Hello everyone. I am a frequent visitor to the yinyang house. I am a student of Chinese medice and have only one year left. I am wondering if anyone knows if you can practice outside of the US if you have a diploma and pass the US national test. I used to live in Japan, my girlfriend is Korean and I am also very interesed in living in Northern Europe (mosty Sweden). Can my credits transfer to another school outside of the US? I can find information about practing from state to state but what about countries? I also hold a degree in international studies and don't want to be confined to America for the rest of my Acupuncture life. So does anybody know if American stuff transfers to other countries? Thank you and I look forward to being a member of the forum.
You will, of course, have to a be quite a bit more specific as to where you are interested in practicing because the correct answer to your question will depend entirely on that. Generally speaking, however, the answer to your question is no our training is not directly transferable to most countries.
Even within the United States the laws governing the practice are far from uniform. Our national agencies have made slow but important headway in this endeavor, but much is left to be done. As a practitioner it is still less than trivial even moving state to state depending on where you went to school, your qualifications, and how much money you have and there are a few states that still do not license acupuncture.
Moving to other countries is even more of a mess. Some countries have no technical regulation of acupuncture, others (perhaps most?) require you to be an MD and then you can practice, and a few have a similar setup to what we have in the US and you -might- be able to transfer your credentials into a useable form within that country.
My best advice is to limit your country choices first and foremost and then contact the health departments of each respective country and ask your question there. You may also use the internet to search for anyone practicing acupuncture in the country (MD or not) and ask them for assistance.
Thanks for answering. I did name the specfics as Japan, Korea, and Sweden. One of my teachers is Chinese and said she had to go to school in America and pass our exam, even though she was a DOM in China. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to limit people in the health profession as to where they can go to live and heal people of that country. Im pretty sure there is no way Japan would let me practice there. On the other hand if I had a bussiness degree, no problem.... crappy governments.
I'm speaking from experience here. I'm a brit living in Italy. Europe's a bit of a minefield when it comes to acupuncture.
DON'T COME TO ITALY!!!! The first thing you have to find out is whether you can practice acupuncture at all. In some countries only doctors are allowed to make a diagnosis and stick needles in people. Italy is certainly one of them. I have been practising here for ten years, and basically, itsa not so easy, ifa you seea whada I mean.
There's a screaming acupunture scene in Sweden and Denmark, but again, you'll have to check whether acupuncture is reserved for doctors only. Since the benefits are so good in the Scandinavian countries, they have recently made it a bit more tricky to get a visa, unless it's for study or things like that.
Germany: I think you have to be either a doctor or a naturopath. Naturopath isn't quite the right word. They invented a new kind of level of health worker that covers things like homeopathy and tcm. Interestingly though, they took some one to court who was practising Koryo Sooji Chim, and the Court decreed that KHT could not be considered as acupunture, so he could continue practising.
Your best bets for acupuncture in Europe, unfortunately, are the UK and Ireland. For information, check out the British Acupuncture Council. You don't have to be a doctor. I think you basically need to be qualified and insured. However, they might throw a shiner and make you do the exam for the BAC just to get you to cough up some money. You have all be benefits of northern Europe, like the crap weather, plus the joys of warm beer and dodgy plumbing!
By the way, if you know of a way I can get into the US as an acupuncturist, let me know!
I also looked around in Europe, mostly in the Germany speaking countries - I had a few years of German in highschool and college - and I also didn't see a school there that specialized just in TCM/acupuncture. What I have also seen is all the people practicing acupuncture are MDs. I too was disappointed about it since I am only studying TCM but in the future I might be able to work with the MDs over there.h
Far as the US goes, we also face the larger number of medical community opposing acupuncture mainly because of 'no scientific evidence' for proofs of what we are doing - by the way I am not a practitioner yet, just a student. But the situation isn't much better here so if you are thinking that it's acupuncture haven over here, I wouldn't set my hopes too high - unfortunately. Some people do well in it but what I see it's mostly their marketing capability that sets them higher.