Distinguished Science Alumni Awards 2005
Pauline ONG (TSANG)
BPharm 1966
General Manager of Guardian Pharmacy (1978-93)
President of Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore (1989 - 91)
 
Mrs Pauline ONG was the 'Duchess' of Guardian Pharmacy as its General Manager from 1978 to 1993, President of the Pharmaceutical Society (PSS) from 1989 to 1991 and Singapore's representative to the Commonwealth Pharmaceutical Association (CPA) for 12 terms. She has numerous speaking engagements at pharmacy congresses abroad, and was chief consultant of her own retail pharmacy consultancy from 1993 to 1998.
 
Mrs ONG was responsible for developing and managing Guardian Pharmacy from its single store to a chain of 50 with franchises in Indonesia and Brunei. She attracted pharmacists by matching the numerous opportunities at Guardian to fuel the increasing staffing demands of the Guardian Pharmacy. She notably made the pharmacists into business managers, as well as good pharmacists, so that all of them could manage a shop and at the same time, understand its profitability.
 
Mrs ONG also felt that the graduates should be equipped with better confidence and experience in handling the pharmacist-product-patient-doctor relationship before serving professionally. Consequently, she set out to redefine Singapore's pharmacy practice in a two-pronged approach: she roused Singapore’s retail pharmacists from their sleep as the General Manager of Guardian Pharmacy on one hand, while she pushed the pharmacy profession as the President of PSS on the other. Part of the push involved a change in the requirements to qualify as a pharmacist for practice and an active campaign to encourage the NUS Department of Pharmacy to broaden the scope of education to involve more practical and clinical pharmacy experience for the students. Fruitfully, a syllabus that emphasized more structured/clinical aspects materialized in the form of a 12-month pre-registration training for the graduates. The Pre-registration programme has since been divided into 9 months for the graduates and 3 months of preceptorship training for the undergraduates. Mrs Ong also ensured that all Guardian's pharmacists undertook continuing professional education to hone the professional and clinical skills of the pharmacists. Subsequently, she ensured that many deserving pharmacists were sent overseas to places such as the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States for additional professional training. Concurrently, she initiated projects in the same interest that invited many polished pharmacy specialists from abroad to Singapore for professional knowledge exchanges.
 
With the spate of successes and achievements under her portfolio, Mrs ONG co-started a joint consultancy venture with Mrs Corina LAI, known as the POCL Retail Business Consultancy, when she retired from Guardian. While with POCL, she also became the retail business consultant to the National Productivity Board. After five years in POCL, she decided to retire.
 
These days, Mrs ONG is the living example of graceful ageing. She has studied to be a volunteer guide at the Singapore Art Museum, the Singapore History Museum and more recently at the Asian Civilisations Museum, where she is most active. Her energies now go into increasing the awareness of the Singapore's history and treasures of Southeast Asia by conducting museum tours for both locals and foreigners -- she is evidently enjoying equally as much but in a pleasantly different way. At the same time, she is also a Friend and Advisor to Volunteers at Alexandra Hospital. On November 10 2005, Mrs ONG received the National Health Group's Distinguished Contributor Award.
 
"The passion to learn, renew, review, teach, mentor and give must never die!"