Explore the Health Professions

Select the Health Profession of interest to learn about the:

  • Overview of the Profession
  • Programs/Schools
  • Admissions Requirements (Prerequisite Courses)
  • Application Process
  • Professional Association Information

explorehealthcareers.org

Allopathic and Osteopathic

What a Physician does

Physicians treat and prevent human illness, disease and injury. Physicians examine patients, obtain medical histories, and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive healthcare. There are two types of physicians: MD (Doctor of Medicine) and the DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). The practice of medicine includes prevention and health education and the use of accepted medical treatment methods, including pharmaceutical agents and surgical procedures. There are many specialty areas for physicians to pursue, with some of the highest demand for physicians going into family practice, internal medicine, and geriatrics.

Osteopathic medicine is a distinctive form of medical care founded on the philosophy that all body systems are interrelated and dependent upon one another for good health. Osteopathic physicians can choose any specialty, prescribe drugs, perform surgeries, and practice medicine anywhere in the United States. DOs are trained to use osteopathic manipulative treatment to help diagnose injury and illness, alleviate pain, and promote well-being. Osteopathic medicine emphasizes helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention.

Programs

There are 152 allopathic medical schools and 45 osteopathic medical schools in the United States, each taking four years to complete. MDs and DOs enter a residency program of three or more years directly after graduation. Licensure is granted at the state level and is contingent upon passage of the three-step United States Medical Licensing Examination. In many cases, licensure is also contingent upon certification by a national specialty board.

Admissions Requirements

Medical schools do not require a specific undergraduate major, but you are expected to complete a BA or BS with the following prerequisite courses:

Number

Course

UNH Course

1 year Biology with lab BIOL 411-412
1 year Chemistry with lab CHEM 403-404
1 year Physics with lab PHYS 401-402 or PHYS 407-408
1 year Organic Chemistry CHEM 651-654 or CHEM 547-550
1 semester Biochemistry BMCB 658/659
1 year English  
1 semester Psychology  
1 semester Sociology  
1 semester Math - Statistics BIOL 528, SOC 502, PSYC 402
1 semester Health Professions Seminar INCO 403 (2cr)

All MD and DO programs require that applicants take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). Most programs will also expect applicants to have had significant exposure to the field of medicine, a record of service to the community, and research experience. DO programs prefer applicants to also have exposure to osteopathic medicine through shadowing or clinical experience. Many medical schools also require at least part of the Altus Suite, and a handful of MD programs require the AAMC PREview.

Application Process

The application process for UNH students applying to medical programs begins a full two years before matriculation. Therefore, a student who wishes to begin a program the fall semester after graduation from UNH needs to contact the Pre-Professional Health Programs Advising Office no later than September of their junior year to begin the process. For details of the application cycle, see the Application Process.

Further Information

Valuable sources of information are the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM).

Sources: Most of the information on this page was taken from AAMC and AACOM literature.

What is a Doctor of Dental Medicine/Surgery?

Dentists are concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of problems associated with the hard and soft tissue of the mouth. They examine teeth, mouth, and associated tissues, diagnose and treat diseases, restore defective teeth and tissue, and replace missing teeth. Most dental students enter a practice after receiving their professional degree, either a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.). The two degrees are equivalent in terms of the program completed and the rights conferred to practice. Most dentists are self-employed and establish a private practice alone or in partnership with other dentists. Employment opportunities also exist in the public health service, as teachers and researchers in dental education, commissioned officers in the armed services and researchers or practitioners in industry. Also, some dentists enter advanced education programs for training in a dental specialty.

Programs 

There are 68 dental schools located in the United States. The D.M.D. / D.D.S. dental school curriculum requires at least 11 academic semesters over four calendar years. The curriculum initially emphasizes the basic sciences with an expanding emphasis on the clinical sciences. The student's knowledge and familiarity with the basic sciences are reinforced with applied courses in each discipline.  Dental specialties require additional training after the D.D.S. or D.M.D.

