Son to a cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr Tan has always been spurred by his father to be a surgeon. Dr Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1996. He then became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and was later awarded his Master of Medicine in Surgery from NUS.
Dr Tan then began his Plastic Surgery Specialist Training programme at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH). Towards the end of his training at the department, he received a Health Manpower Development Plan (HMDP) scholarship to train at the world-renowned Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan. During his yearlong pupilage there, Dr Tan refined his skills in cleft, jaw and aesthetic surgery. He also honed his passion in ear reconstruction for congenital ear defects, which has been viewed by many to be more of a form of artistry than surgery.
Of both Taiwanese and Japanese descent, Dr Tan’s Japanese roots also led him under the tutelage of the illustrious Dr Satoru Nagata at Nagata Microtia and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Hospital in Japan, where Dr Tan perfected his technique in ear reconstruction surgery. Upon his return to Singapore, Dr Tan joined the Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and started building up his practice in aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.
Today, Dr Tan is the Consultant Plastic Surgeon at SW1 Clinic Plastic Surgery Centre. He remains a Visiting Consultant to the Plastic Surgery Departments at both KK and SGH, providing pro bono ear reconstructive surgery for needy patients. He continues to serve as one of the only two surgeons in Singapore providing ear reconstruction surgical care.
Dr Tan is part of Operation Smile, a charitable organization that organizes medical missions to third world countries to help children suffering from cleft lip and palate deformities. It is Dr Tan’s meticulous nature as well as his liking and respect for everything aesthetically pleasing that led him into the field of Plastic Surgery. His hobby reflects his nature: he loves to assemble plastic models during his free time, which led to his current toy museum of over 300 hand-assembled model (Diecast) cars, Japanese (Gundam) robots and Star Wars collection.