Advancing the Acupuncture Degree for a New Age in Medicine

For patient wellness, acupuncture is becoming an increasingly important treatment in mainstream care. This pronounced shift in recognition makes it essential for acupuncturists to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively communicate and collaborate with other health care professionals.

At ACTCM, the 2016–2017 school year marked the launch of the transitional Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM), a two-semester program for people who have completed their master’s in acupuncture and Chinese medicine or Oriental medicine. The program culminates in a professional doctorate degree accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Transitional Doctorate: On-Site Learning Is Key

The transitional DACM is designed to support prior training in acupuncture and Chinese medicine with advanced training in oncology, orthopedics, systems-based medicine, and advanced syndrome-based herbal study.

The program is delivered in a convenient combination of online and in-person coursework. Students meet at the ACTCM campus for six weekend modules over the course of two semesters.

Nearly half of the work is completed online. The in-person modules are vital for a profession that at its core is the definition of “hands on.” The program structure also addresses the value of building relationships among acupuncture professionals.

“Working in small groups, sharing experiences, and developing relationships all happen more easily in person than online,” says Jonathan Wheeler, DACM faculty at ACTCM.

A Deeper Understanding of Integrative Care

The Transitional DACM is carefully structured to help students develop the advanced doctoral level competencies in a program that works around their busy practice. Current and prospective students in the transitional DACM program are excited about the advantage it provides in the field of integrative medicine. While the master’s degree prepares students with a strong foundation to pass board licensing and certification exams, and to work as practitioners, the transitional DACM offers a deeper framework that helps bridge the gap between Eastern and Western medicine.

“One of the things that interested me in this doctorate is learning that integrative medicine in California is much farther ahead than, for example, in Europe,” says student Bjoern Dirk Schlueter. “The transitional DACM really aims at broadening this knowledge.”

Distinguished by Your Doctorate

Additionally, the program accommodates an important practical decision. “If you’re considering practicing in the environment of a Western medical setting, you’re going to be interfacing with other MDs,” says Miyung Rhee, also a current student. “Our health care system is set up in a way that you will be taken more seriously and better respected if you have that doctorate.”

Article by Jessica Paden


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About American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) has provided affordable, quality health care to the public and trained professionals in acupuncture, massage and Chinese medicine since 1980. In addition to its graduate curriculum, ACTCM offers continuing education, public education, community outreach and clinical services in acupuncture and herbal medicine. ACTCM has been the recipient of many awards for its curriculum, faculty and clinic, and has been voted “Best of the Bay” by both the San Francisco Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. ACTCM is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization

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