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[00:00:00] Dr. Sharp: Welcome to The Testing Psychologist podcast, episode 9. This is Dr. Jeremy Sharp.

Welcome to another episode of The Testing Psychologist podcast. Today, I am talking with Dr. Amy Connery. Amy is a board-certified pediatric neuropsychologist in the Department of Rehabilitation at Children’s Hospital Colorado and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

She provides neuropsychological assessments and consultations in the Concussion Clinic, International Adoption Clinic, and Non-Accidental Brain Injury Care Clinic at Children’s in addition to bilingual Spanish assessments. Her research is in mild traumatic brain [00:01:00] injury and validity testing in pediatric assessment, which we will definitely get into later on.

Amy’s most recently been involved in research examining neurodevelopmental outcomes after Zika infection, and is currently in the process of putting together a grant and setting up services in Guatemala to do some assessments with Zika.

Amy, welcome to the podcast.

Dr. Amy: Thank you.

Dr. Sharp: I am excited to be talking with you today. Just a little background, Amy and I have known each other for, it’ll be three years this summer, which is hard to believe, it’s gone by that fast. I initially contacted Amy as someone who could maybe provide me with some consultation/supervision on some neuropsychological assessments.

As I’ve talked about here before in the podcast, I’m a [00:02:00] “regular” psychologist who went back after the fact and have been trying to build neuropsychological services and do so in an ethical way. Amy has been a great resource along the way and provided a lot of great consultation over the years. So super excited to have you here, Amy, and get into a lot of different things about your career in private practice and some of the work you’re doing right now.

Dr. Amy: Great. Glad to be here.

Dr. Sharp: That’s awesome. I wanted to start with, maybe you could talk just a little bit about that classic question; why did you want to become a psychologist and then maybe talk a little bit about why specifically neuropsychology?

Dr. Amy: My thinking around being a psychologist happened early and was pretty linear. [00:03:00] I came to neuropsychology in an indirect way. It was not something I knew I wanted to do as a younger person and certainly, even all through graduate school and my predoctoral internship, I still did not know that that was something I wanted to do.

I came to psychology probably like many people. I was interested in child development, attracted to the idea of a helping profession, and thought that I wanted to be a child psychologist who provided therapy. So that is how I trained. I went to a very traditional psychodynamic graduate school and trained in that way.

And then in maybe my third year of graduate school, the training director was encouraging me to get more experience in assessment. And I said, I did not want to do assessment. He said, well, if you want to be a good child psychologist, you have to be able to understand assessment, be able to read a report and so you really need this experience.

And [00:04:00] so I did that in my third-year externship and really loved it. I loved the direct way that you would get a referral question, you would make a plan to answer the question, you would answer the question, make a plan to make things better. It was a great fit for me in that way.

So then from there, I proceeded thinking I was going to do therapy part-time and assessment part-time. And so that’s what I did in my predoctoral internship and my postdoctoral internship. And then in my first job, that’s what I did; a few days a week, I worked in a psychiatry department providing therapy and consultation to children and families and then a few days a week, I worked in a hematology-oncology department doing assessments.

I did that for two and a half years and realized that I was very interested in the assessment part of it. [00:05:00] It felt like a much better fit for me clinically with the way that I thought, with the way that I wanted to work, and that it was going to be hard to do that full-time without getting the extra training and assessment that I needed.

So at that point, I quit my job, went back and did a two-year postdoc in neuropsychology, and then from there sought board certification and my current job at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Dr. Sharp: You’re right, that’s a bit of an unorthodox journey for most folks who end up boarded in neuropsychology. Is that right?

Dr. Amy: Right. For sure. I think that there are, the generations ahead of me, I think it’s much more common for people to have come to it in different ways and have gotten their training in some less traditional ways too. But now since 2005, we [00:06:00] have what people may know as the Houston guidelines and those were, I don’t know if they were written in 2000, they may have been written before that, but basically what it states is that if you’ve graduated after 2005, there’s some more strict parameters on the training that you need.

