The idea to compile this biographical dictionary evolved from an earlier post (from my other blog: Hong Kong's First) I started writing in 2010 about certain notable doctors in Hong Kong. My undertaking to expand what I've already covered to include all the other doctors I can find from available archives was totally unpremeditated, but I am glad I went ahead with it rather impulsively for if I've given more thought about it, I would not embark on so unwise an adventure. More so because this endeavor of listing and biographing medical practitioners isn't founded on my fondness for this branch of academic discipline, which I have little, although I must say I've never disliked doctors. [What about dentists? Clearly, nobody likes dentists. That said, I'd most certainly want to be a dentist – and (il va sans dire) a rich one - if I could start my life from scratch.]

As you can see I have decided to publish this dictionary while it is still under construction, for two reasons. First, it would probably take me another 10-12 years to get it done (since I'll be working on my other blog all at the same time...), I don't want to wait that long before I can share it. Secondly, I look at this writing project the same way a building is erected. Nobody hides a building while it is being constructed.

The period I have chosen for this biographical dictionary stretches over 101 years. It begins in 1841, the year British troops took possession of Hong Kong by force, and ends in 1941 when Hong Kong came under the attack and in under three weeks was taken by the Japanese. More than 800 doctors, and some 70 dentists, existed during this period of time and there were all kinds of them. From devoted men and women of medicine to quitters who ended up being banker, lawyers, diplomat, revolutionaries or even heads of states. From multitaskers who doubled themselves as newspaper publisher, spook (as in spy), whiskey maker (not moonshiner) or, most commendably, teachers to the one-track mind bunch whose one and only pursuit was money. How about a chief government doctor who got too caught up moonlighting that he neglected his official duties, which brought him to Hong Kong in the first place. Fortunately, there were no lack of those who reminded us with their deeds how noble the medical profession is – men and women who cured the sick and saved lives, particularly those who made selfless sacrifices, sometime ultimate ones, when so doing. These are the stories of medical practitioners in Hong Kong from the first 100 years.

Rudi Butt
Hong Kong, July 25, 2013

Table of Contents


The Dental Board
The Government Civil Hospital
Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery of Hong Kong
The Medical Chiefs
Medical Institutions
Private Practices (Partnerships)
Random Snippets

Historical Documents
Petition of 23 Medical Practitioners Urging the Government to Regulate the Medical Profession (5/3/1882)
Li Hung Chang Letter Accepting Invitation to be Patron of the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese (1889)
Letter From Sun Yat-Sen To James and Mabel Cantile Announcing His Presidency In The Provisional Government of ROC (2/25/1912)

See "The Roll" in the sidebar.


  1. The years written in the heading of each entry are those between which the subject doctor was recorded to be existing as a qualified medical practitioner in Hong Kong. Events that took place after 1941 will be included in this dictionary as and when I come across them. Furthermore, since the earliest post-WWII roll of doctors I can lay my hands on comes from the inaugural issue of Hong Kong Year Book (1948) 《香港年鑑》第一回, unless I can locate specific information I am designating the year 1948 the commencement of post-war practice of these doctors.
  2. Most of the entries are written in the format of biographical notes; a few take the form of an essay (for no particular reasons). If I should come across other formats of bio-writing, I'm sure I will give it a try.
  3. As opposed to the government register, surnames are listed under their respective prefixes, if applicable, in this dictionary.
  4. Selected bibliographies are available to some entries, but not all, simply because I only started including them when I'm done writing the first 200~220 entries. I'll try and fix these early ones bit by bit. I thank you for your patience.
  5. The word “unknown” used in this dictionary generally means “unknown to me” as opposed to nobody knows. In most cases, these are matters I think I know but do not know for a fact.
  6. According to the Medical Registration Ordinance, 1884, doctors employed by the government as well as British military doctors serving in Hong Kong are exempted from registration. This is the reason why some doctors registered to practice years after they had arrived in Hong Kong, as they were only required to do so upon their leaving the civil or military service and venture into private practice. Additionally, I only have access to government registration records dated between 1884 and 1941.
  7. Military doctors, medical practitioners serving in the HKVDC or in the Defense Reserve imprisoned during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong were considered under the Geneva Conventions "retained personnel" rather than PoW. For easy reference here in this dictionary, I have named them PoW to indicate the facilities where they were kept - with the military personnel. People kept in facilities restricted for civilians are named "internees".


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