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Poll Results for the following Question:

Do you plan on enrolling in a doctoral program in acupuncture/Oriental medicine?


Yes, I'm already enrolled in such a program.
Yes, I intend to enroll within the next 12 months.
Yes, I intend to enroll within the next 12-24 months.
No, I'm not interested in enrolling.

Total Respondents: 778


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

No, I'm not interested in enrolling. No, I'm not interested in enrolling.
I graduated JUST 4 years ago from a school in L.A. and moved to MN. I see on average 50---60 pt's working 4 days per week, since moving here. I go to seminars for CEU's to hear "expert's", but most of the time what they say or show you I either know, or have figured it out by myself already. I put this down to seeing a high volume of pt's. I stick to the basics, everything eventually comes back to that, even Bob Flaws tells people to do that(he doesn't have a PhD) and I get excellent results. This is not "Rocket Science". I cannot see how a Doctoral program is going to improve my ability as a clinician. As an L.Ac, I get clinical successes that M.D's/Chiro's/PT's can't get, and most of the time we are the health provider of last resort! How much better would our clinical successes be if we were the first resort? Many teachers in Acupuncture schools are great at providing us the theory, yet clinically, many of them have not much success or experience. In fact, many recent graduates go back to teach in Acupuncture Schools, without clinical experience just to get some income. 4 years on, the school I went to still regards the Comprehensive Theory exam as the "Bar", one is not graded for practical work/success, yet nearly half of one's hours in school are practically oriented, but don't count. When someone is paying you personally for tx's, the dynamics change. More theory is not necessarily going to help our patient's clinically, treating more pt's will. At least, this is what I have found that works for me.

No, I'm not interested in enrolling. I am currently finishing the last months of school, to graduate with a Masters in Oriental Medicine. It sounds rediculous listening to myself tell people that I will be a Physician that diagnoses and treats patients, with just a Master's degree. People are not stupid. Everyone knows a Physician has diagnosing and treating rights, and is called Doctor because they have a DOCTORAL degree. Further yet, I must convince others(including myself) that I am working my butt off and going $100,000.00 into debt, in a program where I should by right have the education and the degree and command the same respect as an MD.... a Chiropractor even. I mean lets face it, I have seen and treated Cancer and AIDS patients in the STUDENT CLINIC with good results!!!
I think the accredidation to Doctoral status should become law right now. I think all existing TCM and OM "Physicians" should be grandfathered in to receive the Doctoral and state designation as such in the mailbox next month. I think all schools with Master's Degree status should be made to increase the quality their program and be able to grant a doctoral degree within one year. Students, enrolled before May 2002(date of DOE approval) should automatically receive the Doctoral diploma, and others enrolled after the date be in a program that grants the Doctoral diploma at graduation.

TCM schools are in fact MEDICAL SCHOOLS. I should not have to go back to MEDICAL SCHOOL again to become what I am already there and am soon going to be....... a DOCTOR in service to care for others.
Yes, I intend to enroll within the next 12-24 months. i,m interesting to leorn more.