And so we think the people before that time period had a little bit more leeway in how they were going to get trained to be board-certified versus people coming out now. Some of that is also that now there’s many more fellowships, much more opportunities for traditional training, and so that’s the benefit but then currently people are going down a pretty traditional route that’s outlined in those Houston guidelines.

Dr. Sharp: Yeah, for sure. I know that things have definitely changed and it seems like a much clearer path at this point especially, if you make that decision early on in graduate school to go the neuropsychology route, it seems pretty well mapped out in terms of the training and the [00:07:00] process.

I am curious, this is an experience that I think paralleled my own in a lot of ways except that I didn’t quit my job and go back for respecialization, which is a big deal. I want to ask you about that, but where did you do your predoctoral and your postdoctoral internships? Just out of curiosity.

Dr. Amy: I did my predoctoral internship at the University of California, San Francisco in what some child psychologists may know of with a woman named Alicia Lieberman and she is a zero to three specialist, a child trauma specialist and a parent-child specialist as well. We were working on doing a parent-child intervention and at the same time providing assessment to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to see if we were getting any cognitive changes after a good parent-child [00:08:00] intervention. So I was doing both things there. My first postdoctoral internship was at the Children’s Hospital in Oakland and there I was primarily doing therapy.

Dr. Sharp: Okay, I got you. I was actually going to say, so you went even on your predoctoral and you were doing some assessment and were focusing on cognitive measurement and that kind of thing. So I imagine that set you up fairly well going down the road.

Let me ask you then, the first time you described it, it was pretty quick and you said, yeah, I decided to quit my job and go back for my two year. Can you talk me through that a little bit? Putting myself in your place, I guess I have been in that place, I couldn’t pull the trigger like that, that was a really hard thing to do. So help me understand how you made that choice and was that hard and [00:09:00] any of that?

Dr. Amy: Some of it is just a little bit who I am. Big changes are usually something I seek and those things aren’t really stressful for me or a big deal. I think the biggest thing is that I was with my husband at the time, but we were not married and we did not have kids. He is the same way; picking up and moving was not a big deal for him either.

The realities of our lives at the time made it such that it was not a very difficult thing to do. We didn’t have children, we weren’t pulling kids out of school, he wasn’t in a job he loved. We had some things that made it really easy to pick up and go.

For me also, I was probably at that point in my early 30’s and I knew very clearly that I wanted to do the neuropsychological assessment and that I [00:10:00] probably wanted to be in the hospital and that if I didn’t do the requisite training and then couldn’t get board-certified, I would be restricted. I knew I had 30 working years ahead of me. And so to make a short-term sacrifice for the long-term goal of professional satisfaction seemed also like a no-brainer at that time.

Dr. Sharp: I like the way that you say that; short-term sacrifice for long-term satisfaction for what you knew you wanted to do. I think it’s easy for us sometimes to get caught up in the short-term and let that be an obstacle to making what ultimately might be a really good decision, especially with something like this where you did have to do any number of things, I suppose, to set yourself up to actually go back and respecialize.

Dr. Amy: Right. And for me, it’s so clear there, financially, was it the greatest thing to quit your job and [00:11:00] do another two years of postdoc? No, but in the long term, I have been so much more happy than I was when I was also working as a therapist.

Dr. Sharp: That’s awesome. So you followed your dream and it’s working. That’s so cool to hear.

Dr. Amy: Right.

Dr. Sharp: I want to dig into a little bit of the nuts and bolts around how you did that. I don’t want to be presumptuous or anything; can you tell me what that process looked like when you actually decided to go back and respecialize? What did you have to do and what did that entail?

Dr. Amy: I wasn’t feeling drawn to the traditional two-year postdocs and looking back, I think that I was given a lot of misinformation and I had this idea [00:12:00] in my head about being an intern again, after I had been working independently and I was licensed and not having a lot of freedom in choosing how I was going to train and what populations I was going to train with and being in this prescribed two-year postdoc.

