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(6 pages total)

Page 3 - Ancient Medicine for a New Millennium

In this particular program, the fundamentals of all aspects of traditional Oriental medicine are introduced in the first academic year and prepare the student for the clinical assistantship experience. The educational approach emphasizes integration and synergy of subject matter. Treatment, diagnosis, and prescription are introduced and practiced from the beginning of the program. As students sharpen their mental and physical diagnostic skills, Taiji and Qigong benefit their health and sensitivity. Students learn Tui Na (Chinese medical massage), the Chinese equivalent of physical therapy, along with many powerful, non-invasive acupuncture techniques such as moxibustion and cupping.

As a Clinical Assistant in the second year of the program, the student works as part of a medical team comprising other assistants, interns, and Licensed Acupuncturists. In off-site internships, the team may be expanded to include medical students, medical doctors, nurse practitioners, athletic trainers, physical therapists, and counselors, depending on the facility. The student gets hands-on experience helping people with holistic and Oriental methods of treatment while interfacing with allied health care colleagues.

Clinical Assistantship consists of almost 400 hours of training and provides the student with the opportunity to assist in, and become familiar with, all aspects of an Oriental medical clinic. Clinical assistants assist interns and private practitioners by performing orthopedic evaluations, charting herb formulas, and performing moxibustion, cupping, massage, other non-invasive acupuncture techniques, and closely supervised needling. The clinical experience prepares the student for the responsibility of accepting their own patients as an intern in the third year.

The second year's classroom experience leads to a more in-depth understanding of the practice of acupuncture, Oriental medicine and biomedicine. Advanced needling techniques and advanced herbal prescriptions and modifications are practiced. The student is introduced to and required to apply the principles of self-directed learning and life-long learning skills that will be necessary in private practice. These are the skills that distinguishing one as capable of interfacing with the wider medical community as an independent practitioner. The curriculum emphasizes the integration and application of Chinese medicine, biomedicine and research skills to support clinical reasoning.

In the third and fourth years, much classroom time is spent discussing clinical cases. Medical understanding deepens and the student embodies and assimilates the fine points of their art.

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