Dr Tan Wen Tien James

Dr Tan Wen Tien James

Cantonese, English, Mandarin
Last updated 10 Nov 2023

Key Achievements

  • Pioneered the use of cooled radiofrequency for the treatment of pain in Singapore


Dr James Tan is an anaesthesiologist at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, Singapore.

His special interests include pain management, and obstetric and regional anaesthesia.

He was the head of the division of pain management and senior consultant in the department of anaesthesia at the National University Hospital (NUH). He is currently a visiting senior consultant there.

He graduated from the University College London, UK. On returning to Singapore, he trained in anaesthesia obtaining his master’s degree followed by his specialist accreditation. He is a fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthesia, and the Academy of Medicine, Singapore. He was awarded the Health Manpower Development Plan Award and pursued his training in pain medicine at the Royal North Shore Hospital, Australia. His training included multidisciplinary management of chronic and cancer pain as well as various advanced interventional procedures performed in the management of refractory pain. He has been practising medicine for more than 25 years and was the earliest doctor to use cooled radiofrequency for the treatment of pain in Singapore.

Dr Tan started a pain management fellowship training programme accredited by the Singapore Medical Council. Besides his clinical work, he is an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. He has lectured at primary and final Master of Medicine (anaesthesiology) courses, and is also an examiner at various sittings of the anaesthesia examinations. He is also appointed as an ancillary committee member of the TSOP (Table of Surgical Procedures) review committee by the Ministry of Health.

He was an ex-council member of the Pain Association of Singapore (PAS) and was part of the PAS taskforce that published the first recommendations for the use of opioids in chronic non-cancer pain in Singapore. He has been invited to participate in numerous scientific meetings and public symposiums in Singapore and overseas, and was recently an expert instructor at the first cooled radiofrequency cadaveric course in Singapore.

Dr Tan is a recipient of NUH’s Long Service Award.

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