In retrospect, I think I had a lot of misinformation about that and misconceptions and that would have been a good thing if I had just done the traditional two-year postdoc but that was my thinking at the time. And so what I did was I, again, because I graduated before 2005, I had some options. So I looked through all of the postdoctoral internships that existed and some that were not in the match and found a board-certified neuropsychologist who was in private practice and also working part-time in a rehabilitation hospital. And so that’s what I did.

[00:13:00] My thinking was that, and this was true, that I had a lot of control over the patients that I saw, the experience that I sought out and I was able to say no to things I already knew how to do or knew I didn’t want to do. So I did have quite a bit of control over what those two years looked like.

Dr. Sharp: Okay. When you describe it that way, it does sound nice. You had the experience and you found a setting that would allow you to continue to grow and not feel redundant or anything like that.

Dr. Amy: Right.

Dr. Sharp: I’m thinking about folks who might be listening, maybe in a similar position, thinking about going back and maybe respecializing; do you know what that would entail these days? For someone who graduated after 2005, how would that process happen?

Dr. Amy: I do think that some people are still [00:14:00] doing things like psychology assistantships, but it’s riskier because you don’t know if that’s going to pass muster with the Houston guidelines to allow you to be eligible for board certification. The people that I know who’ve done it, have done it with real big-name people and things like that. So I think that the best way or the “safest” way is to get into the Match and do one of the two-year fellowships that’s offered through the Match.

When I talked about my misconceptions about the Match, I had this vision of the young green intern, but the people coming into neuropsychology postdoc are not young or green, they are people that have a lot of experience in assessment and so the training is at a high level. We have a postdoctoral fellowship at our hospital at Children’s and our trainees come in with a lot experience and then get a [00:15:00] huge breadth of new experiences and training that I think would be valuable even if somebody was a little bit more mid-career or the beginning of career like I was.

Dr. Sharp: Sure. That’s good to know. I know we’ve talked a little bit, I’m on the search for a pediatric neuropsychologist, and a lot of the resumes or CVs that I’m getting from folks who were in private practice for their postdoc; I’ve noticed there are differences. Some of them do specify ABPP certified or ABPP eligible, to make sure that I know like, hey, this is the real deal even though it’s a private practice.

Dr. Amy: Right. It’s hard because people will try to figure that out beforehand like if I don’t do a certified two-year fellowship that’s in the Match, will this experience count or will that experience count? You can’t always [00:16:00] know ahead of time so it is riskier for sure to do it that way in a postdoc that’s outside the Match.

Dr. Sharp: Sure. So your advice would be…

Dr. Amy: I would say that the other thing is that, but people do that, I think people have moving fatigue, they move for graduate school, they move again for internship and they don’t want to move again for fellowship. So we at Children’s Hospital get huge, large numbers of applications for internship, and then the number of applications we get for postdoctoral fellowship goes down by quite a bit. So there’s definitely are people who are figuring out ways to stay and make it work in these other ways.

I think that the experience is really valuable and the level of people coming in is high that even someone who’s been working in assessment for a while, could feel that it was worthwhile and worth their time to have done it.

Dr. Sharp: Okay. That’s great. That’s [00:17:00] good to know. Folks who might be listening will find that valuable just to know that training can continue and it can be comprehensive and different. That’s really …

Dr. Amy: Right.

Dr. Sharp: Well, let me switch gears a little bit. I know when we met, you had your job at Children’s but you also had a private practice. I’m using past tense. I would definitely like to talk about how you transitioned out of private practice but I would like to talk with you about how you set up your private practice because it was testing specific, right?

Dr. Amy: Yeah, I just did neuropsychological assessment. That’s it.

Dr. Sharp: Right. Talk to me about that. What was it like when you were starting your practice? Were you working full-time? Were you not? What was your setup at that point?

Dr. Amy: We moved here to Colorado because we were having a family and we have some family here. I had, when [00:18:00] we moved, just a one day a week PRN as needed position at Children’s Hospital in the Concussion Clinic. I’m not really clear why but I thought I wanted to do private practice at that point. So I thought, well, this is great. It’ll give me a little bit of, I can keep my foot in the door of the hospital, get a little bit of hospital work but I really want to do private practice.

