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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Curriculum

Master
Content

The neuropsychology postdoctoral program is designed to provide a solid foundation for general practice as a clinical neuropsychologist. The fellowship is two years, adheres to Houston Conference training guidelines, and is an APPCN member program in good standing. The goals of training are aligned with a scientist-practitioner model. We believe that clinical practice is highly benefited from participation in scientific inquiry. In turn, programmatic research is made stronger and more relevant to the populations it aims to serve by clinical involvement. Training will be focused across the core domains identified by the Houston Conference: Assessment, Treatment and Intervention, Consultation, Research, and Teaching and Supervision.

TIRR Memorial Hermann is known for offering advanced training in brain injury rehabilitation, within top-ranked inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation settings. In addition, it is our goal to offer a balance of training opportunities outside of brain injury, so that we may prepare fellows for future positions within a range of clinical and academic settings. Fellows gain expertise in working with a variety of patient populations spanning neurodegenerative and movement disorders, neoplastic diseases, major neurologic syndromes, psychiatric illnesses, and complex medical conditions during rotations at TIRR Memorial Hermann and partnering institutions in the Texas Medical Center. The interested fellow is able to customize his or her training by selecting experiences in a secondary area of individual interest within or outside of rehabilitation neuropsychology, facilitated through the individualized training plan developed at the outset of the first year of fellowship. A central goal of training is to prepare fellows for ABPP certification in clinical neuropsychology. These core training goals are achieved through:

  • Advanced supervised clinical experiences offered at TIRR Memorial Hermann inpatient and outpatient training sites. Rotations may include opportunities to engage in supervised supervision of other trainees, such as interns and graduate students.
  • Varied specialty clinical rotation opportunities available within the Texas Medical Center
  • Mentored research activity
  • A comprehensive didactics program, including a medical applied neuroscience/neuroanatomy course at Baylor College of Medicine and in-house didactics reflecting clinically relevant and ABPP-specific content
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Clinical Rotations

Content

Across the two-year program, fellows complete four six-month major rotations three days a week, for a total of 24 hours a week. Three of the major rotations are pre-selected and required of the fellow: 1) TIRR Inpatient Neuropsychology, 2) TIRR Outpatient General Neuropsychology, and 3) TIRR Challenge Program. The fourth major rotation will be chosen from appropriate options within the TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Network and may serve to fill a gap in training or be utilized as a preparation for future professional endeavors.

In addition to major rotations, the program allows for three six-month minor rotation experiences chosen by the fellow. (See the specific rotation webpage for options.) The minor rotation will comprise one day or eight hours of clinical time per week. The minor rotation requirement is suspended during the fellow’s second rotation period to accommodate their time completing the formal education/neuroanatomy course requirement.

Content
Year 1

Three Months

Three Months

Six Months

TIRR TMC Inpatient Supervisor 1

Minor 1: Fellow Choice

TIRR TMC Inpatient Supervisor 2

Minor 1: Fellow Choice

TIRR Outpatient

Minor 2: Neuroanatomy Course

Content
Year 2

Six Months

Six Months

TIRR Challenge

Minor 3: Fellow Choice

Fellow Choice

Minor 4: Fellow Choice

Content
Clinical Rotations

Year

September – February

March - August

First Year

3 days/60% time – Inpatient Clinical Rotation

1 day/20% time – Minor Clinical Rotation

1 day/20% time – Research and Didactic Activities

3 days/60% time – Outpatient Clinical Rotation

1 day/20%time – Neuroanatomy Course

1 day/20% time – Research and Didactic Activities

Second Year

3 days/60% time – Challenge Clinical Rotation

1 day/20%time – Minor Clinical Rotation

1 day/20% time – Research and Didactic Activities

3 days/60% time – Elective Clinical Rotation

1 day/20%time – Minor Clinical Rotation

1 day/20% time – Research and Didactic Activities

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Education and Didactics Requirements

Content

Postdoctoral Neuropsychology Seminar: Fellows attend and help organize the Neuropsychology Postdoc Seminar (weekly), which takes place every Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. at TIRR. The seminar is attended by additional trainees currently rotating at TIRR, including practicum students, interns and other psychology fellows. The fellows are responsible for the coordination and administrative aspects of the seminar in order to play an active part in shaping their didactic experience. Each fellow will deliver one didactic lecture to attending faculty and trainees per training year. In addition, the seminar features experiences in mock fact-finding, mock ethics, and case presentations by each fellow in preparation for ABPP certification.

