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Health Professions and Prelaw Center
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Allied Health Professions

The term "Allied Health Professions" is sometimes used as a subcategory of health professions. The general division between Allied Health Professions and doctors of various kinds relates to the relative autonomy of practice. Allied Health Professionals perform diagnostic procedures, provide therapeutic services, and patient care as part of a caregiving team.

A doctor of medicine (M.D.), osteopathic medicine (D.O.), optometry (O.D.), dental surgery (D.D.S.), pharmacy (Pharm. D.), podiatry (D.P.M.), or chiropractic (D.C.) is an independent practitioner, free to practice in his or her field with relative autonomy. Allied Health professionals include nurses, respiratory therapists, radiation therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, technologists of various types, dental hygienists and other professionals (see the list below) who do not independently diagnose and prescribe treatment, but perform diagnostic procedures, therapeutic services, and provide care as requested by doctors practicing in the particular area.

In recent years new professions have emerged that in some sense have intermediary roles, with varying levels of autonomy in how they may practice (for instance, Nurse Practitioners in some states are independent primary care providers who may diagnose and write prescriptions). Since the divisions among the professions are created essentially through governmental regulations they sometimes vary from state to state, and may continue to change over time in response to new demands on our healthcare system. Therefore, over time and from state to state, the list of those professions loosely categorized as "Allied Health Professions" may change.

The list on the right reflects healthcare programs for which HPPLC provides specific advising and other services. There are numerous other healthcare or healthcare-related professions, and students interested in this general career area may wish to consider doing additional research as they make their career and program decisions. The Health Professions and Prelaw Center offers some resources for further research, as do the IUB Career Development Center, the Herman B Wells Library, the public library, and the Internet. Shadowing or observing professionals in these fields can help you decide the best fit for you. In addition, a variety of other professional development activities are crucial parts of the process of choosing and ultimately pursuing any career path.

For a list of many more health-related majors, minors, certificates, and programs available on the IU Bloomington campus for which the HPPLC office does NOT provide advising, click here.

Allied Health Areas
Advised By HPPLC

  • Clinical Lab Science
  • Cytotechnology
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Health Information Administration
  • Medical Imaging Tech
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Paramedic Science
  • Physical Therapy
  • Physician Assistant
  • Radiography
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Respiratory Therapy