Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Dr James Tan Siah Heng – Part 1

on August 24, 2013

Dr James is not an ordinary doctor. He is a neurosurgeon, a devout catholic, a good family man and most importantly ( to him) a Manchester United fan!

I met Dr Tan through Dr Tan Jee Lim, a sports medicine surgeon. They are common friends of Dr Lui Hock Foong.

I remember how I ended up with 3 doctor Tans at one go and had a good laugh whenever I called out to Dr Tan and all 3 would look up 🙂

Dr James is compassionate and has great EQ skills. EQ skills are sometimes lacking in good surgeons as they can be fantastic at operating on the table but not as personable in person.

I dread the gruff grunts of surgeons and prefer personable approaches as there are no God like personaes.

Dr James is careful and takes great lengths of time to explain medical conditions. He peppers it with a lot of heart, explaining operating strategies or options. He listens and discusses treating the patient as a person, not as an illiterati of medicine.

I remember Dr James always telling me he prays for me without fail in church on Sundays. He is most kind to remember this medically challenging patient.

He makes me laugh by saying if he performs another major surgical feat on me, he will lose another 3 years of his life. Humor at its best but it drives home a point.

He also drives on a point by taking ownership of a situation and be the deliverer of bad news masked by humor.

I admit I am hopeless at days and dates. So when he told me of an appointed date and time which I forgot, he humourously said he thought he was suffering from early dementia.

I find Dr James positive in his doctoring approach, putting patient’s needs first before all else.

He is unafraid of being honest. I also heard his views on the possibility of me ending up with screws and plates in my entire spinal column.

He likens self to be an engineer and how he enjoyed playing with lego bricks as a child.

I am grateful for his friendship and being there for me as my surgeon.

His constant prayers and medical skills distinct him as a kind surgeon who listens as he fixes.


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