Ag Career Profile: Pharmacist by Way of Agriculture


Growing up with an ill uncle, Hanna Earich always new she wanted to go into the medical field, but she didn’t want to leave her agricultural roots. To incorporate agriculture into her education, she decided to study agricultural biotechnology as a pathway to get into Pharmacy school.

 “When I visited [my uncle] in the hospital, I was amazed by the interactions of pharmacists with my uncle,” remembered Hanna. “The ability of pharmacists to explain the purpose of each medication he was taking showed their desire to provide the best patient care possible.”

One of the best things Hanna said she ever did was combine her two loves of agriculture and pharmacy.

“Pharmacy is so intertwined with agriculture considering numerous drugs are made from agricultural commodities and animals that it just makes sense to start with agriculture and finish with pharmacy.”

In 2018, Hannah became a Clinical Staff Pharmacist for Surgery at University of Cincinnati Health - West Chester Hospital. Although new to the job, there has never been a dull day thus far.

“The typical flow of my day starts with patient work-up for all trauma and surgery patients, which is usually between 40 to 50 patients. [Next, I] participate in patient care rounds with physicians and other healthcare professionals, which allows ample opportunity for face-to-face interactions with patients.”

It is all about building relationships with her patients, says Hanna. These relationships build trust and confidence so when she treats them, they know she has their best interest at heart. Having empathy and building relationships are some of the things you have to have in your tool box if you want to become a pharmacist.

“An individual that is eager to learn, communicates well, enjoys helping others, and is open-minded will excel in the profession of pharmacy.”

Hanna suggests to anyone wanting to pursue a career in pharmacy to become involved in the medical field.

“I would seek opportunities to shadow pharmacists in both institutional and community settings. Also, taking advantage of any and all learning experiences you possibly can. Having experiences to discuss in interviews and apply to clinical situations in the future is extremely helpful.”  

No matter where you decide to go in your career, Hanna emphasizes the need to love your job.

“Whether you pursue a career in pharmacy or another profession, it is important to do something you absolutely love. When I wake up in the morning, I am excited to go to work and I believe everyone should feel that way. Being happy and passionate about your career will make work feel less like a job and more like a favorite hobby that you participate in every day.”

 Learn more about UK’s Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology Program.

By Carilynn Coombs, Teach Ky Ag