Advanced Medical Psychology Assessment Center (MPAC) - Clinical

The Medical Psychology Assessment Center (MPAC) at UCLA Semel Institute offers 3-4 practicum trainee positions per year, under the direct supervision of Dr. Patricia Walshaw, Dr. Delany Thrasher (OpMend), other MPAC affiliated faculty, and postdoctoral fellows. This clinic offers neuropsychological and psychodiagnostic assessments for adult outpatients and military veterans. Exposure to inpatient evaluations with psychiatric or surgical populations is also available. Opportunities for evaluations with children and adolescents may also be available

Referrals come primarily from psychiatrists and neurologists at UCLA, the Wounded Warrior program, or from the community at large. Adult patients present with a broad variety of clinical questions, including TBI, stroke, memory problems, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, psychiatric disorders, developmental disorders, Parkinson's disease, and other neurological disorders. Pediatric patients present with a broad variety of neurodevelopmental (e.g. Pervasive Developmental Disorder, ADHD, learning disabilities), acquired (e.g. epilepsy, cancer, head injury), and psychological (e.g. depression, anxiety, bipolar, oppositional defiant) disorders.

During their rotation, the practicum trainee participates in 2-3 comprehensive outpatient neuropsychological evaluations per month.  Practicum trainees will focus on competency for administering, scoring, and interpreting a wide range of neuropsychological tests. In addition, under the guidance of a postdoctoral fellow, practicum trainees will learn how to conceptualize cases, as well as, write sections of a comprehensive report (e.g. history, behavioral observations, results, recommendations). As their report writing skills develop, they will be asked to write a greater portion of the report with the goal of writing a full comprehensive report before the end of the training year. Additional didactic experiences are offered for practicum trainees to attend on Thursdays (optional).

Please note: This track covers parking for one day per week for all trainees.

Current position openings: We offer 3-4 practicum trainee positions each year. This position requires a minimum time commitment in the MPAC of 12 hours per week with a preference for 16 hours over 2 days. This does not include time spent in supervision or optional Thursday didactics."

Resource Allocation: The practicum trainees share a designated office (C8-723) on the same floor as their primary supervisors in the Semel Institute.  Appropriate office equipment, including desk and office supplies, is provided. Separate testing rooms are located in C8-750, C8-754, C8-760, and C8-860, and shared scoring computers are available in C8-746. All essential materials, including psychological assessment instruments and record forms, are provided.

Supervision: All practicum trainees will receive at least 1 hour of supervision from an MPAC affiliated licensed clinical psychologist in coordination with a postdoctoral fellow for every clinical case seen. This time includes case conceptualization, interview, interpretation of data, and feedback. In addition, peer supervision by postdoctoral fellows will also be provided via face-to-face, phone calls, emails, etc. At least 10% of time will be spent in supervision, and at least half of the total supervision time will be individual, face-to-face supervision. Practicum trainee evaluations will be completed by the training director and postdoctoral fellows with feedback from individual case supervisors.  


Diversity Training:

The MPAC serves as the centralized assessment hub for the UCLA Health System, and so serves a wide variety of patients from different backgrounds.  As such, issues of diversity are woven into the service delivery and conceptualization of every case as they arise whether they are related to ethnicity/race, sexual orientation or gender identity, educational background, socioeconomic standing, linguistic background, religious persuasion, military/civilian roles, able-bodied issues, neurodiversity, and/or other social markers of diversity.  The overall philosophy at the MPAC is one that is closely aligned with the AACN 2050 Relevance Initiative, and is focused on the complementary relationship of cultural competence and cultural humility in neuropsychology.  In addition to "bedside learning" with individual supervisors and postdocs on cases with diverse patients, MPAC practicum students have an opportunity to engage in didactic opportunities focused on diversity interspersed throughout the Thursday seminars, including the quarter-long Cultural Neuropsychology Seminar in the Spring Quarter.  A yearly lecture on interpreter-mediated assessment is provided through the weekly Psychology Intern Seminar, and trainees are exposed to relevant readings and hands-on training related to working with interpreter services in a neuropsychological assessment context.  Foundational readings related to cultural and linguistic competency in neuropsychology are also disseminated during the practicum orientation, and serve as a springboard for ongoing discussion with supervising faculty throughout the academic training year.  Finally, practicum students are encouraged to process their own journey of developing cultural competence with the MPAC practicum director, who is also the director of the Cultural Neuropsychology Initiative, during office hours.

Director: Patricia Walshaw, Ph.D.



Given the nature of the practicum program, all applicants are required to have some experience or coursework in neuropsychological assessment. Students must be enrolled in an APA approved Clinical Psychology doctoral program.

Application process:


Candidates will be required to submit a curriculum vitae, two letters of references, a self-statement of interest, a letter from the Clinical Director of the School attesting to the student's qualifications for the program, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate's doctoral training program.


Please upload materials via new portal. (available here on 12/1/20)



Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/20-1/22/21 (limit: one track)

General applications deadline: 2/1/21 (no limit on # of tracks)




UPDATED: 11/12/20