Dr Kew Chai Chong
MBBS FRCPath FRCPA
(07) 3377 8508
Dr Kew Chai Chong is one of Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology's most senior histopathologists, known for his extensive expertise in dermatopathology as well as for his longstanding dedication to teaching generations of registrars and young pathologists.
Dr Chong graduated in Medicine from the University of Singapore in 1968 and as the top student of that year was awarded the Gibbs Gold Medal. He went on to an internship at the Ipoh General Hospital, Malaysia before becoming a trainee pathologist in the Department of Pathology at the University of Malaysia hospital. There, he underwent a year's multidisciplinary training that took in haematology, chemical pathology, microbiology and immunology, followed by a year of anatomical pathology which gave him experience of a full range of surgical and medical specimens. Throughout his final year, he was an assistant lecturer at the university which was to set in train a life-long interest in teaching.
In 1971, he was awarded a World Health Organisation Fellowship at Charing Cross Hospital, London where one of his supervisors was Professor William St. Clair Symmers, known globally for his series of standard text books: Systemic Pathology. (Professor David Weedon was later to contribute to the volume on dermatopathology before producing his own work, Weedon's Skin Pathology).Dr Chong developed an interest in dermatopathology early in his training, and this was further galvanised during a training course by Professor John Alexander Milne at Glasgow Western Infirmary in 1972.
In 1972, Dr Chong returned to Malaysia where he took on a dual role as lecturer in pathology at the University of Malaysia Medical School and consultant anatomical pathologist at the university hospital. In 1976, he moved to Australia to take up a position as consultant anatomical pathologist at the Princess Alexander Hospital. It was there his work brought him into contact with Drs Harry McKenna and John Musgrave. In 1979, he accepted their invitation to join Sullivan and Nicolaides and over the following years he worked closely with Dr John Sullivan who played a central role in nurturing the development of dermatopathology in Australia. Dr Chong continued to work as a sessional pathologist at the Princess Alexandra Hospital for 14 years.
As a dermatopathologist whose opinion is widely valued, Dr Chong reports on the full range of skin specimens. In addition to his Fellowships of the Royal College of Pathologists (UK) and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia he is an Honorary Member of the Australasian College of Dermatologists and attends regular clinical meetings at Brisbane's four major public hospitals to review slides, discuss case management and share information. He considers this an important model for disseminating the latest information among peers and some years ago he initiated weekly slide meetings of dermatopathologists within SNP. These remain an essential part of the department's weekly routine.
His passion for teaching registrars and young pathologists continues undiminished and as one of the first teachers at SNP, many of the practice's own pathologists have been through his teaching sessions. He is now teaching the second generation of young pathologists and is a firm believer in the importance of succession planning - passing expertise from one generation to the next.