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Mentor: Dr. Casey Azuero & Dr. Megan Hays, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

 Postdoctoral Fellowship in Rehabilitation Psychology

OVERVIEW AND SETTING: The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Spain Rehabilitation Center is one of the southeast’s leading providers of physical medicine and rehabilitation services. It is the hub for UAB’s Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems, and the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Data Center. Spain Rehabilitation Center falls under the umbrella of the larger University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital system. UAB Hospital includes a Level 1 trauma center and has been named one of the U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals”. It is among the top 5 largest public hospitals in the U.S. and among the top 1% of global institutions for NIH funding. UAB was rated by Forbes as the “Best Employer in America for Diversity” among colleges and universities. In 2021, Forbes named UAB America’s No. 1 “Best Large Employer”. In addition, Spain Rehabilitation Center is currently in the process of building a new state-of-the-art inpatient hospital facility scheduled for completion in 2025. The new hospital will include 104 inpatient rehabilitation beds and 28 acute care beds. Spain Rehabilitation Center is located in Birmingham, Alabama. Birmingham has a metro population of over 1 million residents. The city includes multiple professional sports teams, over 19 acres of downtown greenspace, numerous music venues, and James Beard award winning restaurants.

UAB Medicine’s stated mission is to deliver world class patient care to the residents of Alabama and beyond, advance medical science through pioneering research, and train the sharpest medical minds.

We are deeply committed to a patient- and family-centric approach to providing care, so we strive to make every patient encounter a positive one. This dedication to excellence is what makes UAB Medicine a preferred provider of care and helps us attract the best and brightest staff, while setting the highest standards for medical innovation and education.

CLINICAL TRAINING: This 24-month clinical rehabilitation psychology fellowship, beginning between August 1 and September 1, 2023, has an opening for one adult position. Post-doctoral training includes rotations at SRC inpatient, PMR outpatient, and UAB Hospital acute care working with individuals with various disorders that require rehabilitation. Training opportunities are continuous over two years, across settings, and also include a research component. The general distribution of training includes: Inpatient clinical (70%), Outpatient clinical (20%), and Research (10%), but can vary based on each trainee’s professional goals. For more information, please visit our website.

Fellows will have the opportunity to rotate in the following clinics:

1) Inpatient Acute Rehabilitation Service: Fellows will have the opportunity to perform consults for the inpatient acquired brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, and neuroscience services. These consults include neuropsychological screening, psychological assessment, behavior management, patient and caregiver education, brief psychological interventions, and multidisciplinary consultation.

2) University Hospital Acute Care Consultations: Similar to the inpatient acute rehabilitation service model, there are times rehabilitation psychology is consulted to assist in the care of patients during their acute hospital admission. These consults include neuropsychological screening and psychological assessment with treatment planning that may include: behavior management, patient and caregiver education, brief psychological interventions, and/or multidisciplinary consultation.

3) Outpatient Psychological Service: Utilizing a scaffolding approach, fellows will have the opportunity to provide supervision for Clinical Psychology interns and graduate students providing psychological services in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Fellows also provide initial mental health screening and brief therapy for all patients referred for outpatient psychotherapy services to the Rehabilitation Psychology division in a weekly “Triage Clinic.” Fellows can also choose among other clinical opportunities based on professional goals and interests including: health and behaviors consultations in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, post-brain injury driving evaluations, other neuropsychological assessment, and long-term therapy with rehabilitation populations, including those adjusting to disability and coping with chronic conditions such as pain, SCI, stroke, limb loss, brain injury, functional neurologic disorder, or trauma.

DIDACTICS: Didactic opportunities are plentiful and include both formal requirements and other non-required opportunities. A formal didactic curriculum covering important topics related to rehabilitation psychology competencies will be required. Other opportunities include weekly Grand Rounds in PMR, Psychiatry, Neurology, Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, Neuropsychology case conference, among others. Didactic opportunities with other School of Medicine departments may be organized as requested.

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES: Our program emphasizes the scientist-practitioner model; thus, fellows are expected to be engaged in both clinical activity and research. The extent of involvement in research is tailored to each fellow’s interests and career goals, although within the two-year fellowship all fellows are expected at minimum to be involved in the development and preparation of at least one report

suitable for publication based on their involvement in a research project under the guidance of one of the faculty. Fellow involvement in research may take several forms, depending on the interests of the fellow and faculty, available projects and data sets, as well as projects in development. Our research primarily focuses on TBI, stroke, and SCI. There are opportunities for involvement in the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems and Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems programs.

FACULTY: Our faculty includes two board-certified rehabilitation psychologists, two clinical neuropsychologists, and two clinical neuropsychologists in the process of board certification:

Casey B. Azuero, Ph.D., ABPP, MPH, Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation Psychology Fellowship Training Program Director; Board Certified in Rehabilitation Psychology

Clinical interests: Spinal cord injury, chronic conditions, trauma

Research interests: Spinal cord injury, pain

Megan Hays, Ph.D., ABPP, FAACVPR, Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation psychology Fellowship Training Program Associate Director; Board Certified in Rehabilitation Psychology

Clinical interests: Polytrauma, cardiac and pulmonary rehab, burns, limb loss

Research interests: Wellbeing of healthcare workers, substance abuse

Amy J. Knight, Ph.D., ABPP, Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Neuropsychology Fellowship Training Program Co-Director; Board Certified in Clinical Neuropsychology

