Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Interview by a Healthcare Magazine

a healthcare magazine is planning to feature me in one of their forthcoming issue. This is an extract of their interview.

Dr Alex Tang Tuck Hon
MD (UKM), PhD (AGSTA), Cert.Sp (USA), DCH (Glasgow), MRCP (UK), FRCP (Lond), FRCP (Edin), M.Min (M'sia), FAACP (USA), AM (M'sia)
Consultant Paediatrician

1.      What made you want to become a doctor?

I really did not remember when I decided I want to be a doctor. I came from a very poor family and there were no doctors around to be an influencing factor. I just knew from a very young age that I wanted to become a doctor and have never considered any other career choices. Even in my secondary school days when I begin to realise that there were too many obstacles to overcome, including financial ones, my desire to become a doctor never waivered. Looking back, I realise that it was not for altruistic reasons, because it is unlikely I know what that means. I feel that it is more of a vocation or calling.

2.      Why did you choose to specialise in your field of expertise?

In a sense, I did not choose to specialise in Paediatrics but Paediatrics chose me. During my initial years of training as a house and later medical officer, Paediatrics feels right for me. I am comfortable with it and it is a fit for my personality. The fact that I love children may also be a factor. There is so much innocence and joy in children that I hate to see them deprived of it. My special interest is in neonatology (care of the newborns) and respiratory medicine. My research interest is in medical ethics.

3.      What has been the proudest or most fulfilling moment for you professionally?

There have been many proud or fulfilling moments for me. One that stands out particularly was when I (and my nursery team) saved and kept alive an extremely premature baby that weighs 650 grams! After 3 months in the neonatal intensive care, I rejoiced with the parents when the baby was able to go home with a weight of 2 kg. I looked after him during his eventful childhood. Presently he is a practicing doctor in Australia.

4.      How did you come to be with KPJ?

In a way KPJ inherited me. I was with the original group of doctors from the beginnings of the Johor Specialist Hospital in Johor Bahru. These doctors invited the Johor State Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) to help them to run the hospital. The Johor SEDC evolved into the Johor Corporation and the team that ran the hospital into KPJ Healthcare.

5.      How do you feel to be part of the KPJ team?

KPJ has this culture where the doctors work closely with the administrators. This dated from its origin from my hospital, Johor Specialist Hospital, when the SEDC took over its management. Now at the hospital level, I am the chairman of the Pharmaceutical and Therapeutic Committee, and a member of the Board of Management. At the corporate level, I was with the KPJ Clinical Governance Committee and now with the KPJ Ethics Committee. I am grateful for the close collaboration between the clinicians and administrators at both the hospital and corporate levels.


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