302-831-3030 CPHPS-FAQ@udel.edu


Allopathic Medicine

A system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery. Also called biomedicine, conventional medicine, mainstream medicine, orthodox medicine, and Western medicine.

National Cancer Institute. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms?cdrid=454742 . Accessed April 20, 2017.


Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.

American Chiropractic Association. Available at:https://www.acatoday.org/Patients/Why-Choose-Chiropractic/What-is-Chiropractic  Accessed April 20, 2017.


The evaluation, diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment (nonsurgical, surgical or related procedures) of diseases, disorders and/or conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and/or the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body; provided by a dentist, within the scope of his/her education, training and experience, in accordance with the ethics of the profession and applicable law.

American Dental Association. Available at: http://www.ada.org/glossaryforprofessionals.aspx. Accessed April 20, 2017.

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are licensed, independent practitioners who practice in ambulatory, acute and long-term care as primary and/or specialty care providers. According to their practice specialties, they provide nursing and medical services to individuals, families and groups. In addition to diagnosing and managing acute episodic and chronic illnesses, NPs emphasize health promotion and disease prevention. Services include, but are not limited to: ordering, conducting, supervising, and interpreting diagnostic and laboratory tests; and prescription of pharmacologic agents and non-pharmacologic therapies. Teaching and counseling individuals, families and groups are major parts of NP practice.

American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Available at: http://www.aanp.org/images/documents/publications/scopeofpractice.pdf. Accessed April 20, 2017.


Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations.

American Nurses Association. Available at: http://www.nursingworld.org/EspeciallyForYou/What-is-Nursing. Accessed April 20, 2017.

Occupational Therapist

In its simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.

The American Occupational Therapy Association. Available at: http://www.aota.org/Consumers.aspx. Accessed April 20, 2017.


Doctors of optometry (ODs) are the independent primary health care professionals for the eye. Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye. American Optometric Association

Osteopathic Medicine

Osteopathic medicine is a distinct form of medical practice in the United States. Osteopathic medicine provides all of the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery, and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury. It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine. Osteopathic medicine emphasizes helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention.

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. Available at: http://www.aacom.org/about/osteomed/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed April 20, 2017.


Pharmacology is the study of how chemical agents, both natural and synthetic (i.e., drugs) affect biological systems. This encompasses investigation of the derivation, chemical properties, physiological and behavioral effects, mechanisms of action, biological transformations, and the therapeutic and non-therapeutic uses of drugs. Pharmacological studies can determine the effects of chemical agents upon subcellular, systemic, physiological or behavioral processes; focus on the treatment and prevention of diseases; or deal with the potential hazards of pesticides and herbicides. 


Pharmacy is the health profession that links the health sciences with the chemical sciences and it is charged with ensuring the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs. The scope of pharmacy practice includes more traditional roles such as compounding and dispensing medications, and it also includes more modern services related to health care, including clinical services, reviewing medications for safety and efficacy, and providing drug information. Pharmacists, therefore, are the experts on drug therapy and are the primary health professionals who optimize medication use to provide patients with positive health outcomes.

Wikipedia contributors. Pharmacy. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. April 8, 2017. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmacy Accessed April 20, 2017.

Physical Therapist

A physical therapist is a health care profession primarily concerned with the remediation of impairments and disabilities and the promotion of mobility, functional ability, quality of life and movement potential through examination, evaluation, diagnosis and physical intervention carried out by physical therapists (known as physiotherapists in most countries) and physical therapist assistants (known as physical rehabilitation therapists or physiotherapy assistants in some countries).

Wikipedia contributors. Physical therapy. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. April 15, 2017. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_therapy. Accessed April 20, 2017.

Physician Assistant

A physician assistant (PA), is a healthcare professional who is licensed to practice medicine as part of a team with physicians. Physician assistants are concerned with preventing and treating human illness and injury by providing a broad range of health care services under the direction of a physician or surgeon. Physician assistants conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, prescribe medications, counsel on preventive health care and may assist in surgery.

Wikipedia contributors. Physician assistant. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. April 18, 2017. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physician_assistant. Accessed April 20, 2017.


A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), also known as a podiatric physician or surgeon. Podiatrists diagnose and treat conditions of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. American Podiatric Medical Association

Registered Dietician/Dietetics

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are the food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. RDNs use their nutrition expertise to help individuals make unique, positive lifestyle changes. They work throughout the community in hospitals, schools, public health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, food management, food industry, universities, research and private practice. RDNs are advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.

Eat Rigth Pro, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Speech-Language Pathology

Speech-language pathology professionals (speech-language pathologists (SLPs), or informally speech therapists) specialize in communication disorders as well as swallowing disorders. The main components of speech production include: phonation, the process of sound production; resonance; intonation, the variation of pitch; and voice, including aeromechanical components of respiration. The main components of language include: phonology, the manipulation of sound according to the rules of the language; morphology, the understanding and use of the minimal units of meaning; syntax, the grammar rules for constructing sentences in language; semantics, the interpretation of meaning from the signs or symbols of communication; and pragmatics, the social aspects of communication.

Wikipedia contributors. Speech-language pathology. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.March 31, 2017. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speech-language_pathology. Accessed July 15, 2013.

Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary medicine is the branch of science that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, disorder and injury in animals. The scope of veterinary medicine is wide, covering all animal species, both domesticated and wild, with a wide range of conditions which can affect different species.

Wikipedia contributors. Veterinary medicine. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. April 20, 2017. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterinary_medicine. Accessed April 20, 2017.