About

Dr Michael Spencer is a Consultant Psychiatrist with strong academic and research interests and wide clinical experience, practising in Cambridge, London and Norwich. He is currently Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist in the Pain Services at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.

He holds degrees from the University of Cambridge - BA (Hons), MB, BChir, MA, MD - and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (FRCPsych).

Dr Spencer qualified in Medicine from the University of Cambridge in 1998, and subsequently gained clinical experience in Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. He undertook specialist training placements in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, General Adult Psychiatry, Liaison Psychiatry, Eating Disorders, Drug Addiction and Early Psychosis.

Dr Spencer was Honorary Clinical Lecturer and Clinical Research Fellow at the Division of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh (2004-2008), where he: undertook clinical and brain imaging research into psychiatric disorders of adolescence and young adulthood; lectured regularly on Psychiatry, Child Psychiatry and psychological aspects of human development to doctors on the MRCPsych course and Masters course and to undergraduate medical students; was Course Coordinator of the Undergraduate Child and Adolescent Psychiatry lecture programme; delivered regular tutorial group teaching in Psychiatry to Undergraduate medical students; and examined medical students in Psychiatry for final MB (Bachelor of Medicine) examinations.

From 2008 to 2013, Dr Spencer practised as a Consultant Psychiatrist at the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

From 2012 to 2016 he was Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist in the Department of Pain Medicine at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

He is now an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist in the Pain Services Department at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

Clinical and Scientific Expertise

Dr Spencer has a strong track record in academic psychiatry as a practising clinician scientist, with a history of journal publications, conference presentations and the competitive award of research grants and fellowships. He was awarded the Donald Cohen Fellowship by the European Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2007 and a Clinician Scientist Fellowship by the MRC in 2008. He has lectured at the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh and, to date, has authored or co-authored over 40 scientific publications in the fields of psychiatry and neuroscience and over 40 presentations to national or international conferences or academic meetings.

He has advised on autism research issues as Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Psychological Medicine at the National University of Hospital, Singapore (NUHS).

He has held active research interests in neuroimaging and genetic markers of risk in autism, youth mental illness and the interface between psychological factors and physical illness (in particular chronic pain) and the process of chronification of pain; and he has regularly lectured upon these areas.

Professional Experience

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Dr Spencer has the academic and clinical experience necessary to understand the overlaps and interactions between psychological vulnerabilities such as adverse childhood experiences and later psychiatric disorder, the spectrum of co-existing psychiatric presentations in autism and the interface between physical and psychological factors in chronic pain.

Dr Spencer has expertise in working with a wide range of psychiatric conditions in children, adolescents and adults, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain disorder / somatic symptom disorder, in addition to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He is experienced in diagnosing and managing psychiatric difficulties in complex contexts including chronic pain, accidents and trauma and upon backgrounds of pre-existing psychological conditions and other traumas.

Dr Spencer has considerable clinical experience of providing psychiatric input to a multidisciplinary pain clinic, having worked with NHS pain clinic patients from across the lifespan with pain conditions and significant psychological/psychiatric presentations and having undertaken clinical assessments jointly with professional colleagues from other disciplines.

Dr Spencer is Assistant Editor of the Journal of Observational Pain Medicine. He is a Council Member of the Section of Pain Medicine at the Royal Society of Medicine, a Senior Fellow of (and Scientific Advisor to) the London Pain Forum, a member of the British Pain Society, a member of the British Neuropsychiatry Association and he has co-organised the Cambridge Annual Medico-Legal Conference since 2014.

He is experienced in undertaking psychiatric assessments for the purpose of preparing CPR35-compliant Expert Medical Reports. He has also undergone specialist Expert Witness training by Bond Solon, has passed the Cardiff University Law School Bond Solon Expert Witness Certificate course, and has twice given evidence in the High Court.