strong dedication to research are what makes Dal a great place to work says Dr. Stewart. “Dalhousie’s clinical psychology program is integrated within a psychology and neuroscience department that is steeped in a research tradition. The program also works closely with the local clinical community in training students clinically, rather than housing a stand-alone clinic for training. This means that Dal profs have more time for research and that research is highly valued.”
A team effort
When asked their secret to success, Dr. Chambers, Dr. Stewart and Dr. McGrath had the same answer: an excellent team of students.
“The single best thing you can do as a professor is recruit excellent trainees and prioritize time for mentorship,” says Dr. Chambers. “Believing in the power of your students has a huge payoff.”
Dr. Stewart adds, “Study things you’re really passionate about with wonderful, productive students.”
“Work with a team of students and staff that are twice as smart as you are," advises Dr. McGrath. "That’s what I’ve done.”
For more information about Dalhousie’s psychology programs, visit psychology.dal.ca/Programs/.
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