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As for medicine, he came to the profession via a process of elimination. Lee says he disliked mathematics because he hates numbers and logical thinking. He did not want to study arts and pure sciences either, because he was not interested in them.

Likewise, Lee did not choose paediatrics out of interest but through another process of elimination. He did not want to perform surgery. Obstetrics would be too stressful as doctors have to be on call 24-hours a day. He did not want to specialise in internal medicine because there would be too many elderly patients with problems other than medical ones. For instance, their children might not want to look after them, or they may have to face the loss of a partner or family crises.

So he chose to study paediatrics with the hope of bringing joy to patients. In addition, “there were no worries about not having enough patients at that time,” he says with laugh. With hindsight, he says dermatology might have been an easier choice, “There are no emergency calls. If (the patient) has an itch, you give them some ointment. You don’t need to get up at midnight. You get midnight calls in paediatrics.”

Lee worked in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for 10 years before entering private practice in 1987. Unlike his academic and professional choices, Lee pursued his singing career with single-minded purpose. In the late 1980s, he was invited to give some medical advice on a daytime television show on TVB. He befriended the show’s director and pleaded for a chance to sing.

David Lee Ka-yan is overjoyed that children recognise him.

Explaining why he chose to perform children’s songs rather than pop songs or love ballads, Lee  says, “Only children’s songs can give me a chance to make music videos.”

Lee has loved singing since he was a child. He enjoys performing in front of people and has always dreamt of becoming an artiste. Even as a child, he tried to make his dream come true.

He entered the Sing Tao Amateur Singing Contest in 1968 but was eliminated in the first round. “If I had made it to the finals of the competition, I would obviously have become a singer and not a doctor,” he jokes. “This is what you might call going with fate.”

Fate has made Lee popular twice. In March 26, 2001, he became known because of the song Siu Ming Chor Fo Che (Siu Ming Riding on the Train). With the help of the internet and social networking sites, Siu Ming Visits Guangzhou helped Lee to reach another crest in his music career. “I will remember December 8, 2010, which is the date that I became famous,” he says.