Curriculum vitae

Curriculum vitae for:

Dr Peter John Gordon
NHS Consultant in Older Adult Psychiatry 2002 -2020
Retired: 21 January 2020
Born: 1967
Marital Status: Married with two children
Nationality: Scottish


  • MBChB Aberdeen University 1990
  • MLA distinction University of Edinburgh 1993
  • MRCPsych Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists 1997


  • Primary Schools: Comiston, Colinton and Bonaly (1972-1979)
  • Secondary Schooling: Firrhill High School, Edinburgh (1979-1985)
  • Awarded School Colours


I. University of Aberdeen Medical School (1985-1990)

  • All degree examinations passed at first sitting.
  • Merit in Physiology.
  • Awarded MBChB 1990.
  • Medical Elective “Medical Service Provision in Kampala, Uganda” (1989)

II. Edinburgh University Landscape Architecture 1991-1993

  • Two-year Postgraduate course leading to the degree of MLA.
  • Gained Distinction in every section including dissertation.
  • Awarded Scottish Chapter Prize for Best Graduating Student in Scotland.
  • Awarded Frank Clarke Prize and Scottish Chapter Prize for the environmental design of Carstairs State Hospital.

III. Royal College of Psychiatry

  • Gained full membership in 1997, after only three years, and passing both membership exams at first sitting
  • Part I Clinical Examination – passed at Crichton Royal Hospital, Dumfries
  • Part II Clinical Examination – passed at Leverndale Hospital, Glasgow

Postgraduate career in Medicine:

1) Pre-Registration Posts:

  • House Officer Orthopaedics in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for Mr J. Hutchison (Aug 1990 -Feb 1991)
  • House Officer Geriatric Medicine in Woodend Hospital, Department of Medicine for the Elderly(Feb 1991 – Aug 1991)

2) Senior House Officer (SHO) Posts:

  • SHO in ENT for Mr MacKay Forresterhill Hospital (Aug 1993-Oct 1993)
  • SHO in General Adult Psychiatry for Dr Douglas G. Fowlie – in Strathbogie Ward, old Royal Cornhill Hospital (Nov 1993 – Aug 1994)
  • SHO in General Adult Psychiatry for Dr Philip Trotter – in Clouston ward, Kingseat Hospital, Newmachar (Aug 1994 – Feb 1995)
  • SHO in Forensic Psychiatry for Dr Andy Wells – at Blair Unit, Royal Cornhill Hospital (Feb 1995 – Aug 1995)
  • SHO in Child & Family Psychiatry for Dr Douglas Chisholm – at Aberdeen Sick Childrens Hospital (Aug 1995 – Feb 1996)

3) Registrar Posts:

  • Registrar in Rehabilitation / General Adult Psychiatry for Dr Sheila Gilfillan in Royal Cornhill Hospital (Feb 1996 – Aug 1996)
  • Registrar in Old Age for Dr Michael Shanks – Fraser Ward, Royal Cornhill Hospital (Aug 1996 – Feb 1997)
  • Registrar in Learning Disability for Dr Kathleen Mackay at Woodlands Hospital, Aberdeen (Feb 1997 – Aug 1997)
  • Registrar in General Adult Psychiatry for Dr Sheila Calder in Crathes ward, Royal Cornhill Hospital (Aug 1997 – Feb 1998)
  • Registrar in General Adult for Dr Paul Sclare in Brodie ward, Royal Cornhill Hospital (Feb 1998 – Aug 1998)

4) Specialist Registrar Posts:

  • Specialist Registrar in Old Age Psychiatry for Dr Jill Warrington, in Fraser ward, Royal Cornhill Hospital (Aug 1998 – Aug 1999)
  • Specialist Registrar in General Adult Psychiatry for Dr Ross J. Hamilton in Drum Ward, Royal Cornhill Hospital (Aug 1999 – Aug 2000)
  • Specialist Registrar in Old Age Psychiatry for Dr Douglas Gibb Fowlie in Ugie Hospital, Peterhead and Chalmers Hospital, Banff (Aug 2000 – July 2001)
  • Specialist Registrar in General Adult Psychiatry for Dr Jane Lolley in Brodie Ward, Royal Cornhill Hospital (Aug 2001 – Nov2001)

5) Consultant Posts:

  • Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry, Clackmannanshire from November 2001 to 29th August 2014. In this post I chose to work part-time ranging from 6-9 sessions per week.
  • Consultant Older Adult Psychiatrist NHS West Lothian. Initially as a locum but after successful interview in August 2015, I was appointed as a substantive Consultant. I worked part-time up until my retirement on the 21 January 2020.

