Clinical Neuropsychology Fellowship Program
The San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium (SAUSHEC) Postdoctoral Fellowship (Residency) in Clinical Neuropsychology accepted its first Fellow in July 2008 and was accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation in October 2009. The Fellowship is a two-year, full-time program. The goals of the SAUSHEC Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology are to provide clinical, didactic, research, and academic training in order to produce an advanced level of competence in the specialty of neuropsychology; to complete the education and training necessary for independent practice in the specialty; to prepare Fellows for board certification in Clinical Neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology/American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology; and to develop specific skills relating to the unique applications of clinical neuropsychology in the military environment.
The major objectives of training are the development of advanced competencies in: knowledge of brain-behavior relationships, the practice of clinical neuropsychology, neuropsychological assessment, neuropsychological intervention, neuropsychological research, teaching and supervision in clinical neuropsychology, neuropsychological consultation, and applications of neuropsychology in the military population.
The program adheres to guidelines and regulations of the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN), including the APA Division 40 definition of a clinical neuropsychologist and Houston Conference Guidelines. The program follows a Scientist-Practitioner model. At least 60% of the Fellow's time is spent in clinical service, at least 10% in clinical research, and at least 20% in educational activities.
The Fellowship started as a civilian program in 2008. Although located in a military medical center, Fellows were hired as civil service employees with no obligation to join or work for the military after completion of their fellowship. Over time the SAUSHEC Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology has evolved primarily into a training program for active duty Army and Air Force psychologists. The last civilian postdoctoral fellow at the San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) is expected to graduate in 2016.
The Neuropsychology Fellowship is located at SAMMC, on Joint Base San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The San Antonio Military Health System (SAMHS) provides safe, quality, evidence-based care to military service members, their families, veterans and civilian emergency patients and is the most robust and productive healthcare organization within the Military Health System. Both inpatient and outpatient services are provided by approximately 8,500 staff members, including active duty military personnel from each of the uniformed services, Public Health personnel, federal civilians, contract employees, and volunteers.
The SAMMC is the largest military hospital in the Nation, designed to care for up to 425 inpatients. As the sole verified Level I Trauma Center within the Department of Defense (DoD), SAMMC simultaneously provides emergency services during 80,000 Emergency Department visits annually and serves as the premier medical readiness training platform for both the Army and the Air Force.
SAMMC providers also care for more than 4,000 patients each day during visits to its five separate outpatient clinics. Prominent on the hospital campus, and surrounded by four Fisher Houses, the four-story Center for the Intrepid (CFI) stands as a pre-eminent extremity injury rehabilitation center.
As a proud partner within the San Antonio Military Health System, SAMMC facilities provide comprehensive care for more than 250,000 military beneficiaries living throughout the area. SAMMC and its Air Force partner, the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center on Lackland Air Force Base, forged the SAMHS to optimize military medical resources in and around Joint Base San Antonio.
The Fellowship is located in the outpatient Neuropsychology Service at SAMMC. New fellows begin their training in this clinic, where the emphasis is on development of assessment, diagnostic, and consultation skills. Services are provided to a diverse adult population, including active duty military personnel, retirees, and family members. A wide range of ethnic groups are represented. Patient referrals are received from various departments at SAMMC for evaluation of a wide range of conditions, including traumatic brain injury, neurological diseases and disorders, cerebrovascular disorders, psychiatric conditions including PTSD, mood, anxiety, and somatoform disorders, and a wide range of developmental and degenerative conditions. Fellows review electronic medical records, conduct clinical interviews, select, administer, score, and interpret neuropsychological and psychological tests, participate in case conceptualization, develop recommendations, write reports, and provide feedback to patients. Individual supervision is provided by staff neuropsychologists on all cases. Fellows also advise military Medical Evaluation and Disability Boards on service members’ “fitness for duty” and level of cognitive and functional impairment.
An expanded range of clinical and training opportunities is available after the first eight months of the Fellowship. Fellows complete three month rotations in the Brain Injury Rehabilitation (BIR) Clinic at SAMMC, at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS) Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital in San Antonio, in the outpatient Neuropsychology Service at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center (WHASC) on Lackland Air Force Base, and a “Supervision” rotation in the outpatient Neuropsychology Service at SAMMC. Each of these rotations exposes fellows to additional learning opportunities and responsibilities, as well as diverse patient populations, neuropsychological assessment techniques, supervisory styles, and intervention modalities. The VA rotation provides fellows greater exposure to a geriatric population, as well as patients with complex medical, psychiatric, psychosocial, and substance abuse histories. The BIR rotation gives fellows the opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary therapeutic milieu, where they participate in assessment, consultation, treatment planning, and cognitive rehabilitation for patients with moderate to severe brain injuries, who often have co-morbid psychological diagnoses including PTSD. The rotation at WHASC exposes fellows to an Air Force outpatient Neuropsychology Service, where the patient population, governing regulations, and administrative procedures are somewhat different from those encountered when working for the Army at SAMMC. Finally, during the “Supervision” rotation in the Neuropsychology Service at SAMMC, fellows directly train and supervise pre-doctoral Clinical Psychology interns who are completing their Neuropsychology Service rotations. Fellows teach interns the basics of neuropsychological assessment and report writing. “Tiered supervision” is provided so fellows receive guidance and feedback from a staff neuropsychologist regarding their performance as supervisors.