I never did work at Children’s one day a week. I didn’t even work there one day a week my first week. I think I was two, three, four days a week almost immediately. And then within probably six months or so, it was clear to me that the private practice was, I liked it, I thought it was rewarding in a lot of ways, and it certainly made a lot of sense financially, it was closer to my house, all these things but I really loved the hospital-based [00:19:00] work. And so within about six months, I took a 3/4-time salaried position at Children’s, and about two years after that, I took a full-time position at Children’s and then transitioned out of my private practice.

Setting up my private practice in Boulder was, I would say, very easy. I bought a few things new. I bought everything else used on the listservs. I got office pretty easily.

Dr. Sharp: Can I interrupt you there? I think that’s important. I did an episode a little while back just on how to finance a testing practice. Could you talk a little bit more about how you set aside money or knew how much you needed to spend and these listservs, which listservs did you get your materials from? I’m curious about all that.

Dr. Amy: I cannot remember exactly but I think I [00:20:00] might have gotten mine on the AACN listserv, which is the listserv for board-certified neuropsychologists and it’s adults and people on it. Certainly, the pediatric one would also be a great place because there’s many more people on that listserv.

People were telling me, you need $20,000 to start a practice, you need $30,000. I luckily didn’t listen to them because that was not true for me. I know some people would say that but that was not true for me.

I got a reasonable rent on office space. I bought nice furniture from IKEA, all my office furniture from IKEA. I had a full battery of tests. I added things as I went but I had enough to do full battery with mostly used things that were in good condition.

And so I spent much closer to about $7,000 to get up and going. [00:21:00] I had cases right away so within a month and a half or something like that, I had paid that money back.

Dr. Sharp: That’s fantastic. I think that’s one thing, people get scared with the cost of admission, so to speak, but it comes back pretty quickly if you’re charging for your evaluations in what I would say the appropriate way.

Dr. Amy: Exactly. Some people will do things like, another neuropsychologist moved to our area and I was only using my office one or two days a week. She wanted to do a little private practice so she rented my space and my testing equipment from me while she got hers up and going. So that’s another thing people do. Most people don’t use their office five or six days a week so you can often, if you want to start to get referrals and not invest until you have a steady stream of patients coming in, do something like that and rent somebody else’s space and equipment.

Dr. Sharp: [00:22:00] Yeah, that’s a great idea. I like it. Let me ask you about the, if you’re willing to share, how did you structure the rental cost for her to include both the office and the testing materials. Were those separate numbers or did you pull it all into one fee or how did you do that?

Dr. Amy: Oh, gosh, how did we do that? I know we did the rent just per day. We said, okay, it’s 25 days a week, then we just split it by, I’m here this many days, you’re here this many days, and split the rent. Oh, and I’m so sorry, I cannot remember what we did about the testing equipment.

Dr. Sharp: Okay.

Dr. Amy: But the protocols seemed complicated, she just bought hers and I had mine. We thought it was going to be way too complicated to figure out how much money she would have spent by using my protocols. So we kept that [00:23:00] separate.

Dr. Sharp: Okay. I see what you mean. So she used your test kits but she bought her own response booklets and answer sheets.

Dr. Amy: Exactly. We thought it through and it would have been very difficult. Like days where she sees a six-year-old and does much less testing. She does a 16-year-old, how are we going to figure out how much she owes for all of that? And so we did that just totally separately.

She did do use my, I had an IVA, a continuous performance test that I was paying for per administration and she just kept track of that and then added it to the rent.

Dr. Sharp: Okay. I got you. That sounds good. That’s something I think to consider for anybody.

Dr. Amy: Yeah, very smooth way to start that way. Really smooth for her.

Dr. Sharp: And so going back just a little bit, when you said that you had enough to do a full battery, could you run down just the tests that you felt were absolutely necessary to get up and going where you could do what you needed to do right off the bat? What measures did you [00:24:00] get?

