Lives of the fellows

Chin Ching Ho

b.14 September 1954 d.14 March 2010
MB BS Malaya(1979) MRCP(1982) FRCP(2001)

Chin Ching Ho was a well-respected consultant neurophysician and a pioneer of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatment in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He had his own practice in the city, and also served as a consultant neurologist at the private Tung Shin Hospital.

He was born in Bentong, a small and remote town in the eastern state of Pahang, where he completed his primary education. At the age of 10 he became seriously ill with dengue fever, which sparked his interest in medicine. His father, Kim Kun Ho, a headteacher, supported and encouraged Chin Ching to become a doctor after realising his great potential in school. Incidentally, both his siblings also became doctors.

An ambitious Chin Ching later decided to transfer to the prestigious secondary school Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur, and his life in the metropolis began. He would frequently return to Bentong which, in the 1960s, was a few hours away by bus through steep and winding roads, as well as hilly terrain.

As a student, he was very committed to his studies and was hardworking. All his efforts culminated in excellent and noteworthy academic results. His consistent high performance placed him at the top of the class every year. Despite his serious attitude towards his work, he was approachable and amiable in school.

Initially Chin Ching had ambitions to become a cardiologist and was soon admitted into the University of Malaya. However, he decided to pursue neurology after completing his MB BS. He lectured at the University Hospital of Malaya University after obtaining his MRCP in 1982.

He then decided to travel to London to complete a specialist course in neurology. He was primarily based at Guy’s Hospital. He thoroughly enjoyed and treasured his experience of life in a new country. After his return to Kuala Lumpur, he would frequently reminisce about his time in the United Kingdom. It was certainly an important chapter of his life, which helped mould him into the very competent doctor he became. Years later, in 2001, he returned to London to receive his fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians. This was the pinnacle of his achievements, and he was fortunate to be able to celebrate this happy occasion with his family.

In 1985 he set up his own practice. Many of his patients greatly appreciated his dedication towards them. His role was to improve their lives and, in his own words, to ‘save the ones you can save’.

In 2007, he began to offer transcranial magnetic stimulation to patients who preferred a less invasive treatment. The feedback from patients was positive, and he began to systematically collect his own data on the efficacy of TMS. Treating patients with drug addiction was one of his major priorities as the number of cases in Malaysia was rising. He worked with Hussain bin Habil, a prominent psychiatrist and addiction specialist, on many community projects.

Since his death was sudden, he never officially retired. In that sense, he never voluntarily stopped performing and delivering at his best, nor did he suffer any decline during his career.

Besides his work, Chin Ching was very much a family orientated man, who spent most of his leisure time with his children. He adored his wife Adrianna Koon Keong Mooi, a company director, his son, Ren Xian, and his daughter, Qian Ying. On weekends, he enjoyed golf with his family, exploring fine eateries of different cuisines, and music. He also thoroughly enjoyed playing the piano, a pastime he picked up in his mid-thirties. His other interests included French, which is relatively rarely spoken in Malaysia.

He also travelled extensively with his family and attended numerous medical conferences in many countries. This highlights Chin Ching’s endless yearning for knowledge, personal growth and his immense desire to help his patients. Besides travelling, Chin Ching enjoyed martial arts, including tai chi, which he religiously practised every evening after work. He strongly believed that with hard work and mental conditioning, one can achieve whatever one wants in life. In spite of all his great achievements, he remained very easygoing and humble.

He will always be remembered as a gentle, kind, persevering, enterprising, bright and highly capable individual. Chin Ching’s untimely death leaves a deep void for his family, his friends and the Malaysian medical community, who have lost an eminent member of their profession.

Seong Sang Chen

(Volume XII, page web)

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