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So you're interested in Allied Health?

So you’re interested in healthcare, but medical school isn’t the path for you. You want to form close relationships with your patients, work in multiple specialities, and be an integral member of a healthcare team. Physician assistants are advanced practice providers that are able to prescribe medication, diagnose, and treat patients. Many PAs even work in surgical settings! PAs have more flexibility than physicians: they are able to change specialties (a feature of the profession called “lateral mobility”) and they do not need to own their own practices. PA programs typically last from 2 to 3 years and do not require residencies. 

Physical Therapists, sometimes called PTs, help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility - in many cases without expensive surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects.

Physical therapists can teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so that they will achieve long-term health benefits. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan, using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. 

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapist, known as OTs, are very similar to physical therapist with a few exceptions. Occupational therapist focus on fine motor skills and improving on the functioning of activities of daily living. Occupational therapy services typically include an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals, 
customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan. Occupational Therapist are seen in a wide variety of settings included in clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. 

Speech Language Pathology

Speech Language Pathologists, commonly known as SLPs, specialize in treating communication as well as swallowing disorders. These can be associated with cognitive, social, as well as language impairments. Speech disorders occur when a person is unable to produce sound correctly and fluently or struggle with their voice and resonance. These problems often occur because a person has difficulty producing sounds due to incorrect movements of the lips, tongue, and mouth. Language disorders involve trouble with understanding others or barriers involving expression in sharing thoughts, ideas, and feels. SLPs work in a wide range of areas including various research, education, as well as health care settings. This profession is in high demand and services include part-time, full-time, as well as as needed. SLPs almost always work as part of a collaborative, interdisciplinary team of other specialists, teachers, and counselors.

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