Dr. Amy: I cannot remember if I had a WPPSI right away. I must have had a WPPSI right away. Sorry, this has been a little while, I can’t remember. A WISC, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale, the WIAT, the Individual Achievement Test. What else did I have right at the beginning?

I had a Rey Complex Figure. I had a WRAML for memory testing. I had an IVA for continuous performance attention test. I had the D-KEFS. I had the NEPSY. I had Grooved Pegboard and I had some rating scales. I had the BRIEF, the BASC, the Vanderbilt. I had the VMI. [00:25:00] I think those were the ones that I started with.

Dr. Sharp: Okay. I know you didn’t mention this. Did you happen to have the ADOS? Were you doing autism?

Dr. Amy: Oh, I did have the ADOS. Thanks for reminding me. I did have the ADOS because maybe my second referral was for an autism evaluation.

Dr. Sharp: Oh. Okay. That’s a pretty comprehensive set of materials. I imagine you were good to go with most things that came your direction there from the beginning.

Dr. Amy: Yeah. And then I added a few little things. I added the Test of Word Reading Efficiency and I added the CTOPP. I did pretty well with what I had for a long time.

Dr. Sharp: Cool. How did you get referrals? You didn’t go to school in Boulder. It doesn’t sound like you lived there for very long before you had your private practice. Is that right?

Dr. Amy: Yeah, we had been living [00:26:00] in Utah, which is where I did my neuropsychology fellowship. I sent out a letter introducing myself to the local pediatricians. I had not been in Colorado. We got here. We were staying with some family. We didn’t have a place to live or anything like that, and I had been here maybe six hours when I got my first phone call.

Dr. Sharp: Oh my gosh. That’s wild.

Dr. Amy: Yeah. I hadn’t set up my office. I had found my office. We had come on a trip a few weeks earlier to get the office. Boulder, we have so many providers in some ways but not that many people doing assessment specifically, and I did no marketing from there. If I had wanted to grow it, I would have had to do more marketing than that but I [00:27:00] didn’t.

At the beginning, I was seeing two kids a week about, and then I went down to one kid a week and seeing that really low volume of kids, it was steady. Then parents telling other parents, I got referrals. A few pediatricians kept me on their radar and I got a few from them. Some child therapists and then a few reading tutors like study skills, executive coaches, kinds of folks who would regularly refer to me also.

Dr. Sharp: I hear you. It sounds like a lot of word of mouth more than anything.

Dr. Amy: Yeah, it was word of mouth. I would say, the pediatricians, the reading tutors, the school psychologists, the executive coaches, those were the big ones. I think sometimes people think about psychologists and child therapists and stuff, I know a lot of those folks but I don’t think it’s [00:28:00] as much on their radar as it is those other people. So that was the best bang for your buck for me.

Dr. Sharp: I’ve said before that I think that our reports are one of the greatest marketing tools that we have.

I wonder if that felt true for you as well. If you really put time into your reports and put some effort into that or if you had other ways of following up with those professionals to keep the referral stream going or what?

Dr. Amy: Yes, I agree with you about what you’re saying with the report. I also would say that longer does not mean better and certainly, a busy pediatrician is not going to read a 15 or 20-page report. They’re probably not going to read an eight or nine-page report. So I tried to keep the reports brief and user-friendly.

And then when I sent them to the pediatrician, I sent a quick summary letter. So [00:29:00] nothing long, just a short thing. Thank you for the referral. I saw this kid of yours. These were my two, or three initial findings. I asked the family to come to you for medical consult or the family will consult with you as needed, but the primary recommendations are for school-based intervention or something like that.

So just a one-paragraph letter. So they could throw the report in the chart and then have that letter to say, oh yeah, look at this. These are the results of the evaluation. These are the action items for me and I don’t have to sit through the report.

Dr. Sharp: That’s great. Good point. I think that’s a challenge and something that people are always wondering about, how do we communicate our findings but do it in a way that people will read, especially pediatricians?

Dr. Amy: Right. The pediatricians are not going to read a long neuropsychological report. They’re too busy.

