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The Chinese Medicine Sampler & Online Diagnosis - Addictions

Acupuncture Main

Does It Hurt?

Licensing - USA

Education & Training of LAc's

Risks of Acupuncture

Choosing an Acupuncturist

The Wrong Acupuncturist











Educational credentials in the USA vary from a diploma or certificate in acupuncture to a Ph.D. or D.O.M. Below is a chart containing the most common educational credentials. The laws of the various states and the curricula for the schools are changing rapidly so this isn’t an exhaustive list.


Practitioner attended school or apprenticeship from 16 months to 6 years. Curricula vary.


Master's level degrees are the only accredited degrees at present. The standards for an accredited doctoral level degreed are still at the proposal stage. There is much controversey about the propriety and efficacy of requiring a doctoral level degree for entry to the profession. This becasuse the accredited master's degrees requirements are so close to doctoral requirements in other professional fields.

M. Ac. Master of Acupuncture
Usually 2-3 years undergraduate + 2 years graduate study, No herbal study

MTCM Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Usually 2 years undergraduate + 3 - 4 years graduate study of all methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine

M.S. OM Master of Science in Oriental Medicine
Usually 2 years undergraduate + 3 - 4 years graduate study of all methods of Oriental Medicine

Ph.D. Doctor of the Philosopy of: A doctoral level degree requiring a dissertation.

D.O.M. Docotor of Oriental Medicine - A doctoral level degree which may or may not have requred a dissertation or original research. This degree is quite popular at the moment with USA practitioners with many years of practice who first obtained a certificate many years ago.


O.M.D. Oriental Medical Doctor
Usually 5 years of school. Now offered only in Asian schools. Offered in US until approx. mid 1980's


C.M.D. - China Medical Doctor
Medical doctor licensed in mainland China. Curriculum does not include Traditional Chinese Medicine but many CMD's acquire training through in-service education


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