Admissions Requirements

Typically, programs expect a BA or BS with the following undergraduate curriculum:

Number Course UNH Course
1 year Biology with lab BIOL 411-412
1 year Chemistry with lab CHEM 403-404
1 year Physics with lab PHYS 401-402 or PHYS 407-408
1 year Organic Chemistry

CHEM 651-654 or CHEM 547-550

1 semester Biochemistry BMCB 658/659
1 year English  
1 semester Math - Statistics

BIOL 528, SOC 502, PSYC 402

1 semester Health Professions Seminar

INCO 403 (2 cr)

An applicant’s undergraduate major is not a factor in dental school admission, so students may complete these prerequisites as major requirements, discovery requirements, or electives.  Admissions requirements do vary somewhat from school to school, so students should consult the Official Guide to Dental Schools or the ADEA Dental School Explorer to determine the specific requirements of the programs that they are interested in.

Observing in the office of a general dentist is the best way to learn about dentistry, and the Student Admissions and Recruitment Committee of the America Dental Education Association (ADEA) recommends that applicants make arrangements to observe in the offices of one or more general dentists. While observing in a dentist's office is not always a requirement for admission, it is seen by the admissions committee as one measure of an applicant's interest in dentistry as a career.

All dental programs require that applicants take the Dental Admission Test (DAT).  All applicants for admission must have taken the DAT within three years of application. A handful of dental schools also require at least one part of the Altus Suite.

Application Process 

The application process for UNH students applying to dental programs begins a full two years before matriculation.  Therefore, a student who wishes to begin a program the fall after graduation from UNH should contact the Pre-Professional Health Programs Advising Office no later than September of their junior year to begin the process. For details of the application cycle, see Application Process.

Further Information 

A valuable source of information is the American Dental Education Association (ADEA). Contact them at:

American Dental Education Association
1625 Massachusetts Avenue, NW,
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036-2212
Tel: 202-667-9433
Fax: 202-667-0642
www.ADEA.org.

Additional Information:

Sources: Most of the information on this page was taken from ADEA literature.

What is a Physician Assistant?

Physician Assistants are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. PAs work everywhere, from remote rural settings to major urban centers, in doctors’ offices, hospitals, clinics, HMOs, the armed forces, and other federal government agencies. Some of the many functions performed by PAs include:

  • Taking medical histories
  • Performing physical exams
  • Ordering laboratory tests
  • Diagnosing illnesses
  • Counseling patients
  • Assisting in surgery
  • Prescribing and/or dispensing medication

Most PAs work in primary care (family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics), but PAs can work in all specialties.  Unlike other healthcare professions, PAs can switch specialties relatively easily, without needed to complete any additional certification.  According to the NCCPA Statistical Profile of Certified PAs (2020), the top specialties for PAs are:

  • Family Medicine/General Practice
  • Surgical Subspecialties
    • Orthopedic Surgery
    • Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery
    • Neurosurgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Internal Medicine Subspecialties
    • Cardiology
    • Gastroenterology
    • Oncology
  • Internal Medicine General Practice
  • Dermatology
  • Hospital Medicine
  • General Surgery
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry

How Do I Become a PA?

Graduation from an accredited PA program makes candidates eligible to take the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) certifying examination. Those who pass the exam can use the title “Physician Assistant - Certified (PA-C).”

Programs

As of August 2023, there are currently 293 accredited PA programs in the United States.  The typical PA program takes two years to complete.  The first year is the didactic year, or classroom studies, focused on teaching students clinical reasoning skills by building a foundation of new clinical knowledge, and then applying this knowledge to clinical situations.  This year also focuses on reviewing basic scientific concepts that should have been covered in the students' undergraduate curriculum.  The second year is the clinical year.  During the clinical year, students will have supervised, hands on, clinical training in a variety of settings and specialties.   

