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Psychology Practicum Extern – Santa Rosa

Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center

Santa Rosa in Sonoma County has a population of approximately 180,000 and is the largest city in California’s North Coast area and the county seat. An hour and fifteen minutes north of San Francisco, Santa Rosa is a gateway to the wine country with many wineries and vineyards nearby. It is also a haven for bikers, paddlers, and hikers with its close proximity to the Russian River resort area, Jack London State Historic Park, Armstrong Redwoods Reserve, and Annadel State Park. Additional local attractions include the Charles M. Schulz Museum, creator of the Peanuts comic strip; the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens and the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. Downtown Santa Rosa, which encompasses historic Railroad Square and Old Courthouse Square, is an area of shopping, restaurants, and theaters

The Kaiser Santa Rosa Medical Center provides care to more than 169,000 members in Sonoma County and is the largest private employer in the area. Satellite clinics exist in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park. In 2017, Kaiser expanded its mental health services by opening a second Psychiatry office on Mercury Way. The department is comprised of four teams: Adult, Child/Family, Addiction Medicine, and Behavioral Medicine. Our clientele come from a wide spectrum of middle/working class adults and families from mostly urban and some rural areas. The patient population is ethnically diverse and presents with a wide array of treatment issues.

Program Curriculum

Equity, Inclusion & Diversity

Kaiser Permanente is committed to creating a welcoming environment for historically marginalized individuals and communities. Practicum students learn how to conduct neuropsychological interviews, evaluations, and feedback through a cultural framework that considers not only race/ethnicity, but also incorporates age, gender identity, sexual orientation, acculturation, language, socioeconomic status, and other personal/community identities. Kaiser Santa Rosa is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, not only thru didactic training and supervision but also through recruitment and retention of diverse staff. The Training Director/primary supervisor at Kaiser Santa Rosa is a bicultural Latina, with extensive experience/training in cross cultural assessment. Cultural humility and growth are encouraged in supervision.

Didactic Training

Didactic training is offered weekly with other Kaiser Neuropsychology practicum students, interns, postdocs, and faculty in Northern and Southern California. Students will present one topic of interest during the practicum year. The neuropsychology lecture series has included presentations on sports concussion, CNS infections, disconnection syndromes, atypical parkinsonism, white matter disorders, executive function, vascular disease, language evaluation, forensic practice, motor neuron disease, neuroanatomy, neuroimaging, psychopharmacology, disability issues in neuropsychological assessment, neuropsychological ethics, cross cultural neuropsychology, and other topics relevant to the field. Didactic training is also offered by the primary supervisor in Santa Rosa.

Seminars and Meetings

Students participate in 1 hr of weekly case conference presentations with fellow practicum students, interns, postdoctoral students, and faculty. Students will present at least one case in this seminar. Students also participate in a monthly neuroimaging seminar with the primary supervising neuropsychologist, fellow practicum students, and staff neurologists, as well as providers from Geriatric Medicine and Psychiatry.

Additional opportunities for professional development include observing staff neurologists performing medical exams on patients with various neurologic conditions, observing EEG exams and interpreting readouts with neurologists, and accompanying on call neurologists to the hospital for consults.


The basic training philosophy is a scientist-practitioner model of clinical neuropsychology. The approach to supervision is an apprentice/developmental model with a commitment to helping students develop basic, fundamental skills in adult and geriatric neuropsychology evaluation. To that end, students observe the supervising neuropsychologist performing evaluations initially and then are observed interviewing, testing, and providing feedback on multiple occasions by the supervisor before transitioning to increased independence.

Students receive 1 hour of individual supervision per week and 2 hours of group supervision per week at minimum. Students present case data weekly to fellow students and gain experience in providing and receiving feedback from their colleagues, which fosters professional development.

Community Partnership Program

Students have the opportunity to co-lead a peer psychoeducation support group for caregivers of patients with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD). This group is available through partnership with the Lewy Body Dementia Association. Past students have given short psychoeducational presentations to assist with various aspects of care for loved ones with LBD in addition to general group facilitation.

