Program Information

The neuropsychology training program at DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM) educates postdoctoral residents in rehabilitation neuropsychology. The training program offers a combination of clinically supervised experience and in-depth educational opportunities.

The postdoctoral residency program is APA-approved.* We are also a founding member and member-in-good-standing of the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology APPCN.

Our Team
The Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Neuropsychology at RIM consists of rehabilitation psychologists and clinical neuropsychologists. All hold faculty appointments in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Some faculty members also hold joint and adjunct appointments in other academic and clinical departments.

Training Program: Postdoctoral Residency
Full-time postdoctoral resident positions are awarded for two years of training. Residents are recruited from APA-accredited doctoral programs in clinical or counseling psychology and must have completed an APA-accredited internship. Extensive neuropsychological assessment experience is required. Additional experience in medical rehabilitation settings (or with medical rehabilitation populations) is highly desirable.

The training program is modeled after the principles set forth at the Houston Conference on Specialty Education and Training in Clinical Neuropsychology. It is scientist-practitioner based and is an integrated program of formal education and training through practice. The core domains identified by the Houston conference are addressed through specific rotations and educational opportunities.

Core domains include:

  • Assessment
  • Treatment and intervention
  • Consultation
  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Supervision

Our mission
To build upon core knowledge obtained in clinical graduate courses, practice, and internships, primarily in the areas of brain-behavior relationships.
This includes functional neuroanatomy, neurological disorders, neurodiagnostic techniques, neurochemistry, neuropsychology of behavior, specialized assessment and intervention techniques, research design and analysis, professional issues and ethics of neuropsychology, and practical implications for neuropsychological conditions.

Our specialized services include:

This diversity of presenting conditions allows for comprehensive training of assessment, intervention, and research in neurological and neurologically-related conditions. The training program cultivates skills through clinical practice, formal education, and modeling by faculty.

During residency
Trainees spend 50 percent of their time in direct patient service and/or clinically relevant activity such as rounds. Rotations are generally in neuroscience, spinal cord injury, and physical medicine and rehabilitation, corresponding to the specialty units at RIM. Residents also complete a rotation in an outpatient setting. Residents complete four six-month rotations.

Postdoctoral residents receive a minimum of two hours of formal weekly supervision, with most receiving additional supervision daily. Residents may request additional supervision at any time.

Educational activities & research
All residents should be actively engaged in research during their residency. This is supported through monthly departmental research meetings. Residents are required to present or publish their research findings.  

Formal educational opportunities include:
  • Weekly didactics
  • Biweekly continuing education
  • Board review
  • Professional development meetings
  • Departmental research meetings
  • DMC-wide activities such as brain cuttings
"As the primary rehabilitation facility for the Detroit Metropolitan area, the patient and staff populations provide our residents constant exposure to diverse individuals. Appropriate interaction, assessment, and treatment of persons from diverse backgrounds is therefore a priority for our training program, as well as for faculty research and ongoing professional development. Emphasis upon diversity in the training program includes efforts to encourage minority participation in the field of neuropsychology, as well as in our residency program, and as faculty members. Our didactics and other training opportunities, as well as supervision of the residents' daily work, support their learning and efficacy in working with diverse persons. We encourage applicants' awareness of the following guidelinesresearch and resources pertaining to working with diverse persons."

Exit criteria include:

  1. Advanced skill in the neuropsychological evaluation, treatment, and consultation to patients and professionals sufficient to practice on an independent basis
  2. Advanced understanding of brain-behavior relationships
  3. Scholarly activity, such as submission of a study or literature review for publication, presentation, or submission of a grant proposal or outcome assessment
  4. A formal evaluation of competency in exit criteria 1-3
  5. Eligibility for state or provincial licensure or certification for the independent practice of psychology
  6. Eligibility for board certification in clinical neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.

