Dr Maggie Lim: Singaporean physician and public health official

OV Digital Desk

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Dr Maggie Lim (5 January 1913 – November 1995) was a Singaporean physician and public health official. She was inducted into the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame posthumously, on 14 March 2014.

Life and Career

Maggie Lim, née Tan, was born on 5 January 1913  in Singapore. She began her studies at Raffles Girls’ School, where she excelled in academics with a record six distinctions in her Senior Cambridge examinations. In 1929, she entered the then all-men’s Raffles Institution in preparation for the Queen’s Scholarship examination.

In 1930, Lim made history by winning a scholarship. She left home to attend the London School of Medicine for Women, one of the city’s only training hospitals that exclusively trained women. After years of dedicated study, Lim joined the Royal College of Surgeons and earned her physician’s license. She returned home in 1940 and served her community with a specialization in maternity and child health, helping to establish a system of specialized clinics across Singapore.

In 1963, Dr. Lim contributed her experience from a lifetime of fieldwork as the head of the Ministry of Health’s Maternity and Child Welfare Department before retiring from this position to teach epidemiology and public health at the University of Hawaii for the remainder of her career.

Award and Legacy

Her life and pursuit left an indelible legacy on Singaporean society. She was the first young woman in Singapore and the second Singaporean ever to win the prestigious Queen’s Scholarship in the 45 years of the award’s history. On 14 March 2022, Google celebrated Dr Maggie Lim with a doodle.