The Neuropsychology Elective is designed to provide extensive clinical training and lay the foundation for careers in neuropsychology. The program follows APA/Division 40 guidelines for internship training in clinical neuropsychology.

Assessment & Evaluation

The core of clinical training in neuropsychology takes place in the Mass General Psychology Assessment Center (PAC). This is an outpatient setting in which interns gain experience with a variety of neurological and non-neurological patient populations including memory disorders, movement disorders, stroke, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, brain tumor/oncology, developmental/learning disorders, psychiatric disorders, toxic/metabolic conditions and infections.

The neuropsychology specialty is developmentally oriented: Interns have supervised experience with pediatric, adult and geriatric patients, and are supervised by neuropsychologists with specialties in these different areas. Interns will have the opportunity to evaluate patients from diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds. This includes the opportunity to evaluate patients who are non-native English speakers with the assistance of medically trained interpreters.

Consultation

Interns in the neuropsychology will serve as consultants in a variety of settings, including:

  • Providing diagnostic and treatment planning information through report writing
  • Feedback sessions with patients, families and referral sources
  • Participation in multidisciplinary treatment team settings
  • Presentation at educational planning meetings

Treatment

For the outpatient psychotherapy experience, interns see patients referred through behavioral medicine or cognitive behavioral therapy in the adult outpatient clinic.

Research

The track is modeled in the scientist-practitioner model. Interns will integrate research into their practice through literature review on a case-by-case basis. They additionally have the opportunity to become involved in original or ongoing research at the PAC or in the larger Mass General community.

Didactics

In addition to the internship core didactics, the following seminars are required:

  • Neuropsychology Seminar: This is a 10-month (Sept-Jun) 75-minute, weekly seminar designed to review topics related to the science and practice of neuropsychology. This seminar explores neurodevelopmental and acquired CNS syndromes, and topics related to neuropsychological practice and research, including but not limited to diversity, equity and inclusion, clinical interviewing and feedback, neurodevelopment, dementia assessment, recommendations and interventions for patients of all ages, culturally sensitive assessment and care, forensic issues related to neuropsychology practice, and neuroimaging in clinical syndromes. Speakers include PAC faculty as well as experts in the field from within and outside the MGH/HMS community. 

  • Clinical Case Conference: This is a 10-month (Sept-Jun), 1-hour, weekly seminar that alternates three separate focus areas 1) Fact-Finding (2x/month): trainees will participate in mock fact-finding led by faculty with an emphasis on how to collect, evaluate, and integrate information to effectively conceptualize a case, as well as formulate differential diagnoses and recommendations. 2) Case Presentation (1x/month): faculty will present cases that exemplify typical patterns of symptoms, dysfunction, and impairment within a particular disease class (e.g., alpha-synucleinopathies) with an emphasis on differential diagnosis to help identify particular syndromes (e.g., dementia with Lewy bodies). 3) Neuropsychology Grand Rounds (1x/month): faculty and trainees will have the opportunity to briefly present recent/active, highly complex, and/or atypical cases with the goal of soliciting feedback and consultation to assist with case conceptualization and recommendations. 

  • Additional Didactic Experiences: Behavioral Neurology Rounds, Neurology Grand Rounds, Behavioral Neuroscience Seminar, Epilepsy Case Conference/Neurosurgical Rounds, Movement Disorders Surgical Rounds, Joint Neurology, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry Rounds, Brain Cutting and Neuroradiology Rounds
  • Multicultural Neuropsychology Seminar: A 6-month, weekly seminar focusing on issues related to the assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse patients.

Supervision

  • Individual psychotherapy supervision – 1 hour weekly
  • Assessment/Testing – 2 hours weekly including “real-time” supervision with each case assigned
  • Group supervision – 1 hour weekly

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