Clinical Training Opportunities
Neuroscience
RIM is the major provider of acute inpatient rehabilitation services for individuals with brain injuries and other neurologic conditions in southeastern Michigan. The psychologists on this service provide ongoing assessment of neurobehavioral status in order to assist the team, patient and family in effective treatment planning. This includes serial evaluation of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral status, plus a neuropsychological assessment when the patient is stable.
Intervention is a strong part of the training, in which we work collaboratively with the interdisciplinary team to manage patients' confusion, agitation, depression, or anxiety. The rotation provides the opportunity to follow patients closely through early recovery, and to be integrally involved in their medical, nursing, and rehabilitation treatment process. Additionally, psychologists lead a therapy group for patients and families.

Objectives for this rotation include the ability to:
  • Administer and interpret neuropsychological tests with brain injury patients
  • Develop practical team consultation skills
  • Learn behavioral management skills to address agitation and confusion and increase treatment adherence
  • Develop basic psychological intervention skills in the treatment of brain-injured patients and their families

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
(Stroke)
Stroke rehabilitation involves working with patients whose function has been compromised by stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases.  
The neuropsychologist evaluates each patient to determine the status of their cognitive and affective functioning. The neuropsychologist then consults closely with therapists from speech/language, physical, and occupational therapies to develop an individualized treatment plan. The neuropsychologist works closely with patients and their families to help the patient's adjustment.

Objectives for this rotation include the ability to:
  • Conduct bedside mental status screenings
  • Administer, score, and interpret neuropsychological tests
  • Write concise assessment reports
  • Provide individual and family intervention
  • Learn the clinical presentation of common stroke syndromes
  • Learn the differential diagnoses of dementia
  • Lead psychoeducational groups on stroke and stroke recovery, as well as community integration for geriatric patients
  • Provide consultation to treatment team members

Spinal Cord Injury
This program teaches rehabilitation psychology for patients who have sustained a spinal cord, including assessment and intervention as needed. Individuals with multiple sclerosis and other movement disorders are also frequently treated on this service.

Objectives for this rotation include the ability to:
  • Understand psychological and basic medical aspects of spinal cord injuries, orthopedic injuries, and amputation
  • Co-lead a psychoeducational group designed to educate patients and families and assist patient adjustment
  • Assess emotional and cognitive functioning
  • Provide treatment to facilitate coping and adjustment

Outpatient Services
Outpatient experience takes place in three different settings during the same rotation in order to provide a broad spectrum of neuropsychological experiences. The first is the RIM outpatient program on the main campus (downtown) and the second and third are suburban neurorehabilitation satellites of the same hospital. All comprehensive neurorehabilitation programs serve a wide range of patient groups and provide a variety of services.
The suburban satellites emphasize the assessment and treatment of traumatic brain injury at the postacute level of community re-integration, while the main campus program offers - in addition to comprehensive neuropsychological assessment - psychotherapy and family therapy with diverse groups. Together, the three settings offer exposure to urban and suburban cases, forensic neuropsychological consultation to attorneys and insurance companies, and consultations with case managers and vocational specialists.

Objectives for this rotation include the ability to:
  • Provide neuropsychological evaluations and recommendations in functional terms that can be understood and applied by the patient, family, team and vocational specialists
  • Refine psychotherapy skills in working with rehabilitation patients such as those with spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries
  • Develop consultation skills to work effectively with other rehabilitation professionals
  • Develop forensic consultation skills to address issues of appropriate treatment, poor effort and excessive disability

Research
Research involvement is required for residents. It will occur primarily with staff in the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Neuropsychology, although opportunities with other researchers do arise. Regardless of the faculty or site involved, all research projects in which trainees wish to become involved (whether archival or prospective) must be reported to and approved by the Director of Training and Wayne State University's IRB, before the trainee becomes involved. Even if a project or measure was approved by another institution (e.g., research that began during your internship or that was part of your dissertation project), it must adhere to the approval and monitoring process described above.

*American Psychological Association
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First St, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Telephone: (202) 336-5979
TDD/TTY: (202) 336-6123
Fax: (202) 336-5978