About me

Gert22frameI’m a Capetonian and enjoy running and cycling the roads and mountains of my city. I studied medicine at the University of Cape Town and then worked for two years in Worcester and Ceres. After community service, I moved to the UK to broaden my experience. My work in various psychiatric hospitals in the north of England piqued my interest in the mechanisms of thinking, so I enrolled for a Masters degree in Cognitive Science at the University of Edinburgh. My dissertation there investigated logical problem-solving in high-functioning autistic teenagers.

I then started my psychiatric training in Scotland, passing the UK professional psychiatry exams in 2008 to become a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. During this time I also completed the first year of training in Group Analytic Therapy, which studies how people interact in small and large groups. I then joined the charity organization VSO and worked in Malawi as a volunteer psychiatrist for six months, doing clinical work and teaching. This was an intense and richly rewarding experience, described on my blog here.

In 2009 I returned home to Cape Town to finish my psychiatric training at UCT through Valkenberg and Groote Schuur hospitals. My Masters dissertation, which reviewed white-matter brain changes in patients with bipolar disorder, won the award for Best Psychiatry Registrar project at UCT in 2012, and was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. I qualified as a specialist psychiatrist in 2012.

From 2013 I worked in the Department of Psychiatry at Stellenbosch University, doing academic work and teaching. I have written about psychiatric education, the role of traditional healers in psychiatry, and the role of complementary and alternative medicine in psychiatry. I have presented my work at the South African Psychiatry Congress (Port Edward 2013, Durban 2014), The 16th World Congress of Psychiatry (Madrid, 2014), and the Malawi Mental Health Research Conference (2013, 2014, 2015). I helped develop and teach the course in evidence-based medicine for medical students at the University of Stellenbosch. I believe passionately in the importance of evidence in medicine and psychiatry. The help I offer, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy with or without medication, is backed by good evidence of effectiveness.

In addition to road- and trail-running in and around Cape Town, I also cook, garden and take photographs.