History - Department of Psychological Medicine

The NUS Department of Psychological Medicine traces its roots to 1979, established by Associate Professor Tsoi Wing Foo, and housed at the Department of Medicine in the Singapore General Hospital (SGH). His legacy continues through the work of dedicated staff who further the founding chairperson’s vision through inspirational teaching, translational research and clinical care in Singapore and the region. The department relocated to the new National University Hospital (NUH) in 1985 and saw the inception of the psychiatric ward thereafter. In conjunction with the Woodbridge Hospital (now known as Institute of Mental Health (IMH)), the department organised the post-graduate examination for the degree of Master of Medicine (psychiatry) for the first time.

Over the years, the university department has grown in size and infrastructure. As a university teaching hospital, our department engages in teaching psychiatry to the undergraduate medical students, in collaboration with 6 affiliated teaching hospitals in Singapore. Annually, we see approximately 500 inpatient discharges and about 21,000 outpatient attendances. We have also developed a comprehensive range of subspecialty services in Psychological Medicine with particular strength and expertise in Mood Disorders, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry.

Our distinctive siting within a tertiary general hospital allows for seamless coordination of care provision from childhood through adolescence to adult cases with skilled diagnostic and interventional procedures. Further, interdepartmental case management stems research ideas that would translate into better clinical care and patient outcomes. The critical combination of medicine and psychiatry in the development of medical-psychiatry unit to manage complex cases further enhances the academic environment and the advancement of psychiatry teaching. The department continues to be the center of educational excellence with responsibilities in teaching of undergraduate psychiatry to medical students of the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (NUSMed), and postgraduate training for psychiatry and family medicine residents. We are also a participating site in the National Psychiatry Residency Programme, providing psychiatry residents with the best training environment. To strengthen our capabilities, we forge collaborations and partnerships to synergise our efforts with international healthcare systems.


Past and Present Heads of Department

Dr Tsoi Wing Foo 1980 – 1994
Prof Kua Ee Heok 1994 – 2002
Dr Calvin Fones Soon Leng 2003 – 2006
Prof Kua Ee Heok 2006 – 2009
A/Prof C B Khare 2009 – 2010
A/Prof John Wong Chee Meng 2010 – Present