How Can One Become a Neuropsychologist? Everything you need to know

Are you interested in neuropsychology? Do you want to become a neuropsychologist and you are looking for a map to guide you on that journey? You’re in luck! I am ready to spill the juice.

Before the 19th century, who would have believed the close study of our brain and nervous system was humanly possible but now it is and it happens to be a discipline in our tertiary institutions called neuropsychology? Well in the course of this article, I will share details on how to become a neuropsychologist.

I know the question bugging you right now is, “what is neuropsychology?”.
Now consistent with the American Psychological Association(APA), Neuropsychology is “the branch of science that studies the physiological processes of the systema nervosum and relates them to behavior and cognition, in terms of their normal function and of the dysfunctional processes related to brain damage.”

Neuropsychology is a high-income career path. It offers its practitioners a forage into the role of the brain or the nervous system in altering cognitive and human behavior. Interesting right?

At the core of neuropsychology is the human brain which is plausibly the most amazing organ of the body as it controls the other organs in the body. To become a Neuropsychologist, you need to possess extensive knowledge bordering on how the brain and the nervous system affect a person’s cognitive behaviors and functions.

Although tasking, Neuropsychology is a high-income career path. At the heart of this article lies a dossier that can guide you on your journey to becoming a Neuropsychologist in school, the cost, programs, and salary inclusive.

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Become a Neuropsychologist

Who is a Neuropsychologist?

According to the American Psychological Association(APA), Neuropsychology is “the branch of science that studies the physiological processes of the nervous system and relates them to behavior and cognition, in terms of their normal function and of the dysfunctional processes related to brain damage.”
Invariably, one who practices the above-mentioned branch of science is called a Neuropsychologist.

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Should a brain injury occur, disrupting the normal body functions of a patient; it behooves the Neuropsychologist to assess the nature of the brain malfunction, its cause, and symptoms to aid better diagnosis, treatment, and possible preventive measures.
Furthermore, to become a  neuropsychologist; you need to have a doctoral degree in psychology (PsyD) or a doctoral degree in philosophy (Ph.D.).

What does a neuropsychologist do?

Neuropsychologists offer a wide range of services which include: the assessment of cognitive and psychological functioning in the context of medical, neurological, or psychiatric disorders.
They handle patients with a variety of medical and psychological concerns, such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, neurological disorders, academic difficulties, acute personality changes, and general brain problems.

Clinical neuropsychologists make diagnoses, administer, interpret the neuropsychological tests and offer possible recommendations to these patients.
In some cases, they may also provide some psychotherapy services, such as those designed to help improve cognitive functioning or behaviors to compensate for cognitive difficulties.

Also, they can be found working in academia, healthcare centers, private practice, rehabilitation centers, psychology clinics, research facilities, and government agencies among other medical settings.
Clinical neuropsychologists in colleges or academic medical centers concentrate their work there on research.

Primarily, these psychologists conduct research studies aimed at helping psychologists better understand how to diagnose and treat neuropsychological disorders. These studies may involve the use of neuropsychological test batteries or brain imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans.

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What qualifications do you need to be a neuropsychologist?

Nearly all neuropsychologists require at least a doctorate in psychology, often with a focus on neuropsychology, as well as a year or more of supervised experience. They must submit an application for a state licensure and pass the EPPP, or Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology, in order to engage in clinical practice. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) created a thorough 225-question exam that covers every facet of psychological education and abilities, from biology to ethics to evaluation.

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Requirements for the Neuropsychology program

The first step for future neuropsychologists is to first bag a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a closely related field. Having a doctorate is next. Doctoral program admission prerequisites differ according to school but there are common admission requirements found at most schools offering neuropsychology.

The admissions requirements are very similar, if not identical, to the admissions requirements for doctoral programs, for students interested in applying for a master’s degree program.
Requirements are as follows:
• Completion of an application
• Payment of an application fee
• GRE test scores
• Resume or curriculum vitae
• Personal statement or statement of purpose
• Recommendation letters
• Official undergraduate and graduate transcript

Neuropsychologist Salary

The number of years of experience is a key determinant of the median salary of a neuropsychologist. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data of May 2019, the average annual salary for a neuropsychologist was $87,450 and those offering child daycare services earned the highest average salary of $120,130.

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What Are The Best Schools For Neuropsychology Programs?

Showcased below may be a table of the faculties offering neuropsychology programs that include training in clinical neuropsychology. The colleges and universities on the list have net fees of $20,000 or lower, and a graduation rate of a minimum of 50%.

Schools fees                         Graduation      Rate    Ranking
University of North Texas   $12,053           54%      #250-301
East Carolina University     $13,327            62%     #194
University of Florida           $15,283            88%     #35
University of Houston         $15,664            54%     #171
University of Alabama        $17,016            53%     #157

Conclusion

Given the complexity of the brain, disorders within the brain and nervous system can alter behavior and cognitive function. A neuropsychologist is a doctor who specializes in understanding the relationship between the physical brain and behavior. This article provides the guidelines required to become a neuropsychologist.

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FAQs

What are the most useful skills for a neuropsychologist?

Communication
Patience
Ethics
Problem-Solving
Research
Commitment to Learning
Organization
Emotional Stability

What is the job of neuropsychologist?

What does a neuropsychologist do?

Neuropsychologists offer a wide range of services which include: the assessment of cognitive and psychological functioning in the context of medical, neurological, or psychiatric disorders.

They handle patients with a variety of medical and psychological concerns, such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, neurological disorders, academic difficulties, acute personality changes, and general brain problems.

How hard is neuropsychology?

The field of neuropsychology is challenging to enter and even more difficult to excel in. The American Psychological Association (APA) has designated clinical neuropsychology as one of its speciality areas. This indicates that the level of competence needed in the field is more than what is typically anticipated of a psychologist.

How long will it take to become a neuropsychologist?

10-13 years

To become a neuropsychologist, one must complete 10–13 years of postsecondary study and supervised practice. Typically, neuropsychologists need a doctorate in psychology with a focus on neuropsychology and at least one year of internship experience (depending on the state).

Is there a demand for neuropsychologists?

Why should I study neuropsychology?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2 million Americans suffer a brain injury each year, which increases the demand for neuropsychologists, who diagnose and treat patients who have suffered strokes, dementia, and traumatic brain injuries.

References

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