Vancouver, BC

Dr. Joan Ng

Dr. Joan Ng

Dr. Joan Ng

Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Addictions Medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital

Profile submitted by:
Alison Yong

Brief description of role or responsibilities

Joan is a clinical pharmacy specialist in addictions’ medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital, who previously worked in psychiatry at Vancouver General Hospital, providing direct patient care while supporting clinical rotations amongst pharmacy students and residents.

Describe how the individual or team made a positive contribution to patient care or their pharmacy department:

When Joan transitioned into her current role at St. Paul’s in AMCT, every effort was made on my part not to resemble the Ugly-Crying-Dawson-Face. And having walked into her office on her last day only to be greeted by streamers, pink balloons and a battalion of cards and well-wishes, it was obvious I wasn’t the only one who would miss her.

From the very first meeting for my residency project, it was clear that Joan was passionate about improving upon the way pharmacists provide care for patients with mental health and substance use disorders. The thoughtful manner in which she explained why the project was important and what we hoped to accomplish only confirmed that I had selected the right project and the right people to work with.

Her commitment to both her patients and her profession was second to none, further exemplified by the staggering number of projects she has been involved with. When I received my first order for Sublocade, I immediately texted a request for “halp,” and within minutes, she was walking me through a Sublocade flowchart, ensuring that further chaos memes needn’t be sent. Afterwards, she requested feedback on the flowchart, making every effort to streamline the process and ensure its utility for future use.

What I have come to appreciate most about Joan is how enthusiastic she is about sharing her knowledge with her coworkers. Whether it comes in distributing notes from a presentation or conference she’s attended, to sharing resources on how to perform an AIMS assessment or talking me down from a chaos-meme-worthy clozapine level, she is equal parts approachable and knowledgeable.

Finally, Joan’s advocacy for the profession of pharmacy cannot be understated. She frequently fielded questions from allied health, nursing, and physicians, all of whom had come to rely on her for her expertise. And within the department, she spearheaded professional development sessions, such as naloxone teaching, ensuring that pharmacists were up to date on their training. It would not be an exaggeration to say that amongst her coworkers, Joan’s dedication to her job and profession was as well-known as Ned Stark’s honour.

And though her watch (at VGH) has ended, her impact continues to be felt. I’m exceedingly grateful to have had her as a preceptor, a colleague, a friend, and just as importantly, a fellow critic of Jon Snow.