Adult Neuropsychological Assessment (Clinical)
Neil H. Pliskin, PhD, ABPP-CN., Julie Janecek, Ph.D., and Darren Fuerst, Ph.D.
The Neuropsychology Rotation is designed to provide a primary training experience in neuropsychological assessment for individuals interested in pursuing a career in the specialty of clinical neuropsychology. As such, a year long experience in adult and/or pediatric neuropsychology is the hallmark of this experience, although 6-month rotations are offered as well depending on the training needs of the intern. The Neuropsychology Program adheres to the Houston Conference model for internship training in clinical neuropsychology, and is designed to prepare the intern for advanced postdoctoral residency work in the field.
The Neuropsychology Clinic rotation is geared toward refining skills in the neuropsychological and neurodevelopmental assessment of adult and pediatric inpatients and outpatients drawn from the medical center's Departments of Psychiatry, Neurosurgery, Neuropsychiatry, Rehabilitation, Neurology, Neurogenetics, Geriatrics, Pediatrics, and Medicine, as well as from outside referral sources and school settings. These referrals span the entire list of neuropathological conditions such as dementia, cerebrovascular disorders, tumor, HIV, epilepsy, degenerative disorders, ADHD, learning disabilities, developmental disorders and traumatic brain injury as well as the entire age range (infancy to geriatrics). Interns receive supervised experience in planning test selection, implementing, and writing up neuropsychological evaluations using a broad range of tests and procedures, as well as oral communication of test results to referral sources.
As part of the training experience in the neuropsychology rotation, the intern also attends the Behavioral Neurosciences Seminar which is a weekly meeting devoted to special topics and case presentations in the clinical neurosciences. Other seminars of interest to those on a career trajectory in neuropsychology include: Neuropathology Rounds, which is devoted to the examination of gross brain anatomy, and is geared towards understanding the neuropathology of neurological diseases, Neuroradiology Rounds, and Neurology/Neurosurgery Grand Rounds.
The Neuropsychology Division is also part of the Department's premier neuroimaging clinical research group, the Center for Cognitive Medicine. Interested interns may also arrange to participate in ongoing funded neurobehavioral and neuroimaging research as a separate training experience.
Interns completing rotations in the Neuropsychology Program will master the following specific competencies:
• Assessment and treatment of psychological disorders stemming from cognitive, psychiatric, and medical disability
• Selection, administration, scoring, and interpretation of neuropsychological tests
• Case conceptualization through integration of history, test data, and behavioral observation
• Communication of test results through written reports and oral presentation
• Development of a working knowledge and experiential base in neurological and psychiatric diagnosis
• Capacity for neuropsychological consultation to medicine, neuropsychiatry, neurosurgery, neurology, pediatrics, other medical services, schools, and other referral sources
• Provision of feedback to patients and families