The core faculty is comprised of three neuropsychologists located in the Neuropsychology Service at SAMMC, one neuropsychologist affiliated with the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) at SAMMC, one neuropsychologist in the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Clinic, two neuropsychologists at the Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital, and one neuropsychologist at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center. All staff members are fellowship trained in accordance with the Houston Conference Guidelines for specialty training in Clinical Neuropsychology, and as of 2015, the Fellowship Director and one additional supervisor were board-certified in Clinical Neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology/American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology.
The Department of Behavioral Medicine (DBM) sponsors an APA-accredited Clinical Psychology internship, as well as three additional postdoctoral Fellowships. There are 35 additional psychologists on the DBM staff who are involved with the various training programs. Joint training and professional socialization opportunities enhances the quality and diversity of all of the programs.
Didactics and Research
The SAUSHEC Neuropsychology Fellowship is fortunate to have a wide range of resources available for didactic learning. Fellows attend a weekly, multi-site video teleconference reading seminar and case conference jointly sponsored by SAMMC, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Tripler Army Medical Center, and monthly Neuropsychology Grand Rounds sponsored by the South Texas Veterans Health Care System. The Fellowship program also invites one Distinguished Visiting Professor (DVP) each year, typically a nationally known neuropsychologist. DVPs are also regularly brought to San Antonio by the Warrior Resiliency Program. Fellows are expected to complete the National Academy of Neuropsychology Distance Neuroanatomy course, and are required to design and carry out an original neuropsychological research project. Fellows are encouraged to submit the project as a poster or for publication. Those who are invited to present their poster/research typically receive funding to attend one national neuropsychology conference during the two-year fellowship.
Selection Criteria and Process: Applicants must be U.S. citizens, come from an APA-accredited graduate program, and have an APA-accredited internship. Applicants must have completed all requirements for graduation before starting the Fellowship. Entry into the program is contingent upon the successful completion of all requirements, including the defense or completion of the dissertation/required project.
The knowledge base upon entry into the Fellowship will ordinarily include doctoral level competency in the following substantive areas:
|General Psychology Core||Basic Clinical Core|
|Statistics and Research Methodology||Psychopathology|
|Learning, cognition, and perception||Interview and assessment techniques|
|Personality and social psychology||Intervention techniques|
|Physiology of behavior||Professional ethics|
Interns from APA-accredited programs are usually able to meet these general requirements. This knowledge base will become the foundation for specialty training in Clinical Neuropsychology. It is advantageous for applicants to have had coursework in neuropsychology and neurosciences in the graduate program and clinical experience in neuropsychology during the internship year. The military beneficiary population includes a wide range of cultural and ethnic groups. The military beneficiary population includes a wide range of cultural and ethnic groups. Knowledge and experience in cultural and individual diversity is therefore highly desirable.
The SAUSHEC Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology is a member of the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN). Civilian fellows were previously selected through the annual APPCN Match. Army and Air Force fellows are currently selected each year by special selection panels that consider various aspects of the applicants’ backgrounds and military careers. While the Fellowship Director may review applications, interview candidates by phone, and provide some input to the selection panels, the Program Director is not a member of the panels and does not participate directly in the selection process. Selection panels generally convene approximately 10 months (Air Force) to 14 months (Army) before the start of fellowship, making early awareness, preparation, and application essential.
Army applicants can find additional information regarding the application process at the United States Army Human Resource Command (HRC), Long Term Health Education and Training (LTHET) website at https://www.hrc.army.mil/officer/long%20term%20health%20education%20ahrc-oph-poh.
Air Force applicants can find additional information regarding the application process at the Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) Knowledge Exchange, BSC Education Branch website at https://kx2.afms.mil/kj/kx3/afbsceducation/Pages/home.aspx.
For additional information about the SAUSHEC Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology, contact the Program Director at:
Brooke Army Medical Center
3551 Roger Brooke Drive, Bldg 3600
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-6200
Phone: (210) 916-7641
For additional information regarding the SAUSHEC Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology, see: