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Pre-medical & Pre-Pharmacy Student Glossary

The official SDN “Get Smart” Glossary! The SDN Glossary contains definitions of the most common terms you need to know as a pre-health student.

0+6 Program: Pharmacy program accepting applicants directly after high school and are guaranteed a position in the professional phase of the program providing that certain criteria are met

2+4 Program: Program allowing students with the opportunity of entering a pharmacy program after 2 years of undergraduate coursework provided that all pre-pharmacy requirements are met

3+4 Program: Program allowing advanced students with the opportunity of entering a pharmacy program after 3 years of undergraduate coursework

AA: Affirmative action

AA: Anesthesiology assistant

ABP: Atlantic Bridge Program, a program for students from Canada and the United States applying to medical schools in Ireland.

AACOM: American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

AACOMAS: American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service

AACP: American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

AAMC: Association of American Medical Colleges

Accredited School (Pharm): A school which has passed ACPE accreditation assuring and advancing the quality of pharmacy education

ACGME: Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education, accredits residency programs

ACLS: Advanced Cardiac Life Support

ADCOM: Admission Committee

AED: Automatic External Defibrillator

Affirmative Action: Programs designed to provide increased opportunities for historically under-represented minorities

AHMA: American Holistic Medical Association

AMA: American Medical Association

AMA-MSS: Medical Student Section of the AMA

AMCAS:American Medical College Application Service

AMSA: American Medical Student Association, publishes the New Physician

AMWA: American Medical Women’s Association

AO: All Others – Grade Point Average of all classes not included in BCMP

AOA: Alpha Omega Alpha – NationalMedicalSchool honor society

AOA: American Osteopathic Association

AP: Advanced Placement

APhA: American Pharmacists Association

ASHP: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

Attending: A physician who has completed residency and practices in a clinic, hospital, or private practice, in the specialty learned during residency and can supervise fellow residents and medical students.

AWPA: Acceptance when place available; used when a medical school or college desires to admit a student but lacks a spot to accommodate that student

BA/MD: A combined program where a Bachelors of Arts and Doctor of Medicine degree are conferred over 6-8 years depending on the program

BCPM: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics

BCNP: Board Certified Nuclear Pharmacist

BCNSP: Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacist

BCOP: Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist

BCPP: Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist

BCPS: Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist

BLS: Basic Life Support

Boards Bootcamp: Test preparation and review for COMLEX and USMLE

BOP: Board of Pharmacy

Burnett’s Law: As an SDN Forums discussion grows longer, the probability of being told, “you will be a terrible doctor” or, “I feel bad for your future patients” approaches 1.

BS/MD: A combined program where a Bachelors of Sciences and Doctor of Medicine degree are conferred over 6-8 years depending on the program

CAM: complementary and alternative medicine.

Carribean Med Schools: Popular alternative to those not attending school in the US

CC: Community college

Certified Pharmacy Technician: A technician who has passed the certification test provided by the PTCB

Chief Resident: a senior-level resident who has been assigned administrative and training responsibilities within the residency training program.

CNA: Certified nurse assistant

CNM: Certified Nurse-Midwife

COMLEX: Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (the Osteopathic equivalent of the USMLE), a 3 step medical licensing test all DO’s must take. Step I is taken after the 2nd year of medical school and is a major determining factor in residency placement, Step II is taken prior to graduation and Step III is taken following your first year of residency.

Committee Letter: composite letter of LOR’s which is submitted by the school’s pre-professional advising committee

CPJE: California Practice Standards and Jurisprudence Examination for Pharmacists

CPR: cardiopulmonary resuscitation, An emergency procedure employed after cardiac arrest and used to maintain the circulation of oxygenated blood to the brain.

