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Doctor of Acupuncture with Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine (DAcTCM)

Chinese herbs, part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine D-TCM program at UB in CT

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.

Programmatic Accreditation

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.

ACAHM

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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:

  1. Demonstrate competency in utilizing the four examinations to identify Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnoses.
  2. 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.
  3. Adapt diagnosis and treatment strategies as needed for diverse patient populations.
  4. 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.
  5. Value patients’ dignity and confidentiality.
  6. 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.

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