Doctors & Physician Assistants

Allopathic Medicine (MDs) and Osteopathic Medicine (DOs)-Physicians (both MDs and DOs) practice in all the same areas of medicine. They diagnose and treat illness, prescribe medications, order and interpret tests, and perform surgery. Medical school is 4 years beyond undergraduate study followed by a residency (on the job training) of 3-8 years depending on medical specialty.

Required undergraduate courses and additional information

Indiana University School of Medicine has a campus here at Purdue. While all applications go through the main campus in Indianapolis, some students choose to stay at the state-of-the-art facility on Purdue's campus at Lyles-Porter Hall where interprofessional training takes place with nurse practitioners, dietitians, exercise physiologists, audiologists, and speech language pathologists. Indiana University School of Medicine West Lafayette

Physician assistants provide diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic care as designated by a licensed physician (MD or DO). PAs are trained as generalists but can also work in specialty areas. They perform physical exams, diagnose and treat illness, order and interpret lab tests, prescribe medication, suture wounds, assist in surgery, provide patient education and counseling, and make rounds in hospitals.

Required undergraduate courses and additional information

Nurse practitioners practice at the same level as physician assistants. They order and interpret tests, diagnose, prescribe medications, and devise treatment plans. Currently most students earn a master's degree, but it may shift to a doctoral program. Students either start from a nursing program as undergraduates or if they have a degree in something other than nursing, they can enter a second degree nursing program to earn their RN or BSN in about 15 months. They can then start working as a nurse and apply to a nurse practitioner program--most of which are structured for working nurses.

More about Nurse Practitioners (NPs)

Planning Your NP Education

Purdue Second Degree Nursing Program

Marian University Accelerated Nursing Program