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The Psychology Service at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital offers a postdoctoral residency program in clinical neuropsychology. It is affiliated with the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology and conforms to the Houston Conference guidelines.

There are two positions in this training program. One position emphasizes primarily adult services, and the other is focused on pediatrics. Funding for these positions is provided, in part, by the Campbell Foundation and by the Mary Free Bed Fund. Since April 2004, this residency has been accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) as a postdoctoral program in clinical neuropsychology.

Title
Postdoctoral Residency in Clinical Neuropsychology

Term of Appointment
Two-year contract. Successful completion of the program requires the equivalent of two years, full time. Completion of the program on a part-time basis may be considered, based on mutual needs, but cannot be less than half-time at any period.

Additional information about the program can be found by clicking on the drop-down headings below. 

Entry Criteria

• Completion of all requirements for a doctoral degree from a regionally accredited graduate training program in psychology with strong preference for candidates from APA-approved programs who have completed an APA-approved internship.

• Demonstration of training in all of the following: clinical psychology, neuropsychology and research methodology/statistics.

• Applicants who bring diversity to the program (e.g., fluency in Spanish or experience with under-served special populations) are especially encouraged to apply.

Program Goal and Objectives: Services Offered

The program’s overall goal is for individuals who complete the residency to be trained to a level of full, independent professional competence in the specialty area of clinical neuropsychology along the practitioner/scientist model. The primary objective for the practitioner component is specialty level expertise in neuropsychological assessment, to the point that the resident will be prepared sufficiently for the associated board certification process in clinical neuropsychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology. The primary objective for the scientist component is scholarly work directly relevant to clinical neuropsychological assessment or intervention. For these objectives, the residency offers training in three areas: clinical, research and education.

Clinical training will constitute at least 50% of the residency, with experiences including neuropsychological assessment, consultation and intervention, all of which are offered in a transdisciplinary team format. Services will involve a combination of inpatient and outpatient experiences. Service recipients may include persons with congenital (e.g., cerebral palsy), developmental (e.g., autism spectrum) and acquired (e.g., traumatic brain injury) conditions. Continuous individual supervision will be provided by licensed psychologists (minimum of two hours face-to-face per week). Residents will complete an average of two comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations per week. They also will carry an active caseload of a median of 6 inpatients and/or outpatients.

Research is an essential component of the residency and will comprise at least 10% of the allotted time. Opportunities to participate in established research protocols, and to develop and implement new projects (pending institutional review and approval), will be available. The resident will have access to computer databases and statistical packages for support in these areas. Attendance and presentation at a national-level professional conference is expected.

Education is offered for at least 10% of the available time through weekly seminars including Grand Rounds (e.g., prevention, technological advances), Psychology Rounds (e.g., case presentations, peer review), Journal Club (discussion of recent research and literature), Professional Development Seminar (e.g., ethics, diversity) and Neuropathology Lab (brain cutting). In addition, the resident will be able to actively observe and/or participate in a wide range of other procedures through in-service training (e.g., driving evaluations, reading of CT/MRI scans). Financial support for continuing education will be available.

Program Goal and Objectives: Patients Served

Residents can expect exposure to a wide variety of patients. On an inpatient basis, the most common admitting diagnoses are traumatic brain injury and stroke. The vast majority of the neuropsychological evaluations will occur on an outpatient basis. These will, in addition to the aforementioned groups, cover a wide range of other conditions, including, but not limited to the following:

Adults: Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, aneurysm, brain tumor, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, mild cognitive impairment, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and vascular dementia

Pediatrics: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, cerebellar tumor, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, learning disability, muscular dystrophy and myelomeningocele (with or without hydrocephalus)

Program Competencies

Throughout the length of the residency (two years), the resident shall demonstrate growth in competency in all of the following areas:

• Neuropsychological assessment
• Basic neuroscience
• Neurobehavioral syndromes
• Neuroimaging and ancillary diagnostic procedures
• Lifespan development
• Psychometric and statistical issues

Competency level will be evaluated on a regular basis throughout the residency (see below). Residents must demonstrate ultimate competency in these areas by means of:

• Successful completion of a mock oral board certification examination in clinical neuropsychology, including ethics, work sample defense and fact-finding during their second year.
• Presentation of a paper or poster, based on their research, at a professional conference (typically American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, American Psychological Association, International Neuropsychological Society or National Academy of Neuropsychology) prior to the end of their second year. Subsequent submission for publication in a peer-reviewed journal is strongly encouraged.

General Responsibilities

For the clinical portion, the resident will be responsible for the complete comprehensive evaluation and treatment of patients assigned by the chief psychologist. Neuropsychological assessment will require both differential diagnosis and the provision of practical and feasible recommendations. Constructive collaboration with a transdisciplinary team (including families, when appropriate) is essential. With regard to research, the resident will participate in design formulation, data collection, statistical analysis, interpretation and manuscript preparation. The chief psychologist will mentor this.

