Dr Khoo Oon Teik was born on 30 March 1921 in Penang, West Malaysia. He received his early education in Penang at the Anglo Chinese School and subsequently went on to study Medicine at the King Edward VII College of Medicine in Singapore. His medical career however began early before graduation as his studies were interrupted by the Japanese invasion of Singapore in 1941. He was a section leader of the Medical Auxiliary service which organised the deployment of senior medical students in the operating theatre of the Singapore General Hospital. After the fall of Singapore to the Japanese Army, he served as a laboratory assistant in the Woodbridge Psychiatric Hospital to which the patients of the Singapore General Hospital had been evacuated to. He was subsequently sent to the infamous Siam Railway in 1944. Returning after the end of the war, he resumed his medical studies and graduated with a Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery (LMS) in 1946.
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