Overview

Overview

Welcome! Thank you for your interest in Cleveland Clinic's Department of Psychiatry & Psychology and its training programs.

The Department is one of four in Cleveland Clinic's Neurological Institute, including Neurology, Neurosurgery and Neuroradiology. Coincidentally, the Department has its origins in the vision of Cleveland Clinic’s first chairman of Neurological Surgery, W. James Gardener, MD. At a 1943 meeting of Cleveland Clinic’s Administrative Board, he proposed adding a department of psychiatry to the growing Cleveland Clinic. Eventually, in 1946 the Department of Neuropsychiatry opened, and in 1960 split into separate departments with A. Dixon Weatherhead, MD, serving as Psychiatry’s first Chairman.

In July, 1961 the Department welcomed its first resident trainee, and by 1976 the General Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program had achieved full accreditation. Since then, Cleveland Clinic has consistently ranked as one of the nation's top hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, and its training programs have developed a similarly strong reputation.

The Department's academic mission has roots that are not only deep, but broadly based. In addition to its General Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program, it has competitive fellowships in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, and post-doctoral fellowships in Neuropsychology, Health Psychology, and Chronic Pain. Long involved in the training of medical students, the department played a vital role in the planning and development of Cleveland Clinic's Lerner College of Medicine (CCLCM), which opened its doors in 2004. Department staff, residents and fellows continue to play key roles as mentors and in didactic, seminar, office-based and bedside teaching of CCLCM and Case Western Reserve University medical students.

Cleveland Clinic has always been committed to excellence in patient care and research in the diseases that affect our patients. We take special pride in training future psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and neuropsychologists and look forward to meeting and visiting with you.

Karen Jacobs, MD
Director, Psychiatry Residency Program
Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute

Clinical Health Psychology Fellowship

Clinical Health Psychology Fellowship

Program Description

The goal of this Clinical Health Psychology Fellowship is to provide individualized, clinical opportunities for psychological assessment and interventions with adult patients experiencing a wide range of medical and psychological problems. Our fellowship is primarily outpatient-based and includes psychological consultations and diagnostic interviews, short-term psychotherapy, behavioral interventions, group psychotherapy with medical patients, and special programs (e.g. psychological treatment of multiple sclerosis, cognitive behavioral treatment of insomnia, primary care, stress management, biofeedback with medical patients, and objective personality assessment). Opportunities are available to pursue special areas of interest (such as medical school teaching, marital and family therapy, program development, and bariatric evaluations). This is a one year certificate program in one major rotation area; fellows may apply for second year of fellowship in the same or different area of specialty based upon goodness of fit/mutual consent. To date, our graduates have been successful at obtaining a position in Clinical Health Psychology upon completion of the fellowship.

Our 5 Current Major Rotations in Behavioral Medicine include:

Minor rotations in these areas are assigned based on goodness of fit with major rotations:

  • Primary Care Outpatient Clinic/Family and Marital Therapy
  • Behavioral Sleep Medicine/Sleep Disorders Clinic
  • Mellen Center
  • Bariatric Clinic 
  • Medical School Teaching/Communication Skills Training (when available)
  • Research in Multiple Sclerosis, Biofeedback

The fellowship is clinical in nature, but the fellow is expected to participate in ongoing research, poster presentations, didactics, and teaching.

The fellowship provides a generous benefits package:

  • Individual supervision for licensure
  • Extensive didactics
  • Paid time away (15 vacation days, 5 personal days)
  • Individual/family medical benefits (available for a fee)
  • Dental insurance (available for a fee)
  • Vision insurance (available for a fee)
  • Flexible spending accounts for dependent care and healthcare expenses (contributions are pre-tax)
  • One stipend per fellow may be available for travel/conference attendance pending approval by the Department Administrator. The fellow must be the primary author and presenter at the conference, the research must be generated at Cleveland Clinic, and the research must be published during the fellowship.

Application Process

Applications are accepted from October through the mid December of each calendar year. Applications should be submitted to the Program Director and are reviewed by the Program Director and supervisors of major/minor rotations. Qualified applicants will have completed all requirements for their doctoral degree (PhD or PsyD) in clinical or counseling psychology from an APA-approved program including their dissertation defense before the September start date of their first year of fellowship (no exceptions). In addition, they will have graduated from a pre-doctoral internship in adult clinical and/or health psychology (health psychology experience is essential) that is an APA accredited graduate program (preferred) or graduate program that meets the APPIC standards (required). Our fellowship is not currently APA accredited, but we are listed on the APPIC directory.

