"I believe that medical education and mentorship are crucial to nurture the next generation of healthcare professionals. While the effort of a single physician may benefit a limited number of patients, teaching and training medical students, nursing students and doctors well will multiply this effect tremendously. Apart from teaching theory and skills, I also believe that medical education must, above all, emphasise patient safety."
A renowned educator, A/Prof Kow has not only taught and mentored many batches of medical students, but has contributed widely to the field of surgery, particularly in general surgery, hepatobiliary surgery and liver transplantation.
As a practicing surgeon at the Division of Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Surgery, NUH, A/Prof Kow is a pioneer of many advanced surgical techniques in pancreatic surgery, liver surgery and biliary surgery.
A/Prof Kow obtained his Master of Medicine (Surgery), Master of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Ireland diplomas in 2005 and subsequently, completed his advanced surgical training in Tan Tock Seng Hospital. In 2009, he obtained his Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (General Surgery) in Hong Kong. He was also accorded Specialist accreditation in General Surgery by Ministry of Health, Singapore in the same year.
He received the funding from National University Health System in 2010 to undergo fellowship training in living donor liver transplantation and hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgical oncology in Samsung Medical Center & Samsung Cancer Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea. During his one-year stay in Korea, he authored or co-authored six peer-reviewed journals.
Advancing the science of liver surgery
A/Prof Kow has championed and pioneered many complex liver and pancreas surgeries within Singapore and in Southeast Asia. These include minimally invasive complex liver surgeries such as the ALPPS procedure, minimally invasive Whipple's procedure and laparoscopic donor hepatectomy for living donor liver transplantation. He is also one of the first in the world to adopt the mixed reality technology for complex open and laparoscopic liver surgery, including liver transplantation.
Importantly, he has championed several clinical services to enhance the recovery of surgical patients to improve their patient experience, outcomes and quality of life.
Contributing knowledge to the field
A/Prof Kow shares his extensive knowledge and experience in hepatobiliary surgery through his prolific contribution to various articles, journal publications and book chapters. He was listed by Stanford University (published by Elsevier) as the world's top 2% most-cited researchers from NUS Medicine in 2021.
Furthermore, he is active in improving surgical education and training for undergraduates and postgraduates. His area of focus is in understanding the art and science behind training junior doctors to be excellent surgeons. He has previously won grants to study the use of mobile applications in teaching patient safety in surgery.