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Poll Results for the following Question:

Do you think the AOM profession needs to have a doctoral degree program?


Not sure

Total Respondents: 8961


Note: These comments are reproduced as written by visitors to this Web site.
They have not been edited for content, grammar, or spelling.

Yes i am doing a project on acupuncture and i need help will you please send me information....tell me everything you know....please!

No i am doing a report on acupuncture tell me everything you know....please!

-your friend
Yes Dear Sir or Madam:

I believe that students like myself would benefit from the AOM Doctoral Program.

I have studied AOM for six semesters in NCOM, Orlando, FL. Although I had an intensive academic understanding to pass the CWE part of the NCCAOM certification, I lack the clinical experience to pass the PLE part of the test.

Moreover, I would love to gain more hands on experience from other Masters around the world, yet I do not have the resources to continue my studies in Herbology and Pulse Diagnosis.

Incidentally, I strongly suggest a doctoral program in AOM for those who would like to gain professional CEU's and integrate the NCCAOM's CEU Program and the AOM Doctoral Program in the near future.

Thank you for your attention and consideration in advance.

Lu, Ssu-Hao.
532 North McDonald AV
DeLand, FL 327243643
Yes The profession is heading in that direction. Patients, legislators and insurance companies tend to give greater respect to professionals with doctor associated with their members. Let's face it our society has indoctrined us to believe that title is important. Doctor does not mean better care, only better respect from others. This is also important for us to take back some of the momentum from other practitioners w/ doctoral degrees who are practicing and falsely advertising to the public that they are doctors and they know acupuncture. The move to doctor is not just motivated by our own motives but also the public's best interest is served by this move as well.
No Not at the expense of loosing our independance. A doctoral degree is needed if we choose to be included in 'their game, their rules'. A new structure is needed that includes all avenues of health care.
Meantime, our entry level is adequate. Education does not end at graduation.
No Not at the expense of loosing our independance. A doctoral degree is needed if we choose to be included in 'their game, their rules'. A new structure is needed that includes all avenues of health care.
Meantime, our entry level is adequate. Education does not end at graduation.
Yes We should treat the AOM the same as the western doctor.
Yes I think that for the amount of time that we spend in school we should a higher degree than master.
Yes Good, innovative doctoral works might be of great benefit for all of interested parties and propagating knowledge of the subject.
Yes You have got to be kidding. This profession should never have had less than an entry level doctorate from the beginning. It is a medical practice and functions just like any other medical practice.
Not sure I went to Yoland Lim and after 8 visits and $1,200
My Costochondritis was no better. There was a 15 minute first consultation, then just accupunture, and no conversation. I think I gave it a fair chance.
Very dissappointed and broke!
Yes I have been a student at two acupuncture schools, one East coast, one West coast. Coming out of these schools and into the profession of acupuncture I see a disturbing trend: practitioners with a lack of focus, lack of training, and lack of capacity to handle the health care needs of their patients. I think this is in part do to the style of training available to students of acupuncture in this country. Acupuncture students get on average a year of clinical internship before they are loosed into the profession. The lucky ones find a senior practitioner who is willing to mentor. Even in China the typical acupuncture training is 7 years. In contrast, Western medical students, when they are finished with med school, go on to 4 plus years of residency where they are proctored and guided in a purely clinical teaching environment, making their training a minimum 8 years. How did acupuncture schools in this country decide that 3 years is enough?
I encounter too many incompetent acupuncturists, and it is a disservice to patients and the profession.
YES, we need a Doctoral Degree program. We need more training, if we will ever be truly complementary in the main fabric of healthcare in this country.

Michael Hunter, MAc, LAc, DiplAc
Department of Pain Management
The Cleveland Clinic

No What's the push behind the doctorate? Well it appears simply to allow practitioners to put a "Dr." in front of their names. Of course, the folks that are pushing this are arguing for higher educational requirements for everyone but themselves. For example, in California when CA practitioners and groups such as CSOMA and CAOMA were seeking to ram through AB 1943 (the bill to increase hours for licensure to 3200) -- they made it very clear that existing practitioners should not have to take additional training for practice.

If current educational standards are inadequate for current students to practice safely and effectively when they graduate, then it stands to reason that existing practitioners who were trained under the same standards should go back to school.

Higher requirements should not be mandated unless patients are at risk based on substandard care. To my knowledge, this has not happened in the US. The safety record is excellent and patients are quite satisfied with the care provided by MA trained practitioners.