Interested applicants should email the following materials to Karen Walsh walshk3@ccf.org : CV, Official Transcripts and a letter of interest/intent specifying preferences for major rotation(s). Please specify all rotations for which you would like to be considered. Include a clinical work sample and three letters of recommendation (sent by their authors). If you have not yet received your doctorate, a letter from your program director attesting to your status as a doctoral candidate, and anticipated date of dissertation defense as well as anticipated graduation date are also required. Any questions should be directed to: Karen Walsh walshk3@ccf.org.

Interview Process

Interviews for invited applicants are held in a group format in late January/early February of each calendar year. Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted via email in mid to late January. All active supervisors will be present and participate during interviews to provide an opportunity to interact with all candidates.

Hiring Decision

Preference is given to applicants at APA accredited pre-doctoral internships in health psychology; however, applicants meeting APPIC internship standards will be considered. Prior to beginning the first year of fellowship, fellows are required (no exceptions) to have completed all requirements for their doctoral degree (PhD or PsyD) in clinical or counseling psychology from an APA-approved program including their dissertation defense.

Hiring decisions are typically made in late February early March of every calendar year. Actual appointments begin in late August/early September. In years where there is an APPIC Uniform Notification Date (UND) for postdoctoral fellowships we adhere to their hiring policies.

  • Matthew Sacco, PhD
    Director, Clinical/Health Psychology Training Program
    Associate Staff Psychologist
    Behavioral Medicine/Mellen Center
    Phone: 216.445.6835

Fellowship Supervisors

Clinical Neuropsychology/Neurocognitive Fellowship - Las Vegas

Clinical Neuropsychology/Neurocognitive Fellowship - Las Vegas

The postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health (LRCBH) in Las Vegas, Nevada is a specialized training program within the Neurological Institute that falls under the aegis of the Neuropsychology Program within the Center. The program provides highly focused clinical training in the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative disease and movement disorders. It is specifically designed for individuals who have completed all requirements of their doctorate degree in clinical psychology and have a strong background of academic productivity and clinical training in the fundamentals of neuroscience and neuropsychological assessment. Though the program in Las Vegas is closely affiliated with the fellowship in Cleveland, they are distinct training opportunities.

The fellowship program at LRCBH operates in accordance to the INS-Division 40 guidelines (The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 1987, 1, 29-34) and the goals espoused by the Houston conference (Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 1998, 2, 203-240) and the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN). Our postdoctoral program is designed to prepare future generations of scientist-practitioners for independent, professional-level practice in clinical and academic neuropsychology by providing fellows with didactic opportunities and multidisciplinary clinical experiences while under the supervision of experienced neuropsychologists. Specific training opportunities also include active involvement in clinical research and education within the context of a nationally known outpatient neurology specialty clinic.

Program Description

The fellowship begins on or about September 1. The program is structured around a contractual one-year agreement, with a 2nd year anticipated contingent upon available funding and performance; we intend for all fellows to complete a two-year program. The two-year experience will provide in-depth training for individuals with strong interests in specialization in neurodegenerative disease and geriatric neuropsychology. Primary patient populations are referred from neurology and include dementia (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, dementia with Lewy-bodies, frontotemporal dementia), movement disorders (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, atypical Parkinsonism syndromes), and multiple sclerosis. Clinical services are delivered entirely on an outpatient basis and are primarily assessment oriented, though opportunities for intervention are available.

Research opportunities exist with all of the clinical patient populations, as well as retired professional athletes, women at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, and our new Nevada exploratory ADRC. Fellows are also expected to participate in research, either on independent projects or by integrating into existing faculty research. Clinical trial opportunities may also be available. For senior fellows in their second year of training, supervision of practicum students is also expected. Additional time is spent in clinical supervision and weekly didactic offerings, including multi-disciplinary case conferences, seminars, journal clubs, and consensus conferences.

The fellowship program is built around 4-month rotations, allowing the fellow to work with each member of the supervising faculty; rotations are not disease-specific. Each rotation places emphasis on skill building and refinement in the areas of test administration, test interpretation, interviewing, and report writing. Fellows are expected to function with increasing autonomy with the ultimate goal of preparing trainees for their initial professional position.

Clinical Activities

Our clinical evaluations strive to integrate medical, neurological, and behavioral data with neuropsychological test findings to answer any of a number of referral questions. Our referrals often consist of, but are not limited to, questions concerning:

  • Differential diagnoses (e.g., Lewy-body dementia vs. Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease vs. Frontotemporal dementia)
  • Delineation of spared and impaired cognitive functions secondary to known central nervous system dysfunction
  • Establishment of a neuropsychological baseline against which to monitor recovery or progression of central nervous system dysfunction
  • Comparison of neuropsychological functioning prior to and following a variety of pharmacological, surgical, and behavioral interventions as part of ongoing treatment outcome evaluations and standard clinical care
  • Assessment of cognitive/behavioral functions to assist with rehabilitation, management strategies and/or educational or employment placement

The Neuropsychology service at LRCBH has adopted an evidence-based flexible battery, though the assessment battery is tailored as needed for specific patient populations or referral questions. The clinical neuropsychology service has a strong internal referral base and close collaborative relationships with our referring neurologists. Our service model is centered on a basic premise of evidence-based practice with emphasis on efficient service delivery and maximization of service utility. This approach has led to a steady service expansion and establishment of a sustainable practice, with clear plans for future growth.

