A neuropsychologist is a medical professional well versed in the art of diagnosing as well as assessing and treating patients who show symptoms of cognitive deficits, brain injuries and disorders along with progressive neurocognitive disorders. However, the road to becoming a neuropsychologist is long and a hard one. There are numerous aspects that have to be taken care of before a person can actually start working professionally as a neuropsychologist.
The training programs for neuropsychologists involve numerous aspects such as classroom work in conjunction with clinical practicum experiences.
The first step towards becoming a neuropsychologist is to obtain a Bachelor’s degree from a university. Ideally, you need to major in psychology or biology. You should also opt for courses such as clinical psychology, anatomy, physiology as well as neurobiology along with other highly advanced scientific courses.
Once you have graduated with a Bachelor’s degree, you need to get into a good school with a reputed doctorate program. The school that you will end up opting for should offer clinical psychology programs with concentration on neuropsychology. The courses that you will take in neuropsychology such as brain anatomy and physiology in addition to psychopathology will provide you with knowledge that you need.
The training programs will include clinical rotations which you have to complete and pass with exemplary performance. According to the regulations of your doctorate program, you will also have to complete a one year internship at a neuropsychology clinic. This is a requirement that needs to be completed in order for you to get your doctorate.
Next, you will have to get a postdoctoral position at a hospital. You can also opt for the same position at a brain trauma center or some other facility. This will allow you to complete two years of specialized training in neuropsychology.
Lastly, you are going to have to pass the state licensing examination in clinical psychology while also applying to receive a clinical neuropsychology diploma from the American Board of Clinical Psychology. After this, you will have to pass the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology examination. You can give the exam any of the four times that it is offered during a single calendar year.
You will also have to provide the board with two sample clinical cases in order to receive your final certification. The American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology will also ask you to sit for and pass an oral exam after which you will be officially able to practice as a neuropsychologist within the United States of America.
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