Alumni Linkage — OU People

Alumni Communication & Support Alumni Linkage Past Issues July 2019 Issue Alumni Linkage — OU People

In 1994, Dr Wong Kai-choi just stepped out of the medical school and soon immersed himself in the overwhelming work in a public hospital. Nevertheless, he could still manage to find the time for an OUHK programme in Mathematics. He said, 'I have always had a passion for mathematics, but I had to finish my studies in medicine first before I could take another degree.' He then continued to complete a Master's degree in Education and a Bachelor's degree in Economics at the OUHK, and apply the knowledge to his daily work.

Decoding the 'data black box' of medical research

Dr Wong sees wonders in the complex maze of numbers: 'In mathematics, one can find results which are 100% correct and free of deviation. This is not common in daily life, and it gives me a great sense of satisfaction.' He delves into medical statistics, and in particular the area of verifying the authenticity of scientific research papers and reports on data interpretation.

He explained that these papers and reports always contain a large amount of data, and in the process of quantifying, deducing and arriving at a conclusion, there are often concealed traps that mislead the readers. 'Using statistical knowledge to open the “data black box” and decode the content will help to judge whether a conclusion is true.' He emphasized that the study on psychiatry involves many social factors and must be combed through meticulously. He is also committed to sharing the knowledge in the healthcare sector.

L_1907_ST_Dr Wong Kai-choi-2

Parsing mental illness with humanistic care

Having received a professional qualification in psychiatry in 2007, Dr Wong has been walking side by side with his patients over the years. Reflecting on this, he said, 'My happiest moment is seeing my patients grow up, from dating, getting married to having children and returning to a normal life.' Apart from establishing mutual trust with patients, he also cares about their families and friends as the change of the patients' condition always has close connection with them. He said, half-jokingly, that he is like a family doctor in psychiatry.

Many patients who seek medical help from a psychiatrist suffer from mood disorders. 'Different from bipolar disorder or psychotic disorder, patients who suffer from mood disorders behave like normal people, but they feel great pain inside. However, because of the biases and discrimination in society, they do not seek medical help actively.' In view of this, he often speaks at community seminars, giving members of the public a correct understanding of mental illness and psychiatric drugs. 'Through the questions raised by the audience, I learn more about the views of the general public.'

Making one hour truly your own every day

Apart from studying at the OUHK, Dr Wong had also been a part-time tutor in statistics for nine years. He loves the interactions in class. Part-time students came with real-life examples at their workplace and asked practical questions. 'They would even challenge me, which is good. This let me improve and I benefited greatly.'

Having hectic schedules both at work and in private life, he spends a conscious effort into maintaining a good state of mind: 'As a psychiatrist, if I am down with a flu, I can still wear a mask and work. But if I lack positive energy, I must take leave.' Urbanites face immense stress. He considers keeping a good balance between work and leisure and doing regular exercise are the best way to release pressure. He also recommends making one hour truly your own every day: 'Put down the burden of work and family, take away the mobile phone, and wind down. It really helps.'