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Education, Training & Licensure of
|Oriental Medicine Background HOME||
Historically in the U.S., standards for licensure of Acupuncturists and Oriental Medicine doctors
have varied widely from state-to-state. In some areas, acupuncturists are considered to be
primary care physicians, in other states their legal status is little more than technicians.
Regardless of the official legal status in your locale, Oriental Medicine is a rich, powerful system of medicine
that can successfully treat most conditions. In California, all practitioners of Oriental Medicine
operate as Licensed Acupuncturists and use the initials LAc after their name to denote this.
Currently in California, in order to become a Licensed Acupuncturist one must graduate from an accredited school of Oriental Medicine with a Masters Degree in Oriental Medicine (MSOM). This degree includes the study of both Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. This differs slightly from most other states, where study and licensure of acupuncturists does not include the study of Chinese Herbology. The State of California also administers its own licensing exam, which applicants must pass after they graduate from their Oriental Medicine school. In addition to the MSOM degree, there have historically been a wide range of degrees granted by schools; you may also see the title Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM), Oriental Medical Doctor (OMD), or simply a PhD title along with someone's LAc.
In addition to acupuncture and oriental herbs, the course of study in Oriental Medical school includes theory and philosophy of Oriental Medicine, Western basic medical sciences and hands on clinical training.
Licensure in the state of California is regulated by the California Acupuncture Board, Click Here for More Info.
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