There are two positions in this training program; one position emphasizes primarily adult services whereas the other one has a pediatric focus. 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 as a postdoctoral program in clinical neuropsychology.
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 time.
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
It is the overall goal of this program that individuals who complete the residency will 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 that is 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 will also carry an active caseload of a median of 6 in- 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, as well as 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 encouraged.
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.
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 afore-mentioned groups, include 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.
Pediatric: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, cerebellar tumor, cerebal palsy, epilepsy, learning disability, muscular dystrophy, and myelomeningocele (with or without hydrocephalus).
Throughout the residency (i.e., after two years), the resident shall demonstrate growth in competency in all of the following areas:
Neuroimaging and ancillary diagnostic procedures
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 paper or poster, based on their research, at a professional conference (typically AACN, APA, INS, or NAN) prior to the end of their second year. Subsequent submission for publication in a peer-reviewed journal is strongly encouraged.
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 are also expected to attend all educational seminars (see above) on a regular basis, and to do several presentations during some of these, including Journal Club, Psychology Rounds, and Grand Rounds.
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 will also 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, within one month of hiring, licensure in the State of Michigan at the limited or full license level.
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 may also 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.
For the 2013 – 2015 term, only the adult position is open at this time. The pediatric position has been filled. Applications for the adult position starting in September 2013 are currently being accepted. Deadline for receipt of complete applications is January 25, 2013.
All applications should be addressed to the chief psychologist and should include letter of intent, statement of professional goals, official graduate transcript, 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.
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 Shana J. Asbell, PhD.
Contact Information for Correspondence
Jacobus Donders, PhD, ABPP
Mary Free Bed Hospital
235 Wealthy SE
Grand Rapids MI 49503
Contact Information for Accreditation Status
APA Commission on Accreditation
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 2002-4242
Selected Publications by Recent Residents (2011-2014)
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.
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.
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.