A Special Commonwealth Games

Hoe Wah Toon2014 is the year of World Cup soccer and the year of the Commonwealth Games.

I did not watch the World Cup this year for various reasons but I managed to catch a little bit of the Commonwealth Games on TV from time to time. My little girls at home love it as they are allowed to stay up a little later at night to watch something extraordinary on TV, which is rare.

Last night we had our new dentist pledge ceremony with the Singapore Dental Council. This ceremony is for all the new dentists in town and I was present at the event not because I am new but rather because I am holding an office with the College of Dental Surgeons of Singapore.

Being Friday evening and my girls’ mommy was out of town, we had an unusual dinner – my girls fixed their own Nissin cup noodles dinner while their eyes were fixed on the TV screen (yes, I know it is unhealthy…) Then my girls heard the Canadian national anthem as Scott Morgan claimed his second gold medal in gymnastics, this time in the vault event. My girls commented on the other podium finishers and it so happened that the bronze medalist was a fellow young dental surgeon from Singapore, Dr. Hoe Wah-Toon. He graduated from the National University of Singapore dental school class of 2014. He was the one missing from the new dentist pledge ceremony earlier that evening and it certainly was a lovely reason to miss the ceremony as he was in another once-in-a-lifetime occasion!

I have stopped clinical teaching for undergraduate dental students since 2007 as I was getting deeper in the post-graduate teaching (it is hard to spare time from my private practice). However, twice a year, about 6 months before the final examination, I would be running two long-winded 2 hours-long seminars with the graduating class in fixed prosthodontics, the discipline in building of new teeth with the graduating class.

I am not sure if Dr. Hoe was in my seminars a few months ago before he graduated. I never take attendance in my classes as the graduating students should be mature enough to behave. However, one thing I am sure is that his bronze medal placement must be a well deserved one. No one comes this far in life in sports or academically without great discipline and hard work. Of course, a great family support forms a solid platform for a brilliant soul to excel. Congratulations to him.

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