Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Fellowship
Since 1996, NYU Langone’s Division of Neuropsychology has offered a two-year full-time postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology with a special emphasis on epilepsy. The program, which is run though the Neuropsychology Service at NYU Langone’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, has been a member of the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN) since 2007 and participates in that organization’s fellowship/resident matching program.
During the training program, fellows participate in didactic learning and have clinical and research opportunities related to the treatment of adults with epilepsy. Fellows also gain experience with pediatric epilepsy, as well as a wide range of neurological and psychiatric conditions such as dementia, traumatic brain injuries, and other conditions resulting in brain and behavior dysfunction.
Our postdoctoral fellows have ample opportunity for tiered supervision of the clinical neuropsychology externs working with us. This often involves overseeing the externs’ clinical evaluations and reviewing test administration to give advice on working effectively with individual patients. Although test selection, interpretation of data, and preparation of clinical reports are typically handled by faculty members, fellows will also have some opportunity to supervise externs in the preparation of the accompanying reports.
Our program adheres to the Houston Conference Guidelines (1997) definition of a clinical neuropsychologist. We endorse the scientist–practitioner model of training and, accordingly, provide research and academic experiences in addition to clinical training. Fellows successfully completing our program are eligible for board certification through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) and American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN).
As APPCN views the ABPP Diploma in Clinical Neuropsychology (ABPP-CN) as the clearest demonstration of peer-reviewed competence to practice clinical neuropsychology, our fellowship is committed to a curriculum, training resources, and training opportunities that support graduates in their pursuit of the ABPP-CN.
Scope of Training
In compliance with the Houston Conference Guidelines and APPCN requirements, our postdoctoral fellowship is designed to provide advanced clinical, didactic, and academic training in clinical neuropsychology and to complete the education and training necessary for independent practice in the specialty. The postdoctoral residency program is a required component in specialty education in clinical neuropsychology.
As a fellow, you take part in a wide range of rounds and didactics focusing on epilepsy and neurology. Training includes observation and participation in weekly multidisciplinary meetings where staff members review data from surgical candidates and discuss the surgical approach that will be used for their treatment. You also attend weekly journal club and research meetings focused specifically on epilepsy. There are opportunities to attend weekly grand rounds in neurology, child neurology, and psychiatry, which typically include lectures on a variety of topics from both local investigators and those coming from a variety of settings across the country.
Also available are weekly program-specific lectures in our Neuropsychology Weekly Didactic Seminar covering a broader range of neuropsychology topics, such as functional neuroanatomy, dementia, brain tumors, the use of demographic norms, and movement disorders. To further broaden your exposure to a wide variety of topics, a weekly Neuropsychology Case Conference Seminar is held. Like the didactic seminars, this training opportunity involves faculty from not only the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, but also draws on the expertise from other NYU Langone and affiliated facilities, such as Rusk Rehabilitation, the Child Study Center, NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, and the Manhattan campus of the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System.
Our primary faculty is comprised of four full-time staff members, including two board-certified clinical neuropsychologists: William B. Barr, PhD, ABPP; Christina Morrison, PhD, ABPP; Jennifer L. Rosenberg, PhD; and Lilian Salinas, PhD.
Entry into a clinical neuropsychology fellowship program is based on completion of an American Psychological Association (APA)– or Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)–accredited doctoral education and training program. Clinical neuropsychology fellows will have successfully completed an APA- or CPA-accredited internship program, which includes some training in clinical neuropsychology.
On epilepsy rotations, you work primarily with adults and children receiving inpatient and outpatient workups for characterization and localization of cerebral dysfunction associated with intractable epileptic seizures. Clinical rotations include variable exposures to neuropsychological assessment, intracarotid amobarbital (Wada) testing, and brain mapping. Special procedures such as Wada testing and brain mapping are performed on a regular basis as needed by our patient population, generally averaging one to two procedures per week.
Additional inpatient and outpatient rotations with a wider range of neurological and/or psychiatric conditions are also included. Other patient populations include people with conditions such as learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), stroke, dementia, and traumatic brain injuries. It is expected that you conduct an average of two full outpatient neuropsychological evaluations per week.
A requirement of our postdoctoral fellowship is the completion of an independent research project during the time spent at our facility. You are encouraged to bring your own ideas and complete original data collection, but you are also allowed access to preexisting patient registry data for use in retrospective analyses. It is expected that you present the findings of your research project at a national or international conference and ultimately submit their project for publication.
Resources and Facilities
Our fellows are provided with ample office space on the epilepsy monitoring unit in NYU Langone’s Tisch Hospital, as well as computers with email and internet access, IBM SPSS Statistics software, and computer scoring of tests. You are also given access to all of the research facilities and opportunities available at the medical center, including access to a medical library with a comprehensive set of physical and electronic holdings relevant to the study of epilepsy and neurosciences more generally. Secretarial support is also provided.
Fellows generally receive two hours of supervision each week from one or more of the ABPP-CN board-certified clinical neuropsychology faculty members. This occurs in both individual and group settings, with group supervision being defined as having both fellows present with one or more faculty supervisors. Additional supervisory hours are available on an as-needed basis, as each faculty member maintains an open-door policy.
You are generally treated as junior colleagues by faculty supervisors. At the beginning of the training term at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, supervision necessarily focuses on the practical aspects of your professional development, including proper test administration/adherence to standardized administration procedures and planning the evaluation, such as selecting appropriate tests to answer specific referral questions and report preparation. As you become competent in these areas, supervision evolves to include discussions of the theoretical bases of assessment, diagnostic formulation, and effective communication of test results to patients, families, referring physicians, and, as appropriate, school systems. As cases involve unique diagnostic issues, supervision may be used to conduct and discuss literature searches relevant to the presenting problem such that fellows and faculty members remain up-to-date with current research findings.
Evaluations are provided through self-assessment and semi-annual review, as well as benchmark evaluations.
Self-Assessment and Semi-Annual Review
All incoming fellows complete a detailed self-assessment questionnaire, outlining their personal strengths and weaknesses. The director of training reviews this form to develop a set of rotations and training experiences tailored to your needs as a trainee. All fellows receive regularly scheduled assessments in February and August. At these times, you receive the results of rating forms completed by your supervisors in addition to providing feedback regarding your perception of the training program and how it addresses your specific needs.
After the first year, fellows complete a written examination, consistent with the ABPP-CN format. Nearing the conclusion of the two-year fellowship, you participate in an oral examination of areas of competency. Ethical issues are an integral part of the oral examination.
Exit criteria for the fellowship are as follows:
- advanced skill in the neuropsychological evaluation, treatment, and consultation to patients and professionals sufficient to practice independently
- advanced understanding of brain–behavior relationships
- scholarly activity, such as submission of a study or literature review for publication, presentation, submission of a grant proposal, or outcome assessment
- eligibility for state/provincial licensure or certification for the independent practice of psychology
- eligibility for board certification in clinical neuropsychology by ABPP
To learn more about our postdoctoral fellowships or to apply, please contact Dr. Barr, division director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.