Medicine is the science and practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. Physicians practice medicine by earning a doctorate degree from an allopathic medical school (M.D.) or an osteopathic medical school (D.O.).
Dentistry is a branch of medicine that concerns itself with the disorders and conditions of the oral cavity. Dentists attend dental school to earn a doctorate degree in dental surgery (D.D.S.) or dental medicine (D.M.D.).
Optometry is the health field involved with examining, diagnosing, treating, and managing diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, as well as identifying related systemic conditions affecting the eye. Optometrists attend optometry schools to earn a doctorate degree in optometry (O.D.).
Pharmacy is the science and technique of preparing and dispensing drugs. Pharmacists earn a doctorate degree in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) by attending pharmacy school.
Physician Assistants (PAs) practice medicine on healthcare teams with physicians and other providers. They practice under a supervising physician. A PA earns a master’s degree through a Physician Assistant school.
Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, facilitation of healing, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations. Nurses may earn a B.S.N., M.S.N., D.N.P. or Ph.D.
Physical therapy is a branch of medicine that uses mechanical force and movements through manual therapy, exercise therapy, and electrotherapy, to promote mobility and function. Physical Therapists earn a doctorate degree in Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) by attending Physical Therapy School.
Occupational therapy is the use of assessment and intervention to develop, recover, or maintain meaningful activities (occupations) for people with disabilities, injuries or impairments. Occupational Therapists earn either a master’s (M.S.O.T.) or doctorate (O.T.D) degree in Occupational Therapy through an Occupational Therapy School.
Other Health Careers
Healthcare is a vast field that offers a range of diverse opportunities to help improve people’s health and well being. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects health care to be the fastest growing employment industry between 2014 and 2024. This means more career possibilties for individuals who are passionate about caring for and helping others. We encourage you to visit explorehealthcareers.org.