Introduction

Having been referred to see me by your doctor, or psychiatrist I trust you will benefit considerably from your visits to me. The following information is designed to help you understand psychiatric practice in general, and my practice in particular. A psychiatrist qualifies initially in general medicine, and then goes on to a five year specialist medical programme, training in emotional problems and psychological illness. In my case, I spent a number of extra years studying and doing research to obtain also a Master’s degree and a post-graduate Doctorate degree. In contrast a psychologist is a person who does not study medicine first, but spends some years learning to help people with problems from a non-medical perspective.

My basic medical degrees are : Bachelor of Medicine; Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Applied Obstetrics from University College, Dublin. I was awarded my training hospital Medals in both Medicine and Surgery. My post-graduate specialist qualifications in Psychiatry are : Fellow of the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists; Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK); Diploma in Psychological Medicine (London); Master of Philosophy in Psychiatry (University of Edinburgh), and Doctorate of Medicine in Psychiatry (University of Melbourne). I also was awarded  a Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh, as an acknowledgement of my work.

I am mainly engaged in private practice, where I have a particular interest in the treatment of complicated and resistant depression, and in treating patients’ emotional problems without admitting them to hospital if at all possible. I was a Senior Consultant in the Royal Melbourne Hospital for very many years, and I teach Psychiatry to final year medical students and as part of my lecturing role as a Clinical Associate Professor in the University of Melbourne. From time to time, I give lectures to GPs and to other psychiatrists about psychiatric topics, particularly complicated depression.

As part of my Fellowship of the College of Psychiatrists, I attend multiple ongoing education lectures in various aspects of psychiatry. I also regularly attend a peer review group of almost  twenty experienced psychiatrists, which I organise.

I also am heavily involved in an Australia-wide suicide prevention charity and telephone service I have founded, the Australian Suicide Prevention Foundation. I run a number of Internet psychiatric sites.