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Observations BMJ Confidential

Peter Aitken: Psychiatrist of the year

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j612 (Published 15 February 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j612

Biography

Peter Aitken is a consultant psychiatrist at Devon Partnership NHS Trust and chair of the faculty of liaison psychiatry at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which awarded him this year’s psychiatrist of the year award.

Liaison psychiatry—providing mental healthcare to those with physical illness—was a latecomer to the UK and is still, he admits, patchily established, but the faculty now boasts more than 4000 members.

He tweets as DrP8ken, including mentions of the national lifeboat service (he is medical adviser to the Exmouth crew) and glimpses of working life.

What was your earliest ambition?

To be a doctor. All my grandfather’s fault. He was a surgeon who served in the second world war and told me great medical stories before I could walk. …

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