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Introducing The A to Z of Allied Health

Welcome to the A to Z of Allied Health — a weekly blog series with a comprehensive focus on allied health professions: what they do, the populations they work with, the settings in which they work, and countries they are recognised in, as well as training levels and models, regulatory frameworks, workforce size, and much more.

Presently, there is no universal definition of allied health or exhaustive list of the professions that come under the ‘Allied Health’ umbrella. While there are some “core” allied health professions that are well-established and professionalised (think physiotherapy, speech pathology, occupational therapy), there are newer allied health professions emerging in response to changing population demographics and health needs (for example, Child health Therapy, Genetic counselling).

While Allied Health continues to expand and evolve, there’s a lack of awareness that comes with it. The lack of clarity around the term allied health and the many professions it comprises means the contribution of this large component of the workforce is under-recognised.

By profiling each allied health profession week by week, we aim to highlight the diverse range of professions that make up allied health, as well as their key differences internationally.

We’ll be highlighting some of the smaller and under-recognised professions. In doing this, we hope to shed light on the full breadth of the contribution Allied Health makes to the health and social care workforce and increased its utilisation.

Although there is no definitive list of Allied Health professions, we have identified a set of core professions and will begin with these, with a view to developing a more comprehensive list.

Highlighted professions

Here are the first 47 allied health professions/professionals we’ll be featuring in the coming weeks.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners Audiologists Acupuncturists
Anesthesiologist assistants Art therapists Athletic trainers
Cardiovascular technologists Child life therapists Chinese Medicine Practitioners
Chiropractors Cytotechnologists Dental assistants
Dental hygienists Developmental educators Diabetes educators
Dietitians (and nutritionists?) Drama therapists Emergency medical technicians (EMT)
Exercise physiologists Genetic counsellors Guidance counsellors
Health administrators Health educators Health information management practitioners
Lactation consultants Medical radiation therapists Music therapists
Nuclear medicine technology  Occupational therapists Operating department practitioners
Orthoptists Orthotists and Prosthetists Osteopaths
Paramedic practitioners Pedorthists Perfusionists
Pharmacists Physician assistants Physicists
Physiotherapists Podiatrists Psychologists
Radiographers   Respiratory therapy technologists Social workers 
Sonographers  Speech pathologists / speech and language therapists  

We will begin by featuring a few of the smaller and lesser-known allied health professions, such as Pedorthists, Music therapists and Child Life Therapists. Where possible, we will feature the Allied Health Professions during its week of recognition or promotion (e.g., October 27th – World Occupational Therapy Day will include a spotlight on Occupational Therapists).

Have your say

Is there a profession you’d like us to cover? We invite your input via the survey below. Your insights, views and experiences are not only welcome, but necessary. We want to hear your thoughts on the issues affecting your profession, as well as its future direction.

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