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Clinical Neuropsychology Fellowship Program

Program Description

The Postdoctoral Residency (Fellowship) in Clinical Neuropsychology at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) accepted its first Fellow in July 2008 and was accredited by the American Psychological Association in April 2010. The Fellowship is a two-year, full-time program. The goals of the BAMC Postdoctoral Residency 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 the Fellow for board certification in Clinical Neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology; 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 50% of the Fellow's time is spent in clinical service, at least 10% in clinical research, and at least 10% in educational activities.

The Fellowship is a civilian program: Although located in a military medical center, fellows are civil service employees. Fellows are not active duty service members, and are under no obligation to join or work for the military after completion of the fellowship.

Stipend and benefits: Fellows are term General Schedule (GS) federal employees and are eligible for federal benefits. The first year Fellow is paid at the GS-11 level. The second year Fellow will be paid at the GS-12 level, if licensed and determined to be in good standing.

Setting:(description from previous brochure provides the following description. May update as appropriate) BAMC, the Army’s second largest medical center, is located on Fort Sam Houston, a military facility within the city of San Antonio, Texas. BAMC is a 450 bed medical center and teaching hospital that supports the Great Plains Regional Medical Command. BAMC provides services to a local catchment area that includes nearly 200,000 active duty soldiers, their family members, National Guard and reserve components, and retirees. In addition, BAMC provides specialty care that is unavailable at the smaller Army community hospitals in the Great Plains region, which includes 14 states and Panama. BAMC houses the nationally known Institute of Surgical Research (BAMC Burn Unit), Center for the Intrepid (Amputee Center), level one trauma care, and 58 specialty clinics. BAMC’s status as a regional referral center for patients with the most complex and challenging illnesses supports the high quality of its 24 graduate medical education programs. The current BAMC physical facility opened in 1996 and is a state-of-the-art medical facility. Extensive expansion of the medical center is currently underway.

Rotations

The Fellowship consists of three major rotations of approximately equal length. For the first rotation, the Fellow will conduct neuropsychological evaluations with adult and geriatric patients through the Neuropsychology Service. The patient population consists of both men and women, but is predominantly male. A wide range of ethnic groups is represented. The majority of the patient population are active duty service members between the ages of 18-50. However there are opportunities to work with older active duty service members and retirees. The Fellowship does not involve direct clinical work with children or early adolescents. Traumatic brain injury is the most frequently occurring diagnosis, although Fellows will also see patients with a wide range of neurological and psychiatric diagnoses including Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). During the second rotation, the Fellow will be assigned to the BAMC Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic and will work within a multidisciplinary therapeutic milieu. The TBI Clinic sees patients ranging from those with mild concussions to severe TBIs, and serves patients injured in combat, many of whom also have a diagnosis of PTSD. The Fellow will work in an integrated program that provides cognitive evaluation and rehabilitation, TBI education, and treatment for co-morbid psychological diagnoses. Fellows may also conduct inpatient consultations and see patients from the BAMC Burn Unit during their second rotation. For the third and final rotation, the Fellow will return to the Neuropsychology Service and perform neuropsychological evaluations for a diverse patient population. Third rotation Fellows also directly supervise pre-doctoral Clinical Psychology interns completing their Neuropsychology Service rotation.

Faculty

Beginning in the fall of 2010, the core faculty will be comprised of five neuropsychologists. The Fellowship Director and one additional supervisor are board-certified in Clinical Neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology, and the other three supervisors are fellowship trained. There are three adjunct faculty supervisors - an active duty Air Force neuropsychologist, a contract neuropsychologist who works for the Air Force, and a Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center neuropsychologist.

The BAMC Department of Behavioral Medicine (DBM) sponsors an APA-accredited Clinical Psychology internship, as well as three additional postdoctoral Fellowships. There are over 20 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

BAMC is fortunate to have a wide range of resources available for didactics. Fellows attend a weekly video teleconference reading seminar and case conference sponsored by Walter Reed Army 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 BAMC Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic and Air Force Clinical Psychology Internship program. Fellows are expected to complete the National Academy of Neuropsychology Distance Neuroanatomy course, and are invited to attend weekly "brain cuttings" conducted by the Neuropathology Department at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center. Fellows are also typically sponsored to attend one national neuropsychology conference during the two-year program. Fellows are expected to design and carry out an original neuropsychological research project which must be completed by the end of the two year fellowship. As an aspirational goal, fellows are encouraged to submit the project as a poster or publication.

Requirements

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 residency 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
Lifespan development

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 highly desirable for the candidate to have had coursework in neuropsychology and neurosciences in the graduate program and clinical experience in neuropsychology during the internship year. Prior experience as a military service member, a military psychologist, or as a civilian who has worked with military members or veterans is desirable but not required. The Army beneficiary population includes a wide range of cultural and ethnic groups. The candidate’s level of knowledge and experience in cultural and individual diversity is therefore a consideration in candidate selection.

Application

The Fellowship is a member of the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN) and participates in the annual APPCN Match. The program adheres to all APPCN rules and procedures. Following APPCN guidelines, the Fellowship Director will be available for interviews at the annual winter meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society (INS). Applicants are encouraged, but not required to interview at INS. Applicants may also be interviewed in San Antonio, or a telephone interview can be arranged. All Fellowship faculty members and current fellows review application materials and participate in the selection process. Applicants are invited to contact current Fellows to learn more about the program.

The following materials are required to apply: a letter of interest, graduate transcripts listing courses, grades and degrees; three letters of recommendation; and a curriculum vita. A work sample is encouraged but not mandatory.

Contact Information

To inquire about the program or send application materials, please contact the Program Director at:

Neuropsychology Service
MCHE-DBM
Brooke Army Medical Center
3551 Roger Brooke Drive, Bldg 3600
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-6200

Phone: (210) 916-7641

Additional Information

For additional information regarding the Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at Brooke Army Medical Center, see:
www.div40.org/training/residency_program.php?ID=300
www.appcn.org/programs/brooke.html