Dr Colin Song qualified as a Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon in 1989. He graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He continued his specialist training at the same institute and spent close on a year as a lecturer at the University of Hong Kong department of Surgery.
Dr Colin Song was conferred a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh in 1988. The extensive training he underwent in South Africa and Hong Kong was the foundation for his understanding of Plastic Surgery as it pertains to ethnic differences in Africans, Asians and Caucasians.
Dr Song’s experience included head and neck surgery, cleft lip and palate deformities, breast surgery, abdominal wall surgery, genitalia, hand surgery, lower limb reconstruction, problematic wounds especially burn & chronic wounds and last but not least, aesthetic surgery.
Dr Colin Song served as head of the Division of Plastic Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery at the same institute from 1990 to 1997 after which he migrated to Singapore. During 1994 to the time he left South Africa, Dr Colin Song also ran a private practice in Johannesburg. He was a member of the Association of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons of Southern Africa (APRSSA) since 1989 and served as Subcommittee Chair of Education, for the Association, overlooking the training of South African Plastic Surgeons.
In 1997 Dr Colin Song was tasked to direct Singapore General Hospital’s Burn Centre. He served as head of the Plastic Surgery department from 2004 to 2012. In his time at SGH he was able to continue his work in each of SGH pillars – service, education and research. In over 15 years at SGH he has performed more than 4500 surgeries, improved the survival rate of burn patients and served as president of the Singapore Association of Plastic Surgeons and as committee member of the Singapore Society for Cosmetic and Aesthetic Surgeons Singapore.
Dr Colin Song is also the founding president of the Wound Healing Society of Singapore in 1999 and continues to serve as President in addition to President of the Association of Burn Injuries Singapore. He was also inaugural president of the College of Surgeons Singapore. Dr Song also implemented the change of the training system to the US style residency program for all of Sing Health’s hospitals. For his research efforts Dr Song has published 54 papers in peer reviewed journals and was awarded the Duke-NUS-Khoo Teik Puat Research Award as the principal investigator for his work on tissue engineered small blood vessels and flaps.
Amongst the many overseas speaker engagements Dr Song has been invited to, these include the Royal Society/EuroStemCellGroup 2006, APRSSA in South Africa, Monadjat Memorial Lecture, of the Indonesian Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Dr Colin Song’s philosophy is to deeply appreciate the fundamentals of any given ailment or problem before considering solutions. The solutions must address the changes that result in the ailment or problem, where possible. The aging process presents a significant challenge. Challenges in themselves present opportunities. Understanding that there are ethnic differences in the aging process allowed us to think about applied solutions from the extensive experience derived in working with various ethnic groups.
In this case the Asian identity presented an opportunity for Dr Colin Song 15 years ago, when he migrated to Singapore from South Africa, to relearn the process and hence his philosophy of the comprehensive approach. Comprehensive aesthetic and plastic surgery is founded on the myriad of surreptitious changes that afflict humankind and addressing these changes constitutes the comprehensive approach.