College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is becoming one of the most rapidly recognized forms of integrative health care in the United States. One of the first steps in the development of any profession is the standardization of education. To achieve that end, there are three principal national organizations that concern themselves with standardizing education in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and certifying graduates of American acupuncture and Oriental medicine schools.
The U.S. Department of Education recognizes the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) as the specialized and professional accrediting agency for such schools. The Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) is a membership organization for schools of acupuncture and oriental medicine. The CCAOM provides a forum for schools to discuss current issues in the field and to propose improvements in the educational system for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) certifies practitioners in acupuncture and herbal proficiency and offers separate certification examinations in Acupuncture with Point Location, Chinese Herbs, Foundations of Oriental Medicine, and Biomedical Sciences.
In the United States, 44 states plus the District of Columbia allow the legal practice of acupuncture, and the various laws and regulations of the different states reflect the diversity of thought within the field. Some states have detailed statutes and codes regulating the practice of acupuncture; in others, statutory language is brief. Some states license or permit the practice of acupuncture alone; others include other forms of Oriental medicine such as herbs, diet and lifestyle counseling, and Oriental exercise. Some states have extensive Western science requirements for the education of practitioners; others have none.
If recent history is any indication, it appears that the field of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine will continue to grow and expand. With the growth and expansion of the profession, it is likely that this pattern of diversity in regulation will continue as states craft legislation to meet the needs of their citizens. There are practitioners of Acupuncture and Oriental medicine in virtually every state and increasingly their services are included in preferred-provider organizations, third-party payer systems, hospitals and integrated health care clinics.
Texas Health and Science University is affiliated with these three national acupuncture organizations: The THSU Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program is accredited by ACAOM; the University is an active member of CCAOM, and our third year students are eligible to take the NCCAOM examinations for acupuncture and Oriental medicine. The State of Texas has determined that the NCCAOM examinations and certification will serve as one of the requirements for licensure to practice in Texas. In addition, THSU is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).