The Division of Neuropsychology and Behavioral Health of the Emory Department of Rehabilitation Medicine has been preparing students for professional practice in neuropsychology for two decades, beginning with a practicum training program in the mid-1980s and adding a fellowship program in 1997 which is now a full affiliate of the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology. The Neuropsychology Track was added to the APA accredited internship program at Emory/Grady in 2001, initially with one internship position in adult neuropsychology. Beginning with the 2006-2007 academic year, the Neuropsychology Track expanded to include adult, child, and geriatric rotations through the addition of faculty based at Wesley Woods Center and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. All neuropsychologists are faculty members in the Emory School of Medicine (Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine or Neurology) and are listed in the attached compendium. In addition, various neurologists and other physicians contribute to the internship as conference leaders, presenters or supervisors, and are listed in the attached compendium.
The neuropsychology track is based on American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines for training at the internship level in clinical psychology and accepts three interns annually. In addition, the neuropsychology track was designed to meet APA Division 40, Houston Conference, and Association of Internship Training Centers in Clinical Neuropsychology (AITCN) guidelines for neuropsychology internships. Therefore, 50 percent of the clinical service time is devoted to neuropsychology training through the three Major Rotations in adult, child, and geriatric neuropsychology and approximately 50 percent is devoted to general clinical psychology training through the Minor Rotations.
The adult neuropsychology rotation is based at the Emory University Center for Rehabilitation Medicine (CRM), a 5-story, 56-bed rehabilitation facility with a 16-bed inpatient neurorehabilitation service and an acute psychiatry unit. The Center provides a comprehensive program of inpatient, day program, and outpatient rehabilitation addressing the medical, physical, cognitive, psychological, community reintegration, and vocational needs of persons with disability. The psychiatry unit provides short-term inpatient diagnostic evaluation, treatment, and referral services. The CRM includes four fully equipped neuropsychology laboratories. Faculty include two full time and two adjunct neuropsychologists. Although based in a rehabilitation hospital on the Emory University campus, the Division serves all departments in the Emory School of Medicine. Hence interns have the opportunity to work with a variety of patient populations including stroke, brain injury, epilepsy, brain tumor, early dementia, degenerative disease, etc. The CRM is also home to The Emory University Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. This department has consistently ranked in the top 10 rehabilitation medicine departments in the country in National Institutes of Health research funding. The department has a commitment to brain injury and stroke research having been the site of a federally-funded Traumatic Brain Injury and Stroke Research and Training Center and a federally-funded Model Traumatic Brain Injury System of Care.
The child neuropsychology rotation is at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). CHOA is dedicated to enhancing the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education. With 529 licensed beds in three hospitals, satellite locations throughout Atlanta and more than 750,000 annual patient visits, CHOA is one of the largest pediatric healthcare systems in the country. CHOA is recognized for its many pediatric specialties, including the Divisions of Neuroscience and Rehabilitation. The CHOA Department of Neuropsychology includes nine neuropsychologists, each having extensive experience in the practice of clinical neuropsychology with children. The current location of clinical services for the internship is at the CHOA Scottish Rite hospital. However, in the upcoming year a planned expansion of the CHOA Neuropsychology Department closer to the main Emory campus will allow the intern on the CHOA rotation to have better proximity to the locations of the other rotations.
Wesley Woods Center houses the geriatric neuropsychology rotation and is located on a 64-acre wooded campus adjacent to the Emory University campus. Wesley Woods is nationally recognized for its comprehensive care to individuals and families who face age-related health care issues. Wesley Woods encompasses a spectrum of care for older adults including a geriatric hospital, a long-term nursing care facility, an independent living facility for seniors, an outpatient center and a health center. Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital, established in 1987 as the first comprehensive outpatient and acute care facility of its kind to specialize in aging adults, encompasses a 100-bed acute care hospital and outpatient clinic. More than 2,347 inpatients and 34,320 outpatients come to the Geriatric Hospital each year. Wesley Woods Health Center houses the Wesley Woods Adult Day Hospital and outpatient counseling and Partial Hospitalization programs. It also houses our nationally recognized teaching and research programs and the Emory Center for Health and Aging, a new interdisciplinary training and research center involving the Emory University Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health. Budd Terrace at Wesley Woods is a 250-bed nursing care facility that offers long-term care to older adults with chronic health problems. Wesley Woods Towers’ offers assisted living to residents who are 62 years or older. Two neuropsychologists at Wesley Woods Center provide primarily diagnostic services to inpatients and outpatients with dementia, mild cognitive impairment, and movement disorders.
All three facilities are part of Emory Healthcare and all neuropsychologists are faculty members in the Emory School of Medicine. Hence, we are able to create an integrated training experience that nonetheless offers a uniquely diverse set of training experiences across the life span. Interns are trained in neuropsychological assessment, intervention, consultation, and teaching/supervision. Training in assessment emphasizes comprehensive evaluation of cognitive and affective disorders arising from neurologic injury and disease. Interns learn effective interview techniques with neurologically-impaired clients and become proficient in selection of tests, administration and scoring of tests, interpretation of results, and oral and written communication of findings. Interns examine persons with acute neurologic disorders in inpatient settings, as well as persons presenting with chronic residuals of neurologic disorders in outpatient settings. Supervision emphasizes integrated conceptualization of neuropsychological instruments and data. Additionally, interns are trained in psychotherapeutic intervention with adults and children, as well as rehabilitation psychology, cognitive rehabilitation, and behavioral health interventions.
The training plan for NT interns consists of the three Major Rotations (16-20 hours/week) respectively in adult, child, and geriatric neuropsychology (which includes 6-8 hours per week of neuropsychological testing and scoring, 2-4 hours supervising neuropsychological assessments done by practicum students, and 4-8 hours of report writing and feedback to patients and various referral sources). In addition to these three major diagnostic rotations in neuropsychology, interns complete three, 4-month, minor treatment rotations. Minor treatment rotations allow interns to gain experience in psychotherapeutic and behavioral health interventions with adults and children in neurological rehabilitation and psychiatric settings. The specific adult and child psychiatric setting is chosen in collaboration with the intern, training director and neuropsychology faculty advisor based on the intern’s past clinical experiences, areas of interest, and perceived needs. The adult and child neurological rehabilitation settings additionally provide interns with the opportunity to learn cognitive rehabilitation interventions. The minor rotations account for an additional 8-10 hours per week. Finally, neuropsychology interns carry one, long-term psychotherapy case throughout the full year.
NT interns have 6-8 hours/week for didactic seminars including the weekly Psychology Intern Seminar and Family Therapy Case Conference (both with the General Training Experience Interns), weekly Neuropsychology Case Seminars at each site, a monthly Neuropsychology Grand Rounds, brain dissection in the Emory Neuropathology Department during the adult neuropsychology rotation and in the CHOA Department of Pathology during the child rotation, Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery Conference during the child rotation, and Grand Rounds of topical interest in the Neurology and Psychiatry Departments.