Doctor of Acupuncture with Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine (DAcTCM)
Traditional Chinese medicine originated in ancient China and has evolved over thousands of years. Practitioners use herbs, acupuncture, massage, and other methods to treat a wide range of medical conditions in their patients. University of Bridgeport’s Acupuncture Institute (UBAI) is proud to offer the Doctor of Acupuncture with Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine (DAcTCM) program, a comprehensive training in Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, adjunctive therapies, and biomedicine at the graduate level.
Our program is the first clinical doctoral TCM program on the East Coast to be offered within a university setting.Graduates of this program learn how to provide the full range of benefits of traditional Chinese medicine and clinical assessment to their patients, including in those states where traditional Chinese medicine practitioners act as primary care providers.
UB offers the unique opportunity to study traditional Chinese medicine alongside students pursuing other health profession degrees in our comprehensive university. Students will collaborate with naturopathic, chiropractic, and other students and practitioners in the UB Clinics, our clinical teaching facilities. This environment promotes the development of clinical, interpersonal communication, and decision-making skills as well as the professional conduct, efficiency, and confidence required to provide exceptional patient care.
The DAcTCM program is designed to provide significant training in biomedicine and integrative medicine for those interested in providing traditional Chinese medicine in primary care. Chinese medicine practitioners (L.Ac.s) play an important part in U.S. healthcare. The Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination against complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners, including acupuncturists. UBAI is dedicated to ensuring that its graduate practitioners are included in all aspects of healthcare, from the private office to hospitals and public health forums.
UBAI’s DAcTCM program will help graduates participate in a healthcare system that is multidisciplinary and enhances competence, mutual respect, and collaboration across all healthcare disciplines. The clinical program stresses a team-based approach to care.
A Note about the DAc.TCM Clinical Doctoral Degree
Clinical doctorates are professional degrees, focused on clinical competencies required to practice in private and public health settings. In general, those pursuing a DAcTCM are preparing to help patients get well and stay well using TCM principles and practices. Clinical doctorates prepare students to use research, including translating research into practice, using evidence-informed practices, although these degrees are not typically used towards a research career.
The Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (ACAHM) granted accreditation to University of Bridgeport Acupuncture Institute’s professional doctorate program in English. Accreditation status and notes may be viewed at: acahm.org/directory-menu/directory
ACAHM is the recognized accrediting agency for programs preparing acupuncture and herbal medicine practitioners.
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Learning Outcomes and Careers
Upon successful completion of the Doctor of Acupuncture with Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine program, the graduate will have the ability to:
- Demonstrate competency in utilizing the four examinations to identify Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnoses.
- Have the ability to formulate and skillfully implement the safe and effective clinical application of Chinese medicine modalities based upon a total assessment of the patient; to formulate and skillfully implement safe and effective acupuncture, moxibustion, Chinese herbal medicine, qi cultivation, tui na and other adjunctive techniques.
- Adapt diagnosis and treatment strategies as needed for diverse patient populations.
- Evaluate patient care from biomedical, pharmacological and Asian perspective in order to understand the medical context in which patients present, make appropriate treatment, and consultation decisions in various healthcare settings including as part of a collaborative health care team; and make timely referrals when appropriate.
- Value patients’ dignity and confidentiality.
- DAc.TCM graduates will have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide patient-centered care in a variety of settings in order to optimize patient health and coordinate care with other healthcare practitioners.
The settings in which acupuncture practitioners work vary from a multi-disciplinary clinic with other health care professionals, to a hospital, to private practice. Other career options include teaching, translating, publishing, research, or working with an acupuncture supply company.
According to the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (CCAHM), there are approximately 20,000-25,000 AOM licensees throughout the United States. While current data concerning the income of these practitioners nationwide is not available, recent estimates have suggested an annual starting salary range of $55,000-$80,000. It is not uncommon for practitioners to earn in excess of this amount, with reported salaries in some instances exceeding well over $100,000.
Most graduates of acupuncture schools and colleges start private practices and are their own boss. They can choose the work environment that is best for them.
As a result of increasing demand from health group members for alternative care coverage, group health insurance companies such as CIGNA and Aetna provide varying degrees of acupuncture care coverage. The amount of coverage depends on each individual plan. Some health plan policies require that the individual or employer group purchase an additional “Alternative Medicine Rider” to provide coverage for acupuncture services.
Medicare also covers acupuncture for those working in multidisciplinary clinics with licensed Medicare providers.
Completion of any of the UBAI programs does not guarantee licensure in any state. Most states require passage of some or all of the National Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) exam modules (www.nccaom.org/certification/nccaom-certification-eligibility/) and the Council of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (CCAHM) Clean Needle Technique (CNT: www.ccahm.org/ccaom/Overview.asp) exam for licensure.
In California you must take a program approved by the California Acupuncture Board (CAB; https://www.acupuncture.ca.gov/) and pass the California Acupuncture exam to qualify for licensure. (See www.acupuncture.ca.gov/students/exam_require.shtml) As of 2021, the only program at UBAI that qualifies a graduate for the California exam is The Doctor of Acupuncture with Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine (DAcTCM) degree. (See www.acupuncture.ca.gov/students/schools.shtml)
Below is a list of those states for whom the various UBAI programs meet licensure requirements. Please note that legislation changes can take place and completing the program does not guarantee state licensure eligibility alone. Many states require a state-specific exam in Jurisprudence or other areas of state-specific laws in additional to the NCCAOM exam modules. Always check state licensure requirements prior to applying for an acupuncture license.
|Meets State Requirements
|Additional Training Required
|AK, AZ, CO, CT, GA, IA, ID, IL*, IN, KY, LA, MA*, MD, ME, MI, MN, MD, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH*, OR, PA*, RI, SC, TN, UT, VA, VT*, WA, WI, WV, WY, Washington DC*
|*DC, IL, MA, OH, NJ, VT and PA allow for acupuncture only licensure or licensees can choose TCM licensure including TCM Herbs. (Requires TCM degree & passage of the herb module for NCCAOM.)
|MS-Traditional Chinese Medicine (required for licensure)
|Herbal Training required: AR, DE, HI, FL**, KS, NM, NV, TX, VT
|**Florida only accepts masters-level degrees in TCM for licensure as of 2021. FL also requires training in injection therapies prior to licensure.
|MS-Traditional Chinese Medicine (optional for licensure)
Herbal Training optional:
DC, IL, MA, OH, NJ, PA, VT
Optional category also includes all of the states where MS-ACUP meets state requirements
|Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine
|California Plus all of the states where MS-ACUP and MS-TCM meets state requirements, except FL.
|California requires passage of the California exam.
|MS-CH does not lead to acupuncture licensure alone. Completion of an acupuncture degree is required
|No Acupuncture licensure (2021)
|AL, OK, SD
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Find additional information about the Acupuncture with Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine (DAcTCM) program in the academic catalog.