Dr Kong Yongyao, Associate Consultant, Department of Neurology, NNI, reflects on Prof Loong Si Chin's legacy.
Prof Loong Si Chin passed away peacefully on 15 May 2022 at the age of 87. A true giant of the field, he leaves behind a legacy of immeasurable magnitude.
Prof Loong rendered a pioneering contribution to the first combined Department of Neurosurgery and Neurology in Singapore, which was set up in 1973 at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. He then served as the first Head of Neurology when the department was established distinctly in 1977.
Decades of clinical practice, academic leadership, and inspirational teaching were to follow. Were we simply to attempt a list of his achievements, this publication would burst at its seams.
Yet so much of his impact is impossible to quantify.
The scientific art of Neurology cannot merely be read off a textbook. Prof Loong mastered its nuances, enriched its paradigms, and tirelessly taught its skills to his innumerable disciples. He innovated novel techniques to neurological examination that have been codified and practised internationally. His acumen was legendary.
Prof Loong stood as a bastion of intellectual discipline, rigour, and dedication. He was known to read twenty-seven neurological journals from cover to cover every month. His indomitable spirit and inextinguishable passion meant he never truly retired.
Despite ceasing private practice in 2016, he continued to run teaching clinics at the National Neuroscience Institute and contribute invaluably to clinical diagnostic and management discussions.
Most of all, Prof Loong was kind. Students, colleagues, and patients who have passed through the doors of his consultation room will remember his genial “hello!” and his gentle touch as much as his virtuoso practice.
While we will dearly miss him, we know that the enduring spark of Prof Loong’s expert and sympathetic mentorship will continue to illuminate generations of doctors, and by extension their patients, in Singapore and beyond.
This article was published in the National Neuroscience Institute's NeusLink magazine, which covers articles about NNI updates and brain, spine, muscle and nerve conditions in English and Chinese - to read more articles, click here.