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.”

For more information on the program, and to apply, please visit transitional DACM’s web page: https://www.actcm.edu/dacmt/

Article by Jessica Paden

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