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Goh Hak Su Professorship in Colorectal Surgery

A named professorship is a prestigious honour bestowed on an individual who had made a significant, inspirational and lasting contribution to Singapore. To honour Professor Goh Hak Su, the Surgery Academic Clinical Programme, Singapore General Hospital is establishing the Goh Hak Su Professorship within the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre in recognition of his contribution in colorectal surgery to Singapore. This professorship is to nurture and inspire surgeons of today and tomorrow to further develop colorectal surgery for the benefit of Singaporeans.

About Professor Goh Hak Su

Professor Goh Hak Su graduated with a double degree in Science and Medicine from King’s College Hospital Medical School, London and trained in Colorectal at St Mark’s Hospital, London. He is referred to as the “Founding Father of Colorectal Surgery” in Singapore.
With the support of the then Director of Medical Services, Dr Kwa Soon Bee, and the Ministry of Health in 1989, Professor Goh established the Department of Colorectal Surgery in Singapore General Hospital, the first such department in Singapore and the ASEAN region. As Head and Senior Consultant of the Department, he built a centre of excellence for clinical work, teaching and research, training many colorectal surgeons not only from Singapore and the region but some from the United Kingdom and Australia as well. Today the Department of Colorectal Surgery in SGH remains a premier colorectal centre with an international reputation.
Professor Goh had lectured worldwide and was honoured with the Galloway Gold Medal and Memorial Lecture in Singapore, the Joint Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh) and Academy of Medicine (Singapore) Lecture in Edinburgh, the Edward Wilson Lecture in Sydney, the Harry Bacon Oration in Jodhpur, and the WG Smith Lecture in Perth.
In 1995, Professor Goh was awarded the Singapore National Science and Technology Medal with the citation, "He is not only widely regarded as one of the leading colorectal surgeons in the region, but more importantly, he is more recognised in the medical profession for his effort and success in inspiring the researchers in the field of colorectal cancer. It is through his leadership and enthusiasm in the pursuit of understanding and managing colorectal cancer that he has helped to improve the treatment of cancer patients in Singapore."
Even after leaving institutional practice, Professor Goh continues to teach in SGH and NUH (National University Hospital) through his appointments as Visiting Consultant to both hospitals and as Adjunct Associate Professor of Surgery, NUS. Apart from transferring knowledge and clinical skills, he also teaches on the art of making wise and sound patient-centric decisions when managing patients in this age of commercialization, internet and litigations. He often reminds medical students and doctors that doctors exist for patients and not the other way round.
Vision and Purpose of the Goh Hak Su Professorship
The Goh Hak Su Professorship aims to propagate Excellent Surgery, Relevant Research and Solid Training in Colorectal Surgery in Singapore. It will be based in the Department of Colorectal Surgery, SGH to serve as an enduring beacon to enhance the original vision of the department. It will be awarded every three years to a leading surgeon from Singapore or overseas. The final selection of each candidate will be by NUS.
To realise this vision, the Professorship will be used to fund the following:
  • Appointment of a Goh Hak Su Professor to consolidate the SingHealth Duke- NUS Academic Medical Centre partnership and to lead in clinical work, research and training.
  • Pioneering Transformative Research on functional bowel disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, gut microbiota, integrated pelvic cancer management and epidemiology and clinical trials of colorectal diseases in Singapore.
  • Development of innovative education programmes and a scholarship for deserving surgeons from the region to train in colorectal surgery in Singapore.
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