If particular educational weaknesses in the resident’s knowledge or training are revealed, additional in-service training may be required. This will be determined and facilitated by the chief psychologist. Residents also are expected to attend all educational seminars (see above) on a regular basis and to give several presentations during some of these, including Journal Club, Psychology Rounds and Grand Rounds.

Specific Responsibilities

The resident will adhere to all general hospital and departmental standards in all activities. This includes, but is not limited to, maintaining a productivity of an average of 12 billable hours per week (with appropriate documentation in a timely manner) and quarterly progress reports regarding the status of research projects. The resident also will perform all services in full accordance with the APA ethical and professional guidelines. Due process and grievance procedures are accessible when needed. It will be the resident’s responsibility to secure, prior to hiring, licensure in the State of Michigan at the limited or full license level.

Evaluation

Supervision with respect to all duties and activities will be provided by the chief psychologist or another licensed psychologist. The resident will be provided with written evaluations of performance at 3 months, 12 months, 18 months and 24 months. These will address expertise in clinical competencies, research accomplishments and professional and ethical conduct. Residents also may be evaluated on other aspects of their development and functioning (e.g., emotional, interpersonal) that are deemed essential to professional competence as a clinical neuropsychologist.

At the end of the first year, residents must complete the 50-item multiple-choice APPCN written examination to determine their level of progress in each of the following key competencies: neuropsychological assessment, basic neurosciences, neurobehavioral syndromes, neuroimaging and ancillary diagnostic procedures, lifespan development and psychometric/statistical issues. Results from this examination will be used to guide emphases of further training during the second year.

Commitment to Diversity

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital does not condone or tolerate discrimination of any kind.  It offers academic scholarship to persons of color and persons with disabilities. The postdoctoral program considers diversity in its recruitment efforts. In addition, the program consistently integrates diversity issues in didactic and experiential training. Examples of this include the inclusion of a formal module on cultural diversity issues in its didactic program, and opportunities for the resident to gain experience with adaption of assessment procedures for persons with specific sensory and/or motor challenges.

Applications

The application period for 2017 has passed and both positions for the 2017­­–2019 period are filled. Deadline information for the 2019–2021 period will be updated as soon as it is becomes available.

All applications should be addressed to the chief psychologist and should include curriculum vitae, letter of intent, statement of professional goals, official graduate transcript, APPCN form about completion of program, three letters of recommendation and three work samples (two neuropsychological evaluations and one treatment case or research paper). Interviews are conducted at the yearly North American INS conference. No financial support is available for on-site interviews, but these are granted to interested and highly qualified applicants. Telephone interviews are not an acceptable alternative. This residency program participates in the electronic match system offered by National Matching Services in collaboration with the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology.

Program Staff

Each resident will have at least two neuropsychologist supervisors. For the adult position, this will include Jacobus Donders, PhD, ABPP and Carrie-Ann H. Strong, PsyD, ABPP. For the pediatric position, this will include Jacobus Donders, PhD, ABPP and Kathryn Wilson, PhD, ABPP.

Contact Information for Correspondence

Jacobus Donders, PhD, ABPP
Mary Free Bed Hospital
235 Wealthy SE
Grand Rapids MI 49503
616.840.8162 (phone)
616.840.9762 (fax)
neuropsychology@maryfreebed.com

Accreditation Status

Questions related to the program’s accreditation status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE; Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979/ E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

Selected Publications by Recent Residents (2011-2016)

Byerley, A.K., & Donders, J. (2013). Clinical utility of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function — Self Report (BRIEF–SR) in adolescents with traumatic brain injury. Rehabilitation Psychology, 58, 412-421.

Kahn, D.A., Asbell, S.J., & Donders, J. (2015). Clinical utility of LANSE-A in adolescents with traumatic brain injury. Rehabilitation Psychology, 60, 187-192.

Krishnan, M., & Donders, J. (2011). Embedded assessment of validity using the Continuous Visual Memory Test in patients with traumatic brain injury. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 26, 176-183.

Krishnan, M., Smith, N., & Donders, J. (2012). Use of the Tower of London – Drexel University, Second Edition (TOLDX) in adults with traumatic brain injury. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 26, 951-964.

Leininger, S., Strong, C.A.H., & Donders, J. (2014). Predictors of outcome after treatment of mild traumatic brain injury: A pilot study. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 29, 109-116.

Scott, K. L., Strong, C. A. H., Gorter, B. & Donders, J. (2016).  Predictors of post-concussion rehabilitation outcomes at three-month follow-up.  The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 30, 66-81.

Warschausky, S., Van Tubbergen, M., Asbell, S., Kaufman, J., Ayyangar, R., & Donders, J. (2012). Modified test administration using assistive technology: Preliminary psychometric findings. Assessment, 19, 472-479.

Wilson, K.R., Donders, J., & Nguyen, L. (2011). Self and parent ratings of executive functioning after adolescent traumatic brain injury. Rehabilitation Psychology, 56, 100-106.