Minnesota 2022
Update Conference

Information for MNC Constituents Regarding a Recent Opinion Piece

Dear Colleagues,

The MNC Steering Committee is writing to inform you of an editorial that was published in the National Review by a neuropsychologist:

https://www.nationalreview.com/2024/04/how-neuropsychology-lost-its-mind/amp/

We realize you may already be aware of this article but we wanted to provide additional information for you. The SC has chosen not to respond to this publicly and will instead continue to focus on the next draft of the guidelines.

Nonetheless, we want to alert you to some factual errors in this opinion paper so that you are aware of them in case you receive questions.

  • There were no “activists” involved in creating the Minnesota Training Guidelines as the editorial suggests.  The delegates to the Minnesota Conference were professionals, clinicians, researchers, educators, and trainees representing all major neuropsychology organizations in the U.S. and Canada. Participants were at all career stages from graduate students through senior professionals.
  • No participants issued demands at the conference.  There were many discussions, and even difficult discussions were collegial and respectful.
  • Decisions were made collaboratively among all the delegates following Robert’s Rules of Order.
  • The editorial writer is responding to the draft Guidelines released in May 2023.  As you know, this was a working draft from which the MNC received feedback from the field.  This feedback is currently being incorporated into what will eventually become the final version of the Guidelines. The revised training guidelines are substantially edited compared to the initial draft.
  • The next iteration of the training guidelines will explicitly state the scientific foundations of neuropsychology training (e.g., brain-behavior relationships). In contrast, these were an implicit assumption in the Houston Conference Guidelines from which the Minnesota Guidelines were built.
  • The training guidelines are intended for the future practice of neuropsychology  which will be increasingly called upon to  serve a rapidly diversifying population.  We acknowledge that those who object to diversity and equity in healthcare will not like the training guidelines.  However, the guidelines represent a commitment to the changing face of healthcare in the U.S and the need to keep neuropsychology relevant to healthcare and the people we serve.
  • The editorial writer, despite being a board certified neuropsychologist, is clearly not aware of the voluminous literature on the importance of diversity and equity in healthcare that extends across professional disciplines. We all hope that the Minnesota Guidelines will encourage all neuropsychologists to continuously update their knowledge so that they can practice in the world as it exists today rather than as it was decades ago.
  • One of the most egregious errors is the editorial writer’s assumption that training in neuropsychology is a zero-sum game.  Specifically, the writer assumes that neuropsychologists cannot simultaneously be trained in both the science of brain-behavior relationships and cultural competence. We have every confidence that the profession can and will remain current by incorporating new knowledge in the training of neuropsychology specialists. Indeed, there is no alternative for a science-based profession.
  • We acknowledge that there was dissent from the first draft of the training guidelines but the editorial writer is incorrect in attempting to characterize it as “vociferous” because it came from a small group of professionals.  Moreover, in response to this circumscribed dissent, a group of nearly 100 neuropsychology training directors endorsed the spirit of the guidelines.


We could go on with additional responses, but this captures the most critical points and topics that you may be called upon to address.  For the sake of brevity, we will end here and get on with the work of finalizing the guidelines.

Sincerely,

The MNC Steering Committee

Anthony Stringer, PhD, ABPP-Ch-Chair
Kathleen Fuchs, PhD, ABPP-Co-Chair
Veronica Bordes Edgar, PhD, ABPP
Thomas Bristow, PsyD, ABN
Stephen Correia, PhD, ABPP
Suzanne Penna, PhD, ABPP
Anny Reyes, PhD
Douglas Whiteside, PhD, ABPP