New Member Spotlight: Mike Sharland, Ph.D., ABPP

1)      What is your background in psychology (e.g., education)?

    • B.A. in Psychology from Saginaw Valley State University (University Center, MI) in 2000.
    • M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Saint Louis University (St. Louis, MO) in 2006.
    • Pre-Doctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology – Neuropsychology track at the Memphis VAMC (Memphis, TN) from 2005-2006.
    • Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Adult Clinical Neuropsychology at the Medical College of Wisconsin (Milwaukee, WI) from 2006-2008.
    • Board-certified in Clinical Neuropsychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) in 2009.

2)      Describe your current occupation and any involvement in the Minnesota Psychological Association if applicable.

I am a neuropsychologist within the department of Neurology at Essentia Health in Duluth, MN.  I started the neuropsychology program in Neurology at Essentia five years ago.  Since that time, we have added three psychometrists and another board-certified neuropsychologist.  We are in the process of starting a pediatric neuropsychology program in the fall.  Most of my work is clinical evaluations of adults; however, I also am active in program development, community education, and research.  I serve on the MPA Health Care Reform Task Force.  Essentia is a leader in Accountable Care Organizations.  Health care provision is changing, presenting both opportunities and challenges to all psychologists.

3)      What inspired you to pursue a degree in psychology?

I believe that neuropsychology blends the best parts of medicine and psychology.  I love the neuroscience aspect of brain-behavior relationships.  My fundamental training as a psychologist, though, helps me to understand a person’s cognitive functioning within the context of the individual.  Psychology is unique in that it strives to understand the individual as an integrated whole, not just biologic processes or emotional responses.    The holistic nature of trying to understand why a person acts, thinks, feels, and behaves the way they do inspired me to pursue psychology.

4)      Why did you join the Minnesota Psychological Association?

I joined MPA because of its advocacy.  Health care delivery is changing, and many of these changes are occurring at the state level.  As psychologists we need to have our voices heard in the legislature to insure that individuals have access to excellent mental health services.  MPA advocates for psychologists at the state level.

5)      What do you hope to learn/gain from your new membership?

I want to do my part to help ensure that Minnesota continues to provide excellent psychological services.

6)      Any outside hobbies/interests you do not mind sharing?

I enjoy most outdoor pursuits, such as jogging with my son, biking with my family, and camping.  I also like to fish for stream trout.  In the winter, our family enjoys downhill skiing.  Duluth has been the perfect place for us to live.

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