6) Psychotherapy Training

  • I received weekly training in dynamic psychotherapy as one member of a group under the tutelage of Ian McIlwain (1994-2001)

Aspects of my personal development:
I have a special interest in mild memory loss, its presentation, nosology and implications for the person. I have researched, written and been published about this extensively. I have also written on the subject of stigma and mental disorders and have also been successful in publication.

I feel that as a part-time doctor I have devoted a lot of my unpaid time to my research interests. Whilst this is largely for my own development, there have been a number of occasions where my knowledge has contributed to service development. This has also allowed me to establish academic contacts both nationally and internationally.

I am committed to Continuing Professional Development and realise that there are challenges for a small service in a district general setting and therefore I have attended peer groups in both general adult and old age psychiatry. In Aberdeen I attend the Philosophy and Psychiatry group, in Glasgow I attend the Medical Humanities group and in Edinburgh I attend the History of Medicine seminars.

Academic studies in Arts:
After completing my Registration as Medical Practitioner I decided to devote some time to academic studies in the Arts. This brought me to study Landscape Architecture at Edinburgh University between 1991 and 1993 under the tutelage of Dr John Byrom and Dr Seamus Filor.

The two year University course leading to the degree of Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) was composed of postgraduate students selected from Architecture, Ecology and Horticulture. The experience I gained here has brought a wider perspective to my day to day care as a doctor.

At Edinburgh University I was:

  • Awarded Scottish Chapter Prize for Best Graduating Student (Frank Clarke Prize)
    Gained Distinction in all subjects
  • Awarded Distinction for my Dissertation on Design with Hedges As part of this two case studies were evaluated – Riccarton University Campus and Dundee Technology Park. Published with Edinburgh University (Architecture library 1993).

I. Advanced Professional Studies (awarded Distinction) including: a group project on Woodland Establishment in Badenoch; Hermits & Termits, Edinburgh; Lauriston Castle development; the Ecology of North Merchiston Cemetery; Earlshall, Fife.

II. Design Diary (awarded Distinction.) This was my personal workbook based on site visits and field trips to over 30 different Scottish and European projects – ranging from Ian Hamilton-Findlay’s Little Sparta to Fossa De La Pedrera, Barcelona.

III. Design Project: Environmental study of Carstairs Hospital (awarded Distinction and Scottish Chapter Prize)


In Aberdeen I was fortunate in my opportunity to become involved in research, and would point out my collaborations with Simon Naji of Aberdeen Health Services Research Unit and Professor Robin McCreadie of Crichton Royal in Dumfries.

I. Psychiatric Self-Referral in Scotland – An Unknown Quantity

  • Published in the Health Bulletin (July 1997)
  • Dr Peter J. Gordon & Dr Ross J. Hamilton – Director of Research for North-East

II. Use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco by people with schizophrenia: case-control study
British Journal of Psychiatry 2002 (181: 321-325)

  • This was one of the largest multi-centre psychiatric studies in Scotland, funded by CSO grant and chaired by Professor McCreadie (Dumfries), Dr Roch Cantwell (Glasgow) and Simon Naji of Aberdeen. I was involved in the PANSS assessment of 60 Aberdeen patients suffering from Schizophrenia and undertook OPCRIT assessments of case-notes

III. Service Innovation: The First Year of a Brief Psychiatric Screening Clinic in Primary Care

  • Psychiatric Bulletin 2002 (26: 218-221)
  • Dr Ross J. Hamilton, Dr Peter J. Gordon and Simon Naji of Aberdeen University

Medical publications:
I am committed to expanding my understanding of mental illness, and communicating this understanding to my team, colleagues and a wider audience.

I have established contacts with academics in various disciplines, including:
(i) Neuroscience
(ii) Ethics
(iii) Medical Humanities
(iv) Epidemiology
(v) Philosophy

I am a regular contributor to the BMJ Rapid Responses and I have had letters published in the British Medical Journal and opinion pieces; and letters in the British Journal of Psychiatry; and one letter in the History of Psychiatry journal. I had an Editorial on Iatrogenic Stigma accepted for publication in the journal Mental Health and Social Inclusion. See full list below.

(1) Psychiatric self-referral in Scotland: an unknown quantity?
Published in the Health Bulletin 55(4) July 19971a

(2) Use of drugs, alcohol & tobacco by people with schizophrenia: case-control study British Journal of Psychiatry 2002 (181: 321-325)B-J-Psych-2002,-Schizophren

(3) Service Innovation: The First Year of a Brief Psychiatric Screening Clinic in Primary Care Psychiatric Bulletin 2002 (26: 218-221)Service-innovation-2002,-wi

(4) Re-evaluating George III, the porphyria diagnosis, and the King’s madness.
Letter in reply to the two articles published in History of Psychiatry Journal; March 2010; Vol 21; Issue 1; No 81.

