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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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.

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, government agencies amongst 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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Requirements for 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 schools 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.

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, 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 guidelines required to become a neuropsychologist.

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References

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