Dato’ Dr YC Lee received the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) Honoured Guest Award recently. His son Dr Lee Mun Wai, himself a highly respected retinal Specialist, and his sister Wendy invited friends from far and wide to a fun evening at Syeun Hotel to help Dato’ Dr Lee celebrate this highly coveted recognition.
The American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) Honoured Guest Award, established since 2004, honours a luminary whose lifelong clinical, research or ophthalmic industry experience and accomplishments enable the recipients to offer a unique perspective on the current state of ophthalmology and the healing arts.
Not only did Dr YC Lee receive the award which was given at a glittering ceremony in Los Angeles in May, he is also the first in the ASEAN region to have been given the honour.
“I was surprised and wasn’t expecting it at all. However, I was happily surprised in April when the former president of ASCRS Kerry D. Solomon emailed me pertaining to the award. We know of each other but never had the pleasure of meeting personally,” said Dr YC Lee, with a smile.
Dr YC Lee obtained his MBBS degree from the University of Singapore in 1967, before starting work in the General Hospital in Kuala Lumpur.
When asked why he was interested to be an ophthalmologist, he revealed that ophthalmology is a field where he can apply both his surgical and medical skills.
“I was in neurology for one year and I was involved in neurosurgery. Then, one day, I said that there must be something that has more balance, and it made me go to ophthalmology, which combines medical and surgical skills. That means, I can diagnose medical diseases of the eyes and I can treat patients using both surgical and medical means. It provided me with the challenge I needed utilising the training I received in medical school,” he explained.
Dr YC Lee then did his Fellowship at Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) of England for two years in 1972. He returned to the country the following year and lectured in University Malaya until he started his private practice in May 1974.
He opened his eye clinic – Lee Eye Centre (known as Lee Eye Clinic) in Persiaran Greenhill, Ipoh which has grown over the past 36 years into a full-fledged eye hospital where together with his son Dr Lee Mun Wai, and other specialists, complicated eye surgery procedures are performed using state-of-the-art equipment.
The ASCRS is one of the leading international professional organisation for Eye Surgeons. Since its founding in 1974, ASCRS has led the field of ophthalmology through significant advances in technology and clinical science through its educational programmes, publication and online resources.