Psychological Assessment

Conducting neuropsychological assessments is the primary focus of this program. Testing typically includes assessment of memory, IQ, attention, motor functioning, language, visual spatial abilities, and executive functioning using a variety of neuropsychological test instruments. Training is provided in assessment of valid responding and mood/personality as well. The number of batteries and comprehensive reports completed will be based on students’ past experience, ability, and interest.

Students are expected to complete full neuropsychological evaluations every other week for the first 1 month of training, increasing to weekly evaluations thereafter, with comprehensive reports prepared after completion of the evaluation. Feedback sessions are completed with the patient and family after preparation of the report.

Tracks and Rotations

Adult and Geriatric Neuropsychology

Practicum students will be placed at Kaiser Permanente Neurology Department in Santa Rosa. The patient population consists of Kaiser Health Plan members (including those with Medicare and Medi-cal) and covers a broad diagnostic spectrum. Ages range from 18 and older, and virtually all neurological conditions are represented. Patients referred to the department are being assessed for brain injury, strokes, dementia, neoplasms, infectious diseases, movement disorders, and other general neurologic conditions. Forensic assessment (if applicable) is limited to medical capacity and assessment of valid responding, with the primary focus on general adult and geriatric neuropsychological evaluations. Assessment is collaborative, with consultation and some training available from staff Neurologists. In addition, there is ongoing interaction between the neuropsychology staff and broader medical services, including but not limited to Primary Care, Geriatric Medicine, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Psychiatry. Training opportunities are also available shadowing and performing screening cognitive evaluations in the Geriatric Medicine Department.

By the end of the training program, students will be well-versed in conducting clinical interviews and performing neuropsychological assessments, including the administration, scoring, and interpretation of widely-used neuropsychological instruments. Supervision and training in report writing will also be provided. Individual therapy is optional depending on students interests, school requirements, and patient availability. If available, individual therapy will be brief and focused on cognitive behavioral interventions.


(Include each track schedule if there are differences and include if the track is in person/hybrid/virtual Currently, clinical interviews and feedback sessions are done remotely in most cases. Neuropsychological evaluations/testing appointments are done in person. Supervision is a mix of in person (observing testing/testing out) and remote sessions (weekly individual and group). Didactics and case conferences are done remotely.

Weekly hours:

  • Clinical Interviews: 2.0 hrs
    Assessment/Testing: 8.0 hrs
  • Individual Supervision: 1.0 hr
    Group Supervision: 2.0 hrs
  • Didactic Training: 1.0 hr
    Case Conferences: 1.0 hr
  • Paperwork/Other Admin: 5.0

Program Graduates

2022-2023 Cohort

Graduate University/Institute Track/Specialty Rotation Current Position, Specialty & Location
Jamie Kiefer, M.S. Palo Ato University Neuropsychology Emphasis Practicum Student at UCSF Memory and Aging Center, San Francisco, California

2021-2022 Cohort

Graduate University/Institute Track/Specialty Rotation Current Position, Specialty & Location
Dumichel Harley, PhD Palo Alto University Neuropsychology Emphasis Post-doctoral Fellow at New York University, New York City, New York

2020-2021 Cohort

Graduate University/Institute Track/Specialty Rotation Current Position, Specialty & Location
Levi Cole, PhD Palo Alto University Neuropsychology Emphasis Neuropsychology Intern, VA Martinez, Martinez, California
Megan Frank, PhD Palo Alto University Neuropsychology Emphasis Neuropsychology Intern, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

2019-2020 Cohort

Graduate University/Institute Track/Specialty Rotation Current Position, Specialty & Location
Angely Piazza-Rodriguez, PhD Palo Alto University Neuropsychology Emphasis Neuropsychology Fellow, Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland
Jordan Rine, PhD Palo Alto University Neuropsychology Emphasis Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Fellow, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, Winston Salem, North Carolina

2018-2019 Cohort

Graduate University/Institute Track/Specialty Rotation Current Position, Specialty & Location
Jasmit Metla, PsyD California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University San Francisco Neuropsychology Emphasis Staff Neuropsychologist, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Oakland, California
Felipe Granados, M.S. Palo Alto University Neuropsychology Emphasis Assistant Program Manager, Mental Health Association of San Francisco, San Francisco, California
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