A Remarkable Life


Julia L. Y. Chan and N. G. Patil

ISBN : 978-962-209-800-8

Medicine, Health Sciences, Public Health

June 2006

96 pages, 7″ x 10″

  • HK$195.00

This monograph chronicles the life of an eminent pioneer of surgery, K.H. Digby, the important milestones in his professional life and the hardship he faced to fulfill his dreams.

Digby was a remarkable man with great compassion, highly regarded by colleagues, students, and patients, and an innovative and inspiring teacher. This biography, containing previously unpublished photographs, is a tribute to one of the pioneers of modern surgery.

In 1913, Digby took on the challenge travel to the Far East to take up the appointment at the newly established University of Hong Kong. During his career in academia spanning four decades, he endured many challenges that tested his mettle and the limits of his professionalism, especially in his internment during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. This biography is a testament to his perseverance and commitment to medical education and surgical practice in Hong Kong.

A fine anatomist and a precise surgeon, Digby was well remembered for his surgical ingenuity in nasopharyngeal carcinoma, common duct stones of liver origin, and in particular his unique “no-touch technique”, operating with perfect anatomical dissection. He contributed invaluable insight on the role of subepithelial lymphatic glands in immune reactions and was recognized as the first to describe “Hong Kong Disease” in the Hong Kong Chinese population in medical literature.

Julia L. Y. Chan is working currently in the University of Hong Kong as a Medical Librarian and Team Leader of the Branch Libraries Services Team. She is the President of the Hong Kong Library Association (2005-2006) and is active in local and international professional committees and activities. She was awarded the Distinguished Member of the Medical Library Association (U.S.), Academy of Health Information Professionals. Dr N. G. Patil is an Associate Professor in Surgery and Assistant Dean (Education & Student Affairs) at Faculty of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong. He is well recognized regionally and globally for his contribution to surgical and medical education at the University of Hong Kong. He is also a recipient of MBE (Member of British Empire) award for outstanding services to people of Papua New Guinea prior to his working in Hong Kong.