Health Professions


MedicineAre you curious, compassionate, and a problem-solver with a strong scientific aptitude? Medicine may be the right fit for you. Prior to committing to this path, spend some time exploring other healthcare fields to see if this path matches your values, interests, and skills. Expect to spend an additional 7-10+ years for more training and education after your bachelor's degree.


DentistryDentists are responsible for preventing, treating, and maintaing the oral health of their patients. The ADEA describes a successful dentist as someone who is artistic, easy to talk to, a leader, and likes to work with their hands. It is a lucarative and flexible career.


PharmacyPharmacists are known as "medication specialists" and are healthcare providers who educate patients on medication - when and how to take it as well as its side effects. They must be detail-oriented and meticulous. Pharmacists must also communicate effectively and carefully consider the various factors that may interfere with their patients' medication such as lifestyle, age, other medication or health conditions.

Physical/Occupational Therapy

Physical/occupational therapyThe role of a physical therapist is to restore mobility, reduce pain and the need for surgery or medication, as well as improve overall function. Education and training takes three years. An occupational therapist engages in rehabilitation therapy to help patients in every day activities. Examples include helping patients return to normal level of functioning after an injury or helping children with disabilities participate in school and social situations. Education and training is two years.

Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary medicineVeterinarians are responsible for the prevention, treatment, and diagnosis of disease in animals. They can work in private practice, zoos, wildlife parks, and the government (FDA, NIH, CDC). Education is 4 years.

Physician Assistant

Physician assistantPhysician assistants have a similar role as primary care doctors. They treat, dianose, and prescribe medication, but are under the supervision of a medical doctor. Education is only two years, however it can take a couple of years to meet healthcare/patient contact hours (~1000-2000) required to apply.


NursingNurses assist patients with managing and coping with their illness. They are advocates for their patients and educate them on disease prevention and health promotion. While doctors focus on the disease and patients' symptoms, nurses focus on how the disease impacts what a patient can and cannot do for themselves.There are many pathways to nursing as well as many levels of nursing.


OptometryOptometrists evaluate a patient's overall vision health as well as examine, diagnose and treat patients for any conditions affecting vision. This includes prescribing corrective lenses such as glasses and contacts. An Optometrist is different from an opthalmologist, who is a medical specialist who focuses on diseases of the eye and is licensed to practice medicine and surgery.

Public Health

Public healthPublic health focuses on promoting the health of families and communities through education, prevention, and examining causes of disease while offering large scale solutions. Some public health intiatives include smoking cessation, managing obesity, and using sustainable practices to protect the environment.