Choosing an Acupuncture School
When looking toward acupuncture school, prospective students are advised to seek out a program that is based in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory. Programs should include significant coursework in meridian theory, pathology, diagnostics, and treatment principles. Programs should also offer in-depth technique training in acupuncture, Chinese herbology, dietary therapy, and tui na, as well as courses in establishing and managing a successful practice.
A good acupuncture school will offer small class sizes and clinical observation and practice time. During clinical observation, students will gain more from watching experienced practitioners, rather than advanced students. Students should begin clinical work early in the program, and a good school will have plenty of patients for students to work with.
Other things to look for in an acupuncture program include a comprehensive library with major TCM journals in both English and Chinese. Some schools might offer consultation services for graduates to assist with diagnosis and treatments. Students interested in specializing in areas such as internal medicine, gynecology, or pediatrics should look for schools with faculty members experienced in their desired area of specialization. Finally, the school should be accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). Acupuncturists must become certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) in order to practice, and only students who have graduated from an ACAOM-accredited program are eligible to sit for the NCCAOM exam.