Head: Professor SK Lam (1995 - 2001)

A clinical department in a University has many functions and roles in teaching, research, clinical service and administration. It also has the obligation to lead and guide the profession, to march with time and to strive for excellence. In the pursuit of these goals, it has to strike a balance in the utilisation of manpower, facilities and other resources. It would be naive to claim that in the last four decades the Department succeeded in all its goals and achieved perfection in all that had to be accomplished. Nevertheless, it is apparent that the Department has passed all its tests with flying colours. 

With these ideals, the fine tradition of the Department and the talented staff who remain and those who will join in future - there is every reason to be confident that the Department of Medicine will be more than adequate to meet its challenges and fulfil its noble mission.

Achievements of Prof. S.K. Lam as Head between 1.8.95 – 28.2.01


  • Established three new laboratories: Immunology, Medical Physics and Cellular Biology, so that there are, in addition to the Molecular and Gene Laboratory, four departmental core laboratories. These central facilities help departmental research to focus on these four vital and basic mechanisms.
  • Established Immunology and Medical Physics in 1999 and Dermatology in 2000 as medical specialties in the Department.
  • Working with Prof. Johan Karlberg, founded the HKU Clinical Trial Centre, which has grown from half Reader to now 18 full-time staff.
  • Working with the Faculty to win University support to establish the HKU Genome Research Centre.
  • Instrumental to the founding of the HKU-Pasteur Research Centre in 2000. This centre is engaged in microbial genomics research in close collaboration with the Institut Pasteur of Paris.
  • Encouraged HA medical staff to conduct research with academic staff by establishment of departmental research funds to be bided by HA staff.
  • An average of $25,000,000 research grants and donation funds per year.
  • An average of 300 peer reviewed international publications per year.
  • Organization of departmental annual research and CME conferences, such as Medical Research Conference and Hong Kong Medical Forum, both started in 1996. Up to 150 abstracts were presented at the research retreats and these were published in a local journal. The Medical Forum has become well known for general practitioners and trainees in Hong Kong.


  • Led the Faculty and Department to actively engage in the medical curriculum reform, and the department to host the final two years of the new curriculum.
  • Enlargement of teaching staff pool by appointment of more competent HA medical staff to be honorary teaching staff

Clinical (As both Head and Chief of Service)

  • Full integration with HA medical teams and promoted a culture of equality between HA staff and University staff.
  • Redefined General Medicine as a distinct medical specialty with emphasis on holistic care.
  • Reformed 12 medical specialties (Cardiology, Critical Care Medicine, Dermatology, Endocrinology & Metabolism, Gastroenterology & Hepatology, General Medicine, Geriatrics, Haematology & Oncology, Immunology & Rheumatology, Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Nephrology, Neurology, Respiratory Medicine) into structural divisions with space, wards, staff, budget, and laboratories.
  • Formulation of standard and guidelines on clinical practice and audits.
  • Emphasis on quality rather than quantity of health care delivery, focus on core competence of staff, stress on collaboration among disciplines merging with primary care and general practice.


  • Rapid increase and enhancement of human resources of the Department, including recruitment of 3 chair professors, one senior lecturer and 7 lecturers, and promotion of 9 senior staffs to chair professors (5) and readers (4).
  • Encouraged staff to take active role such as directorship in virtual research centres, e.g. Institute of Cardiovascular Science & Medicine, Centre of Endocrinology & Diabetes, Cancer Research Centre and Centre of Alimentary Research & Education.
  • The cultivation of seamless roles among academic and HA clinical staff.


  • Flattened the administrative hierarchy of the Department so that the Head is in effect a chairman, with a board of directors and executive committees. All divisions are required to install four weekly to monthly communication mechanisms: professional clinical meeting, quality assurance meeting, research meeting, and business meeting, with emphasis on open, fair, transparent and principle-based administration and promotion on e-management. The Head meets all staff (from medical officers to chair professors) individually each year, and adopts a knock-and-talk openness to staff.
  • Appointment of Deputy Head and Deputy COS.
  • Appointment of division chiefs to take charge of the divisional business on research, clinical work and administration.
  • Appointment of a Manager and an Executive Officer to strengthen administration and organize departmental conferences respectively, and a Senior Technician to oversee IT.


  • Enhance public relation with donors and honorary staff.
  • Upgrading of lab facilities, lecture room, library and all staff offices.