Fellows will also complete a 4-month, half day per week rotation in health psychology. This rotation will offer skill building in intervention that may focus on extended feedback on neuropsychological test results, adjustment to diagnosis, and sleep issues.

Clinical Component

Clinical service provision will account for a minimum of 50% of the fellow’s time, which will be adjusted on an individual basis in an effort to ensure that the fellowship meets personal training goals. Fellows will be responsible for comprehensive case management, including completion of supervised interviews, testing, scoring, report writing, communicating with referring providers, and delivering feedback to patients. During their second year of training, they will have the opportunity to co-supervise advanced practicum students. The anticipated caseload is approximately 4 cases per week the first year and 5 cases per week the second year. It is anticipated that this assessment experience will provide the fellows with the opportunity to enhance their existing knowledge and experience with a variety of neuropsychological assessment procedures.

Assessment is only one component of the fellow’s clinical duties. The primary goal of the fellows’ clinical activities is to expand their expertise in clinical interpretation and reporting of neuropsychological data. Report writing and consultation with patients and other health-care professionals are, therefore, central to this postdoctoral experience. The fellows will also be expected to integrate with other treatment providers within the LRCBH on a regular basis via case conferences and case consultation.

Formal clinical supervision is provided on an individual basis, typically one to two hours weekly with additional supervision provided informally on a regular basis. Group supervision in the form of weekly neuropsychology case conference meetings to review topics of interest, ethical issues, noteworthy cases, research data, etc. generally accounts for approximately one hour weekly. Practice management issues, such as scheduling patients, managing technical support services, and billing and coding practices are discussed, though fellows are not responsible for these aspects of professional practice while in training.

Formal written evaluations of the postdoctoral fellows’ progress are prepared by the supervising Staff Neuropsychologist(s) at the conclusion of each rotation and semi-annually by the program director. Information is forwarded to the Cleveland Clinic's Graduate Medical Education (GME) office. In the course of these regularly scheduled evaluations, fellows are asked to evaluate the program and their supervisors.

Performance is also assessed via a clinical fact-finding exercise modeled after that portion of the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN)’s Oral Exam. This is conducted at the beginning of the first and second training years, and may be repeated more frequently if needed to monitor fellows’ clinical skills. Fellows whose performance is not at an expected level of competence will be advised regarding the problem areas, and a specific plan to remediate those weaknesses will be developed per GME policies.

Research Activities

Research will be an integral and required component of the postdoctoral experience. The neuropsychology service is a leader in investigator-led research at LRCBH and we maintain a substantial repository of clinical and neuroimaging data. We are additionally involved in a number of ongoing collaborative research projects both within and outside the institution, including main campus. Current areas of research interest include studies assessing relationships between cognitive tests and neuroimaging, sports neuropsychology in professional athletes, cognitive interventions in Parkinson’s disease, biomarker profiles in neurodegenerative disease, and ongoing psychometric studies.

Cleveland Clinic is highly supportive of research activities, and provides excellent statistical, computer, graphic art, photography and editorial support services. It is expected that the fellows will become involved in one or more of the existing research projects within the Service, with the minimum expectation of preparing at least one first-author paper for publication and/or presentation at a national meeting. Independent and/or new collaborative research projects will be encouraged, and grant activity is highly supported. Travel time is provided to make presentations at professional meetings, and some financial support for travel may be available, especially for first-authored papers based on work accomplished at Cleveland Clinic.

Terms & Conditions

Fellows must have completed all of the formal requirements for the doctorate degree before beginning postdoctoral training; appointments begin in July or September as negotiated at time of acceptance. Although the Cleveland Clinic's Clinical Neuropsychology Fellowship is designed as a two-year program, contracts are made on a year-to-year basis and contingent upon available funding, with renewal for the second year being made by mutual consent.

Note: Cleveland Clinic employees must be drug and tobacco-free.

The fellowship currently carries a 12-month, first year salary of $58,642, which typically increases prior to the second year (current second year salary is $60,618). Fifteen days of vacation and five personal days of paid time away are provided each academic year. Comprehensive health, dental and vision insurance (fellow and immediate family) at minimal cost to the fellow are among the benefits provided. Salary determination, grievance process, allotment of vacation and meeting time, and other institutional procedures occur in accordance with the General Policies for Graduate Medical Education. Please see GME for additional details.