All PA programs award some sort of credential upon completion.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions requirements vary widely from school to school, but generally master’s degree and certificate-level PA programs expect a BA or BS with the following undergraduate curriculum:

Number Course UNH Course
1 year Anatomy and Physiology BMS 507-508 (preferred)

1 year

Biology with lab BIOL 411-412

1 year

Chemistry with lab CHEM 403-404
1 semester Organic Chemistry with lab CHEM 545/546
1 semester Biochemistry BMCB 658
1 semester Microbiology with lab BMS 503/504
1 semester Psychology PSYC 401 recommended
1 semester Statistics BIOL 528, PSYC 402, or SOC 402
1 semester Medical Terminology BSCI 432 Manchester course

An applicant’s undergraduate major is not a factor in admission, so students may complete these prerequisites as major requirements, general education requirements, or as electives.Many PA programs expect applicants to have had significant direct patient contact experience. Expectations range from 500 to 2,000 hours of experience. Experiences might include becoming trained as an LNA/CNA, EMT, phlebotomist, and medical assistant. The typical applicant already has a bachelor's degree and approximately 4 years of health care experience. Students should consult the Physician Assistants Education Association website to research the specific requirements of the programs they are interested in and utilize the Program Directory.

Many PA programs require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) but some are moving towards the Physician Assistant College Admissions Test (PA-CAT).  Additionally, quite a few PA programs require require at least one part of the Altus Suite.  The central application service for the majority of PA programs is CASPA. Processing of applications usually begins in April with deadlines between October and February. Applicants are advised to apply early.

Further Information

The most current information on PA programs is available from the Physician Assistants Education Association (PAEA), the unifying professional association for PAs.

Contact the PAEA at:

PAEA
300 N. Washington Street
Suite 505
Alexandria, VA 22314-2544
Phone: 703/548-5538
Fax: 703/548-5539
web: paeaonline.org
Email: info@PAEAonline.org

Additional Information

Sources: Most of the information on this page was taken from AAPA literature.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Physical therapists, or PTs, are health care professionals who evaluate and treat people with health problems resulting from injury or disease.  PTs assess joint motion, muscle strength and endurance, function of heart and lungs, and performance of activities required in daily living, among other responsibilities. Treatment includes therapeutic exercise, cardiovascular endurance training, and training in activities of daily living. 

Physical therapists can also become certified as clinical specialists.  There are over 24,000 board-certified clinical specialists currently practicing in the United States in the following areas: 

How Do I Become a PT?

After graduation from an accredited PT program, candidates must pass a state‑administered national exam for licensure.  Other requirements for physical therapy practice vary from state to state according to physical therapy practice acts or state regulations governing physical therapy. 

To become a specialist in one of the areas mentioned above, a physical therapist must build on their broad knowledge base to develop a greater depth of knowledge in one specific area.  There are two options for becoming a specialist:

  1. Have evidence of 2,000 hours of direct patient care as a licensed US physical therapist in your chosen specialty area within the last 10 years; 500 hours must have occurred within the last five years.  Then you must complete the required exam for your specialty.
  2. Complete an APTA-accredited post-professional clinical residency within your chosen specialty area within the last 10 years.  Most of these residency programs are about 12 months in length.  Then you must complete the required exam for your specialty.

Each specialty also has additional requirements.  You can review all of this information at APTA Specialist Certification.

Programs

Virtually all PT education programs have transitioned to the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.  To practice as a physical therapist in the US, you must earn a PT degree from a CAPTE-accredited physical therapist education program and pass a state licensure exam. DPT programs typically take three years to complete, depending on the specific requirements of the program.  All programs consist of basic and clinical medical science courses as well as clinical rotations/ internships, and many programs have a research component as well.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions requirements can vary widely from school to school, but generally, DPT programs expect a BA or BS with the following undergraduate curriculum:

Number Course UNH Course
1 year

Anatomy and Physiology with lab

BMS 507-508

1 year

Biology with lab

BIOL 411-412

1 year

Chemistry with lab

CHEM 403-404

1 year

Physics with lab

PHYS 401-402 or PHYS 407-408

1 year

Psychology

Abnormal and Developmental Psychology is often required

1 semester

Math - Statistics (or other)

 

An applicant’s undergraduate major is not a factor in admission so that students may complete these prerequisites as major requirements, general education requirements, or as electives.  Many PT programs expect applicants to have had significant exposure to the profession, either through observation or volunteering. Students should consult the American Physical Therapy Association web page for listings of educational programs, and review individual schools to determine the specific requirements of the programs that they are interested in.

