Professional qualifications, accreditations and memberships:
Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (MRCPsych)
Specialist Register for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (GMC)
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBCHB)
Post Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (PGDip CBT Oxon)
Member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
My professional experience:
I am a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with more than 12 years NHS clinical experience supporting children and families, and 8 years experience in teaching and clinical research at Imperial College London. I trained as a doctor at the University of Aberdeen and completed my psychiatric training at St Mary’s Hospital, London.
As an NHS Consultant, I led multidisciplinary teams in CAMHS Inpatient and Crisis Services (Forest House Adolescent Unit, HPFT NHS Trust); Outpatient Generic CAMHS, Specialist Paediatric Liaison and Neurodevelopmental services (CNWL, BEH NHS Trusts, London). I support children, adolescents and their families across the range of mild to severe difficulties (including anxiety, depression, autism, ADHD, somatising) that can arise throughout the different developmental life stages.
I have completed additional training at the University of Oxford in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and am a qualified CBT therapist. I am also qualified in specialised ADHD and Autism assessments e.g. ADOS(Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule) and ADIR(Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised).
I have clinical and research expertise in supporting children with physical manifestations of psychological distress. I also have particular experience in supporting the emotional health of children who have a physical condition, and have run specialist clinics for children with diabetes and epilepsy.
I have worked with many different cultures and communities in the UK. Additionally, I have developed mental health services and education with NGO’s and Governmental Organisations overseas, including in Ghana, Malawi, Ethiopia. These experiences have enhanced my understanding of the spiritual and cultural influences in mental and physical health.
My personal statement:
I believe children and adolescents are constantly experiencing new challenges as they develop and transition through different life stages and at times this can be challenging not only for the young person but also for their parent/carer(s) and family. I support children within their specific family context; working collaboratively with the child and supporting parents/carer(s) in helping them navigate through the difficulties. I provide assessment and specific treatments for distress or illness relating to emotional health, to support young people so they can achieve their full personal, relational, academic and social potential.
On meeting new patients, my main focus is helping children and their parent/carer(s) to feel at ease, in a safe space to explore the current difficulties. Using a holistic, non-judgmental approach I sensitively address the child’s symptoms, the family related needs and social factors (including educational, friendship, social media issues). Some children may be worried about going to the doctor, so I use a gentle, friendly, creative approach to help children feel comfortable.
I assess the child with their parent/carer(s), on their own, and meet with the parent/carer(s) without their child to enable them to speak freely in confidence. If relevant I will liaise with the school and other professionals. Following the assessment I provide a care plan which may include further specialist assessments e.g. ADOS or specific treatments e.g. CBT, family based therapy or medication. I work closely with a team of psychologists, specialist nurses and family therapists, and if required will tailor an individual multidisciplinary care plan.
Additional information about my research, publications and interests:
I am active in research and teaching doctors, nurses, therapists and also provide talks for parents and schools. I have particular clinical and research expertise in child and adolescent psychiatry, specifically relating to somatising (where psychological distress is experienced as physical symptoms), helping children and adolescents cope with physical illness and self harm. I also have extensive experience in assessing and managing Autism, ADHD, anxiety, OCD and depression.
Fiertag, O., and Eminson, M. (2014) Somatising in children and adolescents: Management and outcomes. In: Huline-Dickens, S. Clinical Topics In Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (pp201-217). London: RCPsych Publications.
Fiertag, O., Taylor, S., Tareen, A., and Garralda, E. (2012) Somatoform Disorders. In: Rey, J.M. The International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professionals (IACAPAP) e-Textbook of Child and Adolescent Mental Health.