Neuropsychology Staff

The Neuropsychology Section on Main Campus was organized in 1985 and officially established as a formal patient care center within the department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Cleveland Clinic in 1986. The service in Las Vegas was established in 2011 and has close collaborative ties with the division on main campus. As neuropsychologists, we are members of the Professional Staff. Several staff members have academic appointments or pending appointments with Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (CCLCM).

Las Vegas Faculty

Jessica Z. K. Caldwell, PhD (Director of Neuropsychology Training) joined the service in 2016, with an expertise in neuroimaging and neuropsychological assessment. Her primary clinical interests are in neurodegenerative disease and movement disorders. Current research interests include sex differences in Alzheimer's disease biomarkers and trajectory, development of neuroimaging biomarkers in memory and movement disorders, quality control in clinical neuroimaging, and neural correlates of behavior dysregulation in dementia.

Lucille Carriere, PhD joined the section in 2019 as a clinical health psychologist with an expertise in neurodegenerative disorders. Her clinical services include individual and group therapy interventions for individuals and families affected by neurodegenerative disorders. Current research interests are focused on improving well-being of caregivers of neurodegenerative disorders and alleviating burden.

Justin B. Miller, PhD, ABPP/CN (Director of Neuropsychology Program) joined the service in 2013, bringing additional expertise in neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation. His primary clinical interests are in differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease and sports neuropsychology. Current research interests focus on evidence-based neuropsychology, integrating technology, biomedical informatics, and the psychometric study of cognitive assessment practices.

Christina G. Wong, PhD, joined the service in 2019, with an expertise in neuropsychological assessment of older adults. Her primary clinical interests include neurodegenerative disease and medically complex patients. Her current research interests focus on integrating neuropsychology, behavioral variables, and biomarkers to identify individuals with mild cognitive impairment and better understand progression to dementia.

Cleveland Faculty

(Note: Cleveland faculty may be available for research collaboration, but will not be available for clinical supervision to Las Vegas fellows)

Aaron Bonner-Jackson, PhD, ABPP-CN joined the Section in 2011 bringing expertise in neuropsychological assessment of dementia syndromes. His primary appointment is in the Center for Brain Health and he sees patients in Neuropsychology at least one day per week. He has dedicated time for research and this involves longitudinal studies of progressive neurological conditions.

Robyn Busch, PhD, ABPP-CN joined the Section in 2005 with an appointment in the Epilepsy Center. A significant portion of her time is dedicated to research in surgical epilepsy patients; a primary interest is in identifying potential genetic factors that underlie cognitive dysfunction in adults with epilepsy. Retrospective research is focused on improving prediction of cognitive outcome after epilepsy surgery and investigating contributing factors contributing to mood and anxiety disorders in patients with epilepsy. She provides clinical services to adults, primarily patients with epilepsy.

Darlene Floden, PhD, ABPP-CN joined the Section in 2007 and has appointments in the Center for Neurological Restoration (CNR) and Cerebrovascular Center. She primarily provides services to adult patients seeking deep brain stimulation for the treatment of movement disorders, and patients with acute and chronic stroke. Part of her time is devoted to research related to frontostriatal function and deep brain stimulation.

Jennifer Haut, PhD, ABPP-CN joined the Section in 2001 and provides clinical coverage to the pediatric neuropsychology service. She is Director of the Clinical Neuropsychology Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program. Her current research is focused on assessment of reliable cognitive change after pediatric epilepsy surgery.

Patricia Klaas, PhD joined the Section in 2004 with clinical responsibilities in pediatric neuropsychology. Her research interests involve memory, mood and adjustment issues in pediatric epilepsy surgery patients. Current research is focused on the use of MEG to assess evoked responses in epilepsy patients.

Cynthia Kubu, PhD, ABPP-CN joined the Section in November 2001 to provide clinical services to adult patients, primarily candidates for deep brain stimulation. Her research interests are related to deep brain stimulation and neuroethics. She serves is active in the CCLCM.

Ashley Miller, PhD joined the section in 2018 as an adult neuropsychologist with an appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology. She maintains a broad-based adult clinical practice with a portion of her time devoted to evaluating patients being considered for deep brain stimulation. Her current research interests include cognitive function in neurodegenerative disorders, secondary influences on neuropsychological test performance, and performance validity measures.

Richard Naugle, PhD, ABPP-CN joined the section in 1987 and serves as the Section Head. He maintains a broad-based adult clinical practice with a portion of his time devoted to the Epilepsy Center. Dr. Naugle serves as a long-standing member of Cleveland Clinic’s Institutional Review Board.

Kelly Wadeson, PhD joined the section in 2012, adding expertise in rehabilitation. Her primary appointment is in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and she sees patients in Neuropsychology at least one day per week. Her clinical neuropsychology practice includes school-age children through adults.

