With close to 15 years of experience,
Dr Soong Poh Luon, who manages a myriad
of complex face, mouth and jaw surgery
cases in the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Department at the National Dental
Centre Singapore (NDCS), has led
several initiatives that have benefited
both patients and his colleagues.
During his term as Head of the Dental
Officers Advanced Practice Programme,
Dr Soong created a “Central Common
Pool” to ensure that patients without
appointments are still attended to in a
Previously, patients who walked in to
any level in NDCS usually had to wait
until a dental officer from that level
became available to see them. By
creating a “Central Common Pool”, all
walk-in patients are triaged and seen by
the next available Dental Officer at any
clinical level within the Centre. This has
significantly reduced the waiting time
for walk-in patients.
“Many ideas for improvement stem from
my desire to make processes better for
patients and staff alike. I am always on
the lookout to see how the system can
be improved in a sustainable manner
to enhance our patients’ experience,”
shared Dr Soong.
Despite having a heavy clinical load,
Dr Soong always puts patients first and
never hesitates to go the extra mile for
When he sees that a patient might have
difficulty getting to the SGH pharmacy
to pick up their medication before it
closes, he makes the trip there himself
to collect the medicine on their behalf.
This saves patients a trip back to the
hospital or to a private pharmacy to
purchase their medication.
He also coordinates his appointment
slots with other clinicians in NDCS
whenever possible, even when he is not
rostered to be in the clinic, just for his
Outside of NDCS, Dr Soong volunteers
his time and expertise in humanitarian
mission trips to countries such as Sri
Lanka, Nepal and Cambodia. Such
trips open his eyes to how things are
elsewhere in the world, and serve to
keep him grounded.
“I have a collection of cards and
mementos from patients and
colleagues over the years which are
pinned on a board in my operatory. It is
a source of affirmation and warms my
heart to see that what I have done is
appreciated, and that motivates me to
deliver even better care for my patients,”
said Dr Soong.
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