This episode is brought to you by PAR. The Feifer Assessment of Writing examines why students may struggle with writing. The FAW and the FAW screening form are available on PARiConnect- PAR’s online assessment platform. Learn more at parinc.com\faw.
All right, y’all welcome back. Thanks for being here. I’ve got two amazing guests on the podcast today. I’ve got Dr. Cady Block and Anny Reyes here to talk about KnowNeuropsychology. If you are not aware of KnowNeuropsychology, it is a series of free didactic webinars on various [00:01:00] topics in neuropsychology. The webinars cover the four competence areas in neuropsychology: clinical practice, research, professional development, and clinical disorders. The webinars are amazing. If you haven’t been to the KnowNeuropsychology website, definitely go check that out.
Our interview today focuses on everything related to KnowNeuropsychology: their origin story, what they’re about, where they’re headed, their efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion which are remarkable, and the work that they’re doing to further visibility of neuropsychology, not only in the US but around the world.
So if nothing else, I hope that you take away a lot of information about a fantastic Continuing Ed resource. And beyond that, just get to connect with the story [00:02:00] that they have created and continue to create as they do this amazing work.
Let me tell you a little bit about the guests and then we will get to the conversation.
Dr. Cady Block is a neuropsychologist and assistant professor within the Department of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a particular passion for working with neuropsychology students and trainees at all levels. She is the editor of The Neuropsychologists Roadmap: A Training and Career Guide (APA Press), and sits on the committee of the KnowNeuropsychology education initiative. She is also highly involved in professional governance, having served in multiple national and international neuropsychology organizations. In recognition of Cady’s efforts, she has been named a recipient of awards from the Society for Clinical Neuropsychology, National Academy of Neuropsychology, and the American Psychological Association.
Anny Reyes is a NINDS/NRSA F31 Diversity Fellow and a doctoral candidate in the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. She is also a doctoral intern at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Her research and clinical interests include cognitive phenotypes in persons with epilepsy, and provision of neuropsychological services to bilingual Spanish-English and Spanish speaking patients. She is highly active in neuropsychology governance, including sitting on the committee of the KnowNeuropsychology education initiative.
All right, y’all, this was a fantastic conversation. We covered a lot of ground. I do jump around a bit. I joked with them after the interview that I felt scattered today and had a hard time with my words, to be honest. So, just know that and forgive me. I’m a little more clumsy than usual here [00:04:00] with the interview, but I think the content is great. There’s some fantastic information and a lot of resources for you to check out.
So without further ado, here’s my conversation with Dr. Cady Block and Anny Reyes all about KnowNeuropsychology.
Hey, Cady, Anny, welcome to the podcast.
Dr. Cady: Thanks, it’s good to be here.
Anny: Thanks for having us.
Dr. Sharp: Yeah, for sure. I am excited to talk with y’all. I am guessing that there are a lot of folks out there that have heard of KnowNeuropsychology, but I’m guessing there might be some folks who haven’t. So, I really hope that this will be a fruitful conversation for the audience. And I’m just personally [00:05:00] curious to learn as much as I can about what y’all have going on over there because it seems so cool from all the research that I’ve done and things I’ve seen.
But I thought maybe we’d start just to help people know since there are two of you. Could you jump in and just tell us a little bit about your role and what each of you is doing at KnowNeuropsychology? We can start there and take it from there. Anny, you want to go first?
Anny: Yeah, sure. I’m one of the student representatives in the committee. So, we’ll talk a little bit more about this, but our committee itself doesn’t have any particular hierarchal structure. We’re all part of the planning committee and we have different roles. My role specifically is, I do the recordings of the webinars and I also do editing of the videos if needed and as well as the flyers. And sometimes, I do get involved with moderating and reaching out to potential speakers.[00:06:00] Dr. Sharp: Nice. So, you’re a student right now?
Anny: Yes, I am a 6th-year student at the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program, but also I’m doing my clinical internship at Emory University with Dr. Block.
Dr. Sharp: Oh, that’s fantastic. That’s super. So you’re on internship right now?
Anny: Yes, I am.
Dr. Sharp: Congratulations.
Anny: Thank you.
Dr. Sharp: You’re almost there. Cady, how about you?
Dr. Cady: Well, I’m a neuropsychologist here at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. And on the KnowNeuropsychology committee, Anny mentioned she’s a student representative on the committee, but I think as you’ll see as we go through the talk today that the way we structure our leadership and our committee, everybody has an equal voice and equal seat at the table. And so, really she’s a representative on the committee, I would say.
