New neuropsychologist excited about the opportunity to teach, do research, and care for patients
Courtney Eskridge, PhD, recently joined the Rehabilitation Medicine Department as an Assistant Professor in the Adult Neuropsychology Division. “I wanted to find a role at an academic center with an opportunity for teaching, researching, and caring for patients,” she said. “I was really impressed by the department’s new Adult Clinical Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Residency, which provides an opportunity to train future neuropsychologists. I also appreciate the diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives being undertaken by the University of Minnesota as I want to be involved in diversity discussions and ongoing outreach. These things made the U a perfect fit for me.”
Dr. Eskridge completed her PhD, with a concentration in neuropsychology, and an MS in clinical psychology at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, IL, and a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, also in Chicago. She earned a BS is psychology and biology at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.
Improving patients’ quality of life
Dr. Eskridge (pictured at left) was drawn to neuropsychology because, “We are able to pick up on a person’s specific strengths and weaknesses,” she said. “We provide education and information to patients and their families to enhance cognitive efficiency and improve quality of life.”
As a generalist, Dr. Eskridge will see a variety of patients, including older adults with neuro-degenerative disease and neurovascular-related cognitive decline, as well as individuals with a history of stroke, traumatic brain injury, and other neurological conditions. In addition, her fellowship included specialized training in cognitive assessment of neuro-oncology patients, which equipped her to evaluate patients with cognitive decline related to central nervous system cancer and/or cancer treatment.
So much to learn
Neuropsychology is an exciting field, according to Dr. Eskridge. “We get to see the uniqueness in people, the way they think through things and solve problems,” she said. “The most exciting part is that there is still so much to learn about the brain.” It can be challenging, however, to give feedback when a patient is struggling. “Our clinical psychology training puts us in a good position to deliver that feedback in an empathic and validating way,” she said.
Dr. Eskridge is looking forward to doing research at the U. “I began doing research in the psychopharmacology lab in undergrad and fell in love with the scientific approach to understanding brain-behavior relationships,” she said. “I would like to start collaborative projects looking at genetics and cognition.”
Loves to travel
A native of Apple Valley, MN, Dr. Eskridge loves to travel when she has free time, exploring places like Iceland, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Paris, and Amsterdam. “I like to experience new cultures, try unique food and get out of my comfort zone,” she said. When she is at home, Dr. Eskridge enjoys cooking, reading, doing crafts, and playing with her Ragdoll cat named Leopold.