“And from the day we decide to become surgeons, we are filled with expectation. Expectations of the trails we will blaze, the people we will help, the difference we will make.” Julia Southern
It gives the IBCFPRS Board of Directors great pleasure to announce that Dr. Chew Lip Ng, a facial plastic surgeon from Singapore, earned the highest score on the 2023 IBCFPRS exam in Washington, D.C., this past June. Dr. Ng will be honored with the Claus D. Walter Award for Academic Excellence at the AAFPRS Fall Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.
At an early age, Dr. Ng knew that medicine was his calling. “The sciences have excited me from a young age, in particular, biology,” Dr. Ng relates. “But some experiences in my youth propelled me to pursue medicine as a career. I went on a school trip to Silicon Valley in the 1990s and we visited Genentech where injectable insulin was produced. The Human Genome Project was ongoing then, so we visited universities sequencing human DNA. It was all incredibly exciting. During high school, I chose to do a special module which entailed one year of intense exploration in
areas of biology, including visiting healthcare facilities. I vividly recall visiting the operating room, observing in-vitro fertilization, and shadowing scientists in the lab. The impact of their work was life-changing for so many people. It was an amazing year that inspired me to devote myself to acquiring the skills and knowledge to help people, and medicine directly combined that desire with my love for biology. I count myself incredibly fortunate to be able to do what I love on a daily basis.
Ng attended medical school at the National University of Singapore where he was very involved as the President of the NUS Medical Society. Following graduation, he underwent specialist training in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the National University Hospital in Singapore. Dr. Ng said that, “Facial Plastic surgery is a relatively new subspecialty in Singapore and when I was a second year resident, we had the first national residency FPRS module. I received the highest score in the module test and was awarded a sponsorship to an AO Craniomaxillofacial Principles Course in Seoul, South Korea. I was offered the opportunity to start the FPRS service in my hospital and was subsequently sent for fellowship training in FPRS.
Dr. Ng continues, “Some of the best things that happened to me were my FPRS fellowships. I am really blessed to have wonderful and dedicated mentors. My first fellowship was with Dr. Alwyn D’Souza, who is President of the EAFPS, and Dr. Anil Joshi in London, UK. My second fellowship was with Dr. Philip Solomon and Dr. Richard Rival, who was President of the CAFPRS, in Toronto, Canada. I am deeply grateful for the generosity and opportunities I received from my mentors. Their dedication to their craft, their commitment to their patients, and their devotion to the training of the next generation of facial plastic surgeons have deeply inspired me and I hope to carry on that legacy.”
Dr. Ng also received considerable encouragement from Drs. Ian Loh and Sandeep Uppal to pursue FPRS at a time when the subspecialty was still in its nascent state. Dr. Ng also shared that a close-knit facial plastic surgery community has been formed in Singapore and surgeons support one another selflessly. Dr. Ng states, “The facial plastic surgery community in Singapore has given me tremendous support since I started my practice.” Currently, Dr. Ng’s practice includes both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures and he has a special interest in developing new techniques and instruments for shaping the Asian nose as well as adapting preservation rhinoplasty techniques to the Asian anatomy.
Apart from his practice as a facial plastic surgeon and Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore, Dr. Ng is enamored with art. “After the board exam in Washington, I spent a day in the National Gallery of Art to be inspired by the old and modern masters. Facial plastic surgeons are, in many ways, artists, and there is much we can learn from the creative genius of these masters. Indeed, ‘Vita brevis, Ars longa’ (Life is short, Art is Long) resonates with me. Although I have less time to paint now, painting hones my appreciation of proportions and light and shadows, which are critical in the aesthetics of the human form. At the end of my Canadian fellowship, I made a painting of a nose for each of my fellowship directors. When I visited them recently, I was pleasantly surprised to see the paintings displayed on the walls of their offices,” he admits.
Dr. Ng concludes by saying, “I would like to thank my lovely wife for her support for the time I’ve been away preparing for the board certification exam. All this would not have been possible without her unwavering encouragement and support.”
Roxana Cobo, IBCFPRS President, adds, “The IBCFPRS examination has been established as a gold standard to encourage applicants for facial plastic and reconstructive surgery certification to reach for and achieve the highest standards in our profession. Our IBCFPRS certification program is one of the finest testaments to facial plastic surgery knowledge and expertise in our specialty and Dr. Ng not only passed the examination, but achieved the highest international score, which is a testament to his commitment to be the best that he can be. May Dr. Ng serve as an inspiration to others as he continues to promote the advancement of our specialty and the IBCFPRS certification program,” concludes Dr. Cobo.
To apply for IBCFPRS certification, please go to www.iffpss.org or www.ibcfprs.org and click on IBCFPRS for additional details and to download an IBCFPRS application