American College Of Traditional Chinese Medicine, San Francisco:
The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) is located in San Francisco, California. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient and profound healing art that originated more than 3,000 years ago. It comprises a number of therapeutic practices—among them Chinese herbology, acupuncture, nutrition, Tai Ji Quan and Qigong—that have long-proven efficacy in treating a wide range of disease conditions. Our two degree programs—the Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine (MSTCM) and the Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM)—provide a truly exceptional professional education. Additionally, ACTCM’s certificate programs in Tui Na and Shiatsu and its introductory classes for the public offer further opportunities for study to current ACTCM students, healthcare professionals and the general public. ACTCM also offers an optional 4-week study abroad program in Shanghai, China to students of the MSTCM program.
Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine - 3,065 hours (3 years and 3 months):
The Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine (MSTCM) is a comprehensive program carefully designed to lead beginning students to the level of knowledge and clinical proficiency necessary to become a successful independent health care provider whether as an individual practitioner or as part of a team of health care providers. From the very beginning of the program, ACTCM emphasizes hands- on clinical training in conjunction with the study of theoretical material, allowing students to gain an understanding and appreciation of the depth of the medicine. The following synopsis provides an overview of the MSTCM program:
The first level of the master's program lays the foundation on which the rest of the program is based. Students learn about the main theories of TCM, including Zang Fu theory, Five Element theory, the Yin Yang relationship, the properties and medicinal uses of Chinese herbs, the various meridians and acupuncture points of the body, acupuncture needling techniques and TCM diagnosis. First-level students also complete the general science courses, begin a focused study of Western medicine, and are introduced to Qi Gong and Tai Ji Quan. Students gain valuable clinical exposure as they begin observing patient-practitioner interactions and learning about the fundamentals of patient intake, clean needle technique, diagnosis, treatment principles and Chinese herbal prescriptions.
During level two, students study Chinese herbal formulas, classical and advanced acupuncture techniques and theory, TCM and Western pathology and public health. Students also begin their study of Western internal medicine, and continue studying TCM internal medicine. Students strengthen their skills in a number of areas, including diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. During the second-level clinical experience, students exercise greater autonomy. Working under the direct supervision of clinical supervisors who are experienced acupuncturists, students at the trainee level perform health assessments, including pulse and tongue diagnosis, and begin to develop their own diagnosis and treatment strategies. They also recommend various Chinese herbs and herbal formulas, and apply a range of TCM techniques, including Tui Na or Shiatsu.
During level three, students focus on their clinical training while taking advanced and specialized courses in TCM and Western clinical medicine. These courses enhance their skills as independent health care providers and enable them to communicate effectively with Western trained practitioners. Students also study Western nutrition, scientific research methodology and TCM classics, and have the opportunity to review case studies in depth.
The third-level clinical experience begins with student interns working in pairs under the close supervision of a clinical supervisor in order to strengthen their confidence and competence in diagnosing illnesses and implementing treatments. Student interns then transition to working individually under supervision. At this stage of training, student interns are given still greater autonomy in patient intake, developing a treatment plan, and treating the patient functioning essentially as independent clinicians in relation to their patients. Students may also pursue individual clinical interests by doing rotations at ACTCM-affiliated offsite clinics in the San Francisco area.
During their last quarter of study, students focus on clinic internship while preparing for the California State Board or the national certification exams. They also take advanced classes in TCM and learn the skills needed to establish and run a successful practice. This final period of study allows students to refine their skills, deepen their clinical experience, and develop areas of specialty and professional relationships that will influence their practice as licensed acupuncturists.
Study Abroad in China:
Students in their third level of the program may participate in an optional clinical training program at Yue Yang Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. The 4-week study abroad program provides a strong foundation in TCM theory, differential diagnosis and treatment skills. Students work in a hospital in-patient setting and an out-patient clinic, and may concentrate on acupuncture, herbal medicine or tui na.
Students who have completed their first-level comprehensive exams may also participate in a two-week clinical training program at Yue Yang Hospital. Students may concentrate on acupuncture or tui na. Because TCM is practiced in Chinese hospitals as a primary care medical system, students see a large volume of patients and a wide variety of conditions.
Doctoral in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine - 1,284 hours (2 years):
The Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) is a clinically based professional program that emphasizes:
- Choice of three areas of specialty: Women's Health, Pain Management, or TCM Dermatology.
- Greater depth and breadth of knowledge and clinical skills in the field of acupuncture and Oriental medicine;
- Classes that include both didactic and clinical experiences, as well as case-based learning;
- Obtaining a specialty with two options available: pain management or women’s health;
- Increased interaction and collaboration with western medicine;
- Enhancing one’s critical thinking skills in the areas of diagnosis, analysis, problem solving and decision-making;
- Use of research findings in both the practical and academic areas.
Certificate Courses Available
- Basic & Advanced Tui Na Massage Certificates
- Basic & Advanced Shiatsu Massage Certificate