PRC mourns the loss of elder statesman

January 5th 2018 brought sad news to the Perth Radiological Clinic family and the whole radiology community in West Australia. Dr Paul Yoong, an elder statesman in radiology in this state, passed away quietly, surrounded by his family, after a short illness.

Paul was the dynamo who created much of the momentum of what is Perth Radiological Clinic today. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

Paul was born March 22nd 1944 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His parents instilled strong family values of loyalty, integrity, hard work and academic excellence. These were all values and attributes Paul held and modelled throughout his personal and professional life.

Paul was schooled in Malaysia and Singapore and completed his undergraduate Medical education at Adelaide University from 1963-1967. He returned to Penang to complete his internship and commenced training in radiology at the University Hospital in KL. Paul undertook further radiology training in London (1971-1974) at the Northwick Park Hospital.

In 1975, Paul packed up the family, wife Gek and sons Colin and Terry, taking up a post of consultant Radiologist at Royal Perth Hospital. In the 1970’s RPH was a beacon for sourcing some of the most talented radiologists worldwide. Here, Paul met and built lifelong professional relationships, meeting like-minded colleagues. Professionally he laid the foundations as a pre-eminent gastro-radiologist in WA.

1977 saw the beginning of Paul’s long association with PRC, which was making the bold move to purchase the first whole body CT in the state. Joining as a partner, Paul went back to Northwick Park Hospital, London for four months to master the new technology.

Paul was tireless in his commitment to excellence. He loved teaching, but also was always open to what he could learn from others. These were two of the things he valued most from his time at RPH. He was known for his academic excellence, technical prowess and characteristic efficient and no nonsense approach. Paul was well respected as an expert in Abdominal Radiology. He was technically skilled in many procedural areas, but especially angiography and Barium studies. He produced beautiful images and could impart this knowledge to others, getting to the point with minimum fuss. He was energetic and highly respected, in what was an excellent department of colleagues.

In the late 1980s, Paul was sad to leave RPH, recognising PRC needed his services more. He assiduously kept abreast of world best practice as the benchmark guide for the Australian industry in the future. He developed lifelong peer relationships with local and interstate colleagues, sharing experiences and ideas. He wasn’t afraid to ask how to do something better. He had a passion for learning. For twenty years in the 80s and 90s, Paul held the position of Chairman or Managing Partner at PRC.

Always a fierce advocate for radiology, Paul gave up many hours of his time committing to RANZCR business by sitting on various committees, including the Diagnostic Imaging Economic Standing Committee where he tried to shape and improve the profession as a whole.

In his private life, Paul lived a quiet and unassuming life. He was a devoted, proud and loving father always commenting on how blessed he was to be part of a close family that valued him all his life. Paul was never happier than when telling tales of his precious grandchildren, Hannah, Lachy and Isabella.

Most of those at PRC join because of the people and the culture. Paul, along with many others, was instrumental in shaping this. But Paul, with 40 years of deep involvement in PRC’s 70 year history, has made an indelible mark on PRC as an organisation and many of those in it. He was contributing right up to his untimely death. He will always be remembered and sorely missed. We have been lucky to have had Paul as a colleague and guide.