Facts about the Health Professions

Overviews of health professions and their associated professional educational requirements.


Allopathic Medicine

Physicians are licensed to perform medical examinations, diagnose illnesses, treat people suffering from disease or injury and advise patients on how to maintain good health. They may be general practitioners or specialists and may combine medical practice with research and/or teach in medical schools.

  • Degree: D.
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Professional School Affiliations: AAMC (American Association of Medical Colleges)
  • Admission Requirements: 1 Year each: Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Calculus/Statistics, Physics, English. Biochem and Statistics are recommended.
  • Admission Exam: MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)
  • Personal Attributes and Experience: Integrity, responsibility, leadership, social maturity, purpose, motivation, initiative, curiosity, common sense, and perseverance. Understanding of profession developed through experiences in health care settings, especially clinical, talking to health professions, reading the literature, exposure to undergraduate research.
  • Recommendation Letters: Health Professions Committee letter sent with additional individual letters of support.

Helpful Resources

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)

The AAMC represents all accredited U.S. and Canadian allopathic medical schools and supports education, research, and patient care activities by its members. The organization’s services and publications of interest to pre-medical students include:


Osteopathic Medicine

Osteopathic medicine was developed as a method of treatment emphasizing the musculoskeletal system and a concern for the patient as a complete entity. DOs diagnose and treat human diseases and injuries, and practice preventive medicine, sometimes combined with research and/or teaching.

  • Degree: D.O.
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Professional Schools Association: AACOM (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine) http://www.aacom.org
  • Application Service: AACOMAS (American Association of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service) www.aacom.org/students/application.html
  • Admission Requirements: One year each: Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Calculus/Statistics, Physics, English. Biochem is recommended.
  • Admission Exam: MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/
  • Personal Attributes and Experiences: Similar to allopathic medicine. Also a knowledge and commitment to the DO’s traditional concern for the whole person and a “holistic” approach to the practice of medicine in general.
  • Recommendation Letters: Health Professions Committee letter sent with additional individual letters of support.

Helpful Resources

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM)

AACOM supports, assists, and creates a unified voice for the schools of osteopathic medicine. The organization’s services and publications of interest to pre-medical/DO students include:

The DO: Helping you become a better osteopathic physician.

The DO, an on-line news magazine that is published by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), is also a wonderful resource for aspiring Doctors.

A Brief Guide to Osteopathic Medicine, for Students, by Students

This comprehensive guide, written by current osteopathic medical students, is designed to help aspiring physicians understand osteopathic medicine and the path to becoming an osteopathic physician.

American Osteopathic Association: Find a DO

For students interested in learning more about the profession, the AOA offers a Find a DO search engine to help identify practicing DOs by specialty and geographic location.


MD/PhD and MD/MBA

AAMC Web Resources

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) maintains a web portal for students considering a career in biomedical research with information including:

Helpful Resources

American Physician Scientists Association (APSA)

APSA’s primary mission is to serve physician-scientists in training and in the field, but some of their resources are relevant to undergraduates considering the dual degree.

National Institutes of Health Office of Intramural Training & Education

The NIH videocast website has several seminars and lectures recorded on webcast.

Videocasts of OITE Events 

NIH Grad and Prof School Fair: MD/PhD:  Is it Right for Me?

Association of MD/MBA Programs

The mission of the association of MD/MBA programs is to train a select group of physicians in the aspects of business who will lead our community and the healthcare industry toward a solution to the incredible challenge we are faced with — providing patients with quality care that is financially and ethically responsible.

According to Hospitals & Health Networks, physicians hold leadership positions in more than 50% of the time in hospitals, managed care settings, and group practices, without any business training. Currently 57 MD/MBA programs exist across the U.S. with an estimated 500 dual degree graduates per year.


Dentistry

Dentists diagnose and treat diseases of the hard and soft tissue of the mouth. Specialties: orthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, endodontics, periodontics, pedodontics, prosthodontics, oral pathology, and dental public health.

