Dr. McKernan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, having joined the faculty in 2014. Clinically, Dr. McKernan specializes in treating the intersection between co-occurring chronic health conditions and mental health. She has particular interests in working with trauma and chronic illness, and has additional expertise in clinical hypnosis.
Currently, Dr. McKernan works as a clinician at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine (OCIM) and Department of Urologic Surgery. Dr. McKernan also oversees the health psychology postdoctoral fellowship position at OCIM through the Department's APPIC-approved program.
Dr. McKernan is currently funded by the National Institute of Health to develop innovative psychosocial treatments for specific pain populations served at VUMC. Recognizing that pain is a highly unique experience to the individual, the lab and its collaborators are working to administer psychosocial interventions for urologic populations, specifically interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome.
The lab's focus is to inform treatment and intervention delivery through applying patient-informed approaches to care, understanding unique patient-level factors that influence pain, expanding treatments to a wider audience, and using data science to inform intervention efforts.
Dr. McKernan has a highly collaborative research lab and you can follow her work by visiting mckernanlab.com or following updates on twitter through @LCMPhD.