Clinical Experience

Essential to our students’ education is a comprehensive clinical experience. Students have the opportunity to intern at ACTCM’s onsite Acupuncture & Herbal Clinic and at multiple off-site clinics. Students are strongly encouraged to complete a minimum of two weeks of externship at Yue Yang Hospital, Shanghai University of TCM. ACTCM has a formal agreement with this institution.

Clinic Theaters

Clinic Theaters begin in the first semester and occur throughout the program. Clinic Theaters are part of TCM specialty classes. Two or three patients with disorders pertaining to the module topics will be seen in a theater class setting. Students participate in the interview and diagnosis process, and treatment plan with faculty members. After the patient has been treated by the faculty members, the students move to the next-door classroom and engage in a discussion based on their didactic class information, clinical experience, faculty input, and their literature reviews.

Clinical Grand Rounds (DAOM Only)

Throughout the doctoral program, clinical internship includes grand rounds with TCM practitioners and frequently with Western medical practitioners. In this environment, patients will be diagnosed by both practitioners. The faculty will discuss their diagnosis process and recommend a treatment plan, the strengths and weaknesses of their medicine in treating that particular patient, and how the practitioners can work collaboratively to provide the most effective treatment. Students will have ample opportunity to ask questions and hold in-depth discussions about their patients. Students work in small groups and treat the patients.

Sunday Specialty Clinics

In the specialty clinics, student interns in groups of 3 or 4 treat a patient under supervision of a DAOM clinic supervisor. These clinics occur in the ACTCM Acupuncture & Herbal Clinic and the California Pacific Medical Center inpatient rehab center. The clinical experiences in the two areas of specialization, TCM Gynecology and Pain Management, provide the opportunity for greater involvement with complex chronic disorders.

Clinical Observation

Students observe with biomedical practitioners, such as MD, DO, DC, ND, NP at an approved off-campus site. The clinical observation experience provides the opportunity for understanding of the roles and responsibilities of other health care practitioners and developing the skills to work in collaborative practices and in medical teams.

Clinical Externship

Two options (or a mixture of the two) are open to the students for completing the clinical externships:  (1) Three to Five weeks of externship at Yue Yang Hospital of Shanghai University of TCM under the supervision of Chinese and ACTCM faculty; or (2) Students are working with senior AOM practitioners or mentor (a minimum of 15 year of clinical experience) of their choice in the United States.

ACTCM will cover the tuition costs in China. Students are responsible for all travel and room and board costs incurred in China. The supervisors or mentors in the United States will be required to get approval from the DAOM Dean before the externship experience commences.

The Acupuncture & Herbal Clinic

Located in the main campus building on Arkansas Street, this clinic serves as the program’s centerpiece. The clinic provides more than 17,000 treatments a year. Serving a diverse client population, the clinic offers a variety of clinical opportunities for students and practitioners alike.

Clinical services include acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, Shiatsu, Tui Na, Qigong, nutritional counseling, and a full-service Chinese herbal pharmacy that carries an extensive selection of high-quality raw herbs, powdered herbs and patent medicines. The Acupuncture & Herbal Clinic operates weekdays, evenings and Saturdays, by appointment or on a drop-in basis. For rates and hours click here. To request an appointment, click here.

California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC)

CPMC offers interns the opportunity to treat patients in a hospital setting who are paralyzed or have limited mobility due to stroke or other injury to the brain or spine. Medical doctors refer patients for acupuncture to address issues surrounding pain management, rehabilitation, speech therapy, motor coordination, muscle tone and weakness, depression and anxiety. Because of the nature of cerebral and spinal injuries, many patients are treated regularly for a number of weeks or months.

UCSF Osher Center (DAOM)

The UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine operates as a campus-wide multidisciplinary program with a mission to transform the way medicine is practiced. The Osher Center achieves this by conducting rigorous research on integrative approaches to health; educating students, health professionals and the public; and compassionately treating patients with both conventional and alternative approaches that address all aspects of health and wellness, physical, psychological, social and spiritual. The care provided at the Osher Center emphasizes respect for the human capacity for healing, the importance of the relationship between the practitioner and the patient, a collaborative approach to patient care among practitioners, and the practice of evidence-based conventional, complementary and alternative health care.

Lifelong Berkeley Primary Care (BPC) (MSTCM)

Acupuncture interns work alongside BPC healthcare providers to treat diverse, often uninsured patients with chronic health issues. The clinic works with patients by referral from their primary physicians, social workers, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives.

Glide/HealthRight 360 (formerly Haight Ashbury Free Clinic) (MSTCM)

Glide and HealthRIGHT360 have combined to offer enhanced medical care to clinic patients, including expanded mental health services and substance use disorder treatment through access to in-patient/resident care and acupuncture and counseling, in house phlebotomy, and HIV treatment. It is a Federally-Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and federally-designated Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) site that serves as a clinical training site for students preparing to enter healthcare professions. Glide’s mission is to create a radically inclusive, just, and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break cycles of poverty and marginalization.

Preceptorship Program

Students have the option of completing one of their Clinic Observation II (CT 580/581) shifts by participating in the ACTCM Preceptorship Program. Students who choose this option will complete all aspects of the Clinic Observation II course under the supervision of a licensed practitioner who has been approved by the ACTCM clinic as an ACTCM Preceptor. Students may only participate in the preceptor program after completing one Observation II shift at the ACTCM Community Clinic. Students may encourage licensed practitioners who meet the minimum requirements to apply for participation in the program. These preceptors may work in various clinics and settings and must be licensed in California. Students must complete the total hours of their shift and submit the appropriate documentation to the ACTCM clinic verifying their participation by the end of the second week of the subsequent term in which they are registered for the Clinic Observation II course.

Preceptor Program Student Agreement
Preceptor Program Preceptor Agreement

Highland Hospital: ACTCM has a residency site at Highland Hospital in Oakland for both DAOM and first professional (DACM, MSTCM) programs. Students receive training and clinical experience under the supervision of hospital based providers under the direction of Amy Matecki, who is both a physician and a licensed acupuncturist. Dr. Matecki is also the President of the California Acupuncture Board.

CPMC: California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC)  is the largest medical center of  Sutter Health health system. For 15 years, ACTCM has worked in the stroke recovery service. CPMC is one such clinic available for MSTCM and DACM students who want to focus on pain management, rehabilitation, speech therapy, motor coordination, and other specializations.

Women’s Resource Center: Located close to campus on Bryant Street, the Women’s Resource Center provides services to women transitioning from incarceration back into the community. We provide acupuncture services CIIS also provides counseling services at this location.

De Haro: The Auricular (Ear) Clinic was started in 1994 as a donation-based community clinic with the mission to provide quality holistic medicine in a safe and welcoming environment to members of the public who may not otherwise be able to afford it. No one is turned away. As with Glide, we see a fair number of homeless patients at the ear clinic.

CIIS at Mission Street: The merger of ACTCM with CIIS in 2015 has helped us further our goal of offering integrative, holistic healing to our Bay Area communities. The Ear Clinic acupuncture interns at CIIS are under the supervision of Jonathan Wheeler, LAc. This walk-in clinic is on the first floor to the left of Reception.

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