5 Things Physicians Assistants Should Consider Before Going to Acupuncture School

Acupuncture training for physicians assistants can help you skill up, enhance your career and better care for patients. If you plan on going to school for acupuncture, you should consider the following:

1. The Training Involved

Acupuncture school takes time and a commitment, but there are many options, including:

  • Quarterly intensives
  • Weekend options

Training schedules will vary, but you will need training. Can you fit training into your schedule? If you work weekends at a second job, have kids or can’t commit to attending during the week, you may not be able to fulfill your training requirements.

We have multiple options that are designed to fit into busy schedules, such as weekend intensives, that may fit into your schedule better.

If you’re already working 40+ hours a week, be sure that you can commit to training.

2. License Requirements

Acupuncture training for physicians assistants will require, in most states, a license to practice. Federal licensing is even required in a few states, so you’ll need to research the requirements for your specific state.

Certification is offered through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) in the United States.

You’ll want to attend a school that:

  • Offers study for the NCCAOM exam
  • Provides clinical internships

You may need licensing, and you want to attend a school that can guide and help you become licensed.

3. The Working Hours

Most acupuncturists work traditional office hours, but patients are often willing to pay a premium for weekend or evening sessions.

Consider whether you’d be open to having extended working hours.

If you plan on working as a full-time physician assistant, you’ll also need to consider the additional workload that you’ll take on. Will you:

  • Continue working full-time as an assistant?
  • Work as an acupuncturist full- or part-time?

You may even have the opportunity to do both.

4. Opportunities for Career Growth

Demand for acupuncture treatments, particularly for pain management, continues to grow. An estimated 35 million Americans undergo acupuncture treatments regularly.

As acupuncture becomes more integrated into Western medicine, training will become even more valuable.

As a licensed acupuncturist, you could potentially:

  • Open your own practice
  • Work in a hospital setting
  • Work at an established acupuncture clinic

Your training as a physician assistant will only be enhanced by your acupuncture training, which will allow you to provide patients with the care they want.

5. Enhancing Patient Care

When deciding whether acupuncture school is the right path for you, consider your current employment situation. Is there room to enhance patient care with acupuncture? Perhaps you work at a physician’s office and patients are seeking this treatment. Acupuncture training would allow you to provide this service rather than having to hire someone.

Your training and skill would help enhance patient care and allow for the treatment of a wide range of conditions, from migraines to pain management, joint issues and more.

Acupuncture training can open the door to new career opportunities and widen your skillset as a physician assistant. Consider the points above to determine whether this is the right path for you.

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