Dr Tan graduated from the medical school at the National University of Singapore and then completed his advanced training in General Surgery. He subsequently obtained his Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (General Surgery) in Hong Kong and was accorded Specialist accreditation in General Surgery by Ministry of Health, Singapore in the same year.
He completed the fellowship training programme in Colorectal Surgery at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia. During his time there, he received formal training in advanced laparoscopic colorectal surgery, and complex pelvic operations such as exenterations for recurrent and advanced pelvic malignancy. To date, he has performed over 1500 abdominal operations with a firm interest in minimally invasive surgery for colorectal cancer.
Apart from his clinical practice, Dr Tan is an avid researcher and has published over 140 publications and book chapters. He is also an active reviewer for renowned journals including the Lancet, British Journal of Surgery and Diseases of Colon & Rectum. Locally, his work has been cited on several occasions in The Straits Times and Chinese newspapers. He has also been interviewed by the local media including the radio and television. Outside Singapore, Dr Tan is also frequently invited to share his clinical expertise and has delivered numerous presentations at international meetings.
On top of his research work, Dr Tan has recently completed his PhD in the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health in the National University of Singapore where he looked at screening amongst the family members of colorectal cancer patients. In recognition for his ongoing effort in promoting colorectal screening in Singapore, he was awarded several Health Services Research Grants and also the Clinician Scientist Award by the National Medical Research Council to further his work.
Dr Tan is also active in his role as an Associate Professor in the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine where he was the convener for the final Professional Main and Supplementary examinations for the school of medicine (Surgery Track). Apart from that, he has been active in the education of both medical students and surgical trainees. Together with his surgical trainees, they have won numerous accolades at local and regional conferences for their research work.
He is currently the Vice Chairman of the NUH Medical Board, taking care of research matters for NUH and NUHS and also the Assistant Dean for Research in the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine in NUS.