Mini Blog: 2 minutes with... Dr Nicola Swain

Mini Blog: 2 minutes with... Dr Nicola Swain

08 March 2014

If you are attending the Psychologists meeting on Thursday of the annual Scientific Meeting you will lucky enough to catch Dr Nicola Swain talk about ways on improving access to psychological interventions through the use of the internet


1. What is your current role/job/position? 

I am a Senior Lecturer In Psychological Medicine at the Dunedin School of Medicine. My role is 40% teaching, 40% research and 20% community service. It is a nice balance for pain as I can teach and research as well as run seminars, write articles etc. to get the science out to the public (See my article on chronic pain in Good magazine).


2. How did you get into working in Pain Management?  

I don't really work in pain management. I work in pain research and I also teach pain topics to medical students. I rely on my colleagues for clinical stories and issues. I was inspired to work in this field by my boss, the late professor Oliver Davidson.


3. If you weren't working in Pain Management what would you be doing?  

If not pain, I would have chosen another field of psychological interest like obesity.


4. If you could invite any 3 people to have dinner, who would you choose and why?

I would invite Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Helen Clark. I think they are all exceptional women who have changed and continue to change the world. Their company would be very inspiring as well as informative. 


5. What is the most important advance you hope will be made in Pain in the next ten years?  

I would like to see a more co-ordinated service available to the public in New Zealand. People must engage in long and expensive searches to find treatment that might work for them. It is possible to centralise information and treatment providers to assist people, along with evidence of their effectiveness. We need to raise awareness of psychological approaches that are as effective as biomedical ones.