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The starting date of the Residency is some time in the period from July 1 to September 1, depending on the needs of the resident. This is a two-year residency in clinical neuropsychology and generally conforms to the guidelines of the Houston Conference.
The principal difference between the first and second year is that second year residents assume more research responsibilities, and generally have protected research time (typically 20% time, but flexible). Also, congruent with their level of expertise, second year residents see more challenging cases (e.g., medical legal cases, children with focal syndromes), and can expect to be involved in teaching of medical students, residents, and graduate students.
In broad terms, responsibilities can be broken down as follows:
Clinical activities comprise approximately 80% time during the first year, and approximately 60% time in the second year. On average, approximately 2-3 cases per day can be seen by first year residents in the Benton Laboratory. Cases are often seen directly by the resident, but in later stages of training residents are taught to complete assessments with the aid of psychometric technicians who complete the testing with the patient under the supervision of the resident and a staff neuropsychologist.
The "typical" examination is comprised of two hours of patient contact. Residents are taught, on a case-by-case basis, to identify core neuropsychological syndromes associated with different neurologic conditions, effective and concise medical report writing, and how to identify relevant medical, social, and psychological information in developing a neuropsychological diagnosis.
A number of unique opportunities exist in clinical training, including Wada testing with pre-surgical epilepsy patients, and pre-surgical assessment of DBS implantation and organ transplant patients.
Neuropsychology morning meeting is held three times a week, and is dedicated to reviewing a journal article, topic, or case at least three morning per week. In addition, residents have access to the following sources of education:
Cognitive Neuroscience (auditing of course required)
Medical Neuroanatomy (optional)
Seminars (to name just a few)
Neuroscience/Neuropsychology Journal Club
Neurology Bed Rounds
Neurosurgery Bed Rounds
Observation of neurosurgery
Departmental Grand Rounds
Epilepsy surgery conference
Weekly epilepsy conference
Dementia case conference
While clinical work takes up a considerable portion of residents' time, they are encouraged to develop a research project during the first year. There are numerous opportunities to do so, including, but not limited to core neuropsychological syndromes (memory, perception, vision, dementia, decision making) or diseases (e.g., Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury). Research is completed with the guidance of a faculty member. If appropriate to the interests of the resident, then there is greater emphasis on research in the second year.