Combining the best of Chinese and Western medicine

4 December 2015

Dr Edwin Chau Leung Yu (Croucher Fellowship 1987) has been practising both Chinese and Western medicine and is now the Director of InteMed Hong Kong and the President of the Hong Kong Association for Integration of Chinese-Western Medicine.

In the 1980s, Yu was part of the medical team that performed the first successful kidney transplant in Hong Kong for a 12-year old girl and subsequently founded a kidney dialysis centre. As an MBBS graduate from the University of Hong Kong and a specialist in paediatric nephrology, Yu was not satisfied with just treating patients in his specialist field. He spent four years studying Chinese medicine and pursued more general interests whenever he had the opportunity. For instance, he researched lead and is now involved with the government’s examination of the concentration of heavy metals in herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine. Furthermore, he completed an MBA in management science after graduating from both Western and Chinese medical schools. “I was very happy to be introduced as ‘a continuous learner’ during one of my public speeches, as I believe that my knowledge in various fields will come into one picture sooner or later,” said Yu, proudly.

Yu describes himself as ‘one-third retired’ as he currently spends about two-thirds of his time in his clinic seeing patients and mentoring medical students. “I enjoy working in the clinic, as interacting with patients gives me a lot of satisfaction.” His clinic started treating kidney problems years ago and has now shifted to treating autism in children and complicated pain and stress-related issues in adults, where his knowledge and practice of both Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine can be combined.

Apart from clinical practice, Yu leads promotion and research into the practice of integration of Chinese and Western medicine in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Association for the Integration of Chinese Medicine. Yu believes that Chinese and Western medical practice supplement each other, especially in controlling complications, and bringing them together enables the use of simpler options to treat medical conditions with significant improvements as observed in his own clinic. For instance, traditional Chinese medicine not only helps cancer patients by reducing suffering due to the side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but also allow them to complete the entire course of therapy leading to better treatment outcome. He hopes that through research, sharing, and collaboration between academics and clinicians like himself, more people with benefit from the integration of Chinese and Western medicinal practice in the future.

Yu completed M.B.,B.S. in 1975 at the University of Hong Kong with Mun Gold Medal in psychiatry. He then completed a degree in Chinese medicine at the Ching Wah Chinese Medical Institute. He pursued postgraduate study in the University Paediatric Department at Queen Mary Hospital as well as further specialist training in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, UK. He was awarded a Croucher Fellowship in 1987. Yu also studied MBA in management science from Strathclyde Graduate Business School. He is a registered Chinese medicine practitioner and has been elected as an integrative medicine expert by the Chinese Association of Integrative Medicine in 2006. He is currently a non-official member of the Chinese medicine development committee of HKSAR.

To view Edwin Yu’s personal Croucher page, please click here.