DPT programs usually require the GRE and a handful also require at least one part of the Altus Suite.  

Further Information

The most current source of information is the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the unifying professional association for PTs.  Contact the APTA at:

APTA
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-1488
Phone: 800- 999-2782
Web: www.apta.org

Additional Resources

Sources: Most of the information in this brochure was taken from APTA literature.

What is a Doctor of Optometry?

A Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) is an independent primary health care provider who examines, diagnoses, treats, and manages diseases and disorders of the entire visual system.  The services rendered by optometrists include: prescribing glasses and contact lenses, rehabilitation of the visually impaired, diagnosis and treatment of ocular disease.  Optometrists can practice in a variety of settings:

  • Solo or group practice
  • Hospitals, clinics, and community health centers
  • Public health
  • Military
  • Government

Within these settings, optometrists engage in primary care practice, or they can specialize in an area such as pediatrics, geriatrics, occupational vision, low-vision services (for the visually impaired), or sports vision.  Optometrists do not perform surgery nor prescribe medication.

Programs

There are currently 20 schools and colleges of optometry in the US (plus two in Canada and one in Puerto Rico) offering an OD degree. The four-year OD curriculum begins with two years of classroom and laboratory work in the basic sciences. The remaining two years are comprised primarily of supervised patient care in hospitals, private practices, and clinics. Upon completion of the program, an OD is qualified to seek appropriate state licensure.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions requirements can vary from school to school. Generally, OD programs expect a BA or BS with an undergraduate curriculum similar to the following:

Number Course UNH Course
1 year Anatomy & Physiology BMS 507-508
1 year Biology with lab BIOL 411-412
1 year Chemistry with lab CHEM 403-404
1 year Physics with lab PHYS 401-402 or PHYS 407-408
1 semester Organic Chemistry

CHEM 545/546

1 semester Biochemistry BMCB 658/659
1 semester Microbiology BMS 503
1 year English

 

1 semester Psychology

PSYC 401

1 semester Math - Calculus MATH 424A, 424B, or 425
1 semester Math - Statistics BIOL 528, SOC 502, PSYC 402

An applicant’s undergraduate major is not a factor in admission so that students may complete these prerequisites as major requirements, general education requirements, or as electives.

Students should consult the Schools and Colleges of Optometry Admissions Requirements directory, found at The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), to determine the specific requirements of the programs they are interested in.

Application Process 

OD programs require that applicants take the OAT (Optometry Admission Test), which is offered throughout the year.  Additionally, a handful of Optometry programs require at least one part of the Altus Suite.  OptomCAS is the central application service for OD programs. Programs use a rolling admissions process, and students are advised to apply as early in the process as possible.

Further Information

Valuable sources of information are the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) and The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO).  Contact them at:

AAO
6110 Executive Boulevard, Suite 506
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone:  301‑984‑1441
Web: www.aaopt.org

ASCO
6110 Executive Boulevard, Suite 510
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: 301-231‑5944
Web: optometriceducation.org

Additional Resources

Sources: Most of the information on this page was taken from ASCO and AAO literature.

What is a Doctor of Pharmacy?

A pharmacist (Pharm.D) is a licensed ‘medication expert’ who provides information regarding medication to consumers and health care professionals.  Pharmacists are concerned with disease state management and safeguarding the public's health in matters relating to medication distribution and use. 

Pharmacist responsibilities include a range of services from dispensing medications to monitoring patient health and progress to maximize their response to the medications. Pharmacists also educate consumers and patients on the use of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications and advise physicians, nurses, and other health professionals on drug decisions. Pharmacists also provide expertise about the composition of drugs, including their chemical, biological, and physical properties, and their manufacture and use.  There are many different career paths pharmacists can take including:

  • Ambulatory Care Pharmacist
  • Cardiology Pharmacist
  • Community Pharmacist
  • Compounding Pharmacist
  • Geriatric Pharmacist
  • Hospital Pharmacist
  • Infectious Disease Pharmacist
  • Nuclear Pharmacist
  • Oncology Pharmacist
  • Pediatric Pharmacist
  • Industry Pharmacist
  • Poison Control Pharmacist
  • Psychiatric Pharmacist
  • Veterinary Pharmacist
  • Emergency Medicine Pharmacist

