Talking to Dr Michael Wong Yuet Chen is like talking to an old friend, even if you are meeting him for the first time. His gentlemanly mannerisms - almost chatty to the point of overwhelming you with a monologue - is never a bore. Instead, his talk is full of little gems of advice for anyone curious enough to know how he manages to become a leading medical specialist in Singapore and around the region.
To those who know him, that’s hardly surprising, considering that Dr Wong has been a well-known Singapore urologist with an international standing in his highly specialised field of endourology, as well as a seasoned counsellor who has honed his skills through patiently listening to people all his life.
Yet this eloquent doctor was the chief architect behind some of the big initiatives that took place in none other than Singapore’s leading public hospital - the Singapore General Hospital - by pioneering several new initiatives in patient care within the campus of SGH and to wear the hat of a management council member for the hospital.
“For the most part, I was in SGH for 21 years, from 1985 to 2007,” he says. “One of the things I’ve realised is that, life is great whichever side of the fence you’re in, as long as you’re happy, and you know what you’re doing. I was one of the rare private doctors that would tell you that I’ve got no regrets working in SGH and staying so long there. The SGH has given me a lot of things, which I acknowledge. One of them was the excellent training I have had. Another was the opportunity to grow as a person, and providing me a dual career pathway (both clinical and corporate) which was something very exceptional.”