Dr. Atun Wee was the first native of North Borneo to qualify as a doctor and, subsequently, the last of a breed of multi-skilled surgeons in the fields of neurological, orthopaedic and reconstructive plastic surgery. After training in the UK for 20 years he returned to Sabah to serve his own people. The paradigm shift in social outlook made his 30 years’ experience of dedicated service in Sabah and Brunei an adventure of snags and challenges well worthy of note, especially for young members of the medical profession. His research activities have left a legacy of many pioneering ‘firsts’ and advanced discoveries in knowledge and skills which may not become generally known for some time. On the other hand, his story shows that success in a career does not depend on knowledge, skills and ability or conscientiousness alone.