Post-Doctoral Residency in Neuropsychology Program Specifics

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.

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 encouraged 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 encouraged 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:

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.

Contact Us:

Sara Cuccurullo, M.D.
Residency Program Director
732-321-7000 ext. 62133, 62780
Sara.Cuccurullo@hackensackmeridian.org

Leslie Bagay, M.D.
Assistant Residency Program Director
732-321-7000 ext. 68244
Leslie.Bagay@hackensackmeridian.org

Beverly Bolger, PM&R
Residency Program Coordinator
732-321-7000 ext. 62133
Beverly.Bolger@hackensackmeridian.org

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