Application Process

The Clinical Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at LRCBH does NOT participate in the APPCN Matching Program operated by National Matching Services (NMS; www.natmatch.com). We will begin accepting applications in October 2020 through December 31, 2020 for a summer 2021 start date. The Completed applications will be reviewed by all supervising neuropsychologists as received. Interviews will be completed remotely (e.g., via Skype) or in-person as feasible; on-site interviews are not required. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact program faculty for information or clarification of the program’s description and current research opportunities. Please note that offers of admission to the fellowship program may be extended at any time.

All application materials should be directed to (electronic PDF submissions are strongly encouraged):

  • Jessica Z. K. Caldwell, PhD
    Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health
    888 W. Bonneville Ave.
    Las Vegas, Nevada 89106
  • Submit electronic materials to Susan Farris, education coordinator: farriss@ccf.org

Please provide the following (incomplete applications will not be reviewed):

  • A letter of interest describing relevant academic and training experiences, desired postdoctoral training objectives, perceived “fit” with this program, and future professional goals (please limit to 2 pages)
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of reference, including at least two from individuals familiar with the applicant's academic and clinical training in neuropsychology (please have letter writers submit directly to the Training Director)
  • A statement from the applicant's graduate school clinical training director indicating the applicant's status in the program and probability of completing the requirements for the doctorate prior to the fellowship year (waived for those already holding the doctorate)
  • An official graduate transcript(s)
  • Two deidentified clinical work samples
  • Completed application form: Fellowship Application
Neuropsychology Fellowship - Cleveland

Neuropsychology Fellowship - Cleveland

The Cleveland Clinic's postdoctoral fellowship in adult clinical neuropsychology is under the aegis of the Section of Neuropsychology in the Department of Neurology. The Neuropsychology Section currently consists of 12 neuropsychologists, 10 psychometrists, two post-doctoral fellows, and practicum students. The fellowship is designed for individuals who have completed a doctorate degree in psychology, and have a strong academic and clinical training background in the fundamentals of neuroscience and neuropsychological assessment.

Cleveland Clinic's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Neuropsychology is a founding member of the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN; www.appcn.org). The program operates in accordance to the INS-Division 40 guidelines (The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 1987, 1, 29-34) and the goals espoused by the Houston conference (Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 1998, 2, 203-240). Our postdoctoral positions are designed to provide fellows with didactics and experiences necessary for developing professional-level clinical interpretative and consultation skills while under the supervision of experienced neuropsychologists. In addition, specific training opportunities include active involvement in clinical research and education within the context of an internationally known tertiary medical center.

Program Description

Our fellowship begins on or about September 1st. The two-year experience will be divided into time periods that allow for general clinical neuropsychological training with particular age groups (children/adolescents, younger and older adults). Currently, only applicants with primary interests in adult neuropsychology are being considered. Fellows also will have the opportunity for specialization with a particular population (such as epilepsy patients), research, teaching (e.g., lectures to residents), supervision/mentoring of practicum students, and participation in didactics. During the first weeks of each rotation, training concentrates on skill building and refinement in the areas of test administration, test interpretation, and report writing. For the first 12 months, three 3-month rotations will be completed with adult patient populations and one 3-month rotation with pediatric populations. The last 12 months consist of rotations tailored as much as possible to meet the fellow’s specific interests and training needs; the ultimate goal is preparation for the initial professional position.

First “year” (12 months): Clinical Fundamentals

  • 3 adult rotations, 1 pediatric rotation (three months each)

    Examples of 1st-year weekly schedule:

    September-November: 2 general adult / 1 epilepsy
    December-February: 2 general adult / 2 dementia
    March-May: 2 general adult / 2 DBS
    June-August: 2-3 pediatric

Second “year” (12 months)

  • Advanced Specialization and Special Projects

    Examples of specialized 2nd-year schedules:

    A fellow with interests in dementia had rotations in general adult neuropsychology and movement disorders including deep brain stimulation. The clinical demands were adjusted to accommodate a year-long experience evaluating patients for dementia syndromes in the Center for Brain Health.

    A fellow with interests in epilepsy had rotations in adult epilepsy, general adult neuropsychology, and movement disorders including deep brain stimulation. The clinical demands were adjusted to accommodate a year-long clinical research project for which the fellow sought and received grant funding (Epilepsy Foundation) in the first year.