I also sit on the committee and help out a lot with the behind-the-scenes work of KnowNeuropsychology. I run the zoom account and the zoom invites and I help liaise with the different speakers that we invite to make [00:07:00] sure they get the information they need to set up for their own talk on the day of the lecture.
Dr. Sharp: Fantastic. Nice. I’m just jumping into it. At least from the website, it seems like y’all have a fairly large team that’s involved over there. Can you maybe just say a little bit about how this came about and what the team looks like? Let’s just start with that. Where’s it going? Where did this come from? And what does it look like?
Dr. Cady: Well, I think as we all have experienced, a lot of our people in the last year with the COVID pandemic, it’s affected our home lives but also our work lives. And for some of us, that training and education and continued professional development that we’re going through as trainees and early-career psychologists.
The story of KnowNeuropsychology, I think Springs out of the COVID pandemic. Thinking back to the first part of 2020, everything came to a screeching [00:08:00] halt in terms of the practice that we’re doing, but also educational activities for trainees and early career people. A lot of scientific meetings were put on hold at that time or institutional meetings. Anny and I had done some talking originally early on recognizing how that was interfering with the knowledge gains, the skill gains for trainees, but also networking and professional development for early-career individuals.
And really these are happening, I think at a really critical phase for a lot of us. And then it sort of sprang into a discussion on Twitter where Anny and I are both fairly active, and she raised this question one day, what are we doing for our trainees? And I threw the question back, well, why don’t we do a webinar series? And that was where the idea of KnowNeuropsychology originally took shape.
We started to have a series of discussions, and then, Anny and I pulled in different trainees and early career neuropsychologists that we knew across the field that had student and ECP leadership experience, as well as [00:09:00] people that just represented a diverse array culturally of people within neuropsychology.
Now we have people on the committee that represent the Asian Neuropsychological Association, the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society, The Society for Black Neuropsychology. And as we all came together, it just sort of took shape from there.
And Anny, I think you mentioned something as you and I were talking earlier about how we populated those initial talks, if you have a thought to add
Anny: Yeah, because this idea just came pretty quickly and we knew that this gap, a lot of the clinics closed, and a lot of the seminars came to a stop, so what we did is we we’re aware of some presentations and some presenters who have presentations ready to go. So, we wanted to really address this gap as soon as possible. So, we reached out to presenters who had amazing presentations ready to go, but also some of our committee members, especially the [00:10:00] early career neuropsychologists already have presentations that they use within their training clinics.
So we figured that why not, at least for the first 12 series of lectures, get the ball rolling, and really get those presentations going. And then after those 12 series of lectures, then after that, we had a little bit more time for a second volume to really reach out outside of our committee and outside of our network to get more diversity in presenters.
Dr. Sharp: I love that. We talked about diversity and inclusion a couple of times already and referenced. It seems like that was part of your, I don’t know if you’d say mission, but whatever you might want to call it, that was part of your goal, your aim from the beginning. This is maybe a silly question, but I know that’s not always the case. There are plenty of organizations out there that do not have that right from the [00:11:00] get-go. I’m curious how you came to land on that as such an important piece to follow.
Anny: For us, it was from the get-go I think. Given that, not only are we a group of trainees and early career neuropsychologists who are very well aware about these disparities when it comes to neuropsychology and the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, we also make sure that our committee members were also members of other organizations where diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the front of those organizations.
So like that, we have some accountability in terms of the speakers. We are selecting the topics we’re covering. And in addition to that, our mission is also to increase education when it comes to diversity-related issues. We know that it’s [00:12:00] not the same across the board for all trainees. Some programs may have that as a strength while other programs may not. And given that we were aware of this gap in the training, we decided that every aspect of the organization structure was going to have a DEI at the forefront. That is one of the things we’re very proud that we continue to work on, for sure.
Dr. Sharp: Yeah, it is striking. I think we were talking before we started to record that, when I was talking to Courtney Ray two months ago, it’ll probably be two months by the time this releases, there seems like there’s a lot of overlap with the Society for Black Neuropsychology and different, like you said, the Asian Neuropsychologist Group and the Hispanic Neuropsychological Group, which is fantastic. I was surprised at how much overlap there was. It’s a small world. It’s very cool.[00:13:00] So let’s talk about the actual format and what people can even expect from KnowNeuropsychology. So for anybody who may not know what it is and what we’re looking at here, what is this? What are y’all doing?
Anny: I could quickly just give what viewers should expect and maybe Dr. Block could talk a little bit about the logistics because we were intentional in terms of the format of the lectures.
