The American Health Council is proud to welcome Heng F. Lim, MD to their Board of Physicians. Dr. Lim retired from his practice in 1997 but remains very active in the medical community through teaching medicine and private consultations. As an independent consultant and part-time volunteer teacher, he leans towards teaching first-year medical students to develop a skill-set in history taking and the physical examination of patients. He applies his knowledge of these basic, yet effective techniques as a base requirement in his curriculum and refers to it as an “art form” that has been neglected in the world of high tech and high-cost diagnostic tests that are being applied in today’s medical practice.
Heng Lim began his education at Juniata College, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in 1959. Once he graduated from Juniata, Lim pursued his Medical Degree at Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA., graduating in 1963. He then completed his internship and medical residency at the Polyclinic Hospital, Harrisburg, and the Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA. Under an NIH fellowship grant, he completed a two-year cardiology research and clinical fellowship at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, PA. He received his Board Certification in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease and was licensed in the states of Pennsylvania and California in 1965. He was elected as a Fellow in the American College Internal Medicine, the American College of Cardiology, the American College of Chest Physicians, and the American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology.
His brief entry into private practice was interrupted by being conscripted into the US Armed Forces at the height of the Vietnam War along with thousands of foreign-born physicians who were permanent residents of the United States. He was assigned as a Major in the US Army Medical Corps serving as Chief of Cardiology at Martin Army Hospital, Fort Benning, Georgia from 1969-1971. He also served as a consultant in Cardiology for the United States Army Southeast Region (Third U.S. Army) and as the backup consultant for the Walter Reed Army Hospital in D.C. At the Martin Army Hospital, Dr. Lim played a major role in designing and procuring special equipment for the hospital’s ICU and CCU. These facilities enhanced and expedited the recovery of the very sick and seriously injured service men and women returning from combat duties in Vietnam. He also initiated the Preventative Cardiac Care Program for the Fort Benning’s older and retired military population.
After completing his military service, Dr. Lim returned to his practice and began teaching in Harrisburg and Hershey, PA. At the Harrisburg Hospital, he introduced the technique of Coronary Cine Angiography that facilitated the Coronary Artery Bypass Procedure and refined the procedure of Echocardiology. Dr. Lim researched and helped procure a multimillion-dollar, first microprocessor-based multi-modular bedside monitoring equipment for the ICU, CCU, IMCU, NICU, ED, operating and post-op rooms. He also assisted and initiated exercise stress testing using medical radioisotopes for scanning patients` hearts at the Nuclear Medicine Department. In addition, he constructed a core curriculum and formed a multi-specialty physician faculty to teach ICU/CCU nurses in their preparation to sit for their board certification examination.
A successful career in medicine for Dr. Lim comes from understanding what it entails: running a practice in which a physician takes compassionate and consistent care of his/her patients while acting with concern for their loved ones and always answering their questions. In his teachings, he tells his students, interns, residents, and nurses about his rule of the “Five E’s.” Dr. Lim applies this rule as a complete guide for patient care: Enquiring (complete history taking), Examining (thorough physical examination), Exploring (the currently available and appropriate diagnostic studies), Educating (the patient of his/her illness and treatment options), and Empowering (partnering with patients to take measures in his/her own care). The result of each step fosters his patients’ self-esteem and dignity and provides them with confidence and cooperation in self-help.
In his retirement, Dr. Heng Lim is involved in private consultations with Residents and Fellows in specialty fields who have completed their training and are looking to enter a career in a clinical practice. Dr. Lim assists them in important personal/family matters that have often become neglected during their full-time pursuit of their post-graduate medical training. He discusses with them and their spouse’s crucial financial matters which include obtaining adequate life and disability insurances, managing student loans, and any other major debt they may be faced with, and reminding them of the importance of proper estate planning to meet catastrophic events. His other priority is to encourage aspiring medical graduates to enter Primary or Family Practice programs to help solve the national shortage of primary care physicians, which could have the potential to reach depletion by the year 2050. To initiate a change within his field, Dr. Lim plans to reach out to government agencies and proposing ideas for new innovative programs that can provide student debt relief for medical graduates who choose to become primary care physicians.
During Dr. Lim’s career, he has been honored on several occasions. For his contribution to the US Army Medical Corps at Fort Benning Martin Army Hospital, he was awarded the US Army Commendation Medal and Citation for Meritorious Service. For his dedicated teaching of medical students and residents, he was appointed to be among the youngest full Clinical Professor of Medicine, Penn State University Milton S. Hershey College of Medicine. With his mentors, he authored and co-authored several scientific research papers published in national medical journals, and presented many research papers at scientific meetings. He was elected as a Fellow in the American College of Internal Medicine, the American College of Cardiovascular Disease, and the American College of Chest Physicians. He is a member of the AMA, the Dauphin County and Pennsylvania Medical Society, the American Society of Nuclear Medicine. After completion of the required courses and training, he was appointed and licensed by the National Regulatory Commission as an Authorized User of radioactive isotopes in Nuclear Cardiology and Nuclear Medicine in general.
When he was in active practice Dr. Lim initiated several out of town clinics in rural counties to provide consultations for patients who were in need of cardiac care. As time progressed and specialty diagnostic studies were needed, Dr. Lim and his associates began providing exercise stress testing, echocardiography, and mobile nuclear cardiology scanning. This “Mohammad goes to the mountain” approach saved these working-class patients the time and money they would have spent on getting to obtain second opinions or additional consultations in the city. Dr. Heng Lim also initiated a free one-day “Hunters Heart Check-Up and Screening” in one of these rural clinics for the community hunters, the Friday before the Rifle Big Game Hunting Season began in Pennsylvania.
Dr. Lim is planning to research into reaching out to local senators, congressmen/women, and various government agencies for ways and means to possibly enacting regulations to reduce or forgive medical student loans to help those who are currently starting their medical practices. It is his hope that this will serve as an incentive to college students to enter the medical field. He is convinced that some form of medical education debt reduction can be achieved that will assure an adequate supply of physicians to serve our national need. He is also looking into applying the utilities of the Blockchain Technology that is currently the underpin of the cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin), for medical data reporting, recordkeeping and storage, and data transfer. His idea is to apply this technology in the medical space, which will lead to sharing information on the practice of medicine and the research that is currently underway. Eventually, Dr. Lim believes this advancement in technology will become more efficient than “Internet 2.0.”
As an advocate for several charitable organizations, Dr. Lim likes to strongly encourage his colleagues to donate generously to three of his favorite charitable organizations: The International Rescue Committee, Doctors Without Borders, and UNICEF. Donations are desperately needed by these and other organizations to help reduce the suffering of the many thousands of refugees worldwide, but especially now for the Rohingya who were forcibly driven from Myanmar to Bangladesh to Sri Lanka.
Within the next few years, Dr. Lim will continue to do part-time volunteer teaching and consult the next generation. Along with these initiatives, he will be soliciting help from state congressional representatives to provide options on reducing medical student loans for post-graduate physicians who are going into primary care, as there is a critical shortage of physicians in this specialty.
In his spare time, Dr. Lim grows and cultivates unusual and rare plants on his property. His plant specimens have been featured twice in the local newspaper. Other hobbies include reading, music, and fly fishing with hand-tied flies for trout at some of the best limestone creeks and streams in Pennsylvania.
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Independent Consultant and Part-Time Volunteer Teacher
- An honored veteran of the U. S. Army Medical Corps.
- Independent consultant
- Part-time volunteer educator
- Expertise in non-invasive nuclear medicine and echocardiography, invasive and interventional cardiology, and invasive and interventional cardiology
- 37 years providing expertise to the healthcare industry