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Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Professor Myra Hunter

Myra Hunter

Job title

Professor of Clinical Health Psychology

Department/Division

Psychology

Date started at King’s

2006


Challenges and achievements

When and what was responsible for you becoming interested in your academic discipline?

I have combined clinical and academic work since starting my career in clinical health psychology.

What are your research interests, and what drew you to this area? 

I am interested in people’s experience of physical symptoms and have developed and evaluated cognitive behavioural interventions for physical symptoms in the areas of women's health, cardiology and oncology. After training as a clinical psychologist I worked with Professors Rachman and Phillips on a research project on pain at the Institute of Psychiatry and became interested in the interplay between psychological processes and physical symptoms. My interest in women’s health developed during my work at King’s College Hospital, within Obstetrics and Gynaecology, where I carried out my PhD on understanding women’s experience of menopause. 

Tell us about a couple of your achievements that have been particularly rewarding. 

I have developed cognitive behaviourally based, brief interventions that can effectively reduce the impact of premenstrual and menopausal symptoms, without the need for medication.  These interventions are now being made more widely available to women going through the menopause transition and women who have had breast cancer, as well as to men who experience hot flushes following endocrine treatment for prostate cancer.

Do you have professional role models? Who are they and what do you find inspiring about them and their accomplishments?

I have developed cognitive behaviourally based, brief interventions that can effectively reduce the impact of premenstrual and menopausal symptoms, without the need for medication.  These interventions are now being made more widely available to women going through the menopause transition and women who have had breast cancer, as well as to men who experience hot flushes following endocrine treatment for prostate cancer.

What do you feel is the most enjoyable/rewarding aspect of your job at King’s?

The variety of research projects across colleges and the opportunity to collaborate with a range of excellent researchers.

How do you balance the various demands of a career in academia: research, teaching/learning, administration?

The balance between clinical, administrative and research roles has not always easy but the variety definitely maintains interest and motivation.

How do you balance an academic career with life outside the workplace?

Being busy in both areas seems to help, but this does require regular attention.

What have you learnt from your experiences that you would like to share with others?

Early in my career I did doubt whether combining children and a clinical academic career would be manageable, but careers last for many years and in my experience having some flexibility, and maintaining academic continuity have been helpful. 

 

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