Dr Kua Ee Heok was trained as a doctor in the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur in (1968 – 1973). His training in Psychiatry was at Oxford University and he obtained the Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK) in 1980. He was awarded a scholarship for Geriatric Psychiatry training at Harvard University in 1984 and he received an MD for research from the National University of Singapore in 1992. Dr Kua’s psychiatry research training was at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) USA in 1992. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK) in 1992.
Over the years, Dr Kua has held multiple titles. While serving as Head of the Department of Psychological Medicine, National University of Singapore (1998 – 2009), he started the first memory clinic in Singapore in 1990. He was the CEO and Medical Director, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore (1999 – 2002). He is currently Chairman of the SAF Psychiatry Advisory Board (2013 – 2019).
His special interests include psychological disorders in old age including dementia and depression, and he has wide clinical experiences particularly in psychotherapy and stress management. He was a member of the WHO Research Team for the Global Study of Dementia.
Dr Kua is also involved in international psychiatric organizations and international journals. He was the President of the Pacific-Rim College of Psychiatrists, and the editor of Asia-Pacific Psychiatry. In addition, he has written 270 research papers on subjects ranging from ageing to addiction, along with 23 books on psychiatry, dementia, depression and stress. His novel, ‘Listening to Letter from America’ is now used in Harvard University for a course on anthropology. He is one of the Editors-in-Chief (with Professor Norman Sartorius) for the 7-volume ‘Mental Health and Illness Worldwide’ published by Springer Nature in 2017.
He has received multiple awards, including Sandoz Research Award for Gerontology (1990), First Prize in ASEAN Psychiatry Research (1992). He was invited to speak at the United Nations World Forum on depression in 1999. He was conferred the Distinguished Psychiatrist Award 2015 by Singapore Psychiatric Association and Lifetime Achievement Award by the Singapore Gerontological Society in 2015.