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Gunaseelan Kanakaratnam

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 30 January 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m353
  1. Dianne Cobbold-Davis

Gunaseelan Kanakaratnam (“Dr K,” as he was fondly called at work; “Kanaks” to many) was the son of an Ayurvedic medical practitioner and lecturer at the College of Indigenous Medicine in Colombo. His mother, Pauline, studied at Cambridge University and the London School of Economics, where she completed her degree. She also held a degree in English literature.

Kanaks was educated at Royal College, Colombo, Sri Lanka, before reading medicine at the University of Ceylon. He practised medicine and surgery in Galle and Jaffna.

He came to the UK in 1964 and joined Three Counties Hospital, which later became Fairfield Hospital in Bedfordshire. In 1971 he was appointed consultant psychiatrist at Fairfield and Bedford hospitals (Weller Wing), where he worked for his entire life until he retired in 1999. He continued as an honorary consultant thereafter. Kanaks was one of the most senior fellows of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the college, in recognition of his longstanding membership and fellowship, held a minute’s silence at …

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