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Post-Doctoral Residency in Neuropsychological

1. Institutions and Program Description

The JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute offers a two-year Post-Doctoral Residency in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation with a concentration in the assessment and rehabilitation of adults with acquired neurologic illness, including traumatic brain injury, stroke and cerebrovascular disease, epilepsy, and dementia.  The residency is conducted in conjunction with New Jersey Neuroscience Institute. Information about the Rehabilitation Institute and Neuroscience Institute is available at www.njrehab.org and www.njneuro.org.   

Two specialized residency programs are offered:

Neuropsychological Rehabilitation (Adult) (NSM Program Code # 9952): The first year of the residency includes neuropsychological evaluation of patients on an in-patient brain trauma unit and out-patient neuropsychological evaluations. The in-patient component provides specialized training in the evaluation of patients with severe brain injury, including assessment of post-coma and related disorders of consciousness. The Resident will typically spend 1 to 2 days per week on the Brain Trauma Unit, which is the primary in-patient for patients with traumatic brain injury and stroke. Neuropsychological consultation and evaluation is also provided to patients on the Extended Recovery Unit, which provides continued care for medically stable patients with persistent cognitive and physical limitations. During this rotation, the Resident will provide neuropsychological consultation to JFK Medical Center, which allows exposure to patients with diverse forms of neurologic disease (including stroke syndromes, movement disorders, memory disorders and dementia) and general rehabilitation patients The Resident will also conduct neuropsychological evaluations on an out-patient basis for patients with a wide variety of neurologic conditions.

The second year of residency is spent working in a comprehensive, post-acute, neuro-rehabilitation program with specialized training in comprehensive neuropsychological assessment, interdisciplinary treatment planning, intensive cognitive rehabilitation, and mild traumatic brain injury. An emphasis of this portion of the residency is the ability to manage an integrated program of cognitive, physical and psychosocial rehabilitation therapies for persons with acquired brain injury.

General Adult Neuropsychology (NMS Program Code # 9953):
This position offers a concentration in neuropsychological consultation and evaluation of patients seen through the New Jersey Neuroscience Institute as well as the Department of Neurology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, which provide extensive clinical programs for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with complex neurological diseases. Patients are also seen through the neurology and neurosurgical services, including stroke syndromes, movement disorders, brain tumors, epilepsy, memory disorders and dementia. Residents may participate in periodic special procedures (i.e., Wada and mapping) as part of comprehensive pre-surgical epilepsy work-ups.

Educational opportunities are offered through individual and group supervision; neuropsychology rounds, and neurology rounds. Additional educational opportunities are available through attendance at   neuropathology and neuroimaging rounds, basic neuroscience and clinical neurology lectures, and support for continuing education. Network PC’s with Internet access are also provided to the resident in the neuropsychology offices.

Residents are expected to participate in research and demonstrate scholarship consistent with a scientist-practitioner model of training in neuropsychology. Proficiency in clinical research may be demonstrated, for example, through participation in ongoing research, preparation of a comprehensive written review in a relevant topic area of neuropsychology, or presentation of a written case study with supporting literature.

The goal of educating and training the competencies necessary for the specialized practice of clinical neuropsychology are outlined in the Competency Evaluation Form.  The emphasis of training opportunities involve primarily adults and are strong in the areas of neuropsychological rehabilitation, neuropsychological evaluation, neuropsychological consultation and moderate in the areas of forensics, psychotherapy, supervision by residents of other providers.  Availability of patient populations is strong in the areas of     brain injury, stroke; moderate for dementia, epilepsy, brain tumors, geriatric conditions, and general neurology and rehabilitation populations. 

The program administrative structure is headed by Keith Cicerone, Ph.D., ABPP-Cn, Director of Neuropsychology.  Dr. Cicerone provides supervision of out-patient evaluations, and supervises treatment activities during the second year of the residency. Direct supervision during the first year in-patient rotation is also provided by Georgianna Dart, Ph.D and Sarah West, Ph.D. Tasha Mott, Ph.D. provides additional supervision on evaluations and treatment during the second year of the Neuropsychological Rehabilitation residency. Dr. Cicerone is ABPP Board Certified in Clinical Neuropsychology; all supervisors are licensed to practice psychology in New Jersey and are Fellowship-trained, experienced neuropsychologists.

The Department of Neuropsychology employs:

  • 10 full time, 1 part time neuropsychologists (1 with ABPP)
  • 1 pediatric neuropsychologist
  • 2 rehabilitation psychologists
  • 3 neuropsychology residents

2. Compensation

Residents are salaried through the JFK Medical Center and receive the same comprehensive benefits packages offered to all full-time new employees.  This includes medical, dental and prescription coverage.  Educational days and financial support are provided to support professional training activities both on-site and off-site.

