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Institute of Mental Health (Singapore)
Phern-Chern Tor completed his medical degree at the National University of Singapore in 2001 under the Singapore Armed Forces Local Study Award and embarked on a dual career track in Medicine and Military Service.
In his military career he served tours both in the Navy and Joint services. During his Navy tour he was trained in Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine in the United States Navy Naval Undersea Medical Institute (NUMI) and upon returning was in charge of submarine rescue and support medical operations. Significantly he was responsible for the transfer and operationalization of the submarine hyperbaric chambers to a new platform (LSTs). His next naval tour was in Naval Medical Operations and he was responsible for the provision of medical support for the Republic of Singapore Navy. During his tour he was responsible for the planning and execution of medical support for the inaugural deployment of Singapore LSTs to CFT 151 in the Gulf of Aden.
Phern-Chern’s next military tour was as Head Healthcare Policy where he was responsible for healthcare policy and medical IT for the Singapore Armed Forces. During his term he obtained $40 million funding to outsource cardiac screening for the Singapore Armed Forces to the National Cardiac Centre and revised the cardiac screening protocol to screen National Servicemen. He subsequently took over as Head Psychological Care (PCC) services in the SAF and was responsible for the provision of psychiatric care for all enlistees and regular staff in the Singapore Armed Forces. During his tenure as Hd PCC he revamped the psychiatric services to provide consultant lead care, focused the services on outpatient assessments and established a Case Tracking Unit (CTU) trained by the Case Management Unit from the Institute of Mental Health. The CTU created the capability to track and monitor the attendance and status of patients attending PCC and gave the SAF visibility of the psychiatric status of PCC patients.
In his psychiatric career, Phern-Chern distinguished himself by obtaining the Eli-Lily gold medal and the Singapore Psychiatric Association Book Prize for his undergraduate and postgraduate psychiatric examinations respectively. He has been posted in most major psychiatric departments in Singapore and been active in education and research, publishing more than 20 peer reviewed articles and being an adjunct lecturer in psychiatry and ethics tutor for NUS. He has also been active in psychiatric leadership with positions in the Singapore Psychiatric Association committee and as Chairman of the Singapore Young Psychiatrists and Trainees Association. He underwent advanced research and neurostimulation training at the Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales and gained proficiency in rTMS, DCS and advanced ECT techniques. He is currently Head of Neurostimulation services in the Institute of Mental Health (Singapore)