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Clinical Neuropsychology Fellowship Program

Program Description

The San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium (SAUSHEC) Postdoctoral Fellowship (Residency) in Clinical Neuropsychology accepted its first fellow in July 2008 and was accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation in October 2009. The program was reviewed in 2016 and received full accreditation through 2023. The Fellowship is a two-year, full-time program. The goals of the SAUSHEC Postdoctoral Fellowship 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 fellows for board certification in Clinical Neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology/American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology; 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 Implementing Regulations enforced by the American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Accreditation, guidelines and regulations of the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN), as well as the APA Division 40 definition of a clinical neuropsychologist and Houston Conference on Specialty Education and Training in Clinical Neuropsychology. The program follows a Scientist-Practitioner model. At least 60% of the fellow's time is spent in clinical service, at least 10% in clinical research, and at least 20% in educational activities.

The Fellowship started as a civilian program in 2008. Over time the SAUSHEC Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology evolved into a training program for active duty Army and Air Force psychologists. The last civilian postdoctoral fellow at BAMC graduated in 2016.

Setting

The Neuropsychology Fellowship is located at Brooke Army Medical Center, on Joint Base San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The San Antonio Military Health System (SAMHS) is responsible for providing management and oversight of business, clinical, and educational functions of all Military Health System medical treatment facilities located in the San Antonio metropolitan area. SAMHS is comprised of U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army units, including Brooke Army Medical Center. The SAMHS operates with a $1.2B budget and 12K staff who serve over 240K beneficiaries. As an integrated health system, the SAMHS continues to optimize the direct care system while strengthening the collaboration with Department of Veterans Affairs and Private Sector Care partners.

The SAMHS is dedicated to the highest quality, patient centered care with a clear focus on safety, access to care, and customer service, while providing first-rate graduate medical and other health education and training programs, conducting state-of-the-art research and maintaining the critical global readiness of all war fighters.

Rotations

The Fellowship is located in the outpatient Neuropsychology Clinic at BAMC. New fellows begin their training in this clinic, where the emphasis is on development of assessment, diagnostic, and consultation skills. Services are provided to a diverse adult population, including active duty military personnel, retirees, and family members. A wide range of ethnic groups are represented. Patient referrals are received from various departments at BAMC for evaluation of a wide range of conditions, including traumatic brain injury, neurological diseases and disorders, cerebrovascular disorders, psychiatric conditions including PTSD, mood, anxiety, and somatoform disorders, and a wide range of developmental and degenerative conditions. Fellows review electronic medical records, conduct clinical interviews, select, administer, score, and interpret neuropsychological and psychological tests, participate in case conceptualization, develop recommendations, write reports, and provide feedback to patients. Individual supervision is provided by staff neuropsychologists on all cases. Fellows also advise the Integrated Disability Evaluation System on service members’ “fitness for duty” and level of cognitive and functional impairment.

An expanded range of clinical and training opportunities is available during the second year of the Fellowship. Fellows complete three month rotations in the Brain Injury Rehabilitation (BIR) Clinic at BAMC, at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS) Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital in San Antonio, in the outpatient Neuropsychology Clinic at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center (WHASC) on Lackland Air Force Base, and a “Supervision” rotation in the outpatient Neuropsychology Clinic at BAMC. Each of these rotations provides fellows additional learning opportunities and responsibilities, as well as exposure to diverse patient populations, neuropsychological assessment techniques, supervisory styles, and intervention modalities. The VA rotation provides fellows greater exposure to a geriatric population, as well as patients with complex medical, psychiatric, psychosocial, and substance abuse histories. The BIR rotation gives fellows the opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary therapeutic milieu, where they participate in assessment, consultation, treatment planning, and cognitive rehabilitation for patients with moderate to severe brain injuries, who often have co-morbid psychological diagnoses including PTSD. The rotation at WHASC exposes fellows to an Air Force outpatient Neuropsychology Clinic, where the patient population, governing regulations, and administrative procedures are somewhat different from those encountered when working for the Army at BAMC. Finally, during the “Supervision” rotation in the Neuropsychology Clinic at BAMC, fellows directly train and supervise pre-doctoral U.S. Army Clinical Psychology interns who are completing their Neuropsychology Clinic rotations. Fellows teach interns the basics of neuropsychological assessment and report writing. “Tiered supervision” is provided so fellows receive guidance and feedback from a staff neuropsychologist regarding their functioning as supervisors.

