Lives of the fellows

Hong Yuen Lo

b.8 October 1951 d.1 January 2006
MB BS Hong Kong(1976) MRCP(1981) FHKCP(1987) FHKAM(1993) FRCP Edin(1994) FRCP(2000)

Hong Yuen Lo, or ‘HY’ as he was more affectionately known, was a consultant physician at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hong Kong. He was born in Hong Kong, the son of Mo Lo, a businessman, and Sau Wan Chan, a housewife. He was educated at Salvation Army Kwong Yu Primary School and then Queen’s College, before going on to the University of Hong Kong to study medicine. He held junior posts in Hong Kong, and then trained in gastrointestinal endoscopy under Duncan G Colin-Jones at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth.

After returning to Hong Kong, HY worked at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and climbed the professional ladder to become consultant physician and head of the hospital’s division of gastroenterology and hepatology in 1991. While HY was adept at the whole range of GI endoscopy, as a protégé of Hong Kong’s famous hepatologist and later secretary for health, welfare and food, Yeoh Eng-kiong, he developed a personal interest in hepatology. HY concentrated much of his energy on chronic hepatitis B, the predominant liver disease in Hong Kong. He was much appreciated by his patients, especially those suffering from chronic hepatitis B, for his tender care and unswerving attention to their welfare.

He served the Hong Kong Association for the Study of Liver Diseases with distinction from its inception and was president from 1999 to 2003. He was also a prominent figure in the training of gastroenterology and hepatology specialists in Hong Kong. For many years he was a programme director of the specialty board in gastroenterology and hepatology at the Hong Kong College of Physicians.

HY was a man with many talents and interests. Outside his busy clinical practice, he was a great tennis player and an enthusiastic jogger. His fervour for sports extended to watching most of the soccer matches of the major European leagues and the basketball games of the American National Basketball Association (NBA). Due to his vast memory, he could talk hours on end about every fine detail of the players and their performance.

Basically an unassuming person, HY was witty and honest. He was wise and had a wide breadth of knowledge, giving rational and precise answers in his consultations, but not forgetting to instill a sense of humour. His character won him the friendship of many of his contemporaries and the respect of junior staff. I came to know HY in 1982 when, as trainees in gastroenterology and hepatology from Hong Kong, we first met en route on the train heading to Leeds where the autumn meeting of the British Society of Gastroenterology was being held. A great friendship started during that trip which lasted for a full 24 years.

Hong Yuen Lo died suddenly and prematurely on New Years’ Day 2006. He was survived by his wife, May Chun Lo (‘Ivy’), their daughter (who qualified as a doctor) and son. He will be remembered by friends, colleagues and family for a long time to come.

Sik-To Lai

(Volume XII, page web)

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