Programs

The Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree program requires at least 2-years of specific pre-professional (undergraduate) coursework followed by 4-academic years (or 3-calendar years) of professional study. Pharmacy colleges and schools may accept students directly from high school into a pre-pharmacy curriculum followed by a pharmacy curriculum, or directly into a pharmacy curriculum after completion of pre-pharmacy requirements in a college curriculum. The majority of students enter a pharmacy program with 3 or more years of college experience. College graduates who enroll in a pharmacy program must complete the full 4-academic years (or 3-calendar) years of professional study to earn the Pharm.D degree. For those pharmacists who want to pursue a specific specialty, a 1-2 year residency may be required after completing the Pharm.D. degree.

Admissions Requirements

The classes required for admission into a pharmacy program vary significantly from one institution to the next. Due to the variations in admission requirements and procedures among the colleges and schools of pharmacy, it is advisable to research individual pharmacy programs.

The pharmacy programs will be pleased to supply details concerning admission procedures and curricula. School-specific information is also available in the AACP publication, "Pharmacy School Admission Requirements" (PSAR). The online version of the PSAR is available for free on the AACP website.

The following are commonly required pre-pharmacy courses:

Number Course UNH Course
1 year Biology with lab BIOL 411-412
1 year Chemistry with lab

CHEM 403-404

1 year Human Anatomy and Physiology BMS 507-508
1-2 semesters Physics with lab PHYS 401-402
1 semester Microbiology BMS 503
1 year Organic Chemistry with lab

CHEM 651/653-652/654

1 semester Biochemistry BMCB 658/659
1 year English Composition  
1 semester Math - Calculus MATH 424A, 424B, or 425
1 semester Economics  
1 semester Public Speaking

 

1 year Psychology/Sociology PSYC 401 and SOC 400 recommended

Many programs also require additional courses in Psychology, Humanities, Economics, Social Sciences

Approximately half of all colleges and schools of pharmacy require Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) scores for admission to their program. Additionally, a handful of Pharmacy programs require at least one part of the Altus Suite.

In addition to academic preparation, you should evaluate your qualifications to meet the pharmacy's demands for judgment, dependability, and conscientious performance.

Application Process

The Pharmacy College Application Service, known as PharmCAS, is a service of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Applicants use a single PharmCAS application and one set of materials (e.g., transcripts) to apply to multiple Pharm.D degree programs. The PharmCAS application is available online. AACP lists the institutions that participate in this service. Applicants to programs that do not participate in PharmCAS will apply directly to each institution using the application process and documents recommended by the institution.

Further Information 

A valuable source of information is the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). Contact them at:

AACP
1426 Prince St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 739-2330
https://www.aacp.org/

Additional Resources

Sources: Most of the information on this page was taken from AACP literature.

What is a Chiropractor?

Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) are physicians who practice their healing art through drug-free, non-surgical means and give special attention to the physiological and biochemical aspects including structural, spinal, musculoskeletal, neurological, vascular, nutritional, emotional and environmental relationships. Chiropractic does not include pharmaceuticals or incisive surgery.

The practice and procedures which may be employed by Doctors of Chiropractic are based on the academic and clinical training received in and through accredited chiropractic colleges and include, but are not limited to, the use of current diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

Programs

A standard DC program is usually completed within four years of professional study.  The program generally consists of two years of classroom and laboratory study followed by two years emphasizing community-based clinical services dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of disease. After graduation, a DC must pass the sciences and chiropractic sections of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. All states administer a state board exam following the passing of the national exam.  Chiropractic is recognized and regulated in every state, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Canada.