Clinical interests: Stroke, functional neurological disorders, acquired brain injury

Research interests: Stroke, return to driving

Sean D. Hollis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Neuropsychology Fellowship Training Program Co-Director

Clinical interests: Traumatic brain injury, concussion, acquired brain injury

Research interests: TBI Model Systems research including functional outcomes of brain injury, concussion recovery factors, caregiver coping

Elaine Mahoney, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Clinical interests: Neurotrauma inpatient service units (TBI, Stroke), patient/family education for acquired brain injury

Research interests: TBI Model Systems research including return to driving after TBI

Fedora Biney, Ph.D., ABPP, Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; Board Certified in Clinical Neuropsychology

Clinical interests: Stroke, TBI, rehabilitation, cognitive rehabilitation

Research interests: Stroke, TBI, community re-integration following acquired brain injury, cognitive rehabilitation


Pay: Stipends are based on NIH training guidelines. The minimum starting salary at UAB is $54,840 plus benefits, plus a modest increase the second year. Dedicated funding for conference travel and/or professional development is also provided annually.

Health insurance: As a postdoctoral employee, coverage under UAB's group health care, dental, or vision plans begins on the date of employment. Postdoctoral employees, who wish to enroll in UAB's health care, dental, or vision plans, may do so within 31 days of hire date or a qualifying life event.

Vacation Leave: Six months after the effective appointment date, all Postdoctoral Scholars are eligible for ten (10) paid working days per year.

Sick Leave: Ten paid working days are available per year.

Maternity/Paternity Leave: Twenty-two paid successive working days immediately following or just prior to birth or adoption of a child. If both spouses are employed as postdoctoral fellows, each one is eligible for a consecutive term of maternity/paternity leave. Additional, non-paid leave, following the provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act, must be requested and approved by the supervisor.

APPLICATION PROCESS: We anticipate 1 adult-focused opening for a 2-year fellowship.

Education/training qualifications: Requirements include APA or CPA approved internship with a strong emphasis on rehabilitation, health, or neuropsychology, commitment to clinical research, and completion of doctoral requirements. Prior to appointment as a postdoctoral fellow, individuals must provide evidence of completion of all requirements for the doctoral degree from a regionally accredited university or professional school program, including completion of an APA or CPA accredited internship training; official transcript, copy of diploma or official letter from the Department Chair or Graduate Advisor will be acceptable. Postdoctoral fellows are appointed to full time positions for one year, renewable for an additional year. A total of 2000 hours of training are provided in each year, exceeding the postgraduate hours required for licensure in AL.

Qualified candidates should submit their application electronically by December 16, 2022. Interviews will be held virtually, with the opportunity to meet with faculty who attend the APA Division 22 Mid-Year Meeting. We will follow APPIC Postdoctoral Selection Guidelines for making fellowship offers. We plan to follow Common Hold Date procedures.

Application must include:

  •  The following should be emailed as a single document to Casey Azuero, Fellowship Director at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
1. Cover letter: Provide a 1-2 page maximum letter describing your clinical and research experiences and interests, fellowship objectives, and career goals.
2. Current CV.
3. Names of three references with their affiliation and e-mail address.
4. One deidentified sample report, reflecting a breadth of clinical experience.
Dr. Casey Azuero, Fellowship Director (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
University of Alabama Birmingham
Spain Rehabilitation Center Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
1717 6th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233

About our Postdoc Office

UAB is committed to the development and success of outstanding postdoctoral scientists. Here at UAB, nearly 300 postdoctoral fellows are training currently in a variety of disciplines. Competitive postdoc awards are available including internships, grant incentives, funds to enhance education and collaboration outside UAB, and teaching opportunities at local universities. There is also a Postdoc Research Day with monetary awards. The Office of Postdoctoral Education strongly encourages UAB research mentors to follow the National Research Service Award stipend level guidelines, and postdoctoral scholars qualify for health, life, and other insurances. They also have the right to participate in the university’s 403(b) program and enjoy vacation, sick leave, maternity/paternity leave, and other benefits.

About the University

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a research university and academic health center that discovers, teaches, and applies knowledge for the intellectual, cultural, social, and economic benefit of Birmingham, the state, and beyond. UAB is internationally renowned for its intensely collaborative culture that has — for more than five decades — produced breakthroughs in education, health care, research, and service. UAB was ranked #1 in the United States, and in the top 10 worldwide, in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 2018 Young University Rankings.

Spanning more than 100 city blocks, UAB is the state of Alabama’s largest single employer with nearly 28,000 employees and has an annual, state-wide economic impact of $12.1 billion. U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 “America’s Best Graduate Schools” ranks 16 UAB graduate programs among the nation’s top 25 and eight UAB specialties were ranked among the nation’s top 50 in the magazine’s 2022-2023 Best Hospitals report. UAB research grants and awards are at a record high, totaling $715 million in FY22 — a 50% increase over the past five years. UAB ranks 33rd among all universities in federal research funding and 17th among public universities. UAB's NIH funding continues to grow among peer institutions in the Southeast and beyond, with the university ranking 25th among all universities in NIH funding and 11th among public universities.

UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of, race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity, and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.

For more information on Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at UAB, visit the UAB Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion opens a new website, call (205) 934-8762, or contact the office at 701 20th Street South, AB 336, Birmingham, AL 35294-0103.

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