Dr Raj Persaud is a Consultant Psychiatrist who has worked at numerous prestigious institutions in psychiatry including The Bethlem Royal and Maudsley NHS Hospitals Trust in London and the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London as well as Johns Hopkins Hospital in the USA, which are the leading teaching, research and clinical institutions in psychiatry in Europe and the USA. He works in the NHS and in private practice.
Unusually for a psychiatrist he also holds a degree in psychology that he obtained with First Class Honours, and in addition he has been awarded over 8 degrees and diplomas including a Masters in Statistics. He has been recognised for the innovative nature of his research by the receipt of numerous academic awards and prizes including the prestigious Royal College of Psychiatrists Research Medal and Prize and The Maudsley Hospital’s own Denis Hill Prize plus the exclusive medical award, the Osler Medal. The Royal College of Psychiatrists recently awarded him the Morris Markowe Prize for his Public Engagement work and elected him a Fellow of the College – the highest honour it can bestow on a member.
In 2004 he has been appointed Gresham Professor for Public Understanding of Psychiatry – Gresham College was founded in the 16th Century and the venerated Royal Society developed from it. He has extremely unusually been appointed for a fourth consecutive term.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has recently elected Raj Persaud to be the Editor of its first book aimed at educating the public on psychology and psychiatry entitled ‘The Mind: A Users Guide’ published in 2007, consisting of over 50 chapters from distinguished members of the profession and which reached the top ten best-seller list.
He has also supplied consequential entries for most of the established textbooks in the field, including the Oxford Companion to the Mind. He has published over 100 academic papers in learned journals like the British Journal of Psychiatry, British Medical Journal and The Lancet, but he also has written regularly for the National press including The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, The Times Educational Supplement and The Health Service Journal.
His best-selling book ‘Staying Sane: How to make your mind work for you’ published by Bantam press, remains the only serious scientific guide to preventing mental illness. His other books, include ‘Simply Irresistible – The Psychology of Seduction’ and ‘The Motivated Mind – How to get what your want’.
He referees papers for the key medical journals of repute and has acted as external examiner for medical schools which include St George’s Hospital Medical School, University of London. He has become known as the psychiatrist doctors turn to when they themselves develop mental health problems and runs the largest UK psychiatric clinic dealing with doctors. Besides his work in Britain he has been a research fellow and clinician at the top medical school in the USA, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He returned to work in the UK because of the strain of having to constantly search his American patients for guns!
Raj Persaud has delivered many of the distinguished annual lectures in British Medicine including the prestigious 2002 Florence Nightingale Lecture, the annual oration of the Medical Society of London and the keynote lecture of the annual conference for National Institute of Clinical Excellence. He gave the widely publicised lecture celebrating the 50th anniversary of the foundation of The Samaritans. He has chaired prestigious panels, including chairing the International Aventis Science Book Prize for 2002 – the top book prize for science books given annually and judges the annual UK Broadcast Medical Journalism Awards, as well as the Health Service Journal Awards which include the Minister of Health’s Award. He also has sat on the Wellcome Trust’s Public Engagement Committee.
He broadcasts widely for TV programmes like Horizon, Tomorrow’s World, Newsnight and BBC Question Time. He has presented All in the Mind on BBC Radio 4 for which he recently won a prestigious Mental Health Media Award. Besides featuring in several of their flagship programmes like File on Four, The World Tonight and The Healers, he has himself presented several special Radio 4 series including The Psychology of Fame, Measuring the Mind and The Negotiators. He also has presented a regular series on BBC Worldservice Radio called ‘Travels of the Mind’ where he draws attention to mental health issues all around the world, from remote Kenya, Siberia, India to Belgium.