Dr. Antonio Fernando

Tony is a psychiatrist and a senior lecturer in Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland. He obtained his medical degree from the University of the Philippines and his internship at St Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital (Columbia University) in New York. His psychiatry residency and sleep fellowship was at the University of Pennsylvania. Tony’s research interest is in sleep medicine and medical compassion. He has been awarded multiple teaching awards by medical students and the faculty of medicine in Auckland. In 2012, he was awarded by President Aquino of the Philippines for his services to sleep medicine and medical education. In 2015, he was awarded the Chair’s award by the New Zealand Medical Association, the highest recognition given by the association to any doctor in New Zealand for his work on physician wellbeing. He plays the cello, is a cheap-eats foodie and despite his fear of the water, has swum across the Auckland Harbour and competes in ocean races and triathlons. In January of 2017, he received temporary ordination as a Buddhist monk in Chanmyay Myaing monastery in Myanmar. He is in the final stages of his PhD at the University of Auckland, studying barriers to compassion in medicine.

All of us want to be happy. Most if not everything we do is geared towards happiness and pleasure and away from pain and suffering. Despite happiness being all important, we do not spend much time studying it. In this session, the basic psychology and neuroscience of happiness research, as informed by positive psychology and affective neuroscience will be reviewed. More importantly, practical strategies that enhance wellbeing and happiness including mindfulness (attention training), compassion, self-compassion and cultivation of positive emotional states (gratitude) will be discussed.​