Pharm and Farm: A comparison. Guest post by @lifeonthepharm


I have come to realise a similarity, other than pronunciation, of the Farming industry and Pharmacy.


  1. Both often have to deal with rather large, uncooperative charges and both the farmer and Pharmacist have to come to deduce meaning from incomprehensible grunts.
  2. Bad smells are part of daily duties, the majority from our respective herds.
  3. Long hours are a common occurrence with the Locum & 100 hour pharmacist often rising early with the farmer and working late beyond nightfall.
  4. Heavy lifting is a characteristic usually associated with the outdoors profession but I have encountered totes containing drinks which could easily slip a disc.
  5. On a more serious note, both professions are facing squeezing of reimbursements …
  6. …and diversification of business is one way to stay in the black whether this is through farm shops, ice-cream and cheese, or through MURs, NMS and EHC.
  7. In modern times both sectors are facing ever increasing beurocracy and paperwork, putting a squeeze on that most valuable resource: time.
  8. The overuse of medicine seems to be an issue solely centred on healthcare, but the overuse of antibiotics in animals is a problem which is front and centre in many people’s minds.
  9. A degree of autonomy is a shared characteristic, with the treating of minor ailments dealt with internally within our respective fields, although we often have to answer to a higher power whether this is the supermarkets (which profession?) or targets from head office.
  10. I’m sure many pharmacists have been asked to look into their crystal ball to answer those unanswerable questions (how long will I have the squits? When can I stop my citalopram?) and I have heard farmers being called upon themselves (is it going to be a hot summer? When should I pick my strawberries from the garden?)
  11. Last but not least, the universal trait among Pharmacists and Farmers is the ability to deal with huge amounts of bullshit and keep going everyday.



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