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VOL. 129 | NO. 131 | Tuesday, July 08, 2014

UTHSC College of Allied Health Sciences Gets New Name

By Don Wade

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Come fall, nearly 600 students will be enrolled in the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Health Professions – and that will be a first because on July 1, that became the new name for what formerly was known as the College of Allied Health Sciences.

“The last five years, a lot of colleges around the country have gone through the same transition. This is a better name for us.”

–Noma Anderson
Dean, UTHSC

Dean Noma Anderson says the time was right for a name change that more accurately captures the mission of the college, which was founded in 1972 and originally known as the College of Community and Allied Health.

“The last five years, a lot of colleges around the country have gone through the same transition,” she said. “This is a better name for us.”

The name “allied health,” Anderson said, had been in use since the 1930s and was chosen at a time when the college’s medical disciplines were considered to be ancillary to primary health care.

The College of Health Professions is comprised of six departments: audiology and speech pathology, clinical laboratory sciences, health informatics and information management, occupational therapy, physical therapy and physician assistant studies. Depending on the training selected, students study at the bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral levels.

Noting that the college offers 12 master’s or doctoral-level degrees and two bachelor’s degrees, Anderson said: “Our degrees are much more advanced than 10 years ago.”

The National Bureau of Labor Statistics has listed all of the college’s health professions as growing faster than average.

“We’re on a growth curve,” Anderson said.

Often, Anderson says, students choose occupational therapy, physical therapy or some other area of study because they watched a family member receive help and realized they could in turn make an impact. Also, the medical field continues to be attractive in an environment where having a job and having a good job is not necessarily the same thing.

“People are more aware of the professions in health care,” Anderson said. “In a challenged economic (setting), health care professions have security.”

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