It is well known that rural/regional Australians face greater health and mental health burdens at the same time as lower levels of service access. Dispersed populations and lower levels of research infrastructure are barriers to rural/regionally based academic psychiatrists. Nevertheless, opportunities exist for those willing to follow the dictum "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Dr Andrew Amos, leads a discussion of the realized and potential opportunities for successful research in rural/regional Australia, with a focus on building rural/regional research capacity.
A/Prof Mathew Coleman is a consultant psychiatrist with the WA Country Health Service, Clinical Director for the Great Southern and Midwest Mental Health Service and Clinical Academic with the Rural Clinical School of WA. He is a qualified child and adolescent, and addiction psychiatrist and has experience and qualifications in health service management. He was also the former Commissioner with the National Mental Health Commission.
A/Prof Ajay Verma Macharouthu; MBBS, MD (Psych), MRCPsych, FRANZCP; currently works as a Staff Specialist in Consultation Liaison Psychiatry for Older Persons, ECT Director & Rural Director of Training for Psychiatry in Cairns & Hinterland Hospital & Health Services. He is an adjunct Associate Professor at James Cook University, Cairns. He is the recipient of the RANZCP award for the faculty of POA prize for best mental health service improvement 2022. He was the Chair of the Scottish Delirium Association and Co-chaired the SIGN (Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network) 157 Delirium Guideline. He was a research lead and Principal Investigator for several dementia drug trials.
Dr. Ernest Hunter is a retired child and adult psychiatrist and public health physician who worked for over three decades in remote Indigenous northern Australia. Ernest integrated research and his clinical practice with a particular focus on population level impacts and interventions, through which the importance of understanding the historical and social contexts that inform patterns of mental distress and disorder in those populations became clear. He is the author of two recent books - Vicarious Dreaming (2019) and Reef Madness (2022) which teeter on the edge of psychiatry.
Dr Andrew Amos, a Townsville-based psychiatrist, is Chair of the Queensland Section of Rural Psychiatry and Deputy Editor of Australasian Psychiatry. He is currently completing a Ph.D using Machine Learning to map the psychiatric knowledge contained within the Medline database.
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