CRNA: Certified registered nurse anesthetist

CSS: College Scholarship Service

DAW: ‘Dispense As Written’, A prescription with a DAW must be dispensed precisely as it is written. No substitutions or alterations permitted

DDS: Doctor of Dental Surgery

Deferral: Delayed Matriculation following acceptance, usually one year

DMD: Doctor of Dental Medicine

DNP: Doctor of Nursing Practice

DO: Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

DOP: Director of Pharmacy

DPM: Doctor of Podiatric Medicine

DPT: Doctor of Physical Therapy

Dr. Collins: PCAT review course

DVM: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

EC: Extra-curricular activities

ECFMG: Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates

EDP: Early Decision Program

EK: ExamKrackers, test preparation course materials

ED: the Emergency Department (usually at a hospital)

EM: Emergency Medicine (medical specialty)

EMS: Emergency Medical Services

EMT: Emergency Medical Technician

EMT-B: Emergency Medical Technician-Basic

EMT-I: Emergency Medical Technician-Intermediate

EMT-P: Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic

ENT: Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat)

ERAS: Electronic Residency Application System for obtaining a residency position in the field of medicine in the United States.

FAF: Financial Aid Form

FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Fellowship: Post residency training in specialized fields

FMG: Foreign Medical Graduate

GMAT: Graduated Management Admission Test

Gold Standard: Test preparation review course materials (The MCAT Store)

GPA: Grade Point Average; BCPM is the science GPA; AO is the GPA for all other courses

GRE: Graduate Record Examination

Gunner: slang for an anxious premed student who will do anything to get good grades.

HBCU: Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Hospitalist: a physician who specializes in treating hospitalized patients; a specialist in inpatient medicine.

HCP: Health Care Provider

House Staff: The physicians and surgeons in specialty training at a hospital who care for patients under the direction and responsibility of attending staff.

HPAC: Health Professions Advisory Committee

IMG: International Medical Graduate

Internship: First year of medical residency training for physicians

IM: Internal Medicine (medical specialty)

IRS: Internal Revenue Service

IS: In-state

JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association

Joint Commission: accredits and certifies more than 18,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States (formerly JCAHO)

Kaplan: Test preparation review materials and service

LCME: Liaison Committee on Medical Education, accredits medical schools

LCSW: Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Legacy: A student whose parents or grandparents have attended and/or heavily contributed to the school

Licensed Pharmacy Technician: A technician who possess a state specific license to work in a pharmacy

LOE: Letters of Evaluation

LOI: Letter of intent/interest

LOR: Letter of recommendation

LPN: Licensed Practical Nurse

Match: The electronic process where 4th year medical or pharmacy students are fitted to residency spots based on their preference rankings and preference rankings of the residency program.

MBA: Master of Business Administration, given in many disciplines.

MBChB or MBBS:UK model – Bachelor of Medicine and surgery

MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test, a computer based standardized test used to assess a medical school applicant’s aptitude in a variety of fields. Subject matter includes Chemistry, Physics, Verbal Reasoning, a Writing Sample, Biology and Organic Chemistry. It has 3 sections each scored on a bell curve from 1 to 15 (total possible points 45) and the writing section ranges from a J-T.

MD: Doctor of (allopathic) Medicine

MD/PHD: Combined Doctor of Medicine and PhD. program, 6-8 years

MDApplicants.com: Web site that allows students applying to medical schools to share their application stats and track their progress through the application process. Students can view others profiles and leave comments.

MHA: Masters of Healthcare Administration

MPH: Master of Public Health

MPJE: Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination

MS I, II, III or IV: medical student year 1,2,3 or 4

MSAR: Medical School Admission Requirements (published by AAMC)

MSTP: Medical Scientist Training Program

NAAHP: National Association of Advisers for the Health Professions

NABP: National Association of Boards of Pharmacy

NAPLEX: North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination

NBME: National Board of Medical Examiners, administers the USMLE

NBOME: National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners

NCPA: National Community Pharmacists Association

NICU: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

NonTrad: Student who is applying to a professional program 2 or more years after completing his undergraduate program, often as a career change (non-traditional student)

NP: Nurse Practitioner

NRMP: National Resident Matching Program

OA: Overall – All inclusive Grade Point Average

OEC-T: Outdoor Emergency Care Technician

On-Hold: Application has been reviewed without decision

OOS: Out-of-state

OP: Original Poster

OR: the Operating Room (usually in a hospital or ambulatory surgery center)

Orgo: Organic Chemistry, and a common prerequisite for medical schools

OTD: Doctor of Occupational Therapy

PA: Physician Assistant / Associate

PA: Prior Authorization. Additional paperwork required by an insurance outlining the specifics of a patient’s medical condition to determine whether or not the medication will be paid for

PCAT: Pharmacy College Application Test; a standardized test used to assess a pharmacy school applicant’s aptitude in a variety of fields. The test is broken into 7 parts: 2 Writing Topics, Verbal Ability, Biology, Chemistry, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Ability. The writing scores range from 0-5. All other section scores are a percentile from 0-99.

