“As clinicians, all we have is our integrity.”
Medaille College doctoral program in clinical psychology (PsyD) Adjunct Professor David Teplin, PsyD, has been practicing as a clinical psychologist in Ontario for the past 25 years, most recently running and seeing patients out of his own private practice. He has also been teaching graduate psychology courses for the last 25 years, and started serving as an adjunct faculty member in the PsyD program at Medaille in 2013.
Dr. Teplin is a member of the Canadian Psychological Association, as well as a Diplomate in Chemical Dependency Counseling with the International Academy of Behavioral Medicine, Counseling & Psychotherapy. He also serves on editorial review boards for the Journal of Addictive Diseases, the Journal of Attention Disorders and the Journal of Opioid Management, and is an ad hoc peer reviewer of the American Journal on Addictions, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, the Open Journal of Medical Psychology, Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, and Substance Abuse. Additionally, he serves on the Professional Advisory Boards for Adult ADHD.
Here, Dr. Teplin discusses his private practice and how he incorporates his clinical work into the classroom, and he shares insight into Medaille’s PsyD program, as well as advice for practitioners.
What led to you starting your own private practice?
I was motivated to start my own practice because I felt I had put in enough time working for other organizations and felt the time was right for me to make the break. I am glad I did so in that sequence, because I learned a lot and gained a lot of clinical experience and exposure prior setting up my own practice. Now, I work full-time in my private practice, and my primary clinical focus is clinical assessment, clinical consultation, adult ADHD and substance use disorders, working with the adult population.
How does the knowledge and experience you have gained as a practicing clinician affect the content or methods you use to teach?
In many ways, a PsyD education is an applied one, and so, I am often able to bring into the classroom real clinical situations and scenarios as examples for the class (ethically, leaving out all identifying information). As a practicing clinician, I am also reading textbooks and journals constantly, so I am able to share those articles and texts seen by the profession as the “gold standard” with my students.
What is your favorite aspect of Medaille’s PsyD program?
There are certain benchmarks that all clinical psychology programs have to meet, in terms of approvals. However, a PsyD program like Medaille’s offers students a practitioner training model, which is very useful and practical to those who are planning professional practice in clinical psychology.
What advice do you try to impart to the PsyD students in your classes?
Some of my routine advice to students in my class include “the more you know, the less you know,” “learning is lifelong,” “as clinicians, all we have is our integrity” and “money must never trump ethics.”
Coming from a psychology-based background and having a lot on your plate with running your private practice and serving as an adjunct professor, what do you find is the best way to achieve a work/life balance?
When I am not working professionally, teaching or giving presentations, I like to spend time with my wife and with my adult children when they are home. I like to connect with friends (and no, most of my personal friends are not psychologists!). I also like to spend time watching English Premier League soccer on weekends, which to be honest, soccer has always been my true love!
Medaille College’s doctoral program in clinical psychology (PsyD) is a full-time, five-year, practitioner-oriented program that prepares a student for a career as a licensed psychologist. The PsyD program requires over 1,000 hours of supervised practicum experience in assessment and therapy, as well as the completion of a clinical dissertation in close consultation with the student’s faculty advisor.