Thursday, November 24, 2011

St. Louis Children’s Hospital, University in St. Louis School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA - 1 Postdoctoral Residency in Pediatric Neuropsychology

Pending funding approval, the Psychology Department of St. Louis Children’s Hospital (SLCH) at Washington University Medical Center is pleased to announce the availability of one two-year, full-time Postdoctoral Residency in Pediatric Neuropsychology beginning September 3, 2012. The goal of the program is to train future scientist-practitioners to provide skilled, ethical, and culturally-sensitive neuropsychological services to children, adolescents, and young adults with a wide variety of medical and neurological conditions. Training conforms to the regulations outlined in the INS-APA Division 40 Task Force and the Houston Conference on Specialty Education and Training in Clinical Neuropsychology. The program is a member of the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN).

Training Activities
Approximately 70% of the resident’s time will be devoted to clinical activities.  Each training year will be divided into trimesters.  Each trimester will be comprised of either one major rotation or two minor rotations.  Options for major and minor rotations are described below.  In addition, the resident will evaluate patients from the general population seen by the neuropsychology service throughout both years of training.  During the first year, one trimester will be spent as a major rotation in the Pediatric Epilepsy Center (described below).  The resident will select a combination of major and minor rotations to comprise the remaining two trimesters of the first year; however, no rotation may be repeated during the first year.  The resident will select all of his or her rotations for the second year, with the option of extending the same rotation across two trimesters.  This provides the resident with an opportunity to focus his or her training on a particular specialty area.  Alternatively, the resident may choose to cover a variety of rotations during the second year as a means of gaining a breadth of exposure to children with complex medical and neurological conditions.

During each trimester, the resident should expect to evaluate approximately 10 clinical patients per month, 6 to 8 of which will be from the major rotation or a combination of the two minor rotations.  The remainder of the resident’s patients will consist of patients with a variety of presenting concerns from the general population seen by the neuropsychology service.  Evaluating patients through major and minor rotations as well as from the general population of patients seen within the service will provide the resident with both a breadth and depth of experience.  The resident will conduct his or her own testing for the majority of the patients he or she sees; however, some opportunities to supervise a testing assistant will be available. 

