What is allied health?


Quick Answer

Allied health refers to professionals in the healthcare industry that work as technicians, therapists or technologists. There are more than 5 million allied health professionals in the United States.

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Full Answer

More than 200 careers make up allied health, including physical therapy, dental hygiene, respiratory therapy and athletic training. The careers focus on patient health, which can be a direct or indirect responsibility for the allied health professional.

The education required for allied health professionals varies based on category. Technicians commonly attend school for approximately 2 years and are required to be supervised by therapists or technologists. Therapists and technologists undergo more extensive educational programs, with some resulting in doctorate degrees.

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