F.A.Q./Meeting dates

When/Where do we meet?

We meet every other Wednesday of each month in Life Science III Room 1059. Meetings start at 5 p.m. We’ll be posting the Spring 2020 dates soonest. New members are always welcome! Feel free to join at any point in the school year (some semesters have conflicts).  Membership is encouraged Freshman through Senior year.

Who are the Pre-health advisors?

Tammi Pinski, our Pre-Health Advisor and Elizabeth Saunders, our Academic Advisor, will work very hard to keep you up-to-date with information about your chosen career.  They would love to hear from you! Feel free to ask any questions you have about health professions. Also, please visit the Health Professions Office in Neckers building room 185.

How do I send suggestions for the PPA?

Email any one of the officers. Their contact information can be found here.

How Do I subscribe/unsubscribe to the Pre-Health email listserv?  (The Pre-Health listserv is for all Pre-health students, not only PPA members.)

To subscribe, send an email to: listserv@listserv.siu.edu (The subject line can be ignored.) The text of the note should contain the following listserv command: SUB PREHEALTH-L (Must be caps.) firstname lastname (You’ll receive a confirmation; save directions which are sent with it for later!)

To send an email to the list: PREHEALTH-L@SIU.EDU Your email will go to the whole list.

To UNSUBSCRIBE and leave the Pre-Health list, you need to send an email to: listserv@siu.edu with the command: UNSUB PREHEALTH-L (Must be caps.) You will receive a removal confirmation.

What is the difference between a M.D. and a D.O?

An M.D. is a Doctor of Medicine (or for you Latin freaks: Medicinae Doctor) They are what you think of when you think of a typical “doctor” (Physician is a better term). Your family doctor is probably a M.D. Ask him. A D.O. is a Doctor of Osteopathy. An osteopath (as they might be known) is a physician. The difference lies in the education each receives. A M.D. receives a traditional allopathic education (the one you are trying so desperately to be able to receive). The osteopathic education is structured on, “the principles that the human body is an integrated organism and therefore abnormal function in one part of the body exerts unfavorable influences on other parts and on the body as a whole…” (taken from Barron’s Guide to Medical and Dental Schools, 8th ed., p.398) Osteopathic education also includes “traditional” training that would be received in allopathic schools. Thirty-three osteopathic colleges exist, greatly expanding in the last 10 years, whereas there are 144 allopathic (MD-granting) schools.

What is the difference between a D.D.S. and a D.M.D.?

Unlike the previous question, nothing except semantics. D.D.S. is a Doctor of Dental Surgery whereas a D.M.D. is a Doctor of Dental Medicine. If you go to dental school in Illinois you can find either program. UIC gives the D.D.S. and SIU gives the D.M.D. They are the same degree; they are certified the same way by the American Dental Association. They require the exact same courses. So, what’s the difference? As far as we’ve figured out, all programs began as D.D.S. programs. Then, a while back (around the middle of the century) a few programs felt not emphasis was given to the medical side of dentistry so they tweaked their programs. Now, both degrees are regulated in the same way. From what the we’ve gathered, D.M.D. programs seem to exist more in the south, but this is not entirely the case. Confused? Just remember that both have the same qualifications and worry about more important things in life.

What is the difference between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist?

Much more than a M.D/D.O and D.D.S./D.M.D. An ophthalmologist is a M.D. (though I suppose they could be a D.O.) who has chosen to specialize in the eye. An ophthalmologist would be more interested in the diseases and surgery of the eye. An optometrist has a O.D. (not to be confused with a D.O.) is a Doctor of Optometry. An optometrist goes to optometry school, whereas an ophthalmologist goes to medical school. An optometrist will deal more with fitting eye glasses and contacts and treating eye diseases with topical agents. Don’t confuse these with opticians who do not hold medical degrees of any sort. They make eyeglasses.

OK, so what is a P.A.?

P.A. stands for Physician Assistant. They do not have a MD or DO degree, but a M.S. (Master of Science). A PA cannot practice alone. Depending on the state, PAs can do various tasks, but typically practice in all areas and specialties.  In the world of busier care and the shortage of physicians, PAs see some of the more routine patients a physician would normally see, freeing the physician to handle more complicated cases.

Have a question and this page didn’t help? Send your question to one of the PPA officers and we’ll see that you get an answer. Plus, we get to add it to this page for the next person!