Wellness and the Allied Health Professions
Raul Caetano, M.D., Ph.D.
What is Allied Health?
- Professionals involved with the delivery of health services pertaining to the identification, evaluation and prevention of diseases and disorders; dietary and nutrition services; rehabilitation and health systems management, among others.
Allied health professionals include
dental hygienists medical sonographers
dietitians medical technologists
occup. therapists physical therapists radiographers respiratory therapists
sp. lang. pathologists rehabilitation psychologists
physician assistants prosthetics & orthotics
radiation therapists emergency medical tech.
Allied Health in the UT System*
- University of Texas Medical Branch
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
- MD Anderson
- U.T. Health Sciences Center, San Antonio
- UT Brownsville
- UT Dallas
- UT Pan American
*Schools at Galveston, Southwestern, MD Anderson, San Antonio, UTEP, Brownsville, Pan American
Culture of Wellness: Opportunities in Education
- Most faculty with some knowledge about wellness.
- Wellness concepts already present to different degrees in educational curriculum.
- Elements of the culture present in fragmented form.
Culture of Welness: Opportunities in Practice
- Most professions provide direct or indirect care to patients, and patient contact longer than MD.
- Practice settings are varied (hospital, outpatient, clinics in the community).
- Wellness practice present in varying degrees.
- The field of Allied Health is diverse and fragmented.
- Each profession has a specific accreditation process and curriculum requirements (no common curriculum).
- Professional identities are linked to specific professions and not to the field as a whole.
- Professional associations are also profession-specific.
Near- Term Suggestions
- Centralized effort leading to wide dissemination of wellness concepts to UT System units, especially those with active programs in the health field.
- System-sponsored faculty development.
- System-sponsored educational materials (course structure, lectures, slide sets, background literature).