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Raj Persaud's Biography

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Raj Persaud is a psychiatrist who is often seen in the UK media.

Raj Persaud, who co-presented Channel 5's Doctor Doctor with Dr Mark Porter, was a consultant psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital in London and is Gresham Professor for Public Understanding of Psychiatry.

In October 2008, The Guardian reported that Raj Persaud had left his role as a consultant psychiatrist for the South London and Maudsley NHS trust.

Raj Persaud has eight degrees and diplomas, however he explained in the BMJ how he initially failed anatomy and the impact it had on him:

"I was so traumatised by the experience of failing anatomy in my first year at medical school, at University College London, that I more or less moved into the library for the remaining years of the clinical course, after a successful re-sit. This led to one memorable occasion when the dean came to find me there and begged me to take a holiday. I became such a fixture in the library that if some newcomer inadvertently occupied my usual spot he or she would be warned to move by other residents ... This paranoia over failing again led to such an overreaction that I gained first class honours in my psychology degree, two years later."

The BMJ article also explains how he came to be picked up by the media:

"The Guardian newspaper asked me to write my first article, to rebut a diagnosis that had been made by a columnist in the Times that dictators such as Saddam Hussein suffered from clinical schizophrenia. I pointed out that just because you found someone reprehensible was no reason to label them as mentally ill. Suddenly I found myself interviewed on television and radio saying what seemed to me to be the blindingly obvious but what the media, previously unable to discuss schizophrenia with a real psychiatrist, found utterly riveting."

Raj Persaud came to a wider public's attention in 1994, as an expert on ITV1's This Morning show.

Raj Persaud used to present Radio 4's All in the Mind, however he stepped down because of allegations of plagiarism concerning an article he wrote in Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry.

The King's College finding was:

"The College decided that the allegations had some substance but were of a nature which could be addressed at 'departmental level' (i.e. Institute of Psychiatry) without the need to initiate a formal inquiry.

"When the allegations were first raised in November 2005, Dr Persaud, who is a Consultant Psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, withdrew from his position at the Institute of Psychiatry as Director of the Centre for Public Engagement in Mental Health Sciences. This was an honorary position.

"Dr Persaud accepts that he failed to properly acknowledge the work of others in some of his journalistic writings. He apologises for his errors, and retractions have been published in the appropriate periodicals.

"In view of this, the Institute has decided that no further action is necessary and the investigation is therefore closed."

Raj Persaud has explained how his media work fits in with his psychiatric work:

"My most important work is with the inpatients who suffer severe mental health problems at the Maudsley Hospital. What I find tends to happen is that patients are much more likely to follow the advice that the ward and myself give them, because they have developed a relationship with me via the television and know and trust me."

Raj Persaud is married with two children and enjoys poker, tennis, and the occasional cigar.

In June 2008, the BBC reported about Dr Raj Persaud's appearance before the General Medical Council over allegations of plagiarism.

In the GMC hearing, Dr Raj Persaud admitted plagiarising material and he was found unfit to practice, with the GMC panel commenting that his conduct was "inappropriate, misleading, dishonest and liable to bring the profession into disrepute."

In 2016, Raj Persaud wrote a novel, Can’t Get You Out of My Head.

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