Prof. Sophia Tsong-Huey CHEW

A/Prof Sophia Chew obtained her MBBS from the National University of Singapore and subsequently trained to be an anesthesiologist.  She obtained the MMED(Anaesthesia) from the National University of Singapore and the Fellowship of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthestists (FANZCA).  She did a fellowship training in cardiac anaesthesia at the Duke University Medical Centre in the United States of America.

A/Prof Chew currently practises at the Singapore General Hospital and is the Director of Research at the Division of Anaesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine.  She is also the Academic Deputy Vice-Chair, Research, SingHealth Duke-NUS Anaesthesiology and Perioperative Sciences Academic Clinical Programme.  Her research Interests include safety outcomes after cardiac surgery, airway management, aging and perioperative medicine.  She has published several peer reviewed papers in highly acclaimed journals. 

A/Prof Chew is the President, Singapore Society of Anaesthesiologists and the  Bursar, Academy of Medicine. She previously served as the President, College of Anaesthesiologists and chaired the Sedation Guidelines Committee, Ministry of Health, Singapore.

A New Leaf : Challenges and Moving Forward

In 2019, the world was hit with a tsunami of unpredictable changes with the COVID 19 pandemic.  As we emerge from those dark days like a new leaf welcoming the spring, the crisis has clearly demonstrated the constancy of change.  We must now heed the clarion call to harness our strengths in adaptability, resilience and innovation in order to thrive. 

How we as anaesthesiologists enhance our practice, equip our people, develop viable plans while caring for our planet will set the path forward for the future of our specialty.

Tremendous progress has been made in anaesthesiology with better equipment, drugs and sophisticated monitoring systems but we must never forget the cornerstone of practice is safety.  While intraoperative anaesthetic safety has improved remarkably, the focus must now be on reducing the global healthcare burden of postoperative deaths.

With increasing workload and the evolving anaesthetic practice that now encompasses critical care, pain management, perioperative care and others, maintaining high quality care standards is paramount.

We must continue to train new specialists with rigour and to embrace new ideas and technology while preserving the paradigm of critical self- analysis.  Anaesthesiologists must continue to find value and pride in their work, with their contributions appreciated not just by the medical community but the general public.

With growing demand for surgery by a rapidly aging world, healthcare utilization and costs will escalate.  Anaesthesiologists must build capacities and advocate for right siting of care, enhance information flow, embrace untapped resources and optimize care pathways with the patients at the centre of what we do.  Our vision must be broad based with the ultimate aim of integrating patients back to their homes and community after their acute illness.

We have but one earth and beyond just greenhouse gases, we need to invest in research to advance the science of anaesthesia.  Research should enhance clinical practice, making anaesthesia sustainable and safe for patients now and for generations to come.