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In Memory of a Caring Doctor

Dr William Tong Cheuk-yan 唐卓恩

William Tong 唐卓恩
(1958-2018)  MBBS 1983

In memory of Dr William Tong (1958-2018)

Obituary by Medical Class of 1983


TONG Cheuk Yan William graduated from the Queen’s College, Hong Kong with flying colours, being first in his class in Forms 6 and 7. He received his undergraduate study in the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong and was the second in class in the final MBBS examination of Medic 83. He then worked at the Department of Pediatrics of the Queen Mary Hospital. This was followed by his training at the Government Virus Unit from 1985 to 1990. He was the Senior Registrar of the Department of Virology at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and Public Health Laboratory, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne from October 1990 to June 1992. From July 1992 to March 2000, he became the Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool and the Honorary Consultant Virologist of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. He was the Consultant Virologist at the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and the Honorary Senior Lecturer at the King’s College London School of Medicine in the following 13 years (April 2000 to March 2013).


Cheuk Yan was the Visiting Professor of the Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (taking his sabbatical leave, from June to September 2004). From April 2013 onwards, he became the Consultant Clinical Virologist, the Lead of the Department of Infection at the Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, and the Honorary Reader at the Queen Mary University of London. He had been working in the National Health Service of the United Kingdom for over 27 years and was responsible for managing the first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in the country.


Although Cheuk Yan mostly worked as a non-academic staff, he published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He showed a diverse interest in research that included viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infection and human immunodeficiency virus. Cheuk Yan was once the Chair of Virology Panel of Examiners of the Royal College of Pathologists and engineered the reform of the examination format, abolishing the need of the wet practical. Early this year, he ran his first long-distance run and raised money for the charity Cancer Research UK.


Cheuk Yan was a real gentleman and a humble person. He often went out of his way to help people in need. One thing that we remembered was his neat and tidy hand writing which took the form of typeset-like letters. He was so generous that he lent his beautifully hand-writing notes to our classmates before the MBBS examination.

Cheuk Yan will be sorely missed by us all. He was survived by his wife, Pendora, and his two daughters, Sonia and June.


Cheuk Yan was a real gentleman and a humble person. He often went out of his way to help people in need.