S'pore surgeon receives top international award

Photo above (from left to right): RCSEd Council Member Professor Robert Jeffrey, RCSEd President Mr David Tolley and Professor Chuen Neng Lee.

Renowned heart surgeon, Professor Lee Chuen Neng from the National University Hospital (NUH) has been awarded the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) International Medal.

This medal is rarely awarded to Singaporeans and Professor Lee is the third Singaporean to receive this prestigious award in the past 14 years.

The Chair of the University Surgical Cluster at NUH is being honoured for his instrumental role in the establishment of an Asian Update Course in Cardiothoracic Surgery in collaboration with RCSEd, as well as his push for quality assessment for the course's exams and other RCSEd exams conducted in Singapore.

Prof Lee also established the then Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at NUH.

Although he left for private practice in 1992, he returned to NUH in 2001 because of a desire to build up medical training and research.

"It is indeed a great honour to be awarded this medal. It is always a pleasure to work with colleagues from all over the world, including those at RCSEd, who have similar zeal for education and training," said Prof Lee.

In response to news of the award, NUH said that it is proud of Prof Lee's latest achievement.

Associate Professor Aymeric Lim, chairman of the hospital's medical board, said: "In 2001, Professor CN Lee left a very successful private practice to return to public healthcare to serve Singaporeans and mentor the next generation of doctors.

"He stepped up and provided leadership to the Department of Surgery at a time of need. Today, the department is thriving and includes top surgeons in their fields."

Prof Lim gave examples of The Medical Engineering Research and Commercialisation Initiative (MERCI) and Project SOUL (Surgical Outreach for Underprivileged Localities) as two programmes that testify to Prof Lee's passion in research and helping the less fortunate.

yamadak@sph.com.sg

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