Graduate-level allied health schools and programs in the United States are alive and well. In fact, the allied health professions in the United States employ more than 5 million workers in over eighty medical fields. About 60 percent of these health-care providers are neither doctors nor nurses. Instead, these highly-skilled physician assistants, optometrists, counselors, radiologists, therapists, chiropractors, pharmacists, medical lab scientists, and other allied health professionals support, facilitate, and compliment the roles of the doctors and nurses, and many of them have already earned allied health degrees from one or more of the country's graduate health programs.
Students enrolled in America's allied health schools can choose from a wealth of leading-edge programs offered by more than 100 institutions across the country. These allied health graduate programs can provide entry into one of the health professions, qualification for promotion in a current position, deeper knowledge in a specific area, or a sense of personal achievement. Typically, one to three years of concentrated study are required for a master's degree, and a doctoral program requires at least four additional years of school and usually involves intensive research on a specific subject.
Allied health programs are varied and flexible
Excellent allied health graduate programs are available in four areas of care: primary, acute, long term, and home health. Within those areas, you can prepare to practice in areas ranging from acupuncture or veterinary medicine to dentistry, nursing, and public health. Even those broad areas of allied health have many specialties available within them.
You can find the program best suited to help you reach your career goal by carefully reviewing the unique features of the graduate health programs and schools available to you. Fortunately, current technology has helped increasing numbers of allied health graduate programs meet students' personal demands, and leading-edge programs are increasingly offered in online formats that combine convenient distance-learning elements with practical, hands-on clinical experiences. The online format is a boon for graduate students in allied health programs holding full or part-time jobs and needing a high degree of flexibility in meeting their goals.
Is your chosen graduate school healthy?
When preparing for any health profession, students must give careful consideration to the regional and specialized accreditations held by allied health schools and programs. In certain health professions, it is necessary to have graduated from an accredited program in order to be eligible for a license to practice, and, in some fields, the federal government also makes this a hiring requirement. If accreditation and/or licensing will be issues in the profession you want to pursue, be certain the accrediting agencies referenced by the graduate health programs you are considering are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.