I grew up in a small industrial town in North India. At 16 I won the National Science Talent Search Scholarship. I attended medical school at the Armed Forces Medical College at Poona University.

I’ve gone on to attain a number of qualifications including an MBBS, the Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery from the Society of the Apothecaries, a PhD from the University of London, an MPhil from Leicester University, an MSc (Sociology) from South Bank University and an MA (Social Anthropology) from the University of London.

I am a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Royal Society of Medicine, the Royal College of Physicians, the Faculty of Public Health and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

I have received honours from the American Psychiatry Association, the American College of Psychiatrists, the Academy of Medical Sciences (Singapore), the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, the Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists and the International Medical Sciences Academy. I am on the Council of the Academy of Medical Educators and am a founding member of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management.


In 2011 I was appointed Chair of the Mental Health Foundation and President-Elect of the World Psychiatric Association.

I was awarded a CBE for services to psychiatry in the 2012 New Years Honours.

As Professor of Mental Health and Cultural Diversity at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, England, I specialise in the following areas of social psychiatry:

  • Psychosexual medicine
  • Cross-cultural psychiatry
  • Professionalism in psychiatry
  • Decision making by psychiatrists and patients
  • Depression
  • Pathways into psychiatric care
  • Deliberate self-harm
  • Primary Care

I am currently leading an international research project funded by the World Psychiatric Association, covering recruitment of medical students into psychiatry across 23 countries.