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Oriental Medicine Education


There are many places in the United States to study oriental medicine. Getting down to the wire for finishing applications, I'm curious to hear what expert Oriental Medicine practitioners have to say.

Some schools offer, in addition to standard training, certificates in 5-Element acupuncture, orthopedic acupuncture, medical qigong, etcetera. Others focus on modern-Chinese style education, thoroughly melding East and West. Some teach Classical Chinese other Traditional Chinese, some Korean or Japanese, some offer a rounded variety, other focus on one method and offer single electives in others....some have 3,000 hour programs, others have 3,500 hour programs. Some teach 350 herbs with over 150 formulas, others teach 300 herbs with 100 formulas.

What's most important when applying for a school? Is it best to attend the most comprehensive school with certificate programs in 5-Element, Orthopedic, Medical Qigong? Or is it better to attend a decent school, and then worry more about specialization and apprenticeship later?

I guess I'm curious to hear what experts think the best route is to become a great practitioner of Oriental Medicine. Thank you!


Personally I think the best is whatever school you have the best feeling about with regards to the faculty (ideally developing a personal connection with at least one or two before you choose) and/or whichever school is in a town where you have professional practitioner(s) you would really like to apprentice under. The rest (i.e. certifications, qigong, etc.) are really things that you will be more or less drawn to later and you can deal with that by taking other classes, studying on your own and/or with other professionals, or doing it as CEU&#39s after you get out of school. In other words, I would recommend that you choose the school based on people and their qualifications and your personal feeling and interactions with them not on any curriculum issues - those are somewhat irrelevant in the scheme of things. The exception would be being drawn to something very unique like Japanese Acupuncture - in which case only one school that I know of (NESA) has a full program in addition to the TCM track and others have varying degrees of focus on these techniques with many having none. Knowing this ahead of time is often rare however and you can easily pick up these techniques later through CEU&#39s - or even outside of other schools with local practitioners.


There are indeed good schools to study Oriental medicine, but if you are in need of federal financial aid, that is available now for accredited schools but may not be in the future. ACAOM is in trouble with the US Department of Ed (USDE) and is poised to loose their recognition by USDE on June 2012 if they dont correct all the violations of the regulations for USDE recognition. See page 120 of the attached USDE report which speaks for itself

ACAOM is a mess.

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