Dr. Ruth Tan Lim Gives Commencement Speech at SCNM
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest Naturopathic Colleges in this country. Naturopathic Medicine in North America can be traced back to Dr. Benedict Lust, in New York, which graduated its first class of naturopathic practitioners in 1902.These practitioners went on to form the Naturopathic Society of America and established naturopathic medical colleges throughout North America. Let me share with you my 50 years in Medicine – the twists and turns of my professional career. I graduated in 1968 from King Edward VII College of Medicine in Singapore. It was a British system as Singapore was a British colony from 1842 till independence in 1965. After graduation I worked my way as an intern, medical officer, Registrar and Senior registrar (junior attending) and specialized in CHILDREN’s Health with a Master’s Degree in Pediatrics. In 1974, (6 years in my comfort zone) Professor Wong, head of the Pediatric Department asked me to accompany David, a 12 year old boy with a very complicated illness, to America.
David was in a COMA, required 3 airplane seats, needed IV therapy and oxygen.
We flew with his family from Singapore to Frankfurt and then NY city. He was accepted for treatment as a research case at the famous Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. David was there for one month and he then passed on. It was a “SPECIAL EXPEREINCE” for me when I saw the hospital and the large institution. I decided to ask David’s Doctor a pediatric researcher and Oncologist for a job. She advised me to first get a green card- I did – it took me six months. I returned to NYC in February of 1975. This began my American Journey. Now I have been in this country for 44 years. The next 5 years were not easy. I did research, residency, then fellowship in pediatric hematology oncology, took many exams including licensing exams ( I hardly saw the sun, only work and study.)