PCT: patient care technician

PGY1: intern year

PharmApplicants.com: Web site that allows students applying to pharmacy schools to share their application stats and track their progress through the application process. Students can view others profiles and leave comments.

PharmCAS: Pharmacy College Application Service, the service a pre-pharmacy student uses to apply to most pharmacy schools in the United States

PharmD: Doctor of Pharmacy (6 years – 2+4 or direct entry)

PharmD/MBA: Combined Doctor of Pharmacy and Masters of Business Administration Program

PharmD/PhD: Combined Doctor of Pharmacy and Ph.D. program

Pharmacy Protocol: The ability to dispense medication by writing a legal prescription without the consent of a doctor. Only applicable in some states.

PhD: Doctor of Philosophy

PI: principal investigator (of a lab)

PIC: Pharmacist In Charge

PICU: Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

PM: Private Message

Post-bac: Coursework taken (typically after earning a bachelor’s degree) to allow applicants to meet medical school admission requirements. May be useful for students with degrees in non-science fields; can be formal or informal; short for post-baccalaureate program

Pre-Candidate School: A pharmacy school which has begun the process of becoming accredited, but has not yet done so

Pre-req: Undergraduate course listed as minimum requirement for entry into medical school (e.g. general chemistry)

Primary Application: single initial medical school application submitted online via AMCAS (MD) or AAMCOMAS (DO) or TMDAS (Texas schools) for verification and forwarding to individual schools.

Primary Care: Typically the specialties of Family Practice, Pediatrics and general Internal Medicine

PRN: As needed

PS: Personal Statement

PsyD: Doctor of psychology

PTCB: Pharmacy Technician Certification Board

QFT: Quoted For Truth

RD: Resident Director

Re-Applicant: Applicant who has also applied during a previous cycle

Reciprocity: An agreement between states to issue practice licenses to applicants licensed in other states

Residency: A period of time after completing school during which a physician or pharmacist receives intensive training in a particular healthcare specialty

RN: Registered Nurse

ROAD: Radiology, Ophthalmology, Anesthesiology, Dermatology – medical specialties considered by some to afford a good mix of income and quality of life

RRC: Residency Review Committee – verifies residency programs meet minimum training requirements for a specialty

Secondary Application: additional follow-up application for individual schools, which is submitted directly to the school. Content, fees, and methods of selecting applicants for distribution vary widely.

STAT: Immediate, said when something needs to be done immediately.

SDN: Student Doctor Network

SICU: Surgical Intensive Care Unit

Sig Codes: Short hand abbreviations used to describe the directions of a medication therapy. Examples include, but are not limited to: BID, TID, OU, AD, PRN….

SMDEP: Summer Medical and Dental Education Program

SMP: One-year masters degree programs (usually) that allow you to earn an MS in biomedical sciences or a related field. They are usually done by people who have a science background and are looking to make their application more competitive, for GPA or other reasons.

TBR: The Berkeley Review, test preparation review materials and service

TMDSAS: Texas Medical & Dental Schools Application Service

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language

TPR: The Princeton Review, test preparation review materials and service

URM: Under-represented Minority

USMLE: United States Medical Licensing Examination, a 3 step medical licensing test all MD’s must take. Step I is taken after the 2nd year of medical school and is a major determining factor in residency placement, Step II is taken prior to graduation and Step III is taken following your first year of residency. In the future, a combined Step I and Step II exam in the third year will likely be used

US News Rankings: Annual ranking of colleges and professional schools by U.S. News and World Report (magazine)

Waitlist: List of students who will be offered acceptance if seats become available at a given medical school

WAMC: “What Are My Chances” threads – designated posting area for all questions related an applicant’s chances for admission

WICHE: Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. WICHE provides a program for medical students from Alaska, Montana and Wyoming

WWAMI: A program for medical students from Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho