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 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 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