(Vol.6 No.7 --- September 2001)

Welcome back from the summer vacation and to the September issue of the Medical Diary.

In this issue, I am pleased to have been able to invite Dr. Raymond Wong, one of the most experienced rheumatologists in Hong Kong, to share with us some of the recent advances in the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases. As highlighted by Dr. Wong, rheumatic disorders, though often not fatal, are common conditions. They are associated with significant physical disability and psycho-social suffering in the affected, and high economical impacts on the community. It is heartening to know that knowledge in these conditions has significantly improved over the past decade and that we are now able to offer more specific and effective treatment for our patients.

Rheumatic complaints are common conditions presented to medical practitioners. Other conditions such as hyperglycaemia, oedematous state, hyperlipidaemia, etc are also commonly encountered by most of us. The theme of our Department's annual Medical Forum this year therefore revolves around these conditions. The Forum was held in early July and was well received.

The other theme of the Forum was to underline the progress in medical research in Hong Kong in recent years – The New England Journal of Medicine stories from Hong Kong. Hong Kong has come a long way in contributing to the advances in medicine, not just locally but also internationally, in the last 2 decades. During the Forum, we heard of success stories in the diagnosis of common haematological disorders such as thalassaemia, to the delineation of the pathological role of helicobacter pylori infection in the development of peptic ulcers, and to the treatment of conditions such as viral hepatitis and lupus nephritis that are commonly seen in Hong Kong. These stories make us proud and provide further spurs for us to continue to strive for excellence in medical research in Hong Kong.

Dr. Lau Chak Sing