  • Degree: D.D.S.
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Professional Schools Association: ADEA (American Dental Education Association)
  • Application Service: AADSAS (American Association of Dental Schools Application Service)
  • Admission Requirements: One year each: General & Organic Chemistry, Physics, Biology, English, Calculus & Upper level Biology recommended.
  • Admission Exam: DAT (Dental Admissions Test)
  • Personal Attributes and Experience: Motivation toward dental career, good interpersonal skills, leadership qualities, and desire to help others; Evidence of fine motor skills to perform technical tasks in dentistry. Have developed an understanding of dentistry through experiences in clinical settings.
  • Recommendation Letters: Health Professions Committee letter sent with additional individual letters of support. (Not all schools require a Committee Letter.)

Helpful Resources

American Dental Education Association (ADEA)

The ADEA represents academic dentistry as the voice of dental education. The organization’s services and publications of interest to pre-dental students include the guide to the schools (Official Guide to the Dental Schools), the centralized application service (AADSAS), the required standardized test (DAT) and more.

American Dental Association (ADA)

As dentistry’s premier philanthropic and charitable organization, the ADA is a catalyst for uniting people and organizations to make a difference through better oral health.

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD)

The AAPD is the membership organization representing the specialty of pediatric dentistry. Their 7,600 members serve as primary care providers for millions of children from infancy through adolescence.

DATTestQuestions.com

DATTestQuestions.com is an excellent site for pre-dental students who are looking for practice on the Dental Admission Test (DAT).


Veterinary Medicine

Veterinarians diagnose, treat, and control diseases in animals and are concerned with preventing transmission of animal diseases to humans. They treat injured animals and develop programs to prevent disease and injury.

  • Degree: D.V.M. or V.M.D.
  • Program Length: 4 Years
  • Professional Schools Association: AAVMC (American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges) http://www.aavmc.org
  • Application Service: VMCAS (Veterinary Medical Colleges Application Service) Some schools do not use VMCAS services and have their own applications. http://www.aavmc.org/vmcas/vmcas.htm
  • Admission Requirements: Two semesters each of English, Biology, Physics, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry. Some schools have very specific requirements often including Microbiology, Statistics, Biochemistry, Animal Science, Nutrition.
  • Admission Exam: GRE (Graduate Record Exam) http://www.ets.org/gre or MCAT https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/
  • Personal Attributes and Experiences: Demonstrated knowledge of profession, confidence and comfort around a variety of animals. Strongly recommend veterinary and non-veterinary, animal-related experience.
  • Recommendation Letters: Usually three letters, two from faculty and one from employer, vet, or another academic source.

Helpful Resources

Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC)

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) promotes excellence and leadership in academic veterinary medicine. The organization’s services and publications of interest to pre-vet students include the guide to the schools Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements (VMSAR), the centralized application service (VMCAS), info about the required standardized test (GRE, TOEFL, MCAT) and more.


Public Health

Public Health focuses on prevention of disease and promotion of health in populations. The public health disciplines include: health policy and management, health services administration, nutrition, biostatistics, epidemiology, oral health, family health, health education and communication, occupational safety and health, environmental health and international and global health.

Public health is a field that offers an abundance of job opportunities to suit a variety of interests and skills. Whether you are interested in crunching numbers, conducting research, or working with people, there is a place for you in the field of public health. Public health is ideal for those that gain satisfaction knowing that they are working to improve the lives of others.

  • Degree: MPH (Master’s in Public Health), DrPH (Doctorate in Public Health)
  • Program Length: Approximately 2 years for master’s degree programs
  • Professional Schools Association: ASPH (Association of Schools of Public Health)
  • Application Service: SOPHAS
  • Admission Requirements: School specific and vary with specialty area, e.g. epidemiology requires science background where policy and management requires management background.
  • Admission Exam: GRE (Graduate Record Exam)
  • Personal Attributes and Experiences: Skills and competencies in the public health disciplines include: analytic and assessment, policy development and program planning, communication, cultural competency, financial planning and management, leadership, understanding of systems.
  • Recommendation Letters: Individual Letters of Support

Helpful Resources

Check out these sites to learn more about this fascinating field:

Bates Public Health List Serv

Join the Public Health list serve to receive job and internship opportunities, fellowships, information about local events, information sessions, and much more. Click here to join!

Bates PHI Club

The Bates PUBLIC HEALTH INITIATIVE provides students with an opportunity to engage in public health outreach both on the Bates campus and in the surrounding area. Students will experience the social, economic, cultural, and political aspects of public health through designing health education outreach programs and implementing these programs in the community. Contact: Mikka Kei MacDonald or Katrina Buchta