Dr. Sharp: Sure. I [00:30:00] know that we’ve been talking for a little while here. I’m a little conscious of time, but I wanted to ask you, switching gears again, about validity testing and performance testing for kids. That’s a major research area for you and something that I think is important. I want to leave it open. Can you maybe talk about how you got into that as a research area and what you’re finding and maybe best practices with validity testing with kids?

Dr. Amy: I got into it and interested in it starting to work in a Concussion Clinic at Children’s Hospital where I’m working now. When I got there, they had already been running for several years, had several years of data, and we’re finding consistently that in the context of that clinic, mostly teenagers referred for prolonged symptoms after concussion, that [00:31:00] consistently every year between 15 and 17% of kids were failing performance validity tests or symptom validity tests as we sometimes call them.

So what we were doing then was having to give feedback to parents about what happened and why, and think that piece through. And since then, we’ve also done research on, what’s the patient outcome for a kid that failed performance validity testing and a kid who didn’t and we’re finding that they’re all getting better. Those kids are getting better at the same rate as kids who did give a valid credible performance during the consultation.

It’s been fascinating for the amount of times I’ve seen a kid fail and had to give that feedback, it’s just much more than you would see in any other setting, [00:32:00] probably. We’ve done a lot of research on why that happens, what happens afterward, using it as an important intervention and another way of helping to understand the kid, the prolonged symptoms, and how to help the kid get better and help the parents understand the etiology of the symptoms and how to help the kid get better.

And then recently, we also published a model for providing feedback because a lot of practitioners are worried about using symptom validity testing because if the kid fails, then what do you say to the parents and does it feel like you’re confronting them and very difficult and it usually doesn’t feel that way. And so we published a paper in The Clinical Neuropsychologist that provides a decision tree model of how to conduct those feedbacks so they feel productive for the provider and most importantly, they’re productive for the families.

Dr. Sharp: [00:33:00] I think that’s super important. We will link to that article in the show notes and try to help people access that. Could you talk through that quickly? You say there’s a decision tree as to how to do that. Could you give an overview of what that looks like?

Dr. Amy: Yeah, what we do is we do it with the child out of the room first, because we want to be pretty direct and frank with the parents and the kid knows what happened. We don’t view it as an unconscious process. We do view it as important clinical information about other non-neurologic factors or psychological factors that are contributing to the persisting symptom presentation of the kid.

We take it very seriously and we present it to the parents that [00:34:00] we give when we do these kinds of evaluations. We give tests that help to tell us if a child is trying their best to do well because we want to know if we have low scores, if those represent potentially true deficits, or might just be because the child wasn’t trying their best to do well. And then we say, and your child did not do well on those tests.

And then we leave it open. We have found over the hundreds and hundreds of kids we’ve seen, parents say, they say, oh, yes, that makes a ton of sense. I’ve been thinking that myself. Sometimes they don’t understand and they think, well, she never really tries, that it was a withdrawal of effort rather than it was a concerted effort to do poorly, which is more how we view it.

Sometimes people feel like, well, if my kid has headaches or other sorts of [00:35:00] pain, that would have made them score low on those tests or if my child is so impaired that that’s why they scored low. And so then depending on how they answer, we try to talk through with them about the nature of the test without giving a lot of specific information or certainly without naming the test, what that pain isn’t impacted and when kids, even people with more serious neurologic illness generally pass these kinds of tests. So those things aren’t the reason.

We try to help them understand and understand from a place of empathy and not be frustrated or angry with the child. And then when it feels like they have made some sense of what happened, then we try to sort through, well, what do they think is happening for the kid that this happened? What stressors are getting in the way? [00:36:00] What’s happening?

We have that conversation with the parents and then try to make a plan to have things be better, and then at that point, we bring the child in and speak about it in a much softer and maybe a little bit of a less direct way. We never have kids cop to it. Kids never say, oh yeah, I did that. Every once in a while they say, no, I didn’t or get a little bit argumentative but not frequently. Usually, they are quiet and nod, and then we talk through the treatment plan that we discuss with the parents.