Admissions Requirements

Typically, DC programs expect a BA or BS with at least 24 credits of Life & Physical Sciences that should include a combination of the following courses:

Number Course UNH Course
1 year Biology with lab BIOL 411-412
1 year Chemistry with lab CHEM 403-404
1 year Organic Chemistry with lab CHEM 651-654 or CHEM 547-550
1 year Anatomy & Physiology BMS 507-508 (preferred)
1 year Physics with lab* PHYS 401-402 or PHYS 407-408
1 semester General Biochemistry BMCB 658/659

Other Required Courses

Number Course UNH Course
1 semester Psychology/Sociology PSYC 401 or SOC 400 recommended
1 semester Humanities  

An applicant’s undergraduate major is not a factor in school admission so that students may complete these prerequisites as major requirements, general education requirements, or electives.  Admissions requirements can vary somewhat from school to school, so students should consult the individual programs to determine the specific requirements of the programs they are interested in. (www.chirocolleges.org)

Most DC programs will also expect applicants to have had exposure to the field of chiropractic and a record of service to the community.

Application Process 

The MCAT is not required.  Since there is no central application service for DC programs, applications should be requested directly from the schools themselves.  Applicants are encouraged to apply one full year before the desired start term.

Further Information 

The most up to date sources of information are the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC).  Contact them at:

ACA
1701 Clarendon Blvd,
Arlington, VA 22209
Phone 800/986-4636
Fax 703/243-2593
www.acatoday.org

ACC
4424 Montgomery Avenue, Suite 102,
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
www.chirocolleges.org

Additional Information

Sources: Most of the information on this page was taken from ACA and ACC literature.

What is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine?

A doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of foot disorders, diseases, and injuries. The DPM works closely with other health professionals to treat and control disease. The podiatric medicine field includes treatment of sports injuries, diseases, and the overall health of patients with an emphasis on the foot and ankle.

If you are interested in shadowing a Podiatrist, you can do so through the DMP Mentors Network.

Programs

The course of instruction leading to the DPM degree is four years in length. The first two years are devoted mainly to classroom instruction and laboratory work in the basic medical sciences, such as anatomy, physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, and pathology. During the third and fourth years, students concentrate on courses in the clinical sciences, gaining experience in college clinics, community clinics, and accredited hospitals. Clinical courses include general diagnosis (history taking, physical examination, clinical laboratory procedures, and diagnostic radiology), therapeutics (pharmacology, physical medicine, orthotics, and prosthetics), surgery, anesthesia, and operative podiatric medicine. After completing the four-year course and receiving the DPM degree, the graduate is eligible to take a state board examination to obtain a license to practice in about one-third of the states; two-thirds require an additional year of postdoctoral work before licensure.

There are nine colleges of podiatric medicine in the United States. All receive accreditation from the Council on Podiatric Medical Education and grant the degree of doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM).

Admission Requirements

Typically, DPM programs expect a BA or BS with the following undergraduate curriculum:

Number Course UNH Course
1 year Biology with lab* BIOL 411-412
1 year Chemistry with lab CHEM 403-404
1 year Physics with lab PHYS 401-402 or PHYS 407-408
1 year Organic Chemistry CHEM 651-654 or CHEM 547-550
1 year English  

 Admissions requirements can vary somewhat from school to school. Research colleges at the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM) to determine the specific requirements of the programs.

Several factors are considered in admitting students to a college of podiatric medicine. Undergraduates with liberal arts backgrounds, as well as those with science majors, are encouraged to apply. Potential podiatric medical students may be evaluated based on their grade point average (GPA), performance on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) (or in some cases the GRE), extracurricular and community activities, personal interview, and professional potential.

Application Process

American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine’s Application Service (AACPMAS), opens the first week of August for FALL admission the following year.

Other requirements for admission include Letters of Recommendation, Official Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions previously attended, which are to be sent directly to the colleges, as well as personal interviews.

Further Information 

A valuable source of information is the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM) and the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Contact them at:

APMA
9312 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone (800) ASK-APMA
www.apma.org

AACPM
1350 Piccard Drive, Suite 322
Rockville, MD 20850
1-800-922-9266  
www.aacpm.org

Additional Information

Sources: Most of the information was taken from AACPM literature.

What is a Naturopathic Physician?

