The American College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) in Houston, Texas has been a pioneer in finding ways to provide the best level of education for students while proclaiming the benefits of Asian healing to the general population.Among the college's most recent developments, ACAOM has reached agreements with two teaching hospitals in China to improve the clinical training of interns and expanded its own intern clinic, while the school's president, Dr. Shen Ping Liang, has been invited to join an advisory committee on integrative medicine procedures for cancer patients.
Intern Training Agreement Reached with Chinese Hospitals
Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine are the latest institutions to come to intern training agreements with ACAOM. These agreements give the college the option of sending clinic interns to treat patients in a hospital setting in three different locations throughout China, providing students with the opportunity to experience the land and culture from which acupuncture originated while gaining clinical experience with some of China's best acupuncturists.
Zhejiang Hospital is located in Hangzhou, approximately 110 miles south of Shanghai. It is the largest affiliated hospital of Zhejiang College of TCM and recently received an award from the Chinese Health Service Ministry. At Zhejiang, ACAOM students will be rotated to receive training in nearly a dozen disciplines, including acupuncture; tuina; orthopedics and traumatology; gynecology; pediatrics; neurology; kidney diseases; oncology; surgery; and dermatology.
First Teaching Hospital, located in Tianjin province on the eastern side of the North China Plain, is one of the busiest hospitals in China, averaging more than 4,000 outpatients per day and more than one million outpatients per year. It has consistently been rated a "class A" hospital by Chinese health authorities and was recently named a national clinical research center of acupuncture and moxibustion by the Chinese TCM Administration Bureau. More than 20 clinical technical departments have been established at the First Teaching Hospital, along with 69 clinics for specific diseases and 15 separate sections for clinical acupuncture and moxibustion research. Rotations at First Teaching Hospital will allow interns to examine patients in a large hospital environment while discovering areas in which Western and Oriental medicine function well together.
The first hospital to come to an intern training agreement with ACAOM was Dalian Hospital, which is affiliated with the Liaoning College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Shenyang.
College Clinic Receives Upgrade
In related news, ACAOM has made a series of improvements to its own intern clinic, with an increase in the number of treatment rooms and an expansion of its herbal pharmacy. As a result of the upgrades, the college reports that the number of patients visiting the clinic has increased "dramatically" in the past few months. ACAOM officials have stressed that they will continue to provide the best clinical training for their students, both in the U.S. and abroad.
ACAOM President Joins Integrative Medicine Project
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has invited Dr. Shen Ping Liang to be an external advisory committee member of CIMER, which stands for Complementary Integrative Medicine Resources. Its mission, according to a statement on the CIMER website, is to "provide educational resources to health care professionals and patients regarding the current understanding of complementary medicine and, where appropriate, to assist in the integration of these medicines and therapies with conventional treatments." The project aims to achieve this mission by:
- learning more about complementary and alternative medicine therapies used by cancer patients;
- distinguishing which therapies may be harmful and which are potentially useful; and
- conversing with patients who use (or are interested in using) alternative therapies to enhance communication.
Dr. Liang joins Leanna Standish, a senior research scientist at Bastyr University, as the only licensed acupuncturists that belong to CIMER.
"I am glad to see that we are moving towards cooperation between Western and Oriental medical approaches," said Dr. Liang upon his appointment. "ACAOM will continue to fully support M.D. Anderson in its quest to provide the best care for their patients."