Dustin has completed a 2-year neuropsychology residency, and has moved home to Alaska where he has started into private practice.
1. A brief explanation of your experience in Brigham Young University's Psychology Graduate Student Program:
Dustin: "My experience in the Clinical Psychology program prepared me well to enter the workforce as a neuropsychologist. I feel like my training was diverse enough to allow me to be successful in a lot of areas in psychology, but specialized enough to give me a strong start in my focused area of neuropsychology. I have found that my research and psychotherapy training are key to me being a neuropsychologist, as I actively use those skills in all areas of my practice. My mentors and professors were incredibly supportive of my personal and professional goals and helped guide me in a balanced way towards those goals. The training prepared me well for residency, board certification, and entrance into clinical practice."
2. What your post-graduation plans are/were/what are you currently doing:
Dustin: "After graduating from the Clinical Psychology program I started a 2-year neuropsychology residency at the American Lake VA in Tacoma, WA. I took and passed the EPPP as soon as I could and became licensed in Washington. After residency I moved with my family home to Alaska where I started into private practice. I truly believe that my training at BYU and the VA prepared me to complete board certification in clinical neuropsychology within two years after residency. I spend most of my time now doing neuropsychological assessments, which was my goal. I have added a few additional pieces to my practice including participating as an adjunct professor with the University of Alaska Anchorage on a TBI didactic series, as a provider to the Alaska Brain Injury Network through a multidisciplinary TBI outreach program, and as a member of the Board of Trustees for our local hospital."
3. What would be your advice for potential students:
Dustin: "My advice to current students would be to find areas of interest you are passionate about and pursue them. I sought broad training with lots of populations, age groups, and clinical questions, but now have found ways to limit my scope of practice to those that I find the most interesting and where I feel I can be the most beneficial. On a more practical note, if you think you might be going into private practice, find ways to get some business administration and billing experience. We learn a lot about the clinical practice and research behind psychology, but do not spend enough time getting to know the business of psychology. I am still figuring things out daily and improving our business, and I expect that things will continue to change. Also, while in school, figure out how to balance your life. I had three children when I started at BYU, and my fourth was born while in the program. I had to be dedicated and organized to get my work and study done efficiently so that I had time to spend with my family. That will not change once you leave school. Figure out that balance early on and you will be much happier."