So, for those who haven’t tuned in to KnowNeuropsychology, what you expect is that we have 12 weeks series. So there’s a volume of a 12-week series lecture that happens every Monday. We decided to keep in Monday so people could look forward to Mondays and tune into KnowNeuropsychology. And every [00:14:00] Monday for those 12 weeks, we have topics covering four different areas of competencies in neuropsychology, including clinical practice, clinical disorders, professional development, and research.
And usually, these talks last about an hour: Around 45 minutes of lecture from the speaker, and afterward it’s a 15 minutes, 10 minutes, Q&A session. Although we have a webinar format which means that viewers are seeing the webinar almost from the outside, they’re able to provide questions in our Q&A box. And one thing about us is we actually keep track of our questions and we save them for a later time because that tends to inform our lectures moving forward. So, that’s usually what viewers would expect from each volume.
Dr. Sharp: I love that. Is it a broadcast? Where’s it broadcast? YouTube or just on the web or do they have to sign up or register or what?
Anny: Yes, viewers do have to register. We have [00:15:00] a very active Twitter account with thousands of followers, and then we have a website. The lectures are actually live on Mondays, but then the recording is posted on our YouTube channel, but also on our webpage. So we have three different formats of actually viewing the lectures. And one of the important components is that this is global initiative. So we knew that the timing may not actually work for everyone around the world. So, it’s really nice to have the video also available on our website, but also on YouTube as well.
Dr. Sharp: Yeah, I love that. I think that’s super important. What about the…I mean, how did you choose this format? How did you choose the webinar format over podcast obviously is an option or even live events? How did you go with a webinar?
Dr. Cady: Well, that was the result of a lot of group discussion. I think we just weighed all our options. And from what I know, there is actually an emerging [00:16:00] literature on virtual education and things like podcasts and webinars as pedagogical tools. It’s actually an interesting deep dive. If people are interested, I encourage them to look this up.
And there’s actually one theory that has been applied to webinars called Social Presence theory, and that relates to the degree of perceived intimacy or immediacy and that the speaker participant relationship. My understanding is that webinars would be classified as something we call a high social presence medium because of just the nature of a webinar. You can see the speaker. You can hear the speaker. It really fosters a sense of connectedness and engagement with the audience. And also on top of that, webinars, obviously if it’s a PowerPoint format like in zoom, you can include visual graphics to supplement the points the speakers are making.
And keeping in mind the target audience that we have are people who are early in their graduate training or interns or fellows, and maybe some early career neuropsychologists, that’s really the goal here is to foster that missing connection that we’re all experiencing and in this time of the [00:17:00] pandemic, but also how can we help consolidate learning?
I happen to think personally that webinars are just a little more disability-friendly in some ways for trainees and colleagues who might be visually impaired or have a hearing impairment. Anny mentioned YouTube, and on YouTube, you can do the closed caption option.
So all things considered, I think we just felt like webinars seem like the way to go. Neuropsychology, I think historically they’ve been offered sporadically, but not necessarily systematically as part of a structure of the medical program. There have been some attempts. NAN- the National Academy of Neuropsychology runs a really great distance learning program, but that wasn’t, I think necessarily developed for trainees in mind. It’s more for the broader professional organization as a whole.
I think in addition to Webinars having some ideal features that lend themselves to learning and networking, I think there was a recognized area of need in the field that we felt like it just met better [00:18:00] than some of the other mediums that we considered.
Dr. Sharp: Yeah, that makes sense. I’m curious when you were pulling all this together, what led you to… Hmm, I’m trying to think how to ask, …what led you to know or believe in the idea that the students needed something or even licensed folks. I know a lot of licensed folks that watch the webinars.
We needed something outside of typical training programs, right? In theory, a lot of those training should be happening in graduate programs or internships or postdocs or whatever it might be. What were y’all seeing out in the field or hearing that made you think, “I think there’s room for a little bit more here?”
Dr. Cady: I think Anny mentioned earlier, not all programs are created equally. And there are a lot of roads that lead to neuropsychology, which I happen to think makes it feel really interesting and enriched is having a lot of diversity of individuals that come into our field from different paths. But I think [00:19:00] especially in a time of stress and hardship and training, really making that resource available to all people, I think we felt like that was really important. Anny, I’d be curious to know what you think?
Anny: Just adding to that. I come from a program that has a free structure neuropsychology concentration that follows the Houston Conference Guidelines, but being in leadership after several years and meeting students from every walk of life, my understanding is me recognizing that there is a need that goes beyond of what my program needs are, right?
