Dr Ho Ching Lin is highly regarded for her professional accomplishments in the field of ophthalmology, where she not only practices but is actively involved in clinical teaching and research, and invited speaker and faculty member at numerous regional and international conferences. 

Her remarkable achievements serve as an inspiration to aspiring professionals, particularly women, within the discipline. By breaking barriers and excelling in her field, she exemplifies the potential for all individuals to thrive and make significant contributions, regardless of gender.

Here, Dr. Ho shares her motivations behind championing gender equality within the Association of Women Doctors, on initiating VisionSave to advance innovation and holistic care for all patients, embracing yoga for personal wellness, and practical fashion tips for women navigating demanding schedules.

Dr Ho Ching Lin wearing As Intended's workleisure clothes to chat about International Women's Day 2024 #inspireinclusion


On Championing Equality:  

Before 2002, there was a gender quota in medical school in which females were only conferred one-third of the places in the only medical school then- National University of Singapore Medical Faculty, now Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. I was one of the lucky women who defied the odds to qualify. 

It was perceived then that women either work less, go part-time or leave medicine altogether eventually due to demands of starting a family, hence it was deemed futile to invest in training female doctors. The Association of Women Doctors (AWDS) then conducted a survey and presented data that showed the attrition rates between male and female medical graduates were similar. This was presented to the ministers with support from the nursing association, AWARE and Financial Women’s Association of Singapore (FWA).  Eventually, after numerous dialogue sessions, they successfully petitioned for this quota to be lifted in 2002.

The lifting of the quota inspired me to serve as President of AWDS from 2016 to 2020, to continue the good work of representing women in medicine and dentistry. I also strongly believe that alongside external support, true empowerment comes from within. Achieving gender equality requires reshaping women's self-perception, instilling the belief that they are equally capable, if not more so, than men.

Dr Ho Ching Lin wearing As Intended's workleisure clothes to chat about International Women's Day 2024 #inspireinclusion


On Philanthropy and Saving Vision: 

As an ophthalmologist, I witnessed the profound impact vision-related issues have on individuals and families. As Director of Philanthropy and Chairman of The Eye Ball, I was proud to initiate the VisionSave campaign in 2016 supported by Singapore National Eye Centre and the Singapore Eye Research Institute. Our mission with VisionSave is to extend financial aid to underprivileged patients, raise public awareness about vision health, and advance medical research in ophthalmology.

The inception of VisionSave wasn't just a professional endeavor; it stemmed from a deeply personal connection. One particular case involves a father of three, whose life was upended by a work-related accident and subsequent health challenges. Struggling with vision impairment and financial strain, he faced the grim prospect of losing his sight and livelihood. Through the intervention of VisionSave, he received vital treatment and support, reigniting hope on his path to recovery. 

Witnessing such transformations fueled my commitment to championing vision health. Through initiatives like The Eye Ball and The Eye Run/Cycle, VisionSave endeavors to raise awareness and funds to further our mission of combatting blindness and promoting eye health, envisioning a world where every individual has access to the care they need to preserve their precious gift of sight.

Dr Ho Ching Lin wearing As Intended's workleisure clothes to chat about International Women's Day 2024 #inspireinclusionSHOP DR HO'S DRESS

Yoga and Daily Movement as Healing: 

I started doing yoga to relieve pain in my neck, paraesthesia, numbness and weakness in my arms from cervical myelopathy. This is an occupational hazard acquired due to long hours of surgery at the slit lamp and the operating microscope as an eye surgeon. 

It was thought that I might need surgery to relieve the compression of my nerve roots. 

Initially it was just stretching and finding peace on the yoga mat. Then as I became stronger and more flexible my symptoms resolved and I continue to self practice to this day. While I may not have as much time as I would like, I always feel better mentally and physically after my practice. It’s a means to unwind and recharge for me.

Yoga has profoundly affected me, both physically and mentally. It's my sanctuary, where I find peace, recharge, and rejuvenate. Additionally, it gives me the strength and flexibility to fully embrace all aspects of my life, from my career to doing the things I love.

Dr Ho Ching Lin wearing As Intended's workleisure clothes to chat about International Women's Day 2024 #inspireinclusionSHOP DR HO'S TOP   SHOP DR HO'S BOTTOM

On Practical Style Tips for the Busy Woman:

Through my years juggling work and life, I've picked up a few key tips that have helped me maintain a stylish wardrobe without sacrificing comfort. 

One essential strategy is opting for easy-care fabrics that are both comfortable to wear and simple to maintain. Gone are the days of delicate, high-maintenance fabrics that require dry cleaning. Instead, I've prioritized wrinkle-free, machine washable options that make dressing for my role as a surgeon, especially during the pandemic, much more practical.

Another valuable approach is investing in versatile, high-quality base pieces. Classic dresses and separates serve as the foundation of my wardrobe, allowing me to seamlessly adapt my look for any occasion without needing an entirely new outfit. To elevate my outfits, I layer and accessorize to instantly transform them into appropriate looks for work or evening events.

I've discovered the convenience and style of smart athleisure wear, which seamlessly takes me from work to yoga sessions or evening soirées with ease. By incorporating these tips into my approach to fashion, I've found a balance that allows me to look and feel my best in any situation.

Dr Ho’s Style

I recently discovered As Intended workleisure wear. I love their stretchable, breathable machine-washable fabrics which I practically live in. Many of the pieces even have pockets and adjustable features which can achieve several looks for a single outfit.

*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Photos c/o Augustine Yuen


IWD 2024 #inspireinclusion As Intended BannerThis series is part of our International Women’s Month where we talk to amazing women who tackle professional and personal life fearlessly while living, as intended. Aligning with this year's theme #inspireinclusion, we are thrilled to share the stories of women who have inspired inclusion in different aspects of their life to forge a better world for other women.

This year, As Intended is supporting Daughters Of Tomorrow (DOT) to raise donations to enhance their impact towards social mobility for families of women in the DOT community. 

Daughters of Tomorrow is a registered charity organization with IPC status in Singapore whose mission is to facilitate livelihood opportunities for underprivileged women, and support them in achieving financial independence and social mobility for their families. 

The lack of childminding support can be one of the biggest factors preventing a woman from being gainfully employed. Singapore Tote Board will match dollar for dollar for donations made and Tax Deduction Receipts (TDR) will also be issued for donations above $10. You may like to learn more, and choose to donate directly to: https://www.giving.sg/donate/campaign/ai-for-dot-IWD-2024