No I feel that the Master's Degree program is sufficient to produce excellent healers.

 Masters education is sufficient for entry level practice and this is reflected in the excellent safety record for the profession. Entry level standards should not be upgraded unless it is demonstrated that higher requirements are necessary to protect consumers. Otherwise, costs of education, and costs to consumers will increase unnecessarily.

Doctoral education should be optional for schools that wish to offer it, and for students who wish to pursue this level of education. It should not be mandatory or required for entry level.
Yes Only if it is entry level.
No I think the AOM profession needs continuity with its education process and maintain standards for entry level practice for all students throughout the United States. The doctoral degree program will confuse and divide the profession and more specifically, the public for whom we serve. We need to continue to educate our clients and medical profession(s) on our education, standards, and qualifications.
Yes The more the better
Yes The quality of education in acupuncture and Oriental medicine
needs to have the same standard as the current biomedical
education. It currently does not! A doctoral program is a first
step towards this goal.

Alexander Putz, MD, LAc
Yes We need to strive for parity with chiropractors and medical doctors in America and stake out a piece of the pie. To do this, we need a doctoral program that is clinical in nature, not a "research" program like the ones currently offered. We will remain outside the mainstream with our current degrees -- whether that's where the majority of the profession want to be is at the core of this debate.

Yes Opposition to a doctoral level degree shows an unfounded
fear on the part of older practitioners. They will still be
allowed to practice of course. But to "grandfather" in a title
is rediculous and happens nowhere else in any medical
profession or academia.

Oppostition to a doctoral program from current students and
new practitioners is sheer laziness. We have the easiest
training of any primary/indemendant care providers. Come
on... Step up to the plate and be real health care providers,
not pretend physicians that most of the so-called colleges of
Oriental Medicine are producing now.

We need a Flexnor report for all OM colleges to weed out
the substandard. And then we need a uniform doctoral
entry level as soon as possible.
Yes The first degree professional doctorate is
essential for developing a more sophisticated OM
practitioner that can function in the increasingly
integrated world of modern medicine, access a
fuller potential of the medicine, and secure and
protect this venerable but evolving science and art
from usurptation and dilution by other poorly
trained providers.
 Austine Awa
Abidjan, Ivory Coast
West Africa.


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Yes The AOM profession needs an entry level doctorate program like MDs, Chiropractors, dentists, etc...that is if the profession is tired of "flying below the radar". I am grateful for the forward thinking leaders in our field like Dr. Fred Lerner, Dr. Donald Kendall and Neal Miller, L.Ac. and I refer you to their publications and organizations for an in-depth explanation of the logic behind an entry level doctorate. Conversely, in my opinion, those that are in opposition to an entry level doctorate program seem to lack the stamina and integrity it takes to be a legitimate doctor.

No The doctoral degree program should have already been included in the program a new AOM student begins. The doctoral degree would generally designate them, and all AOM physicans semantically as a "doctor", and ethically having completed the highest educational requisites obligated to become a Physician. I dont think the AOM profession needs a seperate doctoral degree program, since the program seems to only focus on research. Anyway, AOM practioners are already doctors/ physicians, that diagnose and prescribe treatments and herbs to patients. All AOM practitioners should immediately receive a grandfathered and retroactive doctorate diploma, and all students should get the doctoral diploma upon graduation. I wish it would happen once and for all so we can stop dwelling our energies on this.
Further, all AOM Physicians that want to research, should maybe have to apply to colleges/ institutions, that wish to seek them for special projects. They should have to meet a seperate and private criteria, that no other practitioner should have to even worry about unless they choose to go into research.

This really needs to be settled positively and immediately, so the profession can focus on the more important issues at hand. We need to fight against the allopathic/ pharmaceutical conglomerates that threaten our practicing in the future; and to building a standard of practice that we are all entitled to uphold.

4th year student, Sarasota, FL
Yes I believe the more education that we recieve the better chance we as a group will be accepted by other health professions
Yes I think a doctoral program would be beneficial to the profession. However, for those who are already in practice and have graduated with the masters degree there should be a very abbreviated avenue to get the degree and be grandfathered in with some minimum number of additional credit hours. The additional year and half that was included in the masters program (beyond the typical 2 year masters program) should count toward the doctorate. Thank you for considering my perspective.

