Pursuing a Degree in Healthcare? Here Are Some Terms You Need To Know!

POSTED on 02/14/2020 by Be Something Amazing

Entering the healthcare field may seem daunting due to the overwhelming use of acronyms, foreign terms, degrees, and certifications. For this post we are going to breakdown terms that are commonly used in relation to healthcare courses or careers. We hope this will help students navigate the admissions process and better understand the path to a career in healthcare.


This stands for an "associate of arts" degree, which can be earned at most two-year colleges.


This refers to an "associate of applied science" degree, which can be earned at some two-year colleges.

Accelerated Degree Program

A degree program that some schools may offer to speed up the pace of your education. An accelerated degree can be obtained significantly quicker than a regular degree but that means that the course work is much more intensive, so a good prior academic standing is necessary.


Accreditation is a status that shows the public that a school has met and is maintaining a high level of standards set by an accrediting agency. Before choosing a school, it is important that you understand the school’s accreditation status and how it will affect your future degree.


The American Medical Association is an association of physicians and medical students throughout the United States.

B.A. or B.S.

B.A. stands for "bachelor of arts," and B.S. stands for "bachelor of science." Both degrees can be earned at four-year colleges.

Board Certification

The process by which a physician or other professional demonstrates a mastery of basic knowledge and skills through a written or practical exam. You’ll want to research the state and national requirements for certifications related to a specific profession.


In an economy that increasingly rewards specialization, more and more institutions are offering certification programs, typically a package of five or six courses, for credit or not, taken over three to 18 months. Some cost a few thousand dollars, others much more.

Clinical Rotations

Clinical rotations allow students to apply knowledge from the classroom to real life medical situations. They usually comprise the last two years of medical education for doctors, nurses, or most other clinical healthcare professionals.


A fellowship is a funding award given to subsidize the cost of graduate level education. Medical fellowships are designed for physicians who have already finished medical school and completed residency in their specialty. This type of fellowship is for doctors who wish to receive further medical training so they can become masters in a specific area of medicine.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is funding that is available to students attending college. The funding is to assist in covering the many costs incurred in the pursuit of postsecondary education.


This is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a federal form required as the application from all students who wish to apply for need-based financial aid, including grants, loans and work-study awards.

Graduate Degrees

These degrees are earned beyond the bachelor's degree when the student completes graduate school curriculum requirements. Common examples include the MA (master’s degree), PhD (doctoral degree) MBA (master’s degree in business administration), MD (medical doctor).

Personal Statement

A personal statement is an admissions or application essay that gives you the opportunity to sell yourself to the admissions board.


A course that must be taken prior to enrollment in another course.


A physician residency is a graduate medical training that is a requirement for obtaining a license to practice medicine. Residencies are often followed up by a fellowship.

Work-study programs

Work-study programs are offered through many schools to help students earn financial funding through a part-time employment program.