In the days when Dr Lam graduated and trained, all surgeons in Hong Kong were general General Surgeons, much like jacks of all trades. As specialization became a trend his first interest was in the study and practice of oesophageal surgery. When the need for someone specializing in head and neck surgery grew, the Surgical Department at HKU sent him to London for training in firms specializing in that field and run jointly by general, plastic, and ENT surgeons.
After his return to Hong Kong, slowly but surely, the specialty of Head and Neck Surgery took shape at Queen Mary Hospital. A team was built and it attracted a large volume of tertiary referrals.
Convinced that a surgeon must have an intimate understanding of surgical pathology, particularly in cancer behavior, Dr Lam has always been keen in performing studies in surgical pathology in head and neck tumours, and inspired others to do the same.
Members of his team went overseas to learn from other experts in the field and brought back complementary expertise in otolaryngology, reconstructive surgery, microvascular surgery and craniofacial surgery. In addition to mastering standard techniques, the team in time made advances with modifications as well as in devising new procedures.
Dr Lam continued to engage in Head and Neck Surgery at private hospitals after handing the set up to those who followed his foot steps.