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July 2, 2004  
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ACAOM Accreditation Update

PIHMA, Dragon Rises Now Fully Accredited; Seven Schools Earn Reaccreditation

By Editorial Staff

The Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) recently announced the results of its candidate/accreditation/reaccreditation process for spring 2004.

After reviewing several reports and listening to testimony from various institutional officials, the commission granted the programs at Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture (PIHMA) and the Dragon Rises College of Oriental Medicine full accreditation each for a three-year period. In addition, a new school in Ohio was granted candidacy, and seven schools had their programs reaccreditated for various lengths, ranging from three to five years.

PIHMA was founded in 1996 by Catherine Niemiec, an attorney who learned about acupuncture and Oriental medicine while practicing law in California. In 2001, it was granted candidacy status by ACAOM. The institute currently offers master's degrees in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, and recently established an offsite externship with Banner Baywood Hospital in Mesa, Arizona, to provide students with more training and education.

PIHMA is the second school in Arizona to receive full ACAOM accreditation. The first, the Arizona School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Tucson, was accredited in the fall of 2003. Two other Arizona-based schools, the Asian Institute of Medical Studies and RainStar University, are candidates for accreditation.

Dragon Rises is the sixth school in Florida to be accredited by ACAOM. The college is located in Gainesville, in the north central part of the state, approximately 70 miles from Jacksonville. Dragon Rises became a candidate for accreditation in May 2002. It offers one of the most comprehensive acupuncture and Oriental medicine degree programs in the country, with a 3,125 hour curriculum that includes 900 hours of clinic observation, supervision and internship.

The new school to be granted candidacy is the American Institute of Alternative Medicine (AIAM) in Columbus, Ohio. The school was originally known as the Massage Away, Inc. School of Therapy, and was founded in Westerville, Ohio in 1994. It moved to its present location in December 1997, and changed its name to the American Institute of Alternative Medicine in January 2002. It offers programs in acupuncture, massage therapy and tui na.

In addition, seven schools' programs were reaccredited for periods of three to five years. They are:

  • Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College, Berkeley (reaccredited for three years)
  • Dongguk Royal University (three years)
  • East West College of Natural Medicine (three years)
  • National College of Naturopathic Medicine (five years)
  • Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (five years)
  • Pacific College of Oriental Medicine - Chicago, Illinois branch (three years)
  • Southwest Acupuncture College - Boulder, Colorado branch (four years)

ACAOM's next accreditation review process will take place this fall. Among the schools are scheduled to have their programs reviewed in the fall are the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences, the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin, Bastyr University, Mercy College's program in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine's branch campus in New York and main campus in San Diego, California, and the Texas College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.


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