Dr Michael Epstein


I seem to have been a psychiatrist since the year dot. I went to medical school at Monash University and did a residency at Prince Henry’s Hospital and completed my psychiatric training at the University of Rochester in Rochester New York. I came back to Australia as a child psychiatrist but as I got older and my patients got older I began working with adolescents and then adults but always had an interest in stress-related disorders. Ironically the first person I saw when I commenced in practice was with regard to a custody dispute.

I helped establish the Austin crisis service. I subsequently was asked to write various medicolegal reports and with the passage of time I found the work enjoyable and challenging. I became very interested in stress-related disorders because I saw so many amongst the people I was assessing and it was because of that that in 1989 I finished up writing a book called “Falling Apart-living with stress breakdown” together with Sue Hosking, a psychologist and friend. The book is still being sold, $20 at Amazon. I have been a member of the Medical Panels in Victoria for a number of years and in that context helped refine AMA 2 to make it workable and subsequently developed the Clinical Guides to the Rating of Psychiatric Assessment and now the Guides to the Evaluation of Psychiatric Impairment for Clinicians with George Mendelson and Nigel Strauss. Nigel and I have also written a paper separating out primary and secondary impairment.

I’ve also been interested in the topics of suicide and self-harm in psychiatric hospitals, the effect of complaints on healthcare providers, the effects of a major tragedy on a small community and a few other issues and have written about these. Some of these are on this website. I was secretary of the RANZCP for six years and have been involved with the faculty of forensic psychiatry and its precursor since the 1980s.


11 Jul 2015ArticleFamily Court – Psychiatrists Criticised
11 Jul 2015StatementI stopped doing Family Reports after assessing one particularly bitter mother