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Pharmacist - Lim Kiat Wee

Dr Lim Kiat Wee (PhD)

Principal Clinical Pharmacist 
“Who am I?” 
I am a full-time working mother with 3 small children aged 8, 6 and 2 years of age. It is challenging to juggle between family and work, but I love my profession as a pharmacist and let me tell you why! 

I am a principal clinical pharmacist in the hospital. What makes a clinical pharmacist, you ask? In my daily work I deal directly with doctors and other health professionals such as nurses and allied health professionals, and, together with patients themselves and their caregivers, I ensure that the medications prescribed contribute to the best possible health outcomes while minimising adverse effects and costs. I contribute to better coordination of care especially in the Medication Management Service (MMS) and Transitional Home Care Multidisciplinary Meeting (THC MDM). 

“Why did I choose pharmacy?” 
After my secondary school education, I needed a short-term job. I wanted a workplace close to home so I could have more time to take care of my bedridden grandmother, and took a job as a shop assistant in a nearby independent pharmacy. I was fascinated seeing the pharmacist recommending over-the-counter products to alleviate symptoms in minor ailment; self-monitoring devices to optimise disease management; health products for primary disease prevention… and I thought “Hey, I could do that to help people”. 

After completing my basic pharmacy degree, I was fortunate to be employed at SGH, a renowned tertiary hospital and academic medical centre. The hospital is strategically surrounded by specialist centres, and close link to DUKE-NUS Medical School. Every pharmacist here is constantly challenged by a vast range of opportunities in pursuing individual interest and professional goals such as clinical care, education, research, and management. The hospital strives to develop staff and I am fortunate to have received sponsorship to pursue a postgraduate PharmD degree in NUS. The all-in-one campus also provides an invaluable networking opportunity to work with a team of people with different specialties and talents, putting things together to revolutionise the future of healthcare. 

The unique patient-centred inter-professional working environment here allows me, and in fact forces me, to learn and practice state-of-the-art evidence-based medicine. In addition, we, as a team, acknowledge that the population is becoming more and more diverse. Healthcare services need to adapt to this by embracing and responding to differences in patients’ expectations based on their culture and values. As a pharmacist, I am in the perfect position to strengthen the healthcare message by tailoring my recommendations for patients to best meet individual patients’ medication needs and their personal goals. 

In my department, I also hold a special interest and role as an educator and am privileged to be involved in developing and implementing programs to nurture our younger pharmacists. Being a preceptor also reminds me that Iearning is a lifelong journey, and keeps me on my toes as a role model. 

“Why I love being a pharmacist” 
I love being a pharmacist when a patient thanks me for teaching him how to arrange his medications in a pillbox so he can remember to take them correctly. 

I love being a pharmacist when a patient returns months later and tells me she is no longer having frequent urinary tract infections due to the counselling and advice I gave her. 

I love being a pharmacist when an elderly patient thanks me for listening to her medical “complaints” and showing empathy. 

I love being a pharmacist when the pharmacy team cracks our head to together find solutions to problems after receiving negative feedback. 

I love being a pharmacist when a doctor appreciates my contribution to improving patient’s therapy by providing evidence-based drug information. 

I love being a pharmacist when a young pharmacist is encouraged by my belief in his ability to excel and advising him to persevere. 

*Being a pharmacist is not about salary or prestige - it is about the many lives I have touched, and more importantly, the many lives that have touched me!