Neuropsychology Section

Our clinical evaluations integrate medical, neurological, and behavioral data with neuropsychological test findings to answer referral questions. Our referrals often consist of, but are not limited to, questions concerning:

  • Differential diagnoses (e.g., depression versus dementia, dementia of the Alzheimer's type versus Primary Progressive Aphasia)
  • Delineation of spared and impaired cognitive functions secondary to known central nervous system dysfunction
  • Establishment of a neuropsychological baseline against which to monitor recovery or progression of central nervous system dysfunction
  • Comparison of neuropsychological functioning prior to and following a variety of pharmacological, surgical, and behavioral interventions as part of ongoing treatment outcome evaluations and standard clinical care
  • Assessment of cognitive/behavioral functions to assist with rehabilitation, management strategies and/or educational or employment placement
  • Evaluation of cognitive status for the purpose of disability determination

    The Section of Neuropsychology provides primarily outpatient consultation and evaluation services for the staff of Cleveland Clinic and community referral sources. Currently, the Section of Neuropsychology receives the majority of its referrals from Adult and Pediatric General Neurology, the Center for Brain Health (memory disorders), the Epilepsy Center, the Center for Neurological Restoration (Movement disorders), the Mellen Center (Multiple Sclerosis), Neurosurgery, Burkhardt Brain Tumor Center, Adult and Child Psychiatry, Internal and Geriatric Medicine, Cardiology, Family Medicine, and Pediatric Oncology/Hematology.

    A flexible battery approach is adopted by most Cleveland Clinic Staff Neuropsychologists. The Section uses a number of specialized test batteries for specific patient populations. For example, a formal pre- and post-surgery protocol is in place for epilepsy surgery candidates, and standard protocols are in place for evaluating candidates for  neurosurgical treatment of psychiatric or movement disorders (e.g., Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, Tourette’s syndrome).

    The combination of a rich clinical referral base at Cleveland Clinic and an innovative service delivery model has created a strong trajectory of growth for the Section of Neuropsychology. More than 2,100 patients are referred for evaluation annually, making the Section of Neuropsychology one of the most clinically active neuropsychological services in the country for its size.

Fellowship – Clinical Component

The majority of fellows' time will be devoted to direct clinical service. A portion of this commitment can be focused on services directed at specific patient populations (e.g., epilepsy, pediatric, geriatric, or movement disorder patients). In addition, fellows are afforded the opportunity to work with culturally diverse populations including international patients who seek specialized health care at Cleveland Clinic.

Although the Section is largely a psychometrist-based service, we recognize the importance of direct patient contact in developing a strong clinical understanding of process variables and patient behaviors that underlie test performance. Consequently, the fellows will be responsible for testing some patients each week throughout the two-year fellowship. Typically, fellows will test most of their own patients during the first year. Fellows will have the opportunity to supervise psychometrists (and potentially undergraduate or graduate students), generally more often in the second year. It is anticipated that this assessment experience will provide the fellows with the opportunity to enhance their existing knowledge and experience with a variety of neuropsychological assessment procedures and neurological disorders.

Regarding clinical caseload, fellows are expected to see 3 patients per week in their first Adult rotation and 4 patients per week in their second and third Adult rotations, one of which they may staff (with psychometrist support). During the Pediatric rotation, fellows are expected to see 2-3 patients per week.

Beginning in the second year, fellows will initially see 4 patients per week, with the understanding that most of those patients will be tested by psychometrists. Clinical load will increase over the course of the second year to prepare for independent practice. Clinical expectations in the second year are somewhat flexible depending on the fellow’s expected career trajectory and goals following fellowship.

Assessment is only one component of the fellows' clinical duties. The primary goal of the fellows' clinical activities is to expand their expertise in clinical interpretation and reporting of neuropsychological data. Report writing and consultation with patients and other health-care professionals are, therefore, central to this postdoctoral experience. The fellows will also be expected to participate actively with members of the Section in one or more clinical team meetings (e.g., Epilepsy Surgery, DBS/MRgFUS Patient Management) on an ongoing basis.

Formal clinical supervision is provided on an individual basis to review cases. Informal supervision is also available as needed and staff typically have an open door policy.
 
Attendance and participation in the weekly neuropsychology seminar is required. Seminar is conducted in conjunction with staff and trainees at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas via videoconference. Seminar presenters rotate weekly and include staff, fellows, and invited speakers from related disciplines. Each fellow will present 4 times per year on core neuropsychology topics and topics of their choice. The content of seminar is flexible and may be used to review topics of interest, ethical issues, noteworthy cases, research data, or other issues relevant to neuropsychology. Fact finding exercises (in both group and individual formats) will also occur during seminar time.

Formal written evaluations of the postdoctoral fellows' progress are prepared by the supervising Staff Neuropsychologist(s) at the conclusion of each rotation. Information is forwarded to the Cleveland Clinic's Graduate Medical Education (GME) office. In the course of these regularly scheduled evaluations, fellows are asked to evaluate the program. Performance is also assessed via additional clinical fact-finding exercises modeled after the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN)'s Oral Exam. This is conducted at the beginning of the first and second training years, and may be repeated more frequently as needed to monitor fellows' clinical skills. Fellows whose performance is not at an expected level of competence will be advised regarding the problem areas, and a specific plan to remediate those weaknesses will be developed per GME policies.

Fellowship – Research Activities

In keeping with the scientific basis of clinical neuropsychology, Cleveland Clinic's Section of Neuropsychology is actively involved in ongoing clinical research (e.g., epilepsy surgery, neurosurgical treatment of movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, dementia).

Research will be an integral component of the postdoctoral experience. The Section maintains a number of IRB-approved patient registries and is involved in a number of ongoing collaborative research projects both within and outside the institution. Cleveland Clinic is highly supportive of research activities, and provides excellent statistical, computer, graphic art, photography and editorial support services. It is expected that the fellows will become involved in one or more of the existing research projects within the Section, with the goal of preparing at least one paper for publication and/or presentation at a national meeting. Independent and/or new collaborative research projects will be encouraged, and grant applications are highly supported. Travel time is provided to make presentations at professional meetings, and some financial support for travel is available in the second year, especially for first-authored papers based on work accomplished at Cleveland Clinic.

Terms and Conditions

Fellows must have completed all of the formal requirements for the doctorate before beginning postdoctoral training; appointments begin in September. Although the Cleveland Clinic's Clinical Neuropsychology Fellowship is designed as a two-year program, contracts are made on a year-to-year basis, with renewal for the second year being made by mutual consent. Note: Cleveland Clinic employees must be tobacco-free.

The fellowship currently carries a 12-month, first year salary of $58,642, which typically increases prior to the second year (current second year salary is $60,618). Fifteen days of vacation and five personal days of paid time away of provided each academic year. Comprehensive health, dental and vision insurance (fellow and immediate family) at minimal cost to the fellow are among the benefits provided. Salary determination, grievance process, allotment of vacation and meeting time, and other institutional procedures occur in accordance with the General Policies for Graduate Medical Education. Please see GME for additional details.

Neuropsychology Staff

The Neuropsychology Section was organized in 1985 and officially established as a formal patient care center within the department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Cleveland Clinic in 1986. As neuropsychologists, we are members of the Professional Staff. Several staff members have academic appointments or pending appointments with Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (CCLCM).

  • Kayela Arrotta, PhD joined the section in 2019 with an appointment in the Epilepsy Center. Her clinical work primarily involves conducting pre- and post-surgical epilepsy evaluations, although she also sees a small portion of patients within the general adult neuropsychology service. Her research interests are to improve the prediction of cognitive outcome following epilepsy surgery and understand the long-term functional implications of post-surgical cognitive changes.
  • Aaron Bonner-Jackson, PhD, ABPP-CN joined the Section in 2011 bringing expertise in neuropsychological assessment of dementia syndromes. He is the Director of the Clinical Neuropsychology Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program. His primary appointment is in the Center for Brain Health and his research interests include studies of progressive neurological conditions.
  • Robyn Busch, PhD, ABPP-CN joined the Section in 2005. Much of her time devoted to research regarding cognition in surgical epilepsy patients. She has an appointment in the Epilepsy Center, and her current research projects examine potential genetic and metabolic factors that underlie memory and other cognitive dysfunction in adults with epilepsy. Retrospective research is focused on improving prediction of cognitive outcome after epilepsy surgery and developing a better understanding of the factors that contribute to mood and anxiety disorders in patients with epilepsy. The remainder of her time is spent providing clinical services to adults, primarily patients with epilepsy.
  • Darlene Floden, PhD, ABPP-CN joined the Section in 2007 and has appointments in the Center for Neurological Restoration (CNR) and Cerebrovascular Center. She primarily provides services to adult patients seeking deep brain stimulation for the treatment of movement disorders, and patients with acute and chronic stroke. Part of her time is devoted to cognitive neuroscience and clinical outcomes research related to frontostriatal function and deep brain stimulation.
  • Rachel Galioto, PhD, ABPP-CN joined the section in 2017 as an adult neuropsychologist with appointments in the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis and general adult Neuropsychology. Her research primarily involves understanding factors associated with cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis.
  • Patricia Klaas, PhD joined the Section in 2004 with clinical responsibilities in pediatric neuropsychology. Her research interests involve memory, mood and adjustment issues in pediatric epilepsy surgery patients. Current research is focused on the use of MEG to assess evoked responses in epilepsy patients.
  • Kamini Krishnan, PhD, ABPP-CN joined the section in 2016 with dual appointments in general neurology and the Center for Brain Health (CBH) with a clinical specialty in neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Krishnan’s research interest focuses on early identification and prevention of neurodegenerative disorders through multiple modalities including computerized assessment, cognitive rehabilitation, and neuroimaging.
  • Cynthia Kubu, PhD, ABPP-CN joined the Section in November 2001 to provide clinical services to adult patients with an emphasis on candidates for deep brain stimulation and MRI guided focused ultrasound at the present time. A significant portion of her time is devoted to research related to ethics in the context of neurological disorders and treatment. She is active in the CCLCM.
  • Ashley Miller, PhD joined the section in 2018 as an adult neuropsychologist with an appointment in the Department of Neurology. She maintains a broad-based adult clinical practice with a portion of her time devoted to evaluating patients being considered for deep brain stimulation. Her current research interests include cognitive function in neurodegenerative disorders, secondary influences on neuropsychological test performance, and performance validity measures.
  • Richard Naugle, PhD, ABPP-CN joined the Section in 1987 and is the Associate Director of the Clinical Neuropsychology Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program. He maintains a broad-based adult clinical practice with a portion of his time devoted to the Epilepsy Center. Dr. Naugle serves as a long-standing member of Cleveland Clinic’s Institutional Review Board.
  • Katherine Reiter, PhD joined the section in 2019 as an adult neuropsychologist with appointments in the Center for Brain Health (CBH) and the general adult neuropsychology service. Her primary clinical interest is memory disorders with additional foci in stroke and traumatic brain injuries. Her research interests include the influence of Cognitive Reserve on age-related cognitive and brain structure changes.
  • Kelly Wadeson, PhD joined the Section in 2012, adding expertise in rehabilitation. Her primary appointment is in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and she sees patients in Neuropsychology at least one day per week. Her clinical neuropsychology practice includes school-age children through adults.

