The Ultimate Guide to Choosing an Acupuncture School
Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years, and there are many schools that can teach you how to become a licensed acupuncturist. However, not all schools are created equal. Some will provide a more well-rounded education than others.
Choosing a school is a bit more complex than you might think. Here are some important things to consider when choosing a program.
What are Your Career Goals?
Before you even start looking at schools, think about your career goals.
- Do you want to practice acupuncture as a complement to Western Medicine?
- Do you want to run your own clinic, or work as part of an established team?
Understanding and defining your goals will help you choose a school that will get you where you want to go. Take your time and consider this question carefully. It will have a significant impact on your future and the school you choose.
Look for Accredited Schools
When choosing an acupuncture school, one of the first things to look for is accreditation. Accreditation is an indicator of quality. Schools must meet certain standards in order to become accredited.
A reputable school should preferably be accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM).
An accredited school will teach you the necessary scientific and clinical knowledge of acupuncture. This means that you’ll be trained in the anatomy and physiology of the body, how to perform acupuncture techniques, and how to diagnose and treat patients using acupuncture.
An accredited school will also have high standards of ethics and quality.
Make Sure the Faculty is Experienced
Accreditation is important, but a school is really only as good as its faculty. The more experienced and knowledgeable the instructors, the better the education. Ask about the faculty’s credentials and experience.
A reputable and quality acupuncture program will be happy to provide information and boast about their faculty. After all, their instructors are their greatest asset.
Most schools will provide a list of their instructors and their credentials on their website.
Consider Whether You Want to Pursue a Master’s or Doctorate Program
One important thing to consider early on is whether you want to pursue a Master’s or Doctorate program.
A Master’s degree is an entry-level requirement, and the degree title will depend on the school and program. Common titles include:
- Master’s of Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Master’s of Oriental Medicine
- Master’s of Science in Oriental Medicine
Doctorate programs offer a more advanced level of education, focusing heavily on academic research. If you plan to specialize in the future, a doctorate program may be a good path.
Generally, students start with a Master’s program and transition to a Doctorate program when and if they decide that is the right path for them.
When you’re choosing an acupuncture school, look for one that has a good reputation and meets the criteria mentioned above. A good school will prepare you for your licensing exam and help you become a well-trained and knowledgeable acupuncturist.
There are many things to consider when choosing an acupuncture school, but the most important thing is to do your research. Find a school that fits your needs and meets your standards. And before you enroll, try to visit the school to get a better understanding of the environment, faculty and students.
This article was written by an independent researcher. On matters of acupuncture, this article may not accurately represent the teachings of ITEA.