Below is information on other health career fields that you may be interested in pursuing. There are also many other health careers that are rewarding and challenging beyond the ones listed below. For more information, see: Explorehealthcareers.org and talk with your prehealth advisor.
Nurses work in health care today in many ways, from basic attention to patients to management, oversight of treatment, and doctoral-level research. Educational pathways include an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN), a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).
- Coursework and Experience will be determined by the type of degree you plan to pursue and the school(s) you apply to. A great majority of nursing schools will look for nutrition, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and human growth and development. Shadowing both nurses and physicians will be helpful in understanding how nurses can function in health care.
- Application Service: None
- Resources: American Association of Colleges of Nursing & Discover Nursing
Occupational Therapists are healthcare providers who work with individuals across the lifespan, as well as families, communities and populations, who are in situations that limit their access to and participation in necessary and desired occupations. The term “occupations” refers to anything that people want to do, need to do, or are expected to do. Therapists work in a wide range of settings including community and social care, medical, and education settings. Occupational therapists earn an entry level Masters or Doctorate in Occupational Therapy.
- Coursework and Experience for OT schools vary greatly. All programs have to meet standards for accreditation but how those standards are met, and what additional opportunities are available beyond the minimum, varies from program to program. OTCAS maintains a current list of available programs and pre-requisites required for each program.
- Application Service: OTCAS
- Resources: American Occupational Therapy Association
- Health Profession Advisor at Duke: Tomeico Faison, OTR/L
Pharmacists specialize in the use of drugs and medications. They can advise patients, dispense medications in pharmacies and hospitals, and work in research, government offices, pharmaceutical industries, and regulatory affairs. Pharmacists earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree.
- Coursework and Experience can vary by school. The AACP maintains a current of Prerequisites by school. You should gain experience by shadowing a pharmacist and volunteering in health care.
- Application Service: PharmCas
- Health Profession Advisor at Duke: Ms. Mary-Charles Horn
Physician Assistants are health care providers who work under a licensed physician, but often will diagnose and treat patients with great autonomy and responsibility. They can work in primary care, medical specialties, and in hospitals, clinics and rural areas. Physician Assistants complete a Masters Degree.
- Coursework and Experience varies by program. Although you will most likely need courses in general chemistry, biology (including microbiology), anatomy, physiology and psychology. PA Programs will also expect you to have high number of hours of direct patient care (on average around 1500 hours) and some schools will not allow scribing to count toward those hours. Due to the variability in PA programs we encourage you make a foundational appointment with the PA advisor to plan your coursework and experiences.
- Application Service: CASPA
- Health Profession Advisor at Duke: Robert Jones
Physical Therapists are healthcare providers who diagnose and treat patients who have pain, mobility issues, or need physical rehabilitation. Physical Therapists earn a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DTP) and practice in hospitals, clinics, schools, sports and fitness facilities and nursing homes. They often form close working relationships with patients over a period of weeks or months.
- Coursework and Experience for PT schools vary greatly. PTCAS maintains a current list of Program Prerequisites for classes and recommended number of hours observing or working in PT. Please note that observation hours are listed as minimums and you may need several hundred hours of observation in order to be competitive.
- Application Service: PTCAS
- Resources: American Physical Therapy Association (also look at the Duke Pre-Physical Therapy Association)
- Health Profession Advisor at Duke: Dr. Rosie Canizares