And I think when you talk to students from different programs who are perhaps non-traditional neuropsychology students, then that’s how you really understand the needs of the training in the field. I think sometimes we tend to look towards [00:20:00] students or trainees who come from already very established programs, but we’re not addressing the gap. We need to address the gap when it comes to students who find out neuropsychology was really what they wanted to do maybe at 3rd year into their clinical psychology program, or trainees who are coming from non-traditional programs.
And I think when we first created that Google Form to really get some interest, and we saw those numbers climbing and going over a thousand people who signed up, I think that’s when we really realized, hey, there is a need and this could potentially address it. And then we’re here going into our 4th volume and the numbers haven’t changed, which really makes everything so fascinating.
Dr. Sharp: It sounds like y’all have this experience too, but I’m continually amazed at how many people want to listen to a podcast about testing [00:21:00] and assessment and neuropsychology. When I started, I was like, there is no way that this is going to be a thing, but there’s a lot of interest. It’s really cool to see that.
Dr. Cady: We cover, like Anny mentioned earlier, different topics within the KnowNeuropsychology lectures. And I think it’s one thing if you’re receiving some of the training and clinical disorders in your program, but we’re also covering topics, I think that are less often covered at the doctoral level, like professional development, networking, and those kinds of other issues. For example, we had a talk on the business of neuropsychology. I have this talk with my own trainees about what things like our views are and productivity and the stuff that nobody ever teaches you in graduate school. So making some of these topics more accessible to people at that level, they find it a lot of value in.
Dr. Sharp: Oh, for sure. I hear that all the time. We get no business education in graduate school at all. That was a big motivation for me as well to spread the word.
Since we’re on the topic of [00:22:00] topics, could you share more about what these modules look like or not modules, sorry, the 12 part series. What other topics are you covering and what might people expect to hear about in these webinars?
Anny: One thing that we, in terms of planning ahead, the good thing about having a committee who has a very extended network is that we know a lot of potential presenters and from all different stages of career. So, our goal, and we’ll talk a little bit more about this is to really create a platform and elevate trainees and early career on neuropsychologists, but also on neuropsychologists from historically underrepresented backgrounds.
So with that, we try to balance the topics. We make sure that we’re [00:23:00] covering all four competencies as I mentioned earlier, which is clinical disorders, clinical practice, professional development, and research. And then with that, we keep in mind pediatrics lifespan and adults and older adults. So we want to make sure that we’re not just covering everything that has to do with dementia, that we’re covering all the different topics. And then these speakers are incorporating diversity elements. So we use, the American Academy for Clinical Neuropsychology relevance, 2015 guidelines in terms of incorporating diversity issues into a presentation.
And then in terms of just the topic would range, anything from using social media to network all the way to when it comes to Parkinson’s disease, networks. So, it’s a very wide range of topics all within competencies for neuro-psychology.
And so far, I think, [00:24:00] all of our topics have been very well attended. So on topics, we see late on neuropsychologists, we’ll see seasones neuropsychologists come in and just kind of get a refresher, which is really nice.
Dr. Sharp: Yeah, sure. I mean, just looking through the list of topics, they’re super interesting. I’m like, “I want to watch all of these. These are fantastic.” It’s really cool. I know I’ll say this many times, but it’s a fantastic resource for people and that’s nice to see all this excitement and energy around it. I’m very grateful for everything that y’all are doing.
I know people are probably wondering, how do I get access to this? Is there a membership fee? Is there not a fee? Yeah, let’s dive into the finances. People always want to know how much this stuff is going to cost.
Let’s take a quick break to hear from our feature [00:25:00] partner.
The Feifer Assessment of Writing or FAW is a comprehensive test of written expression that examines why students may struggle with writing. It joins the FAR and the FAM to complete the Feifer Family of diagnostic achievement test batteries, all of which examine subtypes of learning disabilities using a brain-behavior perspective. The FAW can identify the possibility of dysgraphia as well as the specific subtype. Also available is the FAW screening form, which can be completed in 20 minutes or less. Both the FAW and the FAW screening form are available on PARiConnect- PAR’s online assessment platform, allowing you to get results, even faster. Learn more at parinc.com\faw.
All right, let’s get back to the podcast.
Dr. Cady: I think it’s everybody’s favorite four-letter word when I say it’s free. So free is a good thing. [00:26:00] We just felt like that was really important, especially when we’re targeting trainees. I think they’re already in a financially vulnerable position. One thing, I think that limits trainees are things like conferences, it costs money to get a hotel or to register for the conference. Again, as Anny mentioned earlier, some programs are created equally and some programs may not have access to things like travel awards. And so, I think making it free and accessible was really important for us in the KnowNeuropsychology committee. Absolutely.
