Celebrating the Profession: SMA Annual Dinner 2022

Sylvia Thay

After a two-year hiatus, the much awaited SMA Annual Dinner returned on 6 November 2022, to everyone's delight. Many of the 400 dinner guests arrived early for the registration in anticipation of the evening's programme and the chance to catch up with fellow guests, which included leaders, professionals and students of the medical field, as well as our committee volunteers, stakeholders and partners. The reception area was quickly filled with exuberant chatter and laughter.

The event was also graced by our Guest of Honour, Minister for Health Mr Ong Ye Kung and his wife. Other distinguished guests included parliamentarians Dr Lim Wee Kiak, Dr Tan Wu Meng and Ms Tin Pei Ling, as well as Permanent Secretaries for Health, Mr Chan Yeng Kit and Mr Ng How Yue. We were also joined by our overseas guests Dr Murugu Raj Rajathurai and Prof Wonchat Subhachaturas, from the Malaysian Medical Association and the Medical Association of Thailand, respectively.

As the evening's programme commenced, SMA President Dr Tan Yia Swam took to the stage to deliver her welcome address, where she shared her vision for the medical profession and the role that SMA and fellow doctors could play in the betterment of medicine in Singapore (see page 10). She ended the address by inviting all guests for a toast to celebrations, friendship and the SMA.

SMA Honorary Membership

First instituted in 1969, the SMA Honorary Membership is the highest honour that SMA can bestow upon individuals who are distinguished in public life or who have rendered meritorious service to the medical profession or to the Association. This year's recipient was none other than Prof Tan Chorh Chuan.

Adj Prof Tan Sze Wee, SMA Council Member, took to the stage to deliver the citation on Prof John Wong's behalf, as he was unable to attend the dinner in person. The citation for Prof Tan Chorh Chuan illustrated his many contributions to medicine over the past 30 years (see page 12). Minister Ong Ye Kung presented the SMA Honorary Membership to Prof Tan Chorh Chuan.

A tribute to frontliners

Another highlight of this year's Annual Dinner was the launch of the artbook collaboration between SMA and local illustrator Mr Josef Lee titled Unmasking the Extraordinary. Minister Ong Ye Kung and Dr Tan Yia Swam officially launched the book amid applause and enthusiastic support for the project.

A collection of 36 comics - illustrated short stories based on real-life experiences of healthcare workers (HCWs) alongside heartfelt quotes from HCWs - the book captures the sacrifices and spirit of frontliners amid the COVID-19 pandemic and is intended as a tribute to everyone on the frontline. Just as our HCWs have given their best and all to support Singapore through the pandemic challenges, the collaboration seeks to give back to the medical field by donating all proceeds from the book to the SMA Charity Fund, which supports medical students from disadvantaged families.

To support this project, please place your orders at https://bit.ly/SMABookOrder or contact us at sma@sma.org.sg.

Recognising efforts and dedication

The advocacy and work of the SMA is made possible by the many professionals and volunteers who offer their time and expertise generously. We are thus glad to recognise and acknowledge the work of these individuals over the course of the Annual Dinner.

SMA Merit Award

Awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to SMA and the medical profession, or social service to the community, the SMA Merit Award was presented to three recipients this year.

Prof Anantharaman Venkataraman is an emeritus consultant at Singapore General Hospital, and widely regarded as the "Father of Emergency Medicine" in Singapore. In his 47 years of distinguished service in the public healthcare sector, Prof Anantharaman has a track record of leadership and innovation in the field of emergency medicine and disaster management planning. He is also the first Singaporean to be awarded the Order of the International Federation for Emergency Medicine.

A/Prof Low Yin Peng is an emeritus consultant at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH). He was the head and senior consultant of the Orthopaedic Surgery Department at TTSH from 1988 to 2001, where he developed subspecialisations for spine, hand, trauma, ankle and foot, sports and joint reconstruction surgeries. In his distinguished career, he served as the president of the Singapore Orthopaedic Association (1984-1985), Singapore Society for Hand Surgery (1990-1991), and College of Surgeons, Singapore (2009-2011).

Prof Leo Yee-Sin is the executive director of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases and an adjunct professor at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health. She is a recipient of the National Day Public Service Star in 2003 for her battle against SARS. Recognised as a leading infectious disease expert, she has led Singapore through multiple outbreaks of infectious diseases over the last two decades, including the Nipah virus, SARS, Zika and now COVID-19.

We would like to congratulate the SMA Merit Award 2022 recipients for their many contributions to the betterment of Singapore's healthcare.

Tokens of appreciation for Council members

The Association and its advocacy efforts are led by our SMA Council - volunteers who dedicate time and energy towards the needs of the profession. Tokens of appreciation were prepared and presented to the following Council members who have stepped down in the last few years.

A/Prof Chin Jing Jih: SMA Council (2002-2020); past president (2012-2014)

Dr Chong Yeh Woei: SMA Council (1998-2020); past president (2009-2012)

Dr Noorul Fatha As'art: SMA Council (2010-2020)

Dr Lee Yik Voon: SMA Council (2006-2020); past president (2018-2019)

A/Prof Nigel Tan: SMA Council (2014-2021)

Dr Bertha Woon: SMA Council (2007-2021)

SMA Long Service Awards

The SMA Long Service Award serves to appreciate individuals who have contributed their time and services to SMA's Council and committees. A big thank you to all awardees for your hard work and support of the Association!

30 years of service

Dr Lee Pheng Soon: SMA Council since 1992; past president of SMA (2003-2006); immediate past executive director of SMA Centre for Medical Ethics and Professionalism (SMA CMEP)

20 years of service

Dr Toh Choon Lai: SMA Council since 2002

Dr Chan Yiong Huak: Singapore Medical Journal (SMJ) editorial board since 2002

A/Prof Daniel Fung: SMA News editorial board since 2000

Prof Wilfred CG Peh: SMJ editorial board since 2000; past editor (2004-2009)

Dr Soh Wah Ngee: SMA Complaints Committee since 2002

Prof Kelvin Tan Kok Hian: SMJ editorial board since 2002

A/Prof Toh Han Chong: SMA News editorial board since 2002; past editor (2004-2014)

10 years of service

Dr Daniel Lee Hsien Chieh: SMA Council since 2012; current Honorary Treasurer

Mr Christopher Chong: SMA CMEP faculty since 2011

Prof Paul Anantharajah Tambyah: Doctors-in-Training Committee since 2009

A/Prof How Choon How:SMJ editorial board since 2012

Prof Hsu Pon Poh: SMJ editorial board since 2011

A/Prof Lai Siang Hui: SMA CMEP faculty since 2011

Dr Habeebul Rahman: SMA CMEP faculty since 2011

A/Prof Samuel Tay Sam Wah: SMJeditorial board since 2011


Denise Tan: Deputy Manager, Events and Committee Support, 10 years award

A memorable evening

The 63rd SMA Council would like to thank our Guest of Honour, Minister Ong Ye Kung, and all guests for taking the time to join us for an evening of collegiality at the 2022 SMA Annual Dinner. We hope that everyone had an enjoyable time catching up with friends and colleagues in person again, and we look forward to the next Annual Dinner!

SMA thanks our lucky draw prize sponsors, Medical Protection Society (MPS) and Crystal Time, and congratulates the lucky winners!

Dr David Tan: Apple iPad Air, worth $1,099

Dr Jonathan Choo: Edox chronograph watch, worth $2,500

We also wish to thank MPS and Summit Planners for their kind sponsorship of door gifts for our guests.

[Click here for photos]

Sylvia Thay Deputy Manager, SMA News


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