Baylor Medical Neuroscience Course: Successful completion of a medical Functional Neuroanatomy Course through Baylor College of Medicine is a requirement of the fellowship program. The course meets almost daily for four months, typically beginning in late February - early March and running through the end of June. Participation in the course provides the fellow with comprehensive, in-depth training in neuroanatomy through participation in wet lab dissection, as well as a regular lecture series with case examples of neurological syndromes.

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Additional TIRR Memorial Hermann Educational Series

Content

Multidisciplinary lecture series provided by members of other disciplines at TIRR, including Third Thursdays lecture series, Spinal Cord Injury Grand Rounds, and many others.

Texas Medical Center Area Didactics:

  • Baylor Neurology Grand Rounds
  • Baylor Neuropsychology Grand Rounds
  • TMC Pediatric Neurology Grand Rounds at Texas Children’s Hospital
  • MEDVAMC Neurology Lecture Series
  • Houston VA Neuropsychology Didactics
  • UT MD Anderson Neuropsychology Didactics
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Evaluation

Content

The fellow is evaluated in each of the following core competency areas and their components, with an expectation of satisfactorily progressing: 1) psychological/neuropsychological assessment, 2) interventions, 3) supervision/teaching, 4) research and scholarly inquiry, 5) administration and professional development, and 6) ethics, law, and diversity issues. To successfully complete the fellowship, trainees are expected to demonstrate an appropriate level of professional psychological skills and competencies in the core areas as described above. Fellows receive a formal, written evaluation from their rotation supervisor at the end of each rotation, as well as an intermediary, written evaluation at the mid-point of each rotation. The rotation mid-point evaluations are intended to be a progress report for fellows to ensure they are aware of their supervisor’s perceptions and to help them focus on specific goals and areas of work for the second part of the rotation.

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Research Activities

Content

As the program is located in one of the world’s largest medical centers, the fellow will have access to numerous research supervisors who are leaders in their areas of investigation. While the opportunities for engaging in research can span the entire medical center, the fellow will be guided to choose research supervisors and projects in line with their fellowship goals during their orientation period with the aid of training directors.

Internal research mentorship may be provided by faculty at the TIRR Brain Injury Research Center on ongoing projects that are funded through numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research grants. TIRR Memorial Hermann is designated as a Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems site and brings together world-renowned investigators to study the complicated facets of recovery from brain injury and spinal cord injury.

Fellows interested in advanced scholarly activity can also take advantage of an existing vast database of TBI patients and available biostatistician support. Funding for research support can be granted on a competitive basis through the TIRR Innovation Grants program held once a year, with applications typically due in early October. See additional information on current BIRC projects and recent publications.

Fellows are expected to devote approximately 20 percent of their time to research and didactics, and are typically provided protected research time of a half day per week. By the end of the program, fellows should be able to demonstrate an understanding and knowledge of strategies of scholarly inquiry. Fellows are expected to begin research activities their first year. The minimum requirement is active participation in one study over the course of two years with submission to a professional meeting or for publication, though many of our trainees have easily exceeded this requirement. Development of a grant proposal and submitting it for funding would also meet the research requirement, but may be ambitious given the clinical load of the program.

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Supervision

Content

All of the fellow’s clinical, research and didactic experiences are supervised. Clinical work features face-to-face supervision by psychology and neuropsychology faculty, who are licensed in the state of Texas. Although supervision styles vary across staff members, fellows will receive a minimum of two hours of supervision per week. In addition, whenever possible, fellows will rotate through multiple supervisors within their major rotations in order to expose them to different expertise and professional styles. Additional informal supervision regularly occurs at a level appropriate to the fellow’s training within the specific clinical settings. Modes of supervision include primarily co-treatment and observation, as well as discussion and edits to clinical documentation. Fellows also receive guidance and mentorship in their training and professional development from the training directors, including with EPPP preparation, professional licensure, and board certification.