Psychologist honoured with prestigious anaesthesia award

Posted by egg3 at Jan 15, 2016 09:58 AM |
Royal College of Anaesthetists recognises Professor Mike Wang for contribution to anaesthetic awareness project

Professor Mike Wang, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology, has been awarded the Humphry Davy Medal by the Royal College of Anaesthetists for his contribution to the College's National Audit Project 5 on Accidental Awareness during General Anaesthesia.

The papers reporting on the project are now amongst the most cited publications in anaesthesia and the main report won the BMA prize for the best anaesthesia book of 2015.

The Humphry Davy Medal (named after the celebrated chemist who laid the foundation for our understanding of gas chemistry which is so important for modern anaesthesia) is awarded to persons who are judged to have made a significant contribution to anaesthesia practice and/or research.

Professor Wang has a longstanding research interest in psychological aspects of anaesthesia and in particular, the problem of anaesthetic awareness, which he is pursuing in Leicester alongside NHS anaesthetic colleagues.

He said: “I am delighted that the Royal College of Anaesthetists has chosen to honour me alongside other colleagues involved in the largest ever investigation into patient reports of unintended anaesthetic awareness. The award highlights the importance of psychology as applied to anaesthesia, not just in relation to this audit project, but also in relation to research into cognitive function during general anaesthesia conducted over the past 25 years.

"It is especially gratifying and humbling that I, as a clinical psychologist (not an anaesthetist), should have been honoured in this way.”

Professor Wang was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire. After attending Rowlinson School he went to Manchester University for both undergraduate and postgraduate clinical training in the late 1970s. He then spent eight years working as an NHS Clinical Psychologist at Withington Hospital, South Manchester, initially treating patients with substance misuse followed by work with general and acute psychiatric patients. During this time he completed a part-time PhD which investigated the aetiology of phobias in alcohol-dependent patients. In 1988 he was appointed Clinical Co-Director and Honorary NHS Consultant on the integrated Clinical Psychology Course at the University of Hull. In 1997 he became Head of Department, and then in 2000 was made Honorary Clinical Professor in the Postgraduate Medical Institute, University of Hull. He was awarded the Fellowship of the British Psychological Society in 1999 in recognition of his research into psychological aspects of anaesthesia and his contributions to clinical psychology training. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine in 2009.

Professor Wang was appointed Professor of Clinical Psychology, Head of Clinical Section and Course Director at the University of Leicester in May 2005. He retired from his academic post in December 2014.

Full details of the national audit project can be found at:

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