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Your SingHealth Story: Assoc Prof Chua Yeow Leng

“Heart valve surgery piqued my interest when I was training as a general surgeon at SGH in the 80s, right after medical school.

In the 70s and 80s, heart surgery in Singapore was still developing, and I had the opportunity to work with many seniors and mentors to improve techniques to ensure surgeries went smoothly. Our hard work finally paid off when the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) opened in 1994. My employee number was ‘02’ - meaning I was NHCS’ 2nd staff.

I’ve had many ‘teachers’ in my life. A few special mentors whom had a huge impact on my educational and training journey were Prof Abu Rauff, Dr Saw Huat Seong and then-Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Dr Ong Kim Kiat.

One of the most memorable training programmes that I have had, was with Dr Ong in Beijing, China in 1993. Together with then-Medical Director, Assoc Prof Arthur Tan and a multi-disciplinary team, we embarked on a funded programme to conduct heart surgery training at Beijing Hospital.

It was an eye-opening experience and we  invited a few aspiring young surgeons from Beijing Hospital for further training at NHCS. I am heartened and humbled that we have in many ways, through these trained fellows, helped care for heart patients in various parts of the world.”

Assoc Prof Chua Yeow Leng, Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, NHCS, is a recognised leader and expert in heart valve repair surgery in Singapore and the region. He is also a part-time academic staff at the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Polytechnic Singapore. He was a recipient of the National Outstanding Clinician Award 2019.

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