Dr. Vincent Lam is from the expatriate Chinese community of Vietnam, and was born in Canada. Dr. Lam did his medical training in Toronto, and worked for thirteen years as an emergency physician in Toronto. He now works in addictions medicine. He has also worked in international air evacuation and expedition medicine on Arctic and Antarctic ships.
Dr. Lam's first book, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, won the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and was adapted for television and broadcast on HBO Canada. Dr. Lam co-authored The Flu Pandemic And You, a non-fiction guide to influenza pandemics, which was recognized in 2007 with a Special Recognition Award by the American Medical Writers' Association. Dr. Lam's biography of Tommy Douglas was published by Penguin Canada as part of Extraordinary Canadians series.
The Headmaster's Wager, Dr. Lam's first novel, about a Chinese compulsive gambler and headmaster of an English school in Saigon during the Vietnam War, was a finalist for the 2012 Governor General's Prize. It was longlisted for the 2013 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, long listed for the 2013 IMPAC Dublin Prize, and shortlisted for the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize.