Health practitioners diagnose, treat, and strive to prevent illness and disease. While all of them practice the art of healing, they differ in methods of treatment and areas of specialization. Physicians--both allopathic and osteopathic--perform surgery, and prescribe medications, exercise, and proper diet. Optometrists specialize in eye care and podiatrists treat foot diseases and deformities. Dentists emphasize not only the treatment but the prevention of problems associated with teeth and gums. Veterinarians treat animals and inspect meat, poultry, and other food as part of public health programs. A variety of health professions are briefly described in the links to the right, all worthy of exploration.
Much of the information in the following pages has been compiled from two main sources, both excellent resources for students exploring careers in general and health care careers in particular: