b.29 December 1951 d.16 September 2009
MB BS Singapore(1976) MRCP(1985) FRCP(2003)
Kim Chye Yee, known as ‘Allan’, was a consultant dermatologist, director of the Hope Skin and Laser Centre at the Gleneagles Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and a former president of the Dermatological Society of Malaysia. Allan was born in the small town of Seremban in Malaysia, the son of Kok Fai Yee and Ho Lee. After attending King George V School in Seremban, he went to the University of Singapore, where he graduated MB BS in 1976. A fellow medical student fondly remembers him organising end-of-exam expeditions to small rural Malaysian villages with his usual enthusiasm, leading the way from Singapore in his old battered car!
He held house posts in Singapore, and then returned to Malaysia, where he was a medical officer and then a lecturer in internal medicine at the University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur.
In 1988, after obtaining his MRCP, he left for the United Kingdom for postgraduate experience and worked with several prominent dermatologists, including William Cunliffe in Leeds and John Burton in Bristol. He counted his experience in England as one of the best and most enjoyable times of his life, forging lasting and precious friendships.
Allan returned to Malaysia in 1994 and set up in private practice, initially in Tung Shin Hospital and subsequently in Gleneagles Medical Centre. In 1996 he established the Hope Skin and Laser Centre, one of the first centres in the country to offer a range of skin laser treatments for various skin diseases.
Allan was president of the Dermatological Society of Malaysia from 2006 to 2008. I can recall seeing Allan when he attended his first Dermatological Society meeting, looking like a well-groomed doctor with his disarming smile and, unusually for a Chinese man, his striking, thick moustache! He immersed himself fully in the affairs of the society and, during his term as president, worked unstintingly to institute several innovative changes and organised some of the most exciting scientific meetings in the society’s calendar. He also pioneered the establishment of the cosmetic dermatology and laser medicine board of the society and became its first founding president. He believed that dermatologists, being experts in skin conditions, should be at the forefront of carrying out and ensuring safe aesthetic procedures.
He served as a medical adviser to the Psoriasis Association of Malaysia for many years, endeavouring to educate the public regarding psoriasis and organising events for patients. He was a fellow of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, as well as a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and of the Royal College of Physicians of London.
Allan was also interested in research. He authored many publications and was much sought-after as a speaker at medical and public conferences. He also derived immense professional satisfaction from attending to his patients. His knowledge, compassion, personality and sense of humour shone through when he was with them. He always believed in ‘going the extra mile’ for those in need.
Allan lived a principled life, underpinned by a strong sense of right and wrong and by a deep commitment to God. He was an active church member and his deep faith guided his actions and decisions in life. He was never one to step back from a challenge if he saw something wrong. He cared enough to act and to take a stand, even if this did sometimes ruffle feathers. He was a champion of others, and was a loyal friend who could be counted on and depended on always.
Despite having such a full professional life, Allan was a devoted husband and father, enjoying every spare moment of free time with his family. He took great pride and joy in sharing experiences with his son, Jonathan, and wife Anne, whom he married in 1984. Family holidays were a wonderful time, leaving stresses and demands behind, and enjoying time as a close-knit family.
Allan left an impressive legacy and will be missed because he touched so many lives positively.
Sushil Kumar Ratti
(Volume XII, page web)
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