If they want to access it, we have a website knowneuropsych.org.If you go on the website, we have indexed the talks by topics. We have them indexed by volumes. We just wrapped our 3rd volume and we are about to launch our 4th. Each one is 12 talks, as Anny mentioned earlier.
Dr. Sharp: That’s fantastic. Volume was the word I was looking for earlier, not module. That’s super cool. The free aspect is really nice. I know y’all are so focused [00:27:00] and you just mentioned this, on inclusion and really making these accessible, not only in the US but internationally as well. Can you speak to how that’s happening? I’m just curious. From a strategic standpoint, how do you reach neuropsychologists in other countries and draw their attention to something like this?
Anny: I think that the simple answer is Twitter. In the beginning, when we started the lecture series, we were promoting on our typical listservs: the training listeners, the different listservs that we have here in the US, but having that reach on Twitter, from my understanding, I think it would be a little bit difficult to figure out, and this is something that we could do in the future, we’ve really had that [00:28:00] global reach by really promoting and doing marketing on Twitter.
Many of us already had a pretty big Twitter following and had trainees in neuropsychology and neuropsychologist, educators around the world. And I think it just pretty much trickled down from there. People started reposting, re-tweeting our posts and started following our Twitter page. And one of the things too is that with that, I think now our website has pretty much a global reach.
So, we’re able to see what parts of the world are people accessing what page. And it’s pretty much every continent. Some countries that I’ve personally never heard of, which is really amazing. And to me, when saying I’m from the Dominican Republic and seeing that there are people from my island actually, listening to these lectures, and from pretty much all over the world.[00:29:00] Dr. Cady: I think that the last count we were over 100 countries.
Dr. Cady: Yeah.
Dr. Sharp: It’s incredible.
Dr. Cady: And one of our committee members excellently stumbled onto us being mentioned on Reddit. You know you’ve made it when you’re on Reddit, right?
Dr. Sharp: If you’re on Reddit, you’re right on. You’re in pop culture. That’s fantastic.
Where do you see this headed? What’s on the radar? What are the big initiatives or projects or hopes?
Dr. Cady: I think we can see it expanding into a couple different arms. Right now we’re focusing on continuing to put out quality content with our next volume. We just wrapped our first ever summer series dedicated to neuroanatomy, called KnowNeuroanatomy. This was a 7-session lecture series that focused on everything from learning and memory to language, to executive function, our final topic was on Cerebrovasculature [00:30:00] following the same KnowNeuropsychology model. And actually, those lectures are also on the website and for free. So if anybody would like to access those, they are up now.
We also last year launched our first virtual poster session. And this was, I believe in December, right Anny?
Dr. Cady: We had 40 to 50 different submissions with students and early career presenters. And we separated those into actual poster sessions and it was quite a success I thought for the first go-round. So we’re looking at repeating that again later this year.
Dr. Sharp: I love that. So, KnowNeuroanatomy, that’s kind of a new branch. I’m thinking ahead again. Are there any major initiatives as far as global outreach or anything as far as recruitment or finding folks or getting [00:31:00] folks involved or anything like that?
Dr. Cady: Yes, I’m glad that you brought that up. Anny, did you want to speak to the recruitment of our new committee members?
Anny: Yeah. So, we actually, in recruiting new committee members, the applications closed about two weeks ago. And we were actually very excited because we received, I believe, close to 60 applications. Basically, our goal for this call to new members is to provide opportunities for trainees, early career, mid-career, early career neuropsychologists, who haven’t had experience in leadership. And we typically know that in order to get a leadership position within professional service, you may have to need prior experience. So it’s one of those things that, how can I apply for positions if I don’t have prior experience, especially when you’re not a trainee, when you’re already in your later stages of your career?
So we decided that we [00:32:00] wanted to do a different model. All of us in the committee have pretty extensive leadership experience. So we were hoping to build a mentorship program. So we are recruiting, we don’t know the number of members yet. I think we’re all very excited reading these applications. But basically, we’re going to have new members come in and learn the different roles, the different responsibilities that different members have, and help in that way.
So, whether it’s reaching out to speakers and sending emails, whether is moderating one of the webinars, or doing some of the logistics cycles behind the scene. But at the same time, these new members will actually have direct mentorship from our committee members as well as group mentorship, join our meetings to really foster that professional development in leadership.
And with that in mind, our goal is to make sure that our new members [00:33:00] are diverse and that they come from different ethnic backgrounds as well as other dimentions that diversity. In addition to, we’re also hoping if things work out that we have some international members as well to make sure that we’re holding ourselves accountable when it comes to that global outreach. So, we’re very excited and hopefully, during this upcoming volume 4, we’ll be introducing our new members or viewers.
Dr. Sharp: That’s amazing. I had no idea that you were recruiting new committee members. That sounds like you’ve got a nice pool. That’s fantastic.
Dr. Cady: Our applicants range from the United States to, we had somebody, I think from Russia and others from East Asian Countries, really just global applications from the US and abroad, which was really exciting to see.
Dr. Sharp: Absolutely. Is this something where the… I mean, is the committee sort of a revolving membership? Does it update or refresh every year or two years or? How does that work?[00:34:00] Anny: So our plan is to actually, for these new members coming in who are going to be a part of this mentorship program, is that it’s going to be about a year and a half to pilot the program and see, not just if it works, but also some outcome data to make sure that we’re doing this correctly.
So what the goal is a year and a half of these members being part of a committee, offering them mentorship and in leadership, and then doing a new call to make sure that we are opening up these opportunities to other members, especially because we got so many applications, we know that people are very excited and interested in being part of KnowNeuropsychology. So we’re just hoping it to be revolving every two volumes, I believe. So moving forward, that’s the plan.
Dr. Sharp: That’s great to hear it. I imagine, there are a lot of interested folks out there and they’re like, [00:35:00] oh, disappointed, the applications are closed. Good to know there’s an opportunity in the future. Where do you all see? I mean, I know this is not a talk that’s supposed to focus specifically on diversity and equity and inclusion, but that’s such a big part of y’all’s mission and goals. So do you have thoughts on, I mean, this is a huge issue in neuropsychology I think. And I’m curious where you see the field headed from here as far as working on under-representation and bringing more diverse groups into the field.
Anny: So thinking about one of the barriers to the student pipeline when it comes to neuropsychology is actually exposure to the field. For example, I, myself didn’t find out about neuropsychology while I [00:36:00] was two years after graduating undergrad. And after that, I had to do a master’s program because I had no experience and things like that. So I think one of the ways that KnowNeuropsychology is really addressing this pipeline issue is by exposing students to the field and exposing students to maybe neuropsychologists who look like them and to different topics.
We cover professional development topics in terms of applying to graduate school, internship, and postdoc, and just really getting to know what the field looks like by viewing these lectures and seeing neuropsychologists present. And I think having that accessible. As Dr. block mentioned, going to a neuropsychology conference is very expensive, even for students who are currently in grad programs.
Imagining an undergraduate or postdoc [00:37:00] to be able to attend these conferences or even be aware that these conferences exist. So I really do think that having this free lecture series accessible to all is going to address part of the problem with the pipeline.
Dr. Cady: I really agree. And I think taking gap years after undergraduate before grad school is becoming more common practice. I also did a terminal masters before going on to my doctorate, like Anny, but I know plenty of postdocs that are working as psychometrist technicians, working in research labs, other kinds of experiences. They’re no longer undergraduates, but they’re not yet in grad school. And I think there is a real dearth of resources for that group in particular. I think having something like this that’s visible and very accessible, as Anny mentioned, can really help create that pipeline.
Dr. Sharp: I love that. It seems like y’all are just doing so much work to sort of break out of the silo. I feel like neuropsychology is just been hidden [00:38:00] away in hospitals or universities, definitely not on social media. So all these things that y’all are doing are amazing efforts. Visibility is huge.
Dr. Cady: I agree.
Dr. Sharp: Yeah, it’s very cool. This is a random question. I realize we’re just kind of bouncing around. I’m having a lot of random thoughts this interview. The way that y’all have set this up and some of the things that you have said made me think, do you have any, I don’t know if aspirations is the right word or hopes or even thoughts about some of these volumes or some of the material you’re presenting being counted as like formal education that may help in the Houston guidelines, with that whole process for some folks?
Dr. Cady: We’ve definitely discussed it as a committee. I think the original goal last year was to get [00:39:00] information out and respond quickly to a need that we saw. But now, as we’re sort of establishing ourselves for the long term, the committee discussion is turning to well, where do we see ourselves going? And I think one thing that we’ve recognized through some of the outcome surveys that we’ve done is just how many early career and even as Anny mentioned, people who are well into their careers, the interest that they’ve taken, and the attendance numbers that we’re getting from these individuals and what they feel like they’re getting out of it. And so the CE issue has come up a few times and that is an ongoing discussion. So no decision has been made just yet, but I personally would love to see that as an option at some point in the future, perhaps.