No, I'm not interested in enrolling. Although I am always interested in expanding my
knowledge in a mdecial system I love, I find that the condition of employment for Licensed AC's is very limited. And I see hopsitals and other bio-medical instituions place Ac in the CAM catagoy along with massage, reiki, even drumming! There seems to be little reguard for the education of LcAc's. The status of Master degree is only relavant in the Ac schools. Do we really think a PHD will be any better? No one else in the mdieal community seem to have much respect for it. The amount of time and money put into the typical AC master degree does not even come close to being comensated by the job possibilities. Schools advertise making 100,000 in Ac a year, Who are they kidding? Hospitals in my area are introducing AC, charging $20 to $30 a treatment, paying the AC $30 an hour to do three or four treatments an hour. Who is making the proift here? AC is being incorporated into other practises (chripratic, Naturalpathic, and the OM. MD ) with very little education. When inquirng about a Phone book add, my sales rep said "you are only an acupuncturist?" Most Licensed AC do not even get the respect of a physical theraptis from the
majority of the medical community and the public. I would like to see the schools required to contribute annually to a national campaigne to educate the public about the benifits of full OM. This should be a requirement of their accredidation. Other wise, they are just taking the money of students, offering them little to no information about how to make any money after gradution. And leaving the students will high education bills with few avenues for ea
No, I'm not interested in enrolling. No, I am not interested in enrolling. While I was able to graduate from school more than 14 years ago and be out of debt; it was due to being willing to throw newspaper routes and do tons of high production computer work and data entry. I am sure that I would be better off had I pursued a career in computers versus acupuncture. TO THOSE OF YOU THAT ARE GOING TO TCM SCHOOL NOW MAKE SURE THAT THE CLASSES YOU ARE TAKING WILL GET YOU A BACHELORS DEGREE THAT WILL BE ACCEPTED AT AN INSTITUTION OF HIGHER LEARNING THAT IS NOT TCM RELATED. MOST FOLKS OUT THERE DO NOT KNOW THAT IF YOU CANNOT MAKE A LIVING DOING TCM YOUR INVESTMENT DOES NOT COUNT....IF YOU ONLY HAVE A 2 YEAR DEGREE AT A RECOGINIZED INSTITUTION-STATE UNIVERSITY, WHATEVER; THEN THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE LEFT WITH AFTER YEARS OF $ AND SACRIFICE AS A PRACTITIONER. THE VETERAN'S ADMINISTRATION AND ALMOST EVERY OTHER GOVERNMENT ENTITIY ONLY CONSIDER ACUPUNCTURE SCHOOL TO BE A VOCATIONAL PROGRAM, MUCH LIKE AUTO MECHANICS. I KNOW I LOOKED INTO GOING TO LAW SCHOOL AND WAS TOLD THAT FIRST I would have to get a REAL BACHELOR'S FROM A REAL UNIVERSITY AND THEN SPEND ANOTHER 3-4 YEARS IN COLLEGE FOR LAW SCHOOL. At this late date and my age I would be 50 or 52 by the time I finished all of that. My family was amazed when I informed them of that they Said do you mean all of that schooling does not really count? I said yes. For all of us sr. practitioners out there we should be calling the shots on our profession, not the NCCAOM, ACAOMA, schools, etc. But we do not count as we do not have any mobility in terms of moving from state to state and getting a license, have any real money or political power. THE SCHOOLS WILL CONTINUE TO ACCEPT AS MANY PEOPLE AS THEY CAN WEATHER OR NOT THOSE PEOPLE WILL EVER BE ABLE TO WORK IN THE FIELD AND MAKE A DECENT LIVING OR NOT. THEir GOAL IS PROFIT, JUST LIKE ANY BUSINESS. I myself do not think more practitioners of oriental medicine will help improve healthcare of americans at all. The powers that be are walking us down the same insurance/medicare road that the MD's went down. IT DID NOT WORK FOR THE MD'S why would it work for us? DOM'S WILL NEVER BE USED TO DO CLINICAL RESEARCH...I HAVE LOOKED AT GOVERNMENT GRANTS AND THEY ARE DESIGNED FOR MD'S AND PHD'S WHO ARE ALREADY AT INSTITUTIONS DOING RESEARCH OR THOSE ENTITIES THAT ARE NON-PROFIT. I THINK OUR PROFESSION WOULD BE BETTER OFF IF THERE WERE ONLY 20-30 SCHOOLS OF ORIENTAL MEDICINE; THAT WAY THERE WOULD BE SOME QUALITY IN THE PROGRAMS, ETC.
No, I'm not interested in enrolling. This doctoral program is crazy! The general public doesn't even know the differencce between an LAc and DOM. Where are the jobs? This is the main site for acupuncture job classifieds, and there aren't any there! How is this doctoral program going to benefit the job market for acupuncturists? Let's face the reality that this program is just another way for schools to drain money out of already financially challenged acupuncturists.

No, I'm not interested in enrolling. A doctoral degree would understandably be required for most teaching positions in colleges, as is the norm in graduate education in other fields. However, the possession of a degree says nothing at all about an individual's clinical ability, but rather their determination to pursue classroom studies and the depth of their purse. In fact a seasoned practitioner with clinical experience would be a far better graduate teacher than a degree holder with little real experience. Do people go to acupuncture school tyo be of service or do they want the prestige associated with referring to oneself as "doctor". Once more, an example of our culture's preference for materialism over substance, now infiltrating the education of our colleagues.

