Late father's fight with cancer inspired Ngee Ann Polytechnic student's pharmacy dream

This article was contributed by Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

Song Meow Ying
Diploma in Pharmacy Science @ School of Life Sciences & Chemical Technology

Awards: Lee Kuan Yew Award & Ngee Ann Polytechnic Outstanding Achievement Award, NUH Gold Medal & Prize, Diploma with Merit, Exyte Singapore Prize

Father inspired Ngee Ann Polytechnic student’s pharmacy dream

As a child, Pharmacy Science graduate Song Meow Ying was often sickly and was on all sorts of medicine - in different forms, shapes and sizes. Ironically, that did not turn her off pills. Instead, it marked the start of her passion with pharmacy science.

When Meow Ying was eight years old, her father was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer and she often accompanied him to the hospital for chemotherapy sessions. There, she observed pharmacists at work and was amazed by their deep knowledge of various medications and ability to build rapport and show personalised care to the patients.

Even though her father was given only six months to live, he lived for another seven years. Meow Ying attributed this to the chemotherapy and medication that helped prolong his life, until he passed away.

The youngest of three daughters, Meow Ying had been the closest to her father and his death only strengthened her resolve to pursue pharmacy science as a career to help other patients and families.

After her O levels, she enrolled in the Pharmacy Science course, now known as Pharmaceutical Science, diploma at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) under its Early Admissions Exercise. Eager to pick up some practical skills, she was also drawn to the internship opportunities that the course offered.

Besides the compulsory internship at National University Hospital that she took in her third year of studies, she also signed up – on her own accord – for a stint with Unity Pharmacy in her second year.

From her internship at NUH and Unity, she gained a better understanding of the important role pharmacists play as medication experts in the healthcare team and also became more appreciative of community pharmacists that support the health of the general public. This first-hand experience in the field further confirmed her interest to pursue pharmacy as a career.

Since graduating in March 2021, the Lee Kuan Yew Award & Ngee Ann Polytechnic Outstanding Achievement Award recipient worked as a Pharmacy Assistant at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, and has since been offered a place to study Pharmacy at the National University of Singapore.

After her bachelor degree, she hopes to gain some work experience before furthering her studies – either to obtain a doctorate in pharmacy or to train to be a collaborative prescribing practitioner, which would allow her to add value and play a more collaborative role in managing medications for patients.

Whichever path she chooses, her ultimate goal is to deliver “best personalised healthcare to patients”. With the skills that she has acquired, Meow Ying hopes to provide holistic care for patients tailored to their own specific individual health needs.