Dr. Sharp: Yeah, I think there are a lot of folks out there who would be interested in that. I know that, myself included, there are a lot of us who sort of missed the window maybe on formal neuropsychology training but now recognize the value of that. And there aren’t a whole lot of options to get [00:40:00] accredited or formal training at this point after you’ve already done postdoc and so forth. There might be…
Dr. Cady: It’s always going to remain free, which is the good news I think for now. We aim to make that free and accessible. We have talked about monetization at some point. Through YouTube, you can do that. And we have some startup funds that were provided to us very generously by a couple of the neuropsychological organizations, including the International Neuropsychological Society and APA, their early career office which we’re very grateful for because there are startup costs involved in something like this. The listserv, the website, running those things does take funds.
Dr. Sharp: Yeah, absolutely. I was going to ask you, this is one of those things we talked about. I’m curious about everything on the business side of all of this, Of course, that’s where I like to live, but why do something like this independent [00:41:00] of APA or INS or any of the other governing bodies in neuropsychology. Was that a conscious choice in the beginning? Did they approach you? Did you approach them? I’m curious about how all these develops.
Dr. Cady: I think again, the rapid response that we were really hoping for, I think the concern was that that might be hindered in some way by working through organizations more formally. I, for one, appreciate, and I’m sure the committee would agree with me, I appreciate that organizations have to develop content in line with their own values and goals. And they use the process of consensus to ensure that this is quality content that they’re putting out, but I also think that that, that runs the risk of making organizations less nimble when it comes to responding quickly to the changing needs and stresses that trainees were having during this period of time.
So, starting this from scratch, and [00:42:00] doing this the way that we did, allowed us a level of autonomy when we were developing the program in things like, how did we seek funding? What topics did we pick that we thought were relevant? What speakers were we soliciting than we would have had otherwise.
Dr. Sharp: Sure. I like that word nimble. And you’re so right. You’re being very diplomatic, which is great. You’re being very kind, but yeah, if you want to do things quickly, it typically helps to just do it on your own. Just make it happen. Kind of wait till,
Dr. Cady: And depending on which organization you’re working within too, it could potentially put something behind a paywall or create other limitations as organizations do take money to run. So that’s certainly understandable, but by maybe removing some of those barriers, we can reach a greater number of trainees, especially people around the globe.
Dr. Sharp: Right. Well, it seems like it’s working at least from the outside and it seems clear. You mentioned outcome surveys a couple of times. [00:43:00] I did want to touch on that. Being in the field that we are, having data is always nice. And so, I’m curious how you’re using outcome surveys and what role those play.
Anny: So in terms of the outcome surveys, one, we actually keep track of our speakers. As I mentioned, we want to hold ourselves accountable, especially when it comes to creating that platform for training or early career and diverse presenters. So we keep track of those numbers as well.
And then in terms of outcome survey, a few things we want to make sure that we’re reaching our goals and the mission of the lecture series by asking our viewers which lectures do they attend? Was the content appropriate for the level of training? And I think the important part here is that it’s really meant for trainees. So though we have individuals from other stages of a career, [00:44:00] we want to make sure that the content is understandable enough for trainees.bWe don’t want for it to be too advanced because then we’re missing the overall mission of the organization.
So, we made sure that we part of that survey is that we asked the viewers their thoughts on the content and whether it was appropriate for the level of training. And in terms of our goals with this outcome data, is that in the near future, we’re hoping to write up a manuscript really going over the creation and development of KnowNeuropsychology, all the logistic components, everything that came into play, but also how to use a virtual format.
We presented at APA this past summer on how to use a virtual format when it comes to training in neuropsychology, which will actually be implemented in other [00:45:00] areas of psychology in general, especially, thinking about psychology and neuropsychology globally, I think, we could really create programs or training programs with a very similar format to what we’re doing with KnowNeuropsychology.
Our goal is to use this outcome data to see: is of format working? Is the structure of the lectures working? I`s this meeting the needs of trainees? And if it’s not, where’s the gap? And with every volume, we look at the surveys that we sent out at the end of the volume in order for us to prepare for the next one. So, we’re actively using the information to really inform us on future volumes.
Dr. Sharp: I love that. I just think about.. I mean, there’s so much potential with something like this. I’m sure you all have thought about this as well, but to reach graduate programs that [00:46:00] may not have the capacity to bring on enough faculty to have a neuropsychology concentration, it’s really amazing. And there’s a lot that could be done with this format. It’s very cool.