Faculty

The core faculty is comprised of two neuropsychologists located in the Neuropsychology Clinic at BAMC, two neuropsychologists affiliated with the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) at BAMC, one neuropsychologist in the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Clinic, multiple neuropsychologists at the Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital, and one neuropsychologist at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center. All staff members are fellowship trained in accordance with the Houston Conference Guidelines for Specialty Training in Clinical Neuropsychology, and as of 2020, the Fellowship Director and one additional supervisor were board-certified in Clinical Neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology/American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology.

The Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) sponsors an APA-accredited Clinical Psychology internship, as well as three additional postdoctoral Fellowships. There are 35 additional psychologists on the DBH 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

The SAUSHEC Neuropsychology Fellowship is fortunate to have a wide range of resources available for didactic learning. Fellows attend a weekly, multi-site video teleconference reading seminar and case conference that currently includes 9 training sites and 18 postdoctoral fellows, as well as monthly Neuropsychology Grand Rounds sponsored by the South Texas Veterans Health Care System. The Fellowship program also typically invites one Distinguished Visiting Professor (DVP) each year. Fellows are expected to complete the National Academy of Neuropsychology DistanCE Learning Clinical Neuroanatomy course, and are required to design and carry out an original neuropsychological research project. Fellows are encouraged to submit the project as a poster or for publication. Those who are invited to present their poster/research receive funding to attend one national neuropsychology conference during the two-year fellowship.

Requirements

Selection Criteria and Process: Applicants must be U.S. citizens, come from an APA-accredited graduate program, and have completed an APA-accredited internship. Entry into the program is contingent upon the successful completion of all doctoral degree requirements, including the defense or completion of the dissertation/required project.

The knowledge base upon entry into the Fellowship 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

Those who complete APA-accredited internship programs are usually able to meet these general requirements.

This knowledge base will become the foundation for specialty training in Clinical Neuropsychology. It is advantageous for applicants to have had coursework in neuropsychology and neurosciences in their graduate program and clinical experience in neuropsychology during the internship year. The military beneficiary population includes a wide range of cultural and ethnic groups. Knowledge and experience in cultural and individual diversity is therefore highly desirable.

Application

The SAUSHEC Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology is a member of the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN). Although civilian fellows were previously selected through the annual APPCN Match, Army and Air Force fellows are currently selected each year by special selection panels that consider various aspects of the applicants’ backgrounds and military careers. While the Fellowship Program Director reviews applications, interviews candidates by phone, and provides input to the selection panels, the Program Director is not a member of the panels and does not participate directly in the selection process. Selection panels generally convene approximately 10 months (Air Force) to 14 months (Army) before the start of the fellowship, making early awareness, preparation, and application essential.

Army applicants can find additional information regarding the application process at the United States Army Human Resource Command (HRC), Long Term Health Education and Training (LTHET) website at https://www.hrc.army.mil/content/long%20term%20health%20education

Air Force applicants can find additional information regarding the application process at the Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) Knowledge Exchange, BSC Education Branch website at https://kx.health.mil/kj/kx3/afbsceducation/Pages/BSC_AFIT_SELECTION_BOARD.aspx

Contact Information

For additional information about the SAUSHEC Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at Brooke Army Medical Center, contact the Program Director at:

Neuropsychology Clinic
MCHE-ZDB
Brooke Army Medical Center
3551 Roger Brooke Drive, Bldg 3600
JBSA – Ft Sam Houston, TX 78234-6200

Phone: (210) 916-7641

Additional Information

For additional information regarding the SAUSHEC Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology, see: