TRACK 1 / INPATIENT
Housed within the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine’s Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Center,
Track 1 offers 2-3 externship positions in acute inpatient rehabilitation psychology for the 2019-
approach to patient care, and to provide them with unique training opportunities in areas of
trauma, medical disability, brain injury, spinal cord injury, limb loss, behavioral medicine, brief
neuropsychological assessment, and cognitive remediation. Upon completion of their training
year, externs will have a greater understanding of how – in the acute phase of recovery – physical,
cognitive, and emotional disabilities may impact functioning at the individual, familial, and societal
THE MOUNT SINAI REHABILITATION CENTER
The Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Center is one of several mini-hospitals located within Mount Sinai
Medical Center that focus on caring for patients with similar rehabilitation needs. In addition to its
comprehensive Acute Care and Outpatient Services, The Rehabilitation Center has 50 acute
inpatient rehabilitation beds, distributed across two units in the Klingenstein Clinical Center (KCC).
KCC-2 focuses on the needs of individuals with primarily functional disabilities (e.g., spinal cord
injury), while KCC-3 focuses on the needs of individuals with primarily cognitive disabilities (e.g.,
traumatic brain injury, stroke). Additionally, both units address general rehabilitation needs of
individuals following debilitating medical illnesses and surgical interventions (e.g., amputation
liver transplants, cardiac surgery, hip and knee replacements, multiple sclerosis, etc.). Services
are provided to adolescents and adults. The Committee on Accreditation of Rehabilitation
Facilities (CARF) accredits five of Mount Sinai’s inpatient specialty programs: SCI, TBI, Stroke,
Amputation, and Medically Complex. The Rehabilitation Center is also home to the Department
of Rehabilitation Medicine’s APA-accredited Pre-Doctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology.
FRAMEWORK OF TRACK 1
During the training year externs will be supervised by three inpatient training faculty across the
While on the KCC-3 service, externs will work closely with staff psychologists to gain a deeper
understanding of assessment and treatment of patients in the acute phase of recovery from
traumatic and non-traumatic brain injuries. Clinical responsibilities will include individual
supportive therapy and cognitive remediation, primarily for stroke patients. Externs will also
participate in a cognitive remediation group for brain injured individuals, including those with CVA,
traumatic brain injury, brain tumors, aneurysm, and anoxic encephalopathy. Trainees will also be
exposed to neuropsychological assessment and treatment, themselves conducting brief
neurocognitive screenings and focal batteries to identify CVA-related cognitive deficits. Externs
will also have the opportunity to conduct brief neuropsychological assessment batteries as part
of a research protocol in the inpatient setting.
While on the KCC-2 service, externs will be exposed to a diverse population of patients with functional disabilities. The primary focus of this rotation is clinical assessment and treatment, with externs providing individual supportive therapy to patients and families. Externs will also see a variety of medically-complex patients, suffering from a wide range of neurological, orthopedic, cardiac, medical, and traumatic injuries. Common impairments include bone fracture, joint replacement, acquired neuromuscular disorders, cardiac deconditioning, post-surgical deconditioning, amputation, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and those who have undergone organ transplant. There is also a growing opportunity to engage in treatment with patient with spinal cord injury. Although limited in scope, externs will conduct brief neurocognitive screenings and focal batteries to help differentiate cognitive deficits related to dementia, acquired brain injuries, metabolic disturbances, and/or neurological conditions.
Externs will be involved in approximately 8-10 hours/week of direct patient contact while on their respective rotations.
SUPERVISION & DIDACTICS
Externs will receive 1 hour/week of individual supervision from licensed psychologists on their respective inpatient rotations, which is typically divided into two 30 minute sessions with two different supervisors. As the training year progresses, externs will also have increasing opportunities receive additional supervisory support from pre-doctoral interns. Externs from Tracks 1 & 2 will also join the department’s postdoctoral fellows and interns for a weekly didactic seminar series together, which includes both formal lectures and clinical case presentations. Other experiences may include (schedules permitting) multidisciplinary rounds and Department of Rehabilitation Medicine Grand Rounds.
Sabrina Breed, Ph.D. – Dr. Breed is the Director of the Predoctoral Internship, and a Senior Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. Dr. Breed serves as a supervisor of trainees on the inpatient brain injury service, and is a presenter at select seminars within the training program. Dr. Breed received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and completed a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Advanced Rehabilitation Research in the Department. Her clinical interests include acute treatment of individuals with brain injury, psychosocial adjustment after brain injury, aging with a disability, program development for individuals with brain injury, and work in group modalities.
Angela Riccobono, Ph.D. – Dr. Riccobono is a Senior Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. Dr. Riccobono's area of clinical specialization is acute treatment of individuals with spinal cord injury. She supervises trainees on the inpatient spinal cord service and is a presenter at select seminars within the internship program. Her primary interest is the psychosocial and adjustment issues of individuals with SCI, particularly the areas of family adjustment, parenting, and sexuality after spinal cord injury. Dr. Riccobono provides leadership and consultation for SCI programming on both inpatient and outpatient services, particularly the Do-It, Life Challenge, and Peer Mentoring programs. Other interests include health psychology, psychotherapeutic group interventions, and spirituality and psychotherapy. Dr. Riccobono received her Doctorate in Health Psychology from Yeshiva University.
Cristina Parfene, Psy.D. – Dr. Parfene is a Clinical Neuropsychologist in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Director of the Predoctoral Externship, a supervisor of trainees on the inpatient brain injury service, and a presenter at select seminars within the program. Dr. Parfene received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology within the Neuropsychology subspecialty program at the Georgia School of Professional Psychology. She completed a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at the Weill Cornell Medical College / NY Presbyterian Hospital, serving as an inpatient provider in the Psychiatry and Neurorehabilitation Medicine departments. Her clinical and research interests include neuropsychological assessment, outcome / recovery after neurological injury, and neuropsychiatric dysfunction in older adults.
Track 1 is accepting applications from current advanced-level doctoral students from clinical, counseling, neuropsychological, rehabilitation, school, or health psychology programs. All applicants must have at least one year of prior psychological testing experience and at least 2 years of prior doctoral-level clinical experience. While prior neuropsychological testing experience is preferred, it is not required. Externs must be available 20-hours/week, distributed over 3 days that are not sequential (i.e., M/Th/F is satisfactory, but not W/Th/F). All externs must be on site on Thursday afternoons from 1pm to 5:00pm for Didactic Seminars and Group Supervision.
The externship will begin in July, 2019, with externs expected to start the first week full week following Independence Day. The program will formally run through June, 2020. Externs will have the following formal holidays off: Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day; Christmas Day, New Year’s Day; MLK Jr’s Birthday; Presidents’ Day, and Memorial Day.
Independent of each student’s doctoral program-specific attendance requirements, the Inpatient Psychology Service stipulates that students in Track 1 may miss the equivalent of 10 full externship days during the training year. Students whose absences exceed 10 days may be expected to extend their traineeship in order to complete the program.
If you are interested in applying, please send – via email – a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a work sample (intake or testing report), and 2 letters of recommendation, addressed to:
Cristina Parfene, Psy.D., Coordinator of Externship Training – Track 1
The Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center