Dr. Cady: I know somebody who assigns her lectures as homework for their neuropsych class. Even just doing supplements for trainees that way. I think, however you want to use it. I think it’s useful in a number of ways.
Dr. Sharp: Right. There’s a lot of value there.
Well, I know that we have bounced around. We’ve covered a lot of ground and really just skim the surface on a lot of the pieces that you all have put together here. Before we wrap up, are there any areas, anything that you would like to highlight or touch on that I didn’t ask about, or that we kind of glossed over that you want to spend a little bit more time on at all?
Anny: I think I [00:47:00] quickly will say this and I think in our field and we have talks and debates about the field of neuropsychology when it comes to technology. And I think we learned during the pandemic of how rapidly we actually had to take our old ways of doing things and really trying to use technology to address the need of our communities. And I think this could be used as well when it comes to the education and training in neuropsychology. I think we could use technology to become more creative and to reach more students at different stages of our training. That’s one part. So the technology aspect of what we do.
But I think the field could learn a lot from how we function as a committee, as an organization. I think as a trainee, I am very [00:48:00] grateful that I’m in a committee where pretty much my voice has equal value as the other neuropsychologists who are board-certified. And I think, we as trainees, all of us come with lived experiences and different expertise and things that have nothing to do in neuropsychology.
And I think feeling very valued and heard in a committee like this one is something that our field, in general, could learn from. And I think we could really start incorporating and integrating and creating opportunities for trainees from different stages of their career and training to be part of the future of neuropsychology. And I think this is what we’re seeing when KnowNeuropsychology and other organizations as well that have a very similar model.
Dr. Cady: I agree with that, Anny. And I’d like to add maybe that even if you look at our speaker list, we do include maybe a [00:49:00] few big names, like one or two per volume within our series. And these big history names often draw attendance numbers, but we also really want to give time and space to early career voices as well. When you think about going to neuropsychology conferences, you may see the same, 5 to 10 people speaking on topics. And they have recognized expertise, but I think really creating that space and opportunity and visibility for early-career people is really important as well.
In addition to what Anny is saying, and I think, ultimately what KnowNeuropsychology is trying to show is that we can do things a different way and it can be successful in a number of ways. And so hopefully if nothing else, that’s what folks can take away from the initiative and what we’re trying to do.
Dr. Sharp: Yeah, I totally agree. I mean, it seems like, in all regards, y’all are really trying to push things forward and breakthrough some of the old ways of doing things. [00:50:00] Which is very valuable and needed, I think.
Well, I really appreciate your time. Gosh, we could dive into so many of these topics in more detail, but I want to be respectful of your time and not give people too much to digest. I think this is a great overview and hopefully, will get folks interested enough to come check out these volumes and learn a little bit at the same time. So, thank you both. This was great. I’m very grateful for your time.
Dr. Cady: We enjoyed it. Thank you so much for having us.
Anny: Thank you so much for the invite.
Dr. Sharp: All right, y’all. Thank you so much for tuning into my conversation with these fabulous clinicians. As you can tell, they are putting a lot of time and energy, and deliberate effort into increasing visibility and access to neuropsychology for folks who need it.
If you’re a private practice owner or [00:51:00] thinking of being a private practice owner, and you’d like some support in your journey, I would love to talk with you about joining one of The Testing Psychologists Mastermind groups. I have three levels of mastermind groups. There is a beginner group for those just launching, there’s an advanced group for those looking to hire or hire more clinicians and grow your practice, and then there’s an intermediate group for solo practitioners, really just looking to dial in their systems without necessarily hiring or expanding.
I am always taking applications for each of these groups and simply start a new cohort as soon as the group is full. So you don’t have to wait for the next cohort necessarily. You can get more information at thetestingpsychologist.com/beginner or thetestingpsychologist.com/advanced or thetestingpsychologist.com/intermediate, and you can apply for a pre-group call or rather schedule a pre-group call, and we’ll decide if it’s a good fit for you.[00:52:00] I hope you are doing well. I will catch you next time with a business episode.
The information contained in this podcast and on The Testing Psychologist website is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast or on the website is intended to be a substitute for professional, psychological, psychiatric, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please note that no doctor-patient relationship is formed here, and similarly, no supervisory or consultative relationship is formed between the host or guests of this podcast and listeners of this podcast. If you need the [00:53:00] qualified advice of any mental health practitioner or medical provider, please seek one in your area. Similarly, if you need supervision on clinical matters, please find a supervisor with expertise that fits your needs.