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Raj Persaud at Humber Mouth, 30 June 2007.
|Born||13 May 1963|
|Education||Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School|
|Alma mater||University College London|
TV and radio presenter
Rajendra 'Raj' Persaud (born 13 May 1963) is an English consultant psychiatrist, broadcaster and author of books about psychiatry. He is known for raising public awareness of psychiatric and mental health issues in the general media, has published five books and received numerous awards.
In October 2008, Persaud resigned from his position as consultant psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, following a three-month suspension by the General Medical Council for dishonesty in plagiarising other sources in his book From the Edge of the Couch.
Early life and academic career
Persaud is the son of Trinidad-born author Lakshmi Persaud and Professor Bishnodat Persaud. He was educated at Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School and at University College London, where he read for his degrees in medicine and psychology, and wrote for the student newspaper Pi. In his first year at UCL he had to re-sit the examinations in anatomy, which he attributed later to availing himself too freely of the other educational opportunities there. He told the British Medical Journal that this left him "traumatised" and he compensated by virtually taking up residence in the college library, eventually achieving at least three degrees, four diplomas and a membership examination, including:
- BSc Degree in Psychology with First Class Honours, Department of Psychology, University College London (1984)
- MB BS Degree in Medicine, The School of Medicine, University College London (1985)
- DHMSA, Diploma in the History of Medicine, Worshipful Society of Apothecaries (1988)
- Dip Phil (Diploma in Philosophy) Extra-Mural Department, Birkbeck College (1990)
- MRCPsych Membership of Royal College of Psychiatrists (1990)
- MPhil Master of Philosophy, Institute of Psychiatry (1992)
- Dip Hlth Econ, Diploma in Health Economics, Planning and Management, with Distinction, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (1993)
- MSc Social Research Methods and Statistics, City University London (1995)
He was a psychiatric trainee at the Bethlem Royal Hospital and Maudsley Hospital in London, a research scholar and post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the USA in 1990 and a research worker at the Institute of Neurology at UCL. In 2000 he was awarded a UCL Fellowship, and in 2005 he was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He is also a Fellow of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries. In 2002 he was voted one of the top ten psychiatrists in the UK by a survey of the Institute of Psychiatry and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, published in the Independent on Sunday newspaper.
He is a Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry at the University of London and has a Visiting Professor role at Gresham College for Public Understanding of Psychiatry.
Plagiarism and suspension
In 2008, Persaud was suspended from practising psychiatry for three months by the General Medical Council, having admitted being guilty of nine cases of plagiarism. He subsequently left his consultant position with the South London and Maudsley NHS trust.
His book From the Edge of the Couch contained material plagiarised from four academic articles written by nine authors. Four of his articles also contained plagiarised passages from an article and book by Professor Thomas Blass, The Man Who Shocked the World. The case against him began after a complaint by the Church of Scientology.
Persaud regularly appeared on radio and TV programmes, as either interviewee or presenter and was resident psychiatrist on the well-known daytime television programme This Morning. In addition to writing regularly for The Daily Telegraph and The Independent, Persaud also had columns in the Times Educational Supplement, Cosmopolitan and Canary Wharf City Life magazine. He is a former presenter of the BBC Radio 4 psychology and psychiatry programme All in the Mind. He was a presenter for Travels of the Mind for BBC World Service. He is the joint editor of the Royal College of Psychiatrists "discover psychiatry podcasts".
Persaud has appeared on numerous talk shows such as Richard and Judy and Good Morning with Anne and Nick, promoting psychiatric treatments for mental health issues. With the general practitioner Mark Porter, he co-presented the live medical talk and phone-in TV programme Doctor, Doctor on Channel Five.
Persaud's media work has earned him a mixed reception. Francis Wheen, then a Guardian columnist, claimed he is "paid a lot of money for stating the obvious". In contrast, the comedian, GP and columnist Dr. Phil Hammond applauded Persaud for his populist appeal. Hammond stated Persaud is a "good media communicator" for the psychiatric industry, albeit lacking the sophistication of the late Anthony Clare.
Persaud has worked in the NGO sector. He is a patron of OCD-UK, a British charity for people affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He also works with ActionAid and recently visited Bangladesh with the charity.
- John Jepson Prize, Special Commendation (1986)
- Osler Medal, Worshipful Society of Apothecaries (1991)
- Denis Hill Prize, Bethlem Royal Hospital (1991)
- Young Scientist Award, Biennial International Schizophrenia Workshop, Badgastein, Austria (1992)
- Research Prize and Medal, Royal College of Psychiatrists (1993)
- Fellow of University College London (2000)
- Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (2005)
- Morris Markowe Prize, Royal College of Psychiatrists (2005)
- Tony Thistlethwaite Award Commendation for Excellence, Medical Journalists' Association (2005)
- Staying Sane: How to Make your Mind Work for You. September 1997 (Metro). ISBN 1-900512-38-6
- From the Edge of the Couch. March 2003 (Bantam Press). ISBN 0-553-81346-3
- The Motivated Mind. March 2005 (Bantam Press). ISBN 0-553-81345-5
- Simply Irresistible: The Psychology of Seduction – How to Catch and Keep Your Perfect Partner. January 2007 (Bantam Press). ISBN 0-593-05588-8
- The Mind: A User's Guide. July 2007 (Bantam Press). ISBN 0-593-05635-3
- James Sturcke and Martin Wainwright, "Disgraced Raj Persaud quits as consultant at leading hospital", The Guardian, 24 October 2008
- Persaud, Raj (2002). "Ten books". British Journal of Psychiatry. 181 (3): 258–261. doi:10.1192/bjp.181.3.258.
- "The Medical Directory 2006/07". 2 (162 ed.). London: Informa Healthcare. 2006: 2627–8. Cite journal requires
- "Raj Persaud quits as consultant at leading hospital". the Guardian. 23 October 2008.
- "A few deaths may be the price we'll have to pay for saving resources". The Independent (London). Retrieved 18 June 2008.[dead link]
- "King of the media shrink pack?". British Medical Journal. Retrieved 18 June 2008.
- "The Telegraph - Calcutta : Look". www.telegraphindia.com. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
- "Professor Raj Persaud: Visiting Gresham Professor of Psychiatry". Gresham College. Archived from the original on 15 August 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2008.