Application Process

The Clinical Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Residency Program participates in the APPCN Resident Matching Program operated by National Matching Services (NMS; www.natmatch.com). The deadline for receipt of all application materials is Dec. 21 (or the next business day if the 21st falls on a weekend).

Applicants are encouraged to call or write for information or clarification of the program's description or opportunities. Applicants' rights to make a free choice among residencies are recognized and Cleveland Clinic complies fully with the stipulations of the Match.

Hear what current residents have to say about training at Cleveland Clinic

Application materials should be directed to:

Please provide:

  • A letter of interest describing relevant academic and training experiences, desired postdoctoral training objectives, perceived "fit" with this program, and future professional goals
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of reference, including at least two from individuals familiar with the applicant's academic and clinical training in neuropsychology
  • A statement from the applicant's graduate school clinical training director indicating the applicant's status in the program and probability of completing the requirements for the doctorate prior to the fellowship year (waived for those already holding the doctorate). APPCN's Verification of Doctoral Training Form (APPCN Doctorate Verification) is acceptable for this purpose.
  • An official copy of the applicant's graduate transcripts

Electronic submission of the above items by email in a Word or PDF file is acceptable. Please send email to: bonnera3@ccf.org.

Current Fellows

Current Fellows

2020-2021 Clinical Fellows

Health Psychology - Year 1

Steven DiFrancesco, PhD

Steven Di Francesco, PhD
Undergraduate: Temple University
Graduate School: Fielding Graduate University
Doctorate: Drexel University

Elizabeth Gray, PhD

Elizabeth Gray, PhD
Undergraduate: Cedarville University
Graduate School: Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University
Doctorate: Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University

Afiah Hasnie, PsyD

Afiah Hasnie, PsyD
Undergraduate: Indiana University
Graduate School: La Salle University
Doctorate: La Salle University

Kaitlin Keister, PsyD

Kaitlin Keister, PsyD
Undergraduate: Southern Illinois University
Graduate School: Murray State University
Doctorate: Indiana State University

Shu Ling, PhD

Shu Ling, PhD
Undergraduate: Anqing Teachers College
Graduate School: Eastern Michigan University
Doctorate: University of Akron


Neuropsychology - Cleveland

Margaret Miller, PhD

Margaret Miller, PhD - Year 2
Graduate School: Yeshiva University

John Lace, PhD

John Lace, PhD - Year 1
Graduate School: St Louis University


Neuropsychology - Las Vegas

Sharlene Jeffers, MA

Sharlene Jeffers, PhD
Graduate School:  Howard University

Rachel Butler Pagnotti, MS, MA

Rachel Butler Pagnotti, PhD
Graduate School:  Widener University

Living in Cleveland

Living in Cleveland

Cleveland, an ethnically diverse, mid-sized city located on Lake Erie, features a host of cultural attractions, recreational activities, major sporting events and an exploding culinary scene. Cleveland is home to the second largest theater district in the U.S., a park system featuring 23,700 acres in 18 reservations, and is the birthplace of rock ’n’ roll, home to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Cleveland Clinic is located near the University Circle area, which is the cultural epicenter of Cleveland. This area features Severance Hall and the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Museum of Art, several other museums, and Case Western Reserve University. Downtown Cleveland, home to all major sports venues and an exploding culinary scene, is approximately two miles from Cleveland Clinic’s main campus.