The text of the above letter can be read here

(5) Issues around early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
British Medical Journal. BMJ 2011;343:d6613 Letter published 18 Oct 2011Issues-around-early

(6) The classification of psychosis
The British Journal of Psychiatry (2011) 198, 3230-327The-classification-of-psych

(7) System for disclosing hospitality should be transparent
BMJ 2011;343:d7375 Letter published 15 Nov 2011System-for-disclosing-hospi

(8) Taking dementia seriously.
BMJ2012;344:e2745 Published letter – 18 April 2012Taking dementia seriously BMJ

(9) How we risk getting it wrong in cognitive screening too.
BMJ2012;344:e4043 Letter published 12 June 2012Getting it wrong again, cognitive screening

(10) Window tax: Iatrogenic Stigma.
Mental Health and Social Inclusion, Vol. 16 Iss: 4 pp. 181 – 187. Published November 2012Window Tax by Peter

(11) There is no evidence base for proposed dementia screening.
BMJ Observation Piece . BMJ2012;345:e8588 Co-authored. Published 27 Dec 2012No-evidence---to-PM

(12) Confusion is everywhere.
BMJ 2013;346:f511 Published letter 30 Jan 2013Confusion is everywhere

(13) CANTABmobile and its misleading promotion
BMJ 2013;347:f5597. Published letter15 Oct 2013CANTABmobile & its misleading

(14) SIGN should be transparent about competing interests in all current guidelines
BMJ 2014;348:f7699 Published letter 6 Jan 2014SIGN guidelines transparency

(15) Why the GMC should set up a central registry of doctors’ competing interests This transparency can only be good for medical practice.
Open Letter to the General Medical Council.15 co-authors. BMJ 2014;348:g236 Published 15 Jan 2014GMC central Register, call for

(16) Dementia Research: no evidence that “anti-dementia” drugs modify disease
BMJ 2014;348:g2607 Published 7 April 2014No evidence anti-dementia drugs

(17) An open letter to Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, and Alistair Burns, national clinical lead for dementia
BMJ 2014;349:g6666, Published 06 November 2014. Co-authoredOpen letter, cash for dementia

(18) “Undiagnosing” dementia
BMJ 2015;350:h290 Published 20 January 2015Undiagnosing dementia 20 Jan 2015, BMJ, Peter

(19) Self Regulation is an Oxymoron
2016;354:i4049 Published 26 July 2016

Self regulation is an oxymoron, BMJ, July 2016

(20) We want to gain the public’s trust, but are we listening to them?

Published 20 September 2017, cite as BMJ 2017;358:j4203

(20) We want to gain the public’s trust, but are we listening to them?

Published 20 September 2017, cite as BMJ 2017;358:j4203

(21) Bring me a sunshine act; five minutes with . . . Peter Gordon

Published 29 March 2018, cite as BMJ 2018;360:k1380

(22) Learning from experience

My letter, as published in the British Journal of General Practice, May 2023 :

A Sunshine Act for Scotland:
On the 29th September 2013 I lodged a petition to the Scottish Government “calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to introduce a Sunshine Act for Scotland, creating a searchable record of all payments (including payments in kind) to NHS Scotland healthcare workers from Industry and Commerce.” This petition has now been closed after a consultation with the Scottish public determined that majority considered that payments made by industry must be disclosed on a mandatory basis.

With Dr Ben Goldacre, Dr Margaret McCartney and several others I was instrumental in setting up Who Pays This Doctor? A voluntary website for doctors to make declarations of Interest

Further Interests:
I have several avenues of interest including photography, film-making, painting, sculpture, architecture, local history, family history, poetry, garden design and horticulture.

Some of my interests are collected in my “commonplace” website which is called Hole Ousia.

My films are collected under the name Omphalos.

I was a volunteer for the Scotland’s Rural Past project and offered my expertise on the Deeside and Angus glens. I presented a lecture at their inaugural conference in Birnam in 2009.

I was a Trustee of the William Adam House called Mavisbank for 5 years. This house is currently a dangerous ruin. The Mavisbank Trust in partnership with Historic Scotland and Midlothian Council have a plan of restoration for the house and its designed landscape.

I have had five articles published in the Leopard magazine for north-east Scotland.

I am also a sculptor and have recently completed the “Ageing Stone” as part of the DSM-Works exhibition. The Ageing stone challenges reductionist approaches to memory loss as we age.

My writings and film-making overlaps my various interests and allows me to develop ideas relating to environment, philosophy and mental health.

Testimonials for me can be read here.

My most important interest is my family.