First, I want to thank you for all that you do for the Chinese medical profession here in the United States. I am a California- and nationally licensed acupuncturist practicing in the San Francisco Bay Area.
As you know, this region has a large number of acupuncturists, and the competition for business is significant.
That said, I strongly oppose legislation that will make it harder for interested individuals to become Chinese medical practitioners. The added expenditure of time and money will not significantly benefit the student as far as what's necessary to be a successful practitioner. What they need is experience. Real-world experience. Not classroom or student clinic environments that mimic reality but do not recreate it. Once the individual has a few years of experience, they better know what questions need answering and in what direction they would like to focus their further studies. To this end, CEUs may be sufficient for some. Others may prefer accredited coursework toward their doctoral.
Definitely, PhDs are needed in the field of Chinese medicine, specifically research scientists and integrated Western medical programs. I also recommend breaking TCM programs into acupuncture/physical medicine and herbal/internal medicine, as well as offering the combination. Too many of us are stuck with half an education that we do not use and only half the education we do use. Make sense?
Thanks for listening and for your thoughtful and courageous actions.
Adam Shapiro, LAc, MSTCM via e-mail
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