Currently I am programming a web-application with Symfony. In this app we got different kind of users: patients, doctors, experts, admins and so on. All of these users share some attributes (username, password, email), but some attributes only apply to several usertypes. A doctor for example has a departement, an expert a phone-number etc.
In the object oriented world of PHP this is an easy task: Patient extends User. But thanks to the magic of Doctrine this can be used within MySQL as well!
Daniel Barsotti wrote an excellent post about it: http://blog.liip.ch/archive/2012/03/27/table-inheritance-with-doctrine.html
Works like a charm!