Beyond the scientist: Chris Verhaak

Chris verhaak.jpg

Where and when were you born?

I was born in Heesch Noord Brabant, 19th of December 1959 

Where do you live and with whom?

I live in Malden with my husband Hub. Our two daughters live in Groningen. 

Who was your role model when you were a kid?

Not a role model but an idol: Bob Dylan. Because of is engagement in his songs and because of his autonomous identity. 

Why aren’t you doing the same thing now as your role model (or do you?)

I’m not talented for music. But it is still necessary for me to feel engaged in my work, to feel to be part of the fulfillment of a societal mission and to be autonomous, and to think critically. 

What is the thing in your (work or other) history that you are most proud of?

That I succeeded in really implementing psychology in medicine. We implemented screening on psychological vulnerability in clinical practice of reproductive medicine in several countries in Europe.  And we implemented Suikerplein, online clinics implemented in daily cinical practice of childhood diabetes. I’m also proud of the close relationship between our research and our clinical practice. Research results are therefore of great value for daily clinical practice. 

What is it that you would like to achieve in work in the next 5 to 10 years?

My mission is to integrate psychological assessment and psychological outcomes in clinical medical practice as well as in medical research. 

For what can we wake you up?

To hear the birds singing in spring, they wake me up, the blackbird, the mavis (zanglijster) 

What is your hobby and how good are you at it?

One is running, I’m doing pretty well for my age. I’m proud of two half marathons recently. And cooking, I like the Mediterranean and Arab kitchen.

Another hobby is yoga, that’s not about how good you are, that makes it a special kind of hobby! Especially for people like me, in a competitive environment. 

What is your biggest irritation?

All the rules and legislations that create a sort of artificial safety and feeling of control. 

Who would you like to invite for dinner, if you had the chance? 

Yotam Ottolenghi, if he is the cook. I like his books and would be eager to taste his food!


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