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Why I'm NOT a Neuropsychologist. . .
Rees Chapman, Ph.D.
Winter 2011

Although neuropsychology is a major aspect of my professional practice, I do not identify myself as a neuropsychologist.  This is because I have never gone through the formal process of board certification.  I could legally call myself a neuropsychologist is I chose, in that the actual title is not licensed in most states - and not in Georgia, where I practice.  But I choose not to use the actual title of neuropsychologist in respect of those psychologists who have actually accomplished board certification.

Wikipedia summarizes this issue: "While examination via peer review is currently the accepted method of verifying the range of expected competencies, the absence of board certification cannot and should not be interpreted as a lack of competence in the profession. This is true for skills in general neuropsychology and its respective related disciplines of pediatric neuropsychology, geriatric neuropsychology, etc." 

My own competence in neuropsychology is a function of my study of neuroscience in graduate school, my apprenticeship with a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist for many years during my graduate studies, my factor-analytic research in neuropsychology in the early 1990s, my postdoctoral fellowship in rehabilitative medicine, and my formal employment in neuropsychology at a rehabilitation institute.  Thus, while I have never actually participated in any board certification as a neuropsychologist, I regard myself as having the prerequisite education, supervised training, experience and skills.

Most of my neuropsychological services occur in the context of Social Security disability and vocational rehabilitative evaluations, although I am often referred patients for such evaluations by physicians and attorneys, and I occasionally provide neuropsychological evaluations of students who are seeking special accommodations in high school or college studies due to some mental handicap which interferes with their learning processes.  And I employ a neuropsychological approach to assessments of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, regarding the processes of attention and concentration as much more complex than can be adequately addressed through generic psychological or psychoeducational testing.