Problem Consultation

Problem Consultation

APPIC Problem Consultation

PLEASE NOTE: Questions about APPIC Services (e.g., Match, AAPI Online, MyPsychTrack)
should be directed to the appropriate individual listed on the "Contact" page
 

APPIC has established both an Informal Problem Consultation process and a Formal Complaint process in order to address issues and concerns that may arise during the internship or postdoctoral selection process or training year. Applicants, current and recently-graduated interns and postdoctoral residents, Directors of Clinical Training (DCTs), internship and postdoctoral Training Directors, and training program faculty/staff are welcome to utilize these services. APPIC requires that programs and/or trainees (interns and postdocs) must notify the APPIC Chair before final action (termination/withdrawal) is taken. APPIC acknowedges there is a formal match agreement and wants assurance that all policies including due process have been completed. Contact information for the Chair of APPIC can be found on the APPIC "CONTACT US" page.

APPIC policies state that concerns MUST first be brought to the Informal Problem Consultation process before a formal complaint is filed.

Informal Problem Consultation

The goal of the Informal Problem Consultation (IPC) process is to provide guidance, consultation, and assistance in resolving the broad array of problems and challenges that may be encountered by concerned parties in the internship or postdoctoral context. The IPC process is confidential. In some instances, the IPC representative from APPIC interacts only with the individual seeking assistance; in other cases, when the individual grants permission, the IPC representative may talk with multiple parties in order to seek information or negotiate a resolution. Students and trainers have found this process to be an effective and efficient mechanism for handling the majority of problems and conflicts that arise regarding various aspects of internship and postdoctoral training. 

Here are some examples of situations in which an individual (or group of individuals) may make use of the IPC process:

  1. An internship applicant or internship training director experiences what he/she perceives to be a violation of APPIC Match Policies.

  2. An internship or postdoctoral training director has concerns about a student's competence or unethical/unprofessional behavior and wants to consult about possible options or solutions.

  3. A current intern or postdoctoral resident believes that his/her internship or postdoctoral program is not in compliance with APPIC membership policies.

  4. A current intern or postdoctoral resident is concerned about his/her training experience and wants to consult about options or solutions.

  5. A Director of Clinical Training is concerned about a student's internship experience and wants to consult about options or solutions.

  6. An applicant or trainee feels that he/she has been treated in an inappropriate, disrespectful, or discriminatory manner.

  7. An intern or postdoctoral resident and/or an internship or postdoctoral Training Director would like guidance in handling issues related to medical concerns, pregnancy, child/elder care, family hardships, disability, etc.

  8. An individual is unsure if a policy violation has occurred, or is unsure if his/her situation warrants a formal complaint or is best addressed by the Informal Problem Consultation process.

Results of the APPIC Match constitute binding agreements between applicants, internship programs, and APPIC. The Match Agreement may not be reversed without APPIC's consent. In situations where an individual or program wishes to terminate or withdraw from this agreement (e.g., student not attending or leaving an internship, internship program terminating an intern, doctoral program removing a student from the Match commitment), APPIC must first be contacted before final action is taken. Please complete the IPC form or contact the APPIC Match Coordinator through appic@appic.org.

To initiate the IPC process: Complete the online IPC Request Form and it will be sent to the APPIC Executive Director, Dr. Jeff Baker . You should receive a response within two business days.  Those in the VA, federal prisons or hospitals with restricted access to OnLine Forms may have to complete this form at home or on their cell phone. The form does not require any identifying information of a trainee thus no PHI is transmitted with this form.

Formal Complaint Process

Sometimes, after completing the APPIC Informal Problem Consultation process, a serious problem cannot be adequately resolved and there may be concerns that an individual or a training program is not following APPIC Policies and procedures.  For these situations, a formal complaint may be filed with the APPIC Standards and Review Committee (ASARC).  ASARC does NOT reverse decisions of training programs though that may occur, ASARC puts the focus on program policies and procedures to insure they meet and follow APPIC membership criteria.  Programs may be removed from membership if they are unable to make those changes or do not provide evidence that they have made changes to insure they follow APPIC membership criteria.

The purpose of ASARC is: (a) to investigate alleged violations of APPIC policies and procedures, (b) to recommend an appropriate response to the APPIC Board of Directors upon determining that a policy violation has occurred, and (c) to serve in a consultative or educative role when queries are made regarding APPIC policies and procedures. In response to a complaint filed with ASARC, the APPIC Board may decide to impose sanctions on individuals or training programs that violate APPIC policies or appear to need to have immediate action taken (e.g. remove from the APPIC Match). APPIC expects these actions will increase quality, keep trainees (or patients) safe and that this action will provide an opportunity for quality improvement and insure competency of trainees.  Programs that are non responsive will be deemed withdrawn from APPIC if they do not respond to complaints within the time lines provided.

While the ASARC process may not resolve an individual's or training program's immediate concerns, this process helps ensure the APPIC policy and procedures are consistently enforced regarding future trainees either by policy revision or corrective action.

For more information on the formal complaint procedures, please see the ASARC Procedures for Handling Grievances and Violations of APPIC Policies. Please note that there are time limitations on the filing of formal complaints; see the full ASARC Policy for specifics. In addition, APPIC policies state that concerns MUST first be brought to the Informal Problem Consultation process before a formal complaint is filed.  Any formal or informal complaint that involves a legal action (hired/obtained or is represented by an attorney) APPIC ASARC will not be involved in the mediation until legal issues are resolved (election of remedies) where legal action would supercede any intervention by APPIC.

Questions about the formal complaint process may be directed to Dr. Ellen Teng, Chair of APPIC's Standards and Review Committee, eteng@bcm.edu.

If you have COMPLETED an Informal Problem Consultation (IPC) with APPIC and the issue was not resolved, the next step to consider is filing a FORMAL COMPLAINT. Complaints should be filed ONLINE:

ASARC Complaint Form

Submit any additional attachments as uploads in the form itself.

(Alternative to Online Submission)
Submit by email to APPIC:

Attention: Chair, APPIC Standards and Review Committee
APPIC
appic@appic.org

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