Salary for the first year is $35,000.00. The salary for the second year (assuming satisfactory performance) is $36,000.00. Benefits begin the first of the month after the date of hire.

3. Application Procedures

Candidates must submit:

  • A letter of interest
  • Curriculum vita (please submit an electronic copy of your CV)
  • Two clinical work samples representative of level of proficiency in neuropsychology
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Graduate transcript.  Relevant clinical course work should include:
    • Psychopathology
    • Psychometric theory
    • Interview and assessment techniques including interviewing, intelligence testing, personality assessment and neuropsychological assessment
    • Professional ethics.    

Graduate training of residency applicants: 

  • Neuropsychology, Clinical Psychology preferred
  • Rehabilitation Psychology, Health Psychology, Counseling Psychology accepted with appropriate experience in neuropsychology


IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER:

Applications and supporting material should be received by Friday January 29, 2016. Applicants are strongly advised to submit all required material well before this deadline to receive adequate consideration.

Application material should be sent directly to Ms. Jennifer Cotter, Neuropsychology Residency Program, JFK-Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, 2048 Oak Tree Road, Edison NJ 08820. Application materials may be submitted electronically to JCotter@JFKhealth.org. Submission of materials in advance of the deadline is strongly encouraged.

Selected candidates will be invited to attend an on-site interview after review of their application materials, which provides an opportunity to tour the facility and meet with program staff. Interviews will ordinarily not be conducted at the winter meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society.

SCHEDULE OF DATES

  • Sept 2015 – Jan 15, 2016 Applicants can register for the APPCN Match online at natmatch.com.appcnmat
  • Friday January 22, 2016 Instructions for submitting Rank Order Lists and obtaining Match results will be available to applicants registered to participate in the match
  • Wednesday January 27, 2016:  Rank Order List Input and Confirmation (ROLIC) system opens for use by applicants and programs.
  • Thursday February 11, 2016: Final date for submission of applicant and program Rank Order Lists. No Rank Order Lists, registrations or withdrawals can be accepted after this date.
  • Monday February 22, 2016:  Results of the Match are released to applicants and program directors.
  • Residency starting date is on or about September 5, 2015.

The program is a member of the Association of Post-Doctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology and participates in the matching program and uniform notification date. All applicants must complete a Request for Applicant Agreement Package and submit it directly to National Matching Services, Inc.

Applicants may obtain additional information about the matching program, and may also request an Applicant Agreement Package, through the APPCN Resident Matching Program web site at www.natmatch.com/appcnmat

Applicants should return their Agreement forms and fee directly to National Matching Services Inc. Please note that the date for return of the Agreement form will typically be earlier than the final date for receipt of applications by the Residency Program. The exact date will vary by year and this date should be confirmed directly with NMS, Inc.

4. Training Activities:

The program offers a concentration in rehabilitation of acquired brain injury including participation in interdisciplinary treatment and rehabilitation in a major brain injury rehabilitation institute. 

Research Requirements: All residents are expected to spend approximately 10% of their time devoted to research activities. Residents are encouraged to complete a focused review (narrative or analytic) of literature in an area of their interest during the first year. Residents in the Neuropsychological Rehabilitation track are required to develop, implement and present a single-subject intervention study in the area of cognitive rehabilitation during the second year of the Residency. Residents in the Adult Neuropsychology track are required to present a diagnostic case study during the second year. Residents also have the opportunity to participate in additional research projects through consultation with their supervisor and the program director.

Didactics: Neuropsychologists participate in monthly Neuropsychology Rounds. These typically consist of a case presentation with relevant review of literature. Résidents participate in the Rounds schedule and also are expected to participate in a Mock ABPP Examination during their second year.

Rehabilitation Medicine Journal Club is conducted once a month.

Cognitive Rehabilitation Journal Club is conducted once a month with an emphasis on presentation of an evidence-based intervention article.

Neuropsychology Research meeting is held once a month.

Clinical Service Requirements: Residents spend at least 50% of their time in clinical training activities and direct service provision.  The nature of the clinical training for each of the two Residency specializations is described below.

NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL REHABILITATION:

First Year – In-Patient Rotation (40 – 50 % to in-patient brain injury; 50% out-patient neuropsychological evaluations; consultation to other system inpatient services may be included as a component of training based on clinical and didactic considerations; participation in evaluations and treatment as part of the post-acute brain injury rehabilitation program may be included; up to 10% research)

Direct Clinical Services to Brain Trauma Including:

Neuropsychological evaluation and testing of patients with moderate to severe acute brain injuries across a range of etiologies, including assessment of post-coma and related disorders of consciousness.

