Professor Michael Nicholas, Director Education & ADAPT Pain Management Program

University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital

Professor Michael Nicholas is a clinical psychologist who has an outstanding record of achievement in multidisciplinary pain management, pain education and psychosocial pain research.

Since 1980, Professor Nicholas has combined research and clinical pain practice, especially multidisciplinary applications of psychology.  Michael started his academic career in his home of New Zealand, with a Bachelor of Science at the University of Otago. In 1972 Michael’s completed his PhD in 1988 on “An Evaluation of Treatments for Chronic Low Back Pain” and established the first Back Pain Program at Westmead Hospital.

After completing his PhD, Michael travelled to London, where he was appointed the inaugural Director of INPUT Multidisciplinary Pain Management Program at St Thomas’ Hospital.

In 1990 Michael took up his first academic appointment, as a Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, where he started his role as a clinical educator, training clinical psychologists with a focus on pain management. In 1994 Michael was approached by Professor Michael Cousins to take up a conjoint position at the University of Sydney (Faculty of Medicine-Northern Clinical School) and the Pain Management Research Institute (PMRI) at Royal North Shore Hospital. It was here that Michael recruited staff to establish the ADAPT Pain Management Program, based on the success on INPUT. Since commencing in late 1994, more than 300 programs have been run to date, improving the quality of life for so many patients whose lives had been shattered by severe, persisting pain.