There are a wide range of health care careers and professional degree options in the United States to consider.

Here, you’ll find an overview of each medical profession and the training pathway with links to advising resources and admission requirements.

Health profession degrees

Although there is some debate as to distinctions/naming, the eleven degrees commonly recognized and licensed in the United States are:

  • Allopathic Medicine (MD)
  • Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
  • Veterinary Medicine (DVM)
  • Chiropractic Medicine (DC)
  • Dental Medicine (DDS/DMD)
  • Podiatric Medicine (DPM)
  • Optometry (OD)
  • Physical Therapy (DPT)
  • Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Naturopathic Doctor (ND)
  • Pharmacist (Pharm.D.)

Physician Assistant is another popular graduate-level profession which results in a Masters degree, as opposed to the possibility of a doctoral-level degree which can be earned by a Nurse Practitioner. Distinctions between the actual practicing rights and privileges of these two professions varies by state.

Underrepresented groups in medicine

Browse the links below for links to organizations promoting equity and opportunity in the health care fields.
National Association of Medical Minority Educators (NAMME)
Summer Medical and Dental Program
The Leadership Alliance Summer Research – Early Identification Program
NAAHP Information on Diversity
NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP)
National Society for Nontraditional Premedical and Medical Students
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Summer Internships in Biological Sciences in Public Health

A photo portrait of Sydney Chratian, a URI alumni

Alumni: Sydney Chratian ’22

At URI, Sydney studied Cell and Molecular Biology, and specialized in Microbiology. Now she’s at Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Her advice: My advice to incoming pre-health students is to create a plan and stick to it! It can be hard to figure out how to get involved and gain experience in the healthcare field, but figuring out where your interests lie and creating a plan to explore those interests is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Her StorY