Provide feedback regarding diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment recommendations to patients, referring physicians, appropriate staff and therapists.

Provide psychotherapeutic support as appropriate to patients experiencing adjustment related concerns.

Provide information regarding diagnosis, prognosis and treatment to appropriate family members of the patient.

Direct Clinical Consultation Services Including:

Neuropsychological consultation to the general rehabilitation and neuroscience units as well as to JFK Medical Center for evaluation and testing of patients with diverse forms of neurologic disease including stroke syndrome, movement disorders, memory disorders and dementia.

Second Year – Out-Patient Rotation

Direct clinical services to a general outpatient neurologic population consisting primarily of traumatic brain injury and stroke. Out-patient neuropsychological evaluations to a diverse neurologic population including TBI, stroke, tumor, multiple sclerosis and dementia. Specific emphasis on using the neuropsychological evaluation to make treatment recommendations.

Neuropsychological Interventions: Provide individual and group interventions for cognitive disability in patients with acquired neurologic dysfunction. Emphasis is on the integrated treatment of cognitive, emotional and functional difficulties leading to increased productivity, self-efficacy and quality of life. Participation in interdisciplinary treatment planning, and coordination of services within a comprehensive, holistic neurorehabilitation program.

The Resident is expected to devote 10% time to research activities.

The resident is required to conduct a single-subject intervention study. Residents may also participate in existing research, including analysis of an existing data base, or other scholarly activity. We encourage Residents to identify a research project that reflects their clinical interests.

GENERAL ADULT NEUROPSYCHOLOGY:

Direct Clinical Services Including:

Neuropsychological evaluation and testing of patients with epilepsy, brain tumors, movement disorders, dementia, and other neurologic illnesses (participation in additional special procedures such as Wada testing and cortical mapping will be included).

Provide feedback regarding diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment recommendations to patients, referring physicians, appropriate staff and therapists.

Provide information regarding diagnosis, prognosis and treatment to appropriate family members of the patient.

Provide counseling to patients and family members concerning psychological management and adjustment issues.

Direct Clinical Consultation Services Including:

Neuropsychological consultation to acute and subacute hospital units for evaluation and testing of patients with diverse forms of neurologic disease including stroke syndrome, movement disorders, memory disorders and dementia.

Amount and nature of supervision

New Jersey State licensed psychologists provide all supervision with specialty in neuropsychology.  Supervision includes clinical case formulation and problem solving, review of literature specific to clinical cases, professional ethics, and preparation for appropriate licensure and board certification.

Individual Supervision: Residents receive at least 1 hour of direct supervision for each 5 hours of clinical contact. The resident is expected to function autonomously with this level of individual supervision; however, additional individual supervision can be provided as appropriate to the difficulty and complexity of the resident's clinical case load, in order to ensure an adequate level of clinical proficiency.

The residency meets the post-graduate clinical and supervision requirements for licensure as a psychologist in the State of New Jersey.  Neither a license nor a permit is required to participate in the residency. However, for residents who intend to use their experience toward New Jersey licensure, it is necessary to obtain a 3-year permit directly from the New Jersey Board of Psychological Examiners once the Ph.D. requirements have been completed from your degree granting institution.

Methods to ensure neuropsychology residents’ competence and understanding of ethical standards, individual differences, and cultural diversity in the professional practice of psychology

Such issues and concerns are raised/discussed through monthly Neuropsychology Rounds and supervision.  The resident is required to present at least one ethical issue related to neuropsychology/psychology at these rounds.  Ethical standards and issues are also discussed/addressed on a clinical basis during individual supervision as needed and/or appropriate.

Evaluation and Grievance Procedures

Residents’ competencies are formally evaluated in writing within the initial 6 months and 12 months for each of the two years / rotations (see competency assessment form).  Such evaluations address competency in the areas of general knowledge, assessment skills, treatment, professional responsibilities, administrative responsibilities, and competencies specific to requirements of each rotation.  For areas where satisfactory competencies have not been demonstrated, the training program may be modified as appropriate to allow for greater exposure/experience to develop a satisfactory level of ability.  If, upon formal evaluation, a resident’s proficiency is considered unsatisfactory, s/he is placed on three-month probation. During this period, the resident's performance will continue to be evaluated by her/his direct supervisors and the program director.  If insufficient progress is made during the probationary period and performance is still judged to be unsatisfactory, the resident may be at risk for not successfully completing the residency program or for dismissal from the residency program. 

Residents are encouraged to discuss concerns and/or grievances with the individual supervisor.  If this does not resolve the resident’s concerns, the program director should be consulted to seek resolution.  The resident may file a formal grievance through the Human Resources department of this institution should a satisfactory resolution of the resident’s grievance not be reached through the established internal department protocol.