I am a specialist addiction psychiatrist with over a decade experience in expert management of addictive disorders and co-occurring mental health problems. I believe that effective management of addiction requires an understanding of the whole person and their context, so that integrated treatment can address both addiction and the underlying problem, such as response to trauma or a co-morbid mental health disorder. My patients are experts of their own experience, and I prioritise listening to them and their supporters and tailoring care to what matters to them. Addiction is the world’s most stigmatized health disorder. Asking for help and engaging in treatment often takes courage. When my patients walk in the door, they can expect to be accepted, supported and listened to.
I graduated from medical school with first class honours from Monash University, Melbourne in 2006. I then trained as a psychiatrist, completing a subspecialist certificate in addiction psychiatry, through my training in Addictions at Turning Point, Melbourne, a Victorian state-wide centre of excellence in addiction treatment. My postgraduate training includes two Master’s degrees, including an international Master of Science in Addiction Studies. I am a recognised expert in addiction psychiatry, and I am the current Chair of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Addiction Psychiatry, the peak body for the specialty.
I work as an academic psychiatrist in research and teaching, as a Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of the Department of Psychiatry at Central Clinical School in Monash. I completed a PhD in Psychiatry through Monash University, supported by an NHMRC scholarship, that focused on methamphetamine psychosis and understanding the risk factors and cognitive correlates of this common and serious disorder. Research and innovation in addiction treatment is critical, and I embed research skills, critical thinking and evidence-based medicine into my clinical practice. This includes enrolment of patients into clinical trials where appropriate, to contribute to creating new knowledge in effective treatment.