The major rotations offered include:
·         The Pediatric Epilepsy Center (required during first year): The Pediatric Epilepsy Center is one of the largest and most comprehensive specialized centers for the care of children with epilepsy and seizure disorders in the United States. It is made up of eight pediatric epileptologists, two pediatric epilepsy neurosurgeons, two nurse practitioners, a dietician, and a pediatric neuropsychologist. The epilepsy rotation will offer residents supervised experience in providing evaluation and consultation services to children and adolescents with a range of epilepsy conditions. This will include pre- and post-surgical epilepsy evaluations, outpatient evaluations, inpatient consultation on the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, and participation in the weekly Pediatric Epilepsy Surgical Conference. Residents will be expected to contribute to on-going neuropsychological research in pediatric epilepsy, and opportunities will be provided for residents to generate research on their own and/or collaborate with other investigators in the school of medicine. In addition, instruction will be provided on intracarotid sodium amytal studies (i.e., Wada tests), with opportunities to participate in the procedures and present results to the remainder of the epilepsy surgical team.
·         Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Center (optional): The Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Center is a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to the care of children with central nervous system tumors.  During the neuro-oncology major rotation, residents will evaluate children and adolescents with a wide variety of benign and malignant tumors that have been treated with some combination of surgical resection, chemotherapy, and radiation.  The resident also may participate in testing patients enrolled on cooperative research trials through the Children’s Oncology Group.  The resident will attend weekly Neuro-Oncology Rounds during which imaging studies, treatment strategies, and case management issues are discussed for individual patients.    
·         General Oncology/Hematology (including Sickle Cell Disease) (optional): The Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology is a large, comprehensive program dedicated to the treatment of children with blood disorders and cancer.  During this rotation, residents will conduct neuropsychological evaluations of children and adolescents with a variety of medical conditions including leukemia, lymphoma, solid tumors, sickle-cell disease, stroke, and aplastic anemia.  While this rotation primarily involves comprehensive evaluations, the resident will also participate in focused pre-and post- bone marrow transplant evaluations, as well as testing for patients enrolled in cooperative research trials through the Children’s Oncology Group.  The resident will attend regularly scheduled multidisciplinary team meetings for the Late Effects Clinic, Bone Marrow Transplant Team, and Sickle Cell Clinic.  These teams are comprised of professionals from many health related disciplines including medicine, nursing, psychology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and social work.   
·         Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic (optional):  This rotation offers a focus on outpatient assessment of patients with a history of traumatic brain injury, ranging in severity from mild to severe, and ranging in age from preschoolers to young adults.  Residents will gain experience with employing a brief screening model for patients with recent injuries and a comprehensive assessment model for patients with remote injuries.  Responsibilities include conducting feedback sessions in which education and recommendations are provided to patients and parents. 
·         General Outpatient Neurology (optional): This rotation offers the resident an opportunity to see children and adolescents presenting with a range of neurological disorders and/or general medical conditions that may impact brain development.  Residents will conduct outpatient neuropsychological evaluations and provide consultation to referring physicians, schools, and families.  Potential referrals include hydrocephalus, ateriovenous malformations, meningitis, Tourette syndrome/movement disorders, immune deficiency disorders, and more.     
The minor rotations offered are described below.  In addition, any of the aforementioned major rotations may be condensed to become a minor rotation.  Two minor rotations are equal to one major rotation.
·         Cerebral Palsy/Perinatal Stroke:  This rotation focuses on providing neuropsychological assessment services to patients with cerebral palsy, ranging in age from preschoolers to young adults.  Most patients are referred through the hospital’s Pediatric Neurology Cerebral Palsy Clinic or Pediatric Neurology Movement Disorders Center which employ a multidisciplinary, family-centered approach to treatment.  In addition to administering standardized assessments, residents will gain experience with using non-standardized assessment techniques to help understand the cognitive status of patients with severe motor disabilities who may otherwise be considered “untestable”.   Responsibilities include conducting feedback sessions in which education and recommendations are provided to patients and families. 
·         Solid Organ Transplant: St. Louis Children’s Hospital is at the forefront of pediatric organ transplantation, with active services in kidney, heart, lung and liver transplants.  Neuropsychology is regularly involved with the transplant teams, through standard pre-transplant neuropsychological evaluations for most patients, potential post-transplant follow-up, and active participation in multidisciplinary team meetings.  On this rotation, the resident will conduct targeted neuropsychological assessments and attend multidisciplinary rounds.
·         Genetics (emphasis on Neurofibromatosis Type 1): Residents will have an opportunity to provide outpatient neuropsychological evaluations for patients with genetic conditions with an emphasis on patients referred by the Neurofibromatosis Clinic. The Neurofibromatosis Clinic at Washington University is associated with one of the most active research centers for NF in the country, and residents on this rotation can choose to pursue clinical research through the center, if interested.
The resident will participate in a minimum of two to three hours of one-on-one supervision per week.  Supervision will involve planning of the evaluation, conceptualization of the case prior to parent feedback, and preparation of the final written report.  Supervision for each case will be provided by one of our four pediatric neuropsychologists.  
The resident will participate in a variety of didactic experiences that occur on a weekly or monthly basis, and these experiences will comprise 10-15% of the resident’s time.  Weekly didactics include:
Neuropsychology Case Conference: The resident and neuropsychology supervisors will take turns presenting clinical cases.  The case conference is designed to stimulate discussion regarding conceptualization of the child’s test results within the context of his/her history as well as appropriate recommendations for the family to facilitate improvements in his/her overall functioning.
Neuropsychology Seminar: The neuropsychology seminar will cover a broad range of topics in line with critical competencies for board certification in clinical neuropsychology, including the ethical practice of neuropsychology in clinical and research settings, culturally-competent neuropsychological care, functional neuroanatomical principles, neuropsychological assessment, behavioral neurology, basic/clinical neuroscience, and neuro-imaging and other neurodiagnostic techniques.  Preparation for becoming board certified in clinical neuropsychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) will be addressed.  Presentations will be divided among the resident, neuropsychology supervisors, and guest speakers from the wider medical school community.