A licensed naturopathic physician - Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) attends a four‑year graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD and DO but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician is required to complete training in clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling (to encourage people to make lifestyle changes in support of their health). Graduates of approved naturopathic colleges take a national board examination called the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination (NPLEX) for licensing.  After completing their NPLEX, naturopathic physicians are able to start practicing as primary care physicians, but some will choose to complete a one to three year residency.  While, the vast majority of naturopathic physicians become primary care physicians, but there are quite a few specialties to pick from:

Programs

There are currently five colleges of naturopathic medicine.  They are:

For further information on all programs refer to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions requirements vary from school to school, but generally, ND programs expect a BA or BS with the following undergraduate curriculum:

Number Course UNH Course
1 year Biology with lab BIOL 411-412
1 year Chemistry with lab CHEM 403-404
1 semester Physics with lab PHYS 401
1 year Organic Chemistry with lab

CHEM 651-654 or CHEM 547-550 (full-year sequence)

1 year Psychology  
1 semester Math - Algebra or higher  

An applicant’s undergraduate major is not a factor in admission so that students may complete these prerequisites as major requirements, general education requirements, or as electives.  Since prerequisites vary from school to school, students should be sure to check the specific requirements of each program that they are applying to.

ND programs require neither the MCAT nor GRE. Some, but not all, schools participate in the centralized application service for ND programs, NDCAS. Check directly with the schools regarding the application procedure.

Further Information

A valuable source of information is The Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC).

AANMC
Assoc. of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges
4435 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 403
Washington, DC  20016
Phone: 202.237.8150 or 866.538.2267 (toll-free)
Fax: 202.237.8152
info@aanmc.org
 

Additional Information

Explore Health Careers

Sources: Most of the information on this page was taken from AANP literature.

What is an Anesthesiologist Assistant?

Anesthesiologist Assistants are not doctors, but they are highly-skilled medical professionals who help plan and deliver anesthesia care under the direction of licensed anesthesiologists (who are either MDs or DOs).  These individuals stay accompany the patient before, during, and after anesthesia to ensure quality and continuity of care.  According to the American Association of Anesthesiology Assistants (AAAA), the responsibilities for a certified anesthesiologist assistant (CAA) include: 

  • Elicit a pre-anesthesia health history and perform a physical examination
  • Establish patient monitoring devices and intravenous access
  • Assist in the application and interpretation of advanced monitoring techniques such as pulmonary artery catheterization or echocardiography
  • Assist in the induction, maintenance, and emergence of a patient's anesthetic
  • Secure the patient's airway through a mask, endotracheal tube, or laryngeal mask airway
  • Interpret and record the patient's physiological and pharmacological status
  • Provide continuity of care into and during the post-operative period

As of May 2022, CAAs can practice in 17 states.

Programs

As of August 2022, there are 19 accredited Anesthesiology Assistant programs. in the United States.  These programs are typically completed within 24 to 28 months, with graduates earning a Master's degree.  The first year typically focuses on basic science and didactic coursework where students learn the fundamental aspects of anesthesia, including basic physiology and pharmacology, as well as the skills involved in the administration in administrating anesthesia and both invasive and non-invasive monitoring.  The second year focuses on clinical, didactic, and simulation coursework as well as clinical rotations.  These rotations usually include:

  • Ambulatory anesthesia
  • Cardiothoracic and cardiovascular anesthesia
  • Intensive care and preoperative clinic
  • Nerve block
  • Neurosurgical anesthesia
  • Obstetrical anesthesia
  • Pediatric anesthesia
  • Trauma

Graduates or senior students in their last semester may apply for initial certification and must pass the National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologists Assistants. (NCCAA).  To remain certified, CAAS must submit documentation to NCCAA every two years after completing 40 hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) and every six years, they must pass the examination for Continued Demonstration of Qualifications (CDQ).

