Carolyn Lam Dissects The Matters Closest To Her Heart


December 15, 2016 | BY Susanah Cheok

The best leaders are known to have a catalytic effect on the projects they spearhead, and the people they work with. Susanah Cheok sits down for a chat with medical multihyphenate, Carolyn Lam, on how she leads her next line of leaders and her own life. 

Tatler Richard Mille 25101642200.jpg
Mother Teresa and Rosalind Franklin are two women Carolyn Lam looks up to: the former for her healing touch, and the latter for her work that led to the life-changing discovery of DNA. Carolyn wears the RM-67-01 Extra Flat Automatic watch by Richard Mille; and outfit by Salvatore Ferragamo.

Carolyn Lam plays multiple roles. The daughter of a doctor and a scientist, she is herself officially “a clinician scientist—a cardiologist, a researcher and principal investigator searching for new ways to improve outcomes for my patients”. Her other roles include being the resident doctor on television health programme Body and Soul and the voice of worldwide podcast, Circulation on the Run. Yet, she’d most prefer to be known as simply being a “mum, medical worker and mentor”.

Her authentic doctoring style reflects her leadership qualities—“I believe in having true humility, being genuine, having fun, and making it my primary aim to bring out the best in others.” In turn, she says practising medicine is a humbling and grounding experience. “It’s hard to complain about having fat legs when you’re treating a patient who has lost her legs.”

While she cites her parents, and Margaret Redfield, a gifted US-based clinician and scientist, as her role models and mentors, she is no less of an advisor and supporter to her mentees, whose achievements, she proudly shares, are numerous. 

“There are many distractions in the world we live in. The one who has complete focus, who runs her own race with inner strength, who chips away daily with her eyes fixed on the final, single, big dream, is the one who will achieve it.”

The sagacious and consummate healer stays sharp and focused by scheduling time to be silent and still.  As for her dream right now, it is to find a cure for a form of heart failure that is affecting mainly women around the world.

(Related: Why Juliana Chan Has No Patience For Bad Behaviour)

Photography: Darren Gabriel Leow
Art Direction: Matilda Au
Styling: Randolph Tan 
Hair and Make-Up: Grego/Indigo Artisans, using La Biosthetique and Urban Decay
Photographer's assistant: Eric Tan and Darren Chan
Stylist’s assistant: Ong Jollin