Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations BMJ Confidential

Michael Sharpe: Psychiatry was no “waste of a career”

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 10 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4231


Michael Sharpe, 62, was researching integrated care and riding a Brompton bike long before either was fashionable. His research has included groundbreaking clinical trials showing how integrating psychiatry and psychology into medical care can improve the lives of patients in neurology, cancer, and medical clinics. More recently he has put these ideas into practice by leading the integration of psychiatrists and psychologists into medical teams at Oxford University Hospitals. He is professor of psychological medicine at Oxford and was the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ “psychiatrist of the year” in 2014.

What was your earliest ambition?

I have no idea. Probably to be a train driver (my Scottish grandfather worked on the railways). But, whatever it was, I certainly don’t remember wanting to be an academic psychiatrist—although, curiously, it does seem to have some similarities to my father’s …

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