Grand Rounds: The resident will have the opportunity to participate in relevant weekly Grand Rounds presented by the Departments of Pediatrics, Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. 

The resident is expected to complete an original research project over the course of the two-year program that culminates in a professional product such as a conference poster or paper or publication in a peer-reviewed journal.  The resident may choose to become involved in ongoing research within the neuropsychology service or to develop his or her own research project under the direction of one of the neuropsychology supervisors.  Research experiences will constitute approximately 10-15% of the resident’s time. 
The salary will be $35,000 for the first year and $36,050 for the second year.  In addition, the resident will be provided with $1,000 in professional development money per year to be used for conference travel, purchasing relevant books, and other professional needs.  The resident will receive medical and dental benefits, and parking is provided.  Time-off benefits include 10 vacation days, 5 holidays, 3 conference days, and 3 days of unscheduled (sick) leave per year.  During the second year, 3 additional days are provided for preparation for the EPPP/licensure.         
Application Requirements
Applicants for the Postdoctoral Residency in Pediatric Neuropsychology at SLCH must meet the following requirements:
  • Completion of a doctoral degree from an APA or CPA approved program in one of the health service delivery areas of psychology (e.g., clinical, counseling, school, clinical neuropsychology, or health psychology) OR a doctoral degree in psychology from an APA or CPA approved program with additional completion of a “respecialization” program designed to meet equivalent criteria as a health services delivery training program in psychology.  Applicants must be able to complete all degree requirements (including defense of the doctoral dissertation) by the start date of the fellowship, although the applicant’s university may not have conferred the applicant’s degree by the start date. 
  • Completion of an APA or CPA approved pre-doctoral internship with an emphasis on neuropsychology. 
  • An applicant’s graduate transcript must reflect that the majority of his or her coursework was in the Generic Psychology and Generic Clinical core areas with additional coursework in Brain-Behavior Relationships and Practice of Clinical Neuropsychology areas as specified in the Houston Conference Policy Statement. 
  • An applicant’s graduate transcript and curriculum vita must demonstrate clinical training in and competence with research methodology to meet equivalent criteria as a health services delivery professional in the scientist-practitioner model. 
  • Given that our program is focused on the delivery of neuropsychological services to children, adolescents, and young adults, the applicant’s coursework and curriculum vita should reflect a track record of acquiring a variety of experiences working with this age range. 
How to Apply
Interested applicants should forward the materials listed below.  Applicants are encouraged to submit as many of these documents as possible electronically (attachments or PDF files) to Dr. Isenberg at the e-mail address listed below.  Documents also may be submitted via postal mail at the address below.
  • Cover letter detailing clinical and research interests as well as future career goals
  • Graduate transcript
  • Three letters of recommendation*
  • Curriculum vita
  • Two de-identified assessment reports completed by the applicant
  • Doctoral Training Verification Form (completed by the applicant’s dissertation chair or the Director of Clinical Training at the applicant’s graduate program; available at
*If letters of recommendation are submitted electronically, they should be sent directly from the letter writer.  If letters are submitted via postal mail, they should be sent in a sealed envelope with the letter writer’s signature across the flap. 
Electronic submissions:          
Postal submissions:     Jill Isenberg, Ph.D.
                                    Program Co-Director, Pediatric Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Fellowship
                                    Department of Psychology
                                    St. Louis Children’s Hospital
                                    1 Children’s Place, Suite 3N-14
                                    St. Louis, MO 63110
Questions regarding the program may be directed to Dr. Isenberg at or 314-454-4025.
Deadline for the receipt of application materials is Monday, January 2, 2012.  Faculty members will be available to interview candidates at the 40th Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society (INS) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  Interviews will begin the day before the formal conference (Tuesday, February 14, 2012) and will continue during the conference.  Telephone or on-site interviews may be arranged prior to INS for individuals who are unable to attend INS.  Please indicate in your cover letter if you would like to arrange for a telephone or on-site interview prior to INS.