Jane McKee, LAc

Yes Absolutely and without a doubt.
Yes Yes to an entry level doctorate not two professional levels
Yes It should be entry level like MD's and the already licensed practioners should be grandfathered. Apples and oranges have been mixed together until we have so many hours to have a doctoral program that it is ridiculous and too costly. Master and Doctoral usually refer to academic not professional licensing degrees.

No I feel that masters level licensure is sufficient for entry level in the field. It seems more beneficial to gain patient experience before continuing to the doctoral level.

No Education is always important, But if you are asking is a doctoral necessary for entry level practice - absolutely not.

No Considering that no doctoral program in this country has yet to
graduate a single doctoral student, this push to begin to force
everyone to have a doctoral degree to gain entry into the
profession is a total joke.
I also find it outrageous that MDs, Chiropractors, Dentists, etc
can practice acupuncture after only 100 hours of training in
many states! We need to focus on a standard of training for all
the routes of acupuncture licensure before we start thinking
about increasing these levels. Hawaii has the right idea in that
NO ONE can practice acupuncture without the proper training.
MDs who practice acupuncture with such a sub-standard level of
training often conclude that it is an ineffective modality. More
significantly, the public has no protection from these MD
acupuncture charletans.
Lets pull together and raise the requirements for everyone to
practice acupuncture to the level that professional
acupuncturists currently are held to before over-compensating
with this rediculous idea to make us all "Doctors."
No You guys ARE doctors as per the definition. Plus, what is the necessity of it? You guys are performing miracles everyday without needless drugs or surgery. This rarely happens in medical school. In my opinion, you do not need a doctoral degree program to add "prestige" to what you do. The only reason your practice isn't flooded with people is because Americans do not know what Acupuncture is or what it can do. If they did, you would have a new set of problems i.e. how to handle everyone and deliver miracles.
Not sure keep up the good work

No I have a doctorate in Chiropractic, a master's
degree in acupuncture, and a master's in health
science (TCM). This mostly proves that I am
getting old and that I may have spent way too
much time in school! Some of the most gifted
practitioners I have met have had very basic
formal education but have enormous compassion
and clinical skills derived from experience and
intuition. Certainly for those who enjoy the
academic environment it is nice to have programs
to work within on their own professional
development, but as to NEEDING to have a
doctorate to be a qualified practitioner and an
awesome healer, my personal opinion is I think
probably not.

For the US, to become a chiropractor
one must go to undergraduate school for
pre-med prerequisites and then attend another 4
years of chiropractic school for a doctorate. In
Australia the chiropractic education begins in the
undergrad years and leads to a Bachelor's
degree in Chiropractic Science. Students then
continue on to obtain a master's of the same and
this is all accomplished in 5 years and leads
much more quickly to the chosen field. I have not
noticed any difference in the quality of practitioner
produced by the 2 systems.

Good luck to all as they choose their path!

Yes I think that if someone studies chinese herbs and acupucnture and you have dedicated 4 years of study to specialize in a certain medicine, you should be considered a doctor. I think that many people under value the knowlege of oriental medicine and it really should be view as a terminal degree.

Yes I teach acupuncture at an east coast school that I know is
opposed to doctoral level - which is why I choose not to
identify who I am or where I teach. As an active teacher I
can honestly say that I think the doctoral level training is
very, very important. I graduated with a Masters from one of
the oldest and most competative OM schools in the country.
And I can say that there is still a lot to learn. Many of the
students who I teach now are very ill prepared to be
independent health care providers, let alone primary care
providers that they will be in many places. Many students I
run into also take their OM studies about as seriously as if
they were in a massage school.

Oriental Medicine is a medical system at least as
sophistocated - and I would argue even more so - than
western medicine, chiroptactic, or naturopathic medicine.
Why then shouldn't we have a doctoral degree as entry
level? A more rigorous training would create clinicians that
see themselves as real professional physicians. Once we
see ourselves as such, so will our patients and peers.

Why are there so many people arguing for the lowest
common denomintor? It's absolutely absurd! Our training
should be as academically rigorous as western, chiropractic
and naturpathic physicians. As someone else here
mentioned already, even PT's and pharmacists not have
doctoral degrees as entry level. Even optometrists, who
cannot use any medications or do any invasive
proceedures, have doctoral level training. We have a
greater scope of practice than most non-M.D./D.O.
independent health care providers yet our training is the
simplest. Many, many schools are also substandard at best
at delivering master's level education (and I say this as an
experienced teacher). Until we upgrade our profession
through education, how can we possibly expect other health
professions to take us seriously.

