While studying in allied health graduate programs, students can look forward to participating in cutting-edge graduate research projects, medical volunteer programs, and graduate internships.
Why should you look for these opportunities?
The hands-on work and learning that are part of allied health research projects, graduate internships, and medical volunteer opportunities can help you decide which part of allied health is right for you. Such experience can also be a great benefit as you seek employment and, later on, as you practice your profession. Not only do you get to work beside people who share your excitement, but these experiences let you gain knowledge and form useful habits and traits for your own future in allied health.
Where can you participate in graduate research projects?
Most graduate schools that specialize in training allied health professionals have programs that provide opportunities for students to earn graduate credit while they actively participate in topical science and clinical research projects. To get the most out of the experience, you generally want to look for schools and programs that are well known and good sized. Take a look at the programs highlighted below and see what is there that could get you excited about getting your hands dirty. Remember, though, that some small schools also offer exceptional programs. Then start searching for the program that fits your goals and needs.
Three programs that offer a lot
Boston University's Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is a private institution preparing students for a broad range of research and clinical health careers through five nationally ranked graduate programs and four academic departments: health sciences; occupational therapy and rehabilitation counseling; physical therapy and athletic training; and, speech, language, and hearing sciences. With more than $6 million of outside funding in 27 science research laboratories, students have many opportunities to collaborate on cutting-edge graduate research projects.
The Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Tempe, Arizona, has a doctoral program leading to a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (N.D.) degree that focuses on preventative medicine, natural therapeutics, and holistic therapies. Students can take part in hands-on training at the college's teaching clinic and participate in research projects through the school's research department, which maintains important facilities at the nearby Biomedical Institute of Arizona State University.
The University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine maintains one of the largest pathology departments in the country, which offers both master's and doctoral programs. The Keck School is a leader in clinical care and research, and USC graduate students have access to numerous facilities to assist with their studies, such as the Norris Cancer Research Institute, Topping Research Tower, Institute for Genetic Medicine, and USC University Hospital.
Seek out allied health opportunities
Graduate internships, research projects, and medical volunteer opportunities are available in almost all allied health specialty areas. When looking for a graduate program, ask about what opportunities would be available to you. Don't forget that professional associations devoted to allied health professions are also good sources for volunteer positions, internships, and research opportunities.