Must-Know Terms for Health Care Education

When you first start researching a career in health care, you may find yourself coming across phrases you’ve never heard of. The Match? Clinical rotations? These terms are important for you to know while you search for the right academic path. Below are some key health care phrases and their definitions.

Accelerated degree
An accelerated degree program is designed for students who want to get their bachelor’s degree within three years versus the usual four years. In order to complete this program, students usually take AP coursework, online classes and/or summer classwork.

Board certification
In a previous article, we mentioned that most specialties within the health care industry will require a certification. Certifications are earned at a culmination of specific experience and testing. You’ll want to research the state and national requirements for certifications.

Clinical rotations
Per American University, during rotations, students shadow physicians and residents at teaching hospitals, have access to patients and gain valuable hands-on experience. Students work with physicians and residents to solve complex medical dilemmas.

Non-accredited programs
Non-accredited medical programs are those that haven’t gone through the review or evaluation process by experts in the field. Some students do end up choosing to attend a non-accredited school, but there are consequences of going the non-accredited route.



The Match
The National Resident Matching Program, also known as The Match, is a system for students to be sorted into residency training programs. The AAMC describes it as being “based on a computer algorithm that compares the rank order list of applicants with those of residency programs.” Annually, there are more than 42,000 applicants and 30,000 positions.

Personal statement
This essay helps programs determine why you want to get into the health care field and learn a bit more about who you are as a student. It also gives you the opportunity to show your writing skills and stand out among other applicants. If you’re unsure how to start a personal statement, you can use our tips here.

Residency
A residency is graduate medical training that is a requirement for obtaining a license to practice medicine. This may be followed up later by a fellowship, which is a specialty training program.

Transferring
Many students transfer to a different college to find the program that fits their needs best. According to research from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 37.2 percent of students transferred to a different institution at least once within six years.

Virtual fair
A virtual fair is a way for health care career programs to answer any questions students may have about their academic interests. Instead of having to travel to a conference hall, students and colleges can participate online. This year, if you’re interested in joining a virtual fair, ExploreHealthCareers.org is a partner of Health Professions Week in November. Register today!

What other terms have you come across in your preparation for entering the health care field? Share in the comments below!

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