celebrate education - brought to you by the amarillo globe-news

Patience paves path for oncologist
Seah H. Lim
Age: 49
Occupation: Medical oncologist and blood and marrow transplant physician, Texas Oncology; senior scientist, cancer research program at Harrington Regional Medical Center.

Where did you receive your education?
High School: Malaysia and United Kingdom. College: Aberdeen University in Scotland for medical degree; Cambridge University and University of Wales for Ph.D.

How has your education played a role in your life today?
My education enables me to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients. Not only am I the only physician-scientist in Amarillo, I am also doing what I enjoy most: providing state-of-the-art care, including stem cell transplants, to cancer patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, and also conducting research to discover a vaccine for the treatment of cancer. My medical education has also taught me compassion that is essential in my daily contact with cancer patients.

What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
My greatest educational challenge came during Ph.D. training, when I first stepped into the research laboratory and tried to hold a pipette and use other unfamiliar laboratory equipment. I broke a big piece of laboratory equipment in the first month. I overcame this by working even harder.

What is the value of your education?
Education has allowed me to spend my time doing what I really enjoy doing, caring for and saving the lives of cancer patients and advancing the treatment of cancer, yet still being fairly compensated as a professional. If I were to live my life all over again, I would live it just the same.

What would you say to someone who's undecided about continuing their education?
Education is the catalyst to doing something that brings you joy and determines the pathway of one's life. If you do not enjoy the subjects you are doing, it does not mean that "education" is not for you. There are hundreds of subjects available and, as long as you are determined, you will find one you will enjoy for the rest of your life.

When did you make education a priority?
I must admit I have never really said to myself that I have to make education my priority. I just do what I like, and the more I learn in my profession, the more I want to know.

What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
I realized the importance after I finished my education and training. I was offered medical oncology positions at any institution I was interested in, despite not being able to speak English as fluently as other candidates, because my education has equipped me competitively.

Did you ever think of quitting? What made you keep going?
I do very personally, including caring for cancer patients and helping them fight their cancer. It never crosses my mind to quit something that I do or abandon a cancer patient that I begin treating.

2009 Stories
2008 Archive
calendar of events
  • January 11
    Kickoff of 2009 Program
    Find out what Celebrate Education is all about in this special section in your Sunday paper.
  • March 7
    Regional Spelling Bee, West Texas A&M University
    The annual Regional Spelling Bee will feature the top spellers from the Amarillo area. The top five winners will receive scholarship money ranging from $500 to $5,000 and the winner will travel to Washington, D.C., in June to represent the area in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • Spring and Fall
    Amarillo Reads community-wide reading projects.
    Dates and details TBA
  • April
    Amarillo Education Matching Grants Program. Exact date TBA
  • April 10
    What's a Kid to Do Special Section
  • April 12
    What's a Kid to Do at the Amarillo Civic Center
    This event will focus on activities and camps for children to participate in during the summer..
  • May 8-29
    Beating the Odds
    A series of stories published daily in the Amarillo Globe-News during the graduation season that profiles people who have inspiring stories to tell about the degree they are about to receive.
  • May 12
    Ready for the Real World program at Amarillo Civic Center
    AISD juniors get training on what's going to face them in a little more than a year.
  • May 16
    Best and Brightest Special Section
  • May 16
    Best and Brightest Event at West Texas A&M University
  • Fall
    Discover College Day
    Fifth graders from area schools visit college campuses.
  • October 1
    Great Jobs Special Section
    Focusing on well paying jobs available in the area that people may not know about.
  • November 2
    Career Education Special Section
    Focusing on businesses and others in the community helping young people gain a career vision.
  • November
    Yes You Can Event
    Designed to help people gain information about the next level of education from GED to PhD. Date TBA.
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