Yes, I'm already enrolled in such a program. it's great!
Yes, I intend to enroll within the next 12 months. Hi

I would like some info on what the acupuncture
community thinks about the doctoral studies
in acupuncture at this time?
Will the laws change? is it worth investing in?
Is this a time to wait to do a doctorate?
No, I'm not interested in enrolling. I would consider a doctoral program IF it focused on one specialty. PCOM's program for example has too many things going on many of which I am not interested in practicing such as geriatric medicine, manual medicine in which I already have an extensive background, and pediatrics. Thus it would be a waste of my time and money. If I could find a prgram with a particular focus thesis development (like most doctoral programs) or which allowed for independant study and peer and faculty reviewed thesis then I would condsider enrolling.

No, I'm not interested in enrolling. The schools are hurting students by not requiring a 4 year degree before entering the basic program. The running joke at my school was that anyone with a pulse and the ability to get financial aid could get into the program. And when the schools admit these under-achieving students they can teach to the lowest common denominator and be more likely to get away with it. If this was about raising educational standards, the movement would be to enact them in the 4 year program. This is about money and always has been.

No, I'm not interested in enrolling. Why would I enroll in another money making
scheme for the acupucnture schools. Most of us are working a second job just to pay off student
loans.The schools need to stop being so greedy and do something postive about the profession- like being honest about the reality of making money as an acupuncturist. The glory days of making $100,000 as an acupuncturist are over.
No, I'm not interested in enrolling. I am disappointed so far in the listings I have seen of course
offerings, and in the reasons given for obtaining such a degree.
No, I'm not interested in enrolling. Instead of having BA/MS degree. Schools should adopt an MS/PhD. program. I think the requirement for entry into an acupuncture school should be a 4 year degree, instead of 60 credits. Having this type of combination would raise the professional standards of our Medicine.
I graduated from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, in N.Y., and I'll be paying off a student loan for a long while. Since this is a second career for me, I don't see myself starting a practice and going back to school again. ( I just graduated 18 months ago.) Of course if it meant loosing my credentials as an acupuncturist, I would definately reconsider!
Barbara Helbling A.P.

Yes, I intend to enroll within the next 12-24 months. The doctoral degree is a natural, and I think, essential aspect fot the profession. Even pharmacists and (in the next few years) physical therapists are trained at the doctoral level now. As it stands, we are the only (and I repeat only)
independent medical professional who has diagnosing and treating rights without a doctoral training. Where are the jobs? Why would hospitals offer them to us with three years of training and only 2 years of pre-professional training (which is why I think all states should require a bachelor's
degree as a standard of licensure like NJ and Nevada do). Eventually a doctoral degree will and should be the standard entry level.
 Acupuncture, trying to find out if it will help my husband with a trapped nerve in the neck with the bones bending slowly.
Yes, I intend to enroll within the next 12-24 months.  I feel there is a need to combine eastern and western medicine.I would love to be able to bring my own experiences to light,as I have been blessed with many benifits from acupressure. I pray one day soon that I will be able to forfill my dream,to become an herbalist medical doctor versed in acupuncture.

Yes, I intend to enroll within the next 12 months. Anyone who has really learned anything at all from a 3 or 4 year TCM program in the US must realize that in these schools we are taught only the very very basics . One of the goals of a graduate program is to allow the students the opportunity to approach a level close to that of a chinese trained practitioner, which must include literacy in chinese.
No, I'm not interested in enrolling. I am still paying off my M.Ac. and chinese herb education loans of 12 years ago, plus I now have 12 years experience as an acupuncturist and herbalist and 28 years in taiji and qigong, why would I want to take on any more indebtedness , especially in this time of depressed economic conditions! The doctoral program makes no sense at all. I believe we can uphold standards of quality care without the extra time and expense of a doctoral program.

No, I'm not interested in enrolling. I agree with the previous comment. Besides, what assurance is there that the education has improved at all? It seems like another money-making scheme for the schools.

No, I'm not interested in enrolling. What's the point. Why go into more debt. It is difficult enough trying to make a living doing acupuncture with the few job opportunites available. Where are the jobs? And who is requiring more education? I think the schools are simply interested in finding another way to make money and keep themselves in business.
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