I would also strongly suggest we move towards a bachelor's
degree as a prereq for entry into OM education. Some
states now require this for licensure and many of the better
schools of OM (including my alma mater) require this for
entry. How would you feel about your M.D. if you knew she
only went to a 2 year community college before going to
med school? I wouldn't feel very good about that.
No I feel that a Doctoral Degree should be available to those who wish it, but I don't think that a Doctorate should be entry level into the profession. I am a definate advocate of diversity in all its forms within the profession.

Yes While an advanced degree would be useful especially at a research level, it does not necessarily preclude disallowing MAc or LAc practitioners from legally practicing their craft. I am presently attending school for my MAc, but intend to further my education formerly in a research clinical situation as I feel strongly that the link between the immune system and the results produced by Oriental modalities (including Tai qi and Qigong) are inextricably intertwined and doing it at a doctorate level will afford me the opportunity in a clinic to derive the connection.

No Two more (or three) years to add to our programs... Will it make us smarter? I would not mind to go to school few more years to get more knowledge in OM but to do so for the sake of this addition Dr. - not for me. Than there will be a problem for the thousands of acupuncturists who went to school with no doctorate degree program. What will be the future for them?
I do not think that MDs do the research study to get their degree. The ones who want to become a scientist take special courses in science. For MDs it is a choice between the practice and a science.
For us it should be a choice too.
Patients care more about getting the service we provide. For them we are doctors (doctor who treats people), many of them call us doctors.
Ling Gai, LAc.
Not sure No I don't think the AOM profession NEEDS to have a
doctoral degree program, but we should have one as an
option for those of us who want to take our education to that
higher level.

Yes The Doctoral is one of the many things that separates us from being put at least on the same level as Chiropractors, let alone MD's and DO's. In a world where we are yet to obtain the true credibility that we as practitioners are looking for, having the simple Doctor in front of our names is absolutely necessary. Stupid but necessary. It's an unfortunate side effect of our society but one we must endure otherwise the MD's will always have something over us.

Just my opinion
Steve Mavros L.Ac.

No Doctoral Program in the U.S. China is the only authority on Chinese Medicine. The U.S. does not hold any authority on Chinese Medicine. Students of Traditional Chinese Medicine should continue their studies in the country where it was created, and earn their further degress there.

Lin, Ai Hui

Yes Right now we are the ONLY independent (and in many
states primary care) health providers without a doctoral
degree. Even physical therapists and pharmacists now
have doctoral degrees as entry level. Why not us? Are we
saying that Oriental Medicine as a discipline is not worthy of
doctoral level study? Do we want to be inferior to western
trained medical professionals for ever?

A doctoral degree is essential to the growth and widespread
acceptance of our profession.
Yes There already is a Oriental Medicine doctoral program in Oregon:

I hope the profession expands as an equal alternative to medicine. This coming from a medical student. Competition would be healthy and force accountability on the medical profession that I think is sorely lacking.
Yes Its about time the profession elevated itself to the level of ather PCPs. The so called national standard as reflected by the NCCAOM is a joke at best. I believe that its either improve or die.

Hugh G. Morison, L. Ac.

Not sure I do not feel it is necessary to have a docorate degree as entry level in oriental medicine. The masters level training I received was equivalent to a 4 year program. There are many chiropractors and MDs in our are who practice acupuncture with 6 weekends worth of training and so why would I need a docorate degree to practice oriental medicine?
Yes Yes, I think the Doctoral program is a good start for our profession accurately to perform research in Oriental Medicine. Too often our profession is invalidated because "There is No Reseach". In addition, I believe that our profession should develop our own research protocols, designs, and conclusions. We are capable people! We all know that double blind placebo based research models are limited in their ability to measure the efficacy of our work. Acupuncturist & Herbalist "doing" effective research within the scope of a doctoral program is good for everyone, especially our patients. After all, they deserve to know the truth about Acupuncture & Herbal medicine.
Yes Yes, I think the Doctoral program is a good start for our profession accurately to perform research in Oriental Medicine. Too often our profession is invalidated because "There is No Reseach". In addition, I believe that our profession should develop our own research protocols, designs, and conclusions. We are capable people! We all know that double blind placebo based research models are limited in their ability to measure the efficacy of our work. Acupuncturist & Herbalist "doing" effective research within the scope of a doctoral program is good for everyone, especially our patients. After all, they deserve to know the truth about Acupuncture & Herbal medicine.
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