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The neuropsychology service in the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) was established in 2002 by George Mooney, Ph.D. Current PM&R neuropsychology faculty include one inpatient neuropsychologist and two outpatient neuropsychologists.

Neuropsychology service faculty specialize in the evaluation and treatment of a broad range of disorders and neurotrauma that affect brain-behavior relationships in adults and adolescents. We provide a physician consult service for patients in PM&R and throughout the hospital system, as well as for community outpatient providers.

The mission of the neuropsychology service is to enhance the cognitive, emotional, and physical well-being of patients through careful observation, thoughtful evaluation, timely feedback, and high-impact recommendations that will improve quality of life.   

An important aspect of the University of Utah School of Medicine’s mission is educating scientists and health care professionals for the future. The PM&R neuropsychology service is aligned with this mission through educational offerings at the postdoctoral and graduate level. The service developed the first postdoctoral training program in the state of Utah that is a member of the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN). The service provides practicum training rotations for graduate students from Utah State University.

Find out more about the postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology.

What is a neuropsychologist?

According to the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN), “A clinical neuropsychologist is an independent, professional, doctoral level psychologist who provides assessment and intervention services to people of all ages, based upon the scientific concepts of clinical neuropsychology. Training in clinical neuropsychology comprises a broad background in clinical psychology, as well as specialized training and experience in clinical neuropsychology”.  The neuropsychology faculty in PM&R are all board eligible neuropsychologists and meet these training guidelines.

What can I expect in a neuropsychological evaluation?

A neuropsychological evaluation will include a clinical interview, completion of performance-based and self-report assessment instruments covering the areas of cognitive ability (i.e., thinking skills like attention, memory, and problem solving) and emotional status (e.g., anxiety, depression), and receiving feedback on the findings.

During the clinical interview, it can often be helpful to have a family member join you to provide input from their perspective. Family input can be vital for some referral questions (e.g., dementia). The interview will consist of questions about your social background, medical history, current symptoms, and functional ability.

When you complete the cognitive and emotional assessment instruments might include both paper and pencil tasks and computer-based activities. Some of these tasks might be administered by one of the neuropsychologists, a psychometrist, postdoctoral fellows, or advanced doctoral students.  The evaluation will allow time for breaks as needed and typically will include a break for lunch. Examinations can take much of the day, so please do not schedule other appointments on the same day.

Depending on the completion time of test administration and the complexity of the case, the timing and nature of feedback can vary. In some cases same day feedback is possible, but in other cases, feedback might be arranged over the phone or in person on a different day.

How can I prepare for a neuropsychological evaluation?

Please bring with any relevant outside medical records or reports from prior neuropsychological evaluations that you have available. Also, bring glasses, hearing aids, or other assistive devices you require for reading and writing. You can also bring snacks, drinks, or meals you may require during the day.  Please note family members or other individuals are not able to join you during test administration.

It is common to have anxiety or feel nervous about the evaluation, but it is important to note that there is no way to study for a neuropsychological evaluation. The expectation is just to try your best!

How do I schedule a neuropsychological evaluation?

The neuropsychology service requires a referral from a medical provider to schedule an evaluation to demonstrate the medical necessity for the procedure, which is required for insurance coverage. Referrals are reviewed for fit with our providers’ areas of expertise and once approved, a referral specialist will contact you for scheduling.

If you have additional questions on scheduling an evaluation, please call our clinic at 801-581-2267.

If you have an appointment scheduled,

Neuropsychology Appointment Letter and Directions