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Dr Sarah Michael

Cate Swannell
Med J Aust
Published online: 18 March 2013

Dr Sarah Michael is a psychiatry registrar, who has trained under Dr Gordon Shymko.

What is your current role? I have recently moved to Sydney to take on the advanced trainee role at the Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression (CRUfAD), a specialist anxiety disorders clinic based at St Vincent’s Hospital. The clinic has developed an internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) program to treat anxiety and depression, so part of my role is to supervise these patients. I also see patients for face-to-face CBT, coordinate the medical students doing their psychiatric rotations and participate in research.

What inspired you to work in this area? Adult psychiatry has always interested me because of the breadth of clinical presentations, the continuity of care and the ability to work in a team. I saw the job at CRUfAD as an opportunity to develop some non-clinical skills, such as teaching and research, as well as gain more experience in treating anxiety and depression.

What do you find most enjoyable about your training program? I've enjoyed the increased flexibility that comes with advanced training, particularly using learning goals and research projects to review specific areas of interest. I've met some great people along the way, both in Sydney and in my hometown Perth.

What is next for you? My training will be finished in early 2014 and I’m hoping to work as a community-based psychiatrist in a public mental health service.

What do you admire most about Dr Shymko as a mentor? Gordon established a fantastic intern program at Fremantle Hospital, ensuring that interns received great teaching and clinical experience. I’ve been lucky enough to work with Gordon several times as his registrar and admire not only his commitment to teaching but also his advocacy and directorship of the local mental health service.

  • Cate Swannell


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