Dr. Sharp: I see. I know there’s some debate out there, I could guess maybe the answer to this, but do you just throw out the data for the evaluation if the kid fails or how do you consider the data from that point?

Dr. Amy: [00:37:00] We do a few different things throughout the, our concussion evaluations are very abbreviated, so they’re usually between 1 hour and 1 hour 15 minutes. We have a few standalone measures and a few embedded measures. If things look concerning for effort throughout, then we do not report any of that data. None of it gets reported.

Dr. Sharp: I like how you discuss that model. It seems like a fairly collaborative approach to something that could otherwise be conflictual, potentially.

Dr. Amy: Right. Some people think, oh, the patient failed effort testing so I don’t have any data. I threw out all my data. We don’t approach it like that. We approach it like now I have a very important piece of data and this piece of data tells me that there are other [00:38:00] non-neurologic factors that are at play here and we have to understand them in order to help the child. So I think coming from that stance, that helps it to be collaborative and supportive for families. In our research, we’re seeing that it’s just as a helpful intervention as when kids provide credible data.

Dr. Sharp: That is really cool. Awesome. Well, I know that you’re in a hospital setting and doing primarily concussion evaluations. Do you see any value for validity testing in private practice with kids?

Dr. Amy: Oh, yeah, for sure. I probably do like 30% of my practice at the hospitals with concussions and so I do a variety of other things. In my private practice, yes, I did use validity testing. And then when I do comprehensive full evaluations [00:39:00] in our regular general rehabilitation clinic, I also do validity tests.

I see failure on those less frequently but I do see it enough that it feels really valuable to be doing it and a concern to not be, that you might be missing something really important.

Dr. Sharp: Yeah, absolutely. I feel like this is just, it’s such a big topic. We could probably do a whole episode just on validity or performance testing in kids. I appreciate you diving into it a little bit. Like I said, we’ll have a link to your article in the show notes and give people a chance to check that out because I think y’all, it seems like you frame it in a really nice way that can be helpful for families.

Thank you so much for the time. I know that we’ve spoken for quite a while here and gosh, I feel like we packed a lot of [00:40:00] good and helpful information into this time. So I don’t want to take too much more of your time.

Anything else that you would like for folks to know, anyone who might be getting into private practice with testing whether that be business-wise or validity testing, anything that you wanted to share as a last note?

Dr. Amy: For me, one of the main reasons for me to go back to get that additional training was I just wanted to be good and that’s the advice I would give. If you’re going to open a private practice or work as a staff member at a hospital and whatever you’re doing in terms of therapy, but certainly if you’re respecializing, get the support that you need, the supervision and the training so you can be good at it. I think that benefits all of us in the profession when we have people who have our similar degrees and [00:41:00] training are doing good quality work.

Dr. Sharp: That is fantastic advice. I love that. Dr. Amy Connery, thank you so much for spending time with me here today and running through all these different important pieces of private practice and working in the hospital and respecializing. This has been really fun.

Dr. Amy: Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Dr. Sharp: Take care. Bye bye. Hey everybody. This is Jeremy again. Thanks for listening to my interview with Dr. Amy Connery. Gosh, she talked about a lot of really cool stuff. She’s had a really interesting career so far and continues to do pretty cool things there at Children’s Hospital.

Amy and her team have written a number of articles actually on performance validity testing. We talked about her most recent one that frames how to give feedback for failed validity testing. You can definitely check that out in the show notes.

As always, if you enjoy our podcast, please take 30 seconds to go into iTunes or [00:42:00] wherever you listen and subscribe, rate and if you have a minute and you’re feeling kind, give us a review. That’d be awesome.

If you want to talk with other testing psychologists and join our growing community, you can go to thetestingpsychologist.com/community and that will take you to our Facebook group where we’re having some cool discussions about technology and time management and lots of things that are pertinent for testing.

So thanks as always for listening. We have some cool stuff coming up. I think here in the next two weeks, I’m going to be talking with Dr. Megan Warner out in Connecticut about therapeutic assessment, going to be talking about how to do a good school observation, and all sorts of other good stuff.

Y’all take care and we’ll catch you next time.

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