critical care settings. For example, doctors trained in medicine are in general more experienced in diagnosing or assessing complicated medical conditions, while those trained in anaesthesiology are more familiar with physiology,’ said Dr Sin. ‘However, this may also lead to institutional restrictions. To tackle the problem, HKUMed made a bold attempt to re-structure these two divisions of medical practice and set up a specialty in critical care medicine. The initiative offers a new pathway for students who aspire to become specialists in this particular field. With the rapid growth of critical care in Mainland China, demand for expertise was driven to an unprecedented height. HKUMed saw the potential and established the CCMU “to build the critical mass and do more”, thanks to the visionary leadership of Professor Gabriel Leung and Professor Chak-sing Lau.’ For many, the intensive care unit is a restricted area with all sorts of complex medical devices, confined to treating patients in life-threatening conditions, but it is now trying to break through the boundaries. ‘Now we are promoting the concept of “ICU beyond the wall”, which means allowing intervention before the patient’s condition worsens. This could help increase the chance of survival and recovery.’ As a new-born unit, CCMU’s priority is to strengthen the curriculum and attract students to this demanding but rewarding specialty. ‘Few students used to opt for critical care as many of them were not aware it is a specialty on its own and the curriculum on critical care was fairly limited. We are looking into changing these because critical care knowledge is, in fact, very important and can be applied on a daily basis to treat patients with acute deterioration.’ Dr Sin said. ‘I’m grateful to Professor Cheung Chi-wai, Chairperson of Anaesthesiology who had allocated significant number of teaching hours from the original anaesthesiology classes for us to teach more on critical care. He also supported me to undertake the current directorship at CCMU. [With the establishment of CCMU], we are increasing the teaching hours in our MBBS programme in collaboration and coordination with the Departments of Anaesthesiology and Emergency Medicine.’ Within HKU Health System, CCMU aspires to foster synergy in the realm of critical care among the teaching hospitals. ‘Both QMH and GHK are well developed in critical care, while HKU-SZH is catching up fast,’ Dr Sin said. ‘Let me give you an example: If QMH can’t accept a case due to resource constraints, the patient could be referred to GHK, which provides high-quality medical care under HKU Health System, at a fee, offering the patient an alternative. For HKU-SZH, we hope to introduce the wellestablished system from Hong Kong, and to set up a credential system with trained doctors.’ →The HKU PET-CT Unit started operation in 2007 and has performed around 20,000 examinations. Apart from diagnostic work, it also supports research and collaboration in PET-CT and radiation protection. 港大正電子斷層掃瞄 組於2007年開始運 作,進行了約20,000 次檢查。除了診斷工 作,亦支持正電子斷 層掃瞄和輻射防護方 面的研究和合作。 27 HKUMed News Winter 2022