Tomorrow's Health Care Team
Spelman College offers pre-professional development to young women interested in becoming members of tomorrow’s healthcare team. The very important healthcare team is comprised of individuals
trained in the areas of:
• Allopathic Medicine - the practice of the profession of medicine, which is concerned
with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through to the study, diagnosis,
and treatment of disease injury and other physical and mental impairments. The ethics
of medicine require that physicians show consideration, compassion and benevolence for
• Osteopathic Medicine - an area of medicine where the physician undergoes osteopathic
manipulative medicine (OMM) training wherein the main emphasis is on the muscles and
bones, and how these systems affect the general health and well-being of the individual.
This training is basically grounded unto the philosophies of osteopathy that include
seeing the symptoms in the patient’s context and seeing the patient as a whole individual.
• Dentistry - the branch of the healing arts and sciences devoted to maintaining the
health of the teeth, gums, and other hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity and adjacent
structures. A dentist is a scientist and clinician dedicated to the highest standards of
health through prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral diseases and conditions.
• Pharmacy - a profession that exists to serve the needs of society, most often
represented as the needs of individual patients. Pharmacy’s ultimate goal is to render
pharmaceutical care. Recently, the scope of the pharmacist’s activities has expanded
to include consultation with physicians and other health professionals in the process of
• Optometry - a field of healthcare where individuals are trained to examine internal and
external structures of the eye, An optometrist can diagnose, treat and manage diseases
and disorders of the visual system such as glaucoma, cataracts and retinal disorders.
• Nursing - a profession where people are skilled to perform duties that include treating
patients, educating patients and the public about various medical conditions, and
providing advice and emotional support to patients’ family members. Nurse’s record
patients’ medical histories and symptoms, help to perform diagnostic tests and analyze
results, operate medical machinery, administer treatment and medications and help with
patient follow-up and rehabilitation.
• Physician Assistant - an individual that is vital to all areas of medicine. A physician
(PA) provides healthcare services typically performed by a physician. They can practice
in areas of primary care, that is family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and
obstetrics and gynecology, as well as in surgery subspecialties. Although supervised
by physicians, Pas have a lot of autonomy. They conduct complete physicals, provide
treatment and consul patients. In all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam, a PAs
have the authority to prescribe medications.
• Public Health - these professionals are challenged to confront complex health issues,
such as improving access to health care, controlling infectious disease, and reducing
environmental hazards, violence, substance abuse, and injury. They also specialize in
an array of fields. A host of specialists, including teachers, journalists, researchers,
administrators, environmentalists, demographers, social workers, laboratory scientists,
and attorneys, work to protect the health of the public.
• Physical Therapy - a healthcare profession in which trained persons assess, organize,
and participate in the rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase
strength, and decrease or prevent deformity of patients suffering from disease or injury.
They are often an important part of rehabilitation and treatment of patients with chronic
conditions or injuries.
• Occupational Therapy - a holistic health care profession that aims to promote health by
enabling individuals to perform meaningful and purposeful activities across the lifespan.
Occupational therapists are health professionals that use treatments to develop, recover,
or maintain the daily living and work skills of their patients with a physical, mental or
• Chiropractic - is a health care profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and
prevention of disorders of the neuromuscular skeletal system and the effects of these
disorders on general health. It is generally categorized as complementary and alternative
medicine. Although chiropractors have many attributes of primary care providers,
chiropractic has more of the attributes of a medical specialty like dentistry or podiatry.
• Podiatry - a profession where individuals strive to improve the overall health of their
patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing, and treating conditions associated with
the foot and ankle. Within the field of podiatry, US trained podiatric physicians rotate
through major areas of medicine gaining exposure and practice to areas including but not
limited to surgery, sports medicine, biomechanics, geriatrics, internal medicine, diabetes,
vascular, neurological, pediatrics, dermatological, orthopedics, or primary care.