Example Career: Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists
Apply theories and principles of neuropsychology to diagnose and treat disorders of higher cerebral functioning.
What Job Titles Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists Might Have
- Mental Health Director
- Neuropsychology Director
- Neuropsychology Medical Consultant
- Neuropsychology Service Director
- Pediatric Neuropsychologist
- Staff Psychologist
- Aviation Neuropsychologist
- Clinical Neuropsychologist
- Neuropsychology Division Chief
What Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists Do
- Write or prepare detailed clinical neuropsychological reports, using data from psychological or neuropsychological tests, self-report measures, rating scales, direct observations, or interviews.
- Conduct neuropsychological evaluations such as assessments of intelligence, academic ability, attention, concentration, sensorimotor function, language, learning, and memory.
- Interview patients to obtain comprehensive medical histories.
- Provide education or counseling to individuals and families.
- Diagnose and treat conditions involving injury to the central nervous system.
- Provide education or counseling to individuals and families.
- Read current literature, talk with colleagues, and participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in neuropsychology.
- Establish neurobehavioral baseline measures for monitoring progressive cerebral disease or recovery.
- Diagnose and treat pediatric populations for conditions such as learning disabilities with developmental or organic bases.
- Consult with other professionals about patients' neurological conditions.
- Distinguish between psychogenic and neurogenic syndromes, two or more suspected etiologies of cerebral dysfunction, or between disorders involving complex seizures.
- Educate and supervise practicum students, psychology interns, or hospital staff.
- Diagnose and treat neural and psychological conditions in medical and surgical populations, such as patients with early dementing illness or chronic pain with a neurological basis.
- Diagnose and treat psychiatric populations for conditions such as somatoform disorder, dementias, and psychoses.
- Compare patients' progress before and after pharmacologic, surgical, or behavioral interventions.
- Identify and communicate risks associated with specific neurological surgical procedures, such as epilepsy surgery.
- Participate in educational programs, in-service training, or workshops to remain current in methods and techniques.
- Conduct research on neuropsychological disorders.
- Design or implement rehabilitation plans for patients with cognitive dysfunction.
- Provide psychotherapy, behavior therapy, or other counseling interventions to patients with neurological disorders.
- Diagnose and treat conditions such as chemical dependency, alcohol dependency, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) dementia, and environmental toxin exposure.
What Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists Should Be Good At
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Memorization - The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
- Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
What Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists Should Be Interested In
- Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
What Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists Need to Learn
- Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.