Admissions Requirements

Admissions requirements can vary from program to program, so you should review the admissions requirements on each program's websites to determine their specific admissions requirements.  Typically, programs expect a BA or BS, but an applicant's undergraduate major does not play a factor in admission.  Instead, applicants should complete the following prerequisite courses:

Number Course UNH Course
1 year Biology with lab BIOL 411-412
1 year Chemistry with lab CHEM 403-404
1 semester Organic Chemistry with lab CHEM 545/546
1 semester Biochemistry BMCB 658
1 year Anatomy & Physiology BMS 507-508
1 year Physics PHYS 401-402 or PHYS 407-408
1 semester Math - Calculus MATH 424A, 424B, or 425
1 semester Math - Statistics BIOL 528, SOC 502, PSYC 402
1 semester English  

The majority of CAA programs require applicants to complete at least 8 hours of shadowing with a certified anesthesiologist assistant in the operating room environment.  The vast majority of programs require applicants to take either the MCAT or GRE (although the University of Colorado will only accept the MCAT) and recommend a score in the 50th percentile or higher.  A handful of CAA programs also require at least one portion of the Altus Suite.  The Centralized Application Service for Anesthesiologist Assistants (CASAA) opens at the beginning of March every year and closes at the end of February the following year.  

Further Information

For additional information, please review the American Association of Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAAA) and the Association of Anesthesiologist Assistant Education Programs (AAAEP).

Sources

What is a Genetic Counselor?

Genetic counselors are not doctors, but they do make up an important part of the healthcare team.  They meet with individuals or families before or after genetic testing to help them understand and adapt to the medical, psychological, and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease.  There are many different specialties Genetic Counselors can choose from including prenatal and preconception, pediatric, oncology, cardiovascular, neurology, psychiatry, infertility, and many more!  Some of the functions performed by Genetic Counselors include:

  • Interpretation of family and medical histories to assess the chance of disease occurrence or recurrence.
  • Education about inheritance, testing, management, prevention, resources and research.
  • Counseling to promote informed choices and adaptation to the risk or condition.

Most genetic counselors see patients in a clinic or hospital setting and typically work with obstetricians, oncologists, and other doctors.  Genetic counselors also have other roles outside of seeing patients including research, education, industry, marketing, and many other roles across the healthcare and genetic fields.  

Programs

There are currently 48 ACGC accredited Genetic Counseling master's programs in the United States.  Most programs are full-time programs that are completed in two years.  They typically combine classwork in human genetics, birth defects, ethics, and counseling with clinical training.  Most programs also require students to complete a thesis or capstone project based on student conducted research.  Upon completion of the program, graduates may become certified by taking and passing the Certified Genetic Counselor examination.  

Admissions Requirements

Admissions requirements can vary from program to program, so you should review the admissions requirements on the programs' websites to determine their specific admissions requirements.  Generally Genetic Counseling programs do not require a specific undergraduate degree, but many applicants have degrees in Biology, Genetics, or Psychology.  Undergraduate coursework should include:

Number Course UNH Course
1 year Biology with lab BIOL 411-412
1 year Chemistry with lab CHEM 403-404
1 semester Genetics GEN 604
1 semester Organic Chemistry with lab CHEM 545/546
1 semester Biochemistry BMCB 658
1 semester Psychology PSYC 401
1 semester Math - Statistics BIOL 528, SOC 502, PSYC 402

The majority of Genetic Counseling programs also require their applicants to have shadowed at least one genetic counselor and engaged in some advocacy experience prior to applying.  These experiences typically include direct patient counseling (peer counselor, crisis counseling, domestic violence or sexual assault advocacy group) or  working with individuals with genetic disorders.  If you are interested in applying to Genetic Counseling programs, I would recommend volunteering with the UNH Sexual Harassment & Rape Prevention Program. (SHARPP) or the Crisis Text Line during your time at UNH.

Application Process

Prior to applying to any Genetic Counseling master's program, you need to enroll in the GC Admissions Match program; it is recommended you complete this by mid-December.  This program was established in 2018 to place applicants into programs based on a fair process that takes into account both the applicants' and programs' preferences. This is similar to the process of matching physicians to residency training programs. To register and learn more about the match program, visit the GC Admissions Match website.  All applicants must provide a Match ID number to be considered for admission to any Genetic Counseling program.

After registering for the GC Admissions Match, applicants should then complete the individual applications for the programs they are interested in applying to.  There is no Centralized Application Service for Genetic Counseling programs, so you should review the programs' websites to determine whether they have an online or paper application and how that should be submitted.  Many programs require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as part of the admissions process and a handful of programs also require at least one part of the Altus Suite.

Additional Information