The History of the Development of the Faculty and College

.Dr C K Ho

As an early participant of the College of Ophthalmologists of Hong Kong, I am honored to write a history of its development throughout the past few years. This history is specially dedicated to the late Dr. Timothy K. C. Liu, who had contributed so much of his effort to our profession. The information shall be divided into three parts: the formation of the Faculty of Ophthalmology, College of Surgeons of Hong Kong; the Interim Council of the College of Ophthalmologists of Hong Kong and finally, its maturation to become the College of Ophthalmologists of Hong Kong.

Faculty of Ophthalmology, College of Surgeons of Hong Kong

The first meeting of the Faculty of Ophthalmology, College of Surgeons of Hong Kong was held in early 1993 in the premises of the Hong Kong Medical Association. All regular members of the Hong Kong Ophthalmological Society were invited to attend. During the meeting, Dr. Timothy Liu Kai Ching was elected as Dean, Dr. Patrick Ho Chi Ping as the Sub-Dean and Dr. Hui Siu Ping as Secretary. Faculty Board members consisted of Dr. Clement Chan Wai Nang, Dr. Ho Chi Kin, Dr. Dennis Lam Shun Chiu and Dr. Patrick Tong Pak Chuen.

The actual formation of the Faculty was on 16th July, 1993. the date of its formal acceptance by the Interim Council of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine. The early Faculty meetings were held once every three months and the usual venue was the Chinese restaurant of the Evergreen Hotel. Three Subcommittees, namely, the Training and Education Subcommittee, the Examination Subcommittee and the Ways and Means Subcommittee were formed. The President of the College of Surgeons of Hong Kong or his designate was also an Ex-officio member of our Faculty Board. At that time, Dr. C. Y. Watt was the official representative and he had given us valuable advice during our meetings. The immediate problem that our Faculty Board was faced with was limited financial and secretarial support. Dr. Patrick Tong was kind enough at that time to provide us an interest free loan of HK$10,000 for the initial running. Dr. Liu also used his own personal secretary to provide secretarial support to our Faculty.

After settling some basic issues, our Faculty’s major concern was on the following:

  1. Assessment and Examination
    This was headed by Dr. S. P. Hui who spent a great deal of time liaising with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Finally, the first primary conjoint Fellowship Examination was held on 16th October, 1993 in Hong Kong with 20 candidates attending and 10 passing the Examination. The conjoint final Fellowship Examination was later held in March 1994 with 9 candidates attending and 4 passing the Examination.
  2. Training and Education
    Setting up a effective and internationally recognized system of training is of vital importance. Dr. Patrick Ho and Dr. C. K. Ho formed an Education Committee consisting of Prof. Ernest Goldschmidt, Dr. Philip Lam, Dr. Cheung Ming Kuen, Dr. Raymond Tse and Dr. Leung Tai Shing. The College Training Curriculum was completed on 1st September 1994 and was later passed by the Council of the College of Surgeons of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine. Training courses at the Department of Anatomy, Chinese University of Hong Kong were also arranged for eye trainees taking the first part of the Fellowship Examination and a new log book was designed which was alter amended and distributed to all our trainees. Dr. C. K. Ho was also appointed to sit in the Education Committee of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine in May 1994.
  3. Membership
    Criteria for admission as Fellows of the College was one of the most difficult tasks. The board had to ensure that all those who were admitted possessed adequate ophthalmic knowledge and skills while at the same time the practice of all the other existing colleagues would not be jeopardize. Finally, the Council decided to admit in a one-off exercise with the grandfather clause, those eye doctors having any one of the following qualifications:

    1. twenty five years of good practice in the field of ophthalmology;
    2. Diploma of Ophthalmology obtained on/before June 1982, as this was accepted by the Hong Kong Government for Consultant post before that date;
    3. overseas fellowship or its equivalent.

    A total of 89 members (3 by the 25 years grandfather clause, 9 by the grandfather clause with D.O., 16 by D.O. on/before 1983 and 61 by overseas fellowship or its equivalent) were nominated by our Faculty for admission as Fellows of the College of Surgeons of Hong Kong.

  4. Continued Medical Education
    After repeated liaison with the Hong Kong Ophthalmological Society, it was finally agreed in 1993 that the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society would be re-organized to become a conjoint activity of both the Faculty and Society. The meeting was renamed the Hong Kong Ophthalmological Symposium 1993 and was jointly organized by both parties. It has since then become the major annual event of our College, to be held on the first Saturday and Sunday of every December. It has also become a major event of our profession for continued education and resource generation.

Interim Council of the College of Ophthalmologists of Hong Kong

A new steering group for the formation of the College of Ophthalmologists of Hong Kong was formed in September 1993 with Dr. Patrick Tong as Convenor. Members consists of Dr. Clement Chan, Dr. Pauline Chan, Dr. C. K. Ho, Dr. Patrick Ho, Dr. Hui Siu Ping, Dr. Dennis Lam, Dr. Lawrence Leong, Dr. Walton Li, Dr. Timothy Liu, Dr. C. F. Tse and Dr. Raymond Tse. They met to draft the Articles and Memorandum of our new College. They had also decided to invite subscribers which included all Council Members of the Hong Kong Ophthalmological Society, all Government Ophthalmic Consultants, University Ophthalmic Professors and the past President of the Hong Kong Ophthalmological Society.

The first subscriber meeting was held on 28th September 1994 in the office of the Hong Kong Medical Association and the Memorandum and Articles were distributed and signed by all subscribers present. An Interim Council of the College of Ophthalmologists of Hong Kong was also elected Dr. Timothy Liu as President, Dr. Patrick Tong as Hon. Secretary, Dr. Clement Chan as Hon. Treasurer and Dr. C. K. Ho, Dr. Dennis Lam, Dr. Walton Li and Prof. Mark Tso as Council Members. The work of the Interim Council was to continue the work of the steering group to admit Foundation Fellows of our College, to prepare for the Emergency General Meeting and make preparation for the Inauguration Ceremony of our College. Meanwhile, we waited for the College of Surgeons of Hong Kong to propose the formal formation of our College to the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine.

College of Ophthalmologists of Hong Kong

The College of Ophthalmologists of Hong Kong was formally incorporated on 25th October 1994. The Admission fee to the College at that time was HK$1,000 and annual fee HK$500. The Hong Kong Ophthalmological Society also donated HK$45,000 to the College for its initial running. By the second council meeting of the interim council held on 19th January 1995, we received a total of 114 applications for our College Fellowship. A total of 107 applicants were accepted with 3 rejected because of inadequate qualifications and 4 candidates required further details on their training or needed their registration rectified.

An Emergency General Meeting was held on 20th April 1995 in the Hong Kong Eye Hospital whereby office bearers were elected by postal ballot. The following fellows were elected as members of the Council to serve our College for two years:

President
Dr. Timothy Kai Ching LIU
Vice-President (Professional Affairs)
Prof. Mark On Man TSO
Vice-President (General Affairs)
Dr. Siu Ping HUI
Hon. Secretary
Dr. Patrick Pak Chuen TONG
Hon. Treasurer
Dr. Clement Wai Nang CHAN
Editor
Dr. Dennis Shun Chiu LAM
Council Members
Dr. Chung Chai CHI
Dr. Chi Kin HO
Dr. Walton Wai Tat LI
Dr. Raymond Kwok Kay TSE
Dr. Agnes Tao Yan TSE
Dr. Joseph Wing Sang YEUNG