Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Career
Hammer

Martinsburg, WV

#25 Sep 23, 2010
reality check....education towards as an acupuncturist career path may prove to be the most expensive decision you’ll ever make. the roi is not there.

acupuncture may be the best thing since sliced bread but in the united states, it's not the best thing that drives the medical community but profits. my background is in business administration and i've had hands on experience in the fields of acupuncture and western medicine. as you know, pharmaceutical industry dominates the medical community and has direct interests in the insurance/medicare reimbursements. acupuncturists cannot compete for these funds and must rely on cash based out of pocket patients as the main source of revenue. saying this is not enough is a gross understatement...unless you are both the best of best and lucky at the same time.

most people who choose acupuncture as a career are not very savvy and this may be why there results such little success stories. i back up this statement as the threshold to becoming an acupuncturist is really a joke compared to md's. unlike medical schools, entry to acupuncture schools does not require a stellar gpa...it does not even require an entry exam. anyone w/ "heart" and desire and money (borrowed or not) with 2 years of any college level courses are qualified. needless to say, these folks (not all) are not someone i would trust my health with. the so called certification/licensure exams don’t do justice in weeding out the truly qualified…it’s just a formality. in all, it’s not very difficult to attain a licensure in acupuncture so in essence, you as a patient roll the dice when seeing an acupuncturist.

sum up all of the above and you’ll see that the formula does not add to much in a career in acupuncture.
Anonymous

Seattle, WA

#26 Sep 23, 2010
This is not the case with all schools. There is one exception... Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine. They are quite selective about who they let in, they let in very few people and their education is actually very extensive and rigorous.
Nick

Gilbert, AZ

#28 Jan 3, 2011
I am looking into PIHMA in Phoenix. Does anyone have any feed back on this college? Or better suggestions of where to attend?
Anonymous

Seattle, WA

#29 Jan 4, 2011
Check out SIOM. It's the best. I've heard AOMA and NESA are decent also.
raine

Washington, NJ

#30 Apr 6, 2011
I am 42 years old with a senior in high school. I almost have enough for an assoicates degree, but looking to further my education in a field of helping people. I am enrolled in a course for September in Radiology but want to continue to help people as a Radiation therapist which requires another year of school after 2 years for radiology. I have been aware of acupuncture but it wasnt until I met someone and said they were getting their degree in that area. I have been looking into it, I am very interested in what it offers people, relief from pain, stress etc. I just dont know which way to go in making a career decision, when it doescome to finding a job.
Do acupuncturist work in hospitals, etc? I have been a single mom for a long time and I know about struggling with working 3 jobs and falling to the economy of having no job right now. Im willing to do hard work, Im on a mission to earn my college degree with no less than a bachelors, but can not afford to be here until Im 90. lol Is becoming an acupuncturist by the year 2014 be worth my while? Im tired of being behind on bills. If someone out there can give me an opinion from a first hand experience, I would greatly appreciate it. Oh and one more thing if I do choose this route, is there another profession that will coincide and help promote or aid in this field? Thanks, so much.
Larry

Temecula, CA

#31 Apr 6, 2011
raine wrote:
I am 42 years old with a senior in high school. I almost have enough for an assoicates degree, but looking to further my education in a field of helping people. I am enrolled in a course for September in Radiology but want to continue to help people as a Radiation therapist which requires another year of school after 2 years for radiology. I have been aware of acupuncture but it wasnt until I met someone and said they were getting their degree in that area. I have been looking into it, I am very interested in what it offers people, relief from pain, stress etc. I just dont know which way to go in making a career decision, when it doescome to finding a job.
Do acupuncturist work in hospitals, etc? I have been a single mom for a long time and I know about struggling with working 3 jobs and falling to the economy of having no job right now. Im willing to do hard work, Im on a mission to earn my college degree with no less than a bachelors, but can not afford to be here until Im 90. lol Is becoming an acupuncturist by the year 2014 be worth my while? Im tired of being behind on bills. If someone out there can give me an opinion from a first hand experience, I would greatly appreciate it. Oh and one more thing if I do choose this route, is there another profession that will coincide and help promote or aid in this field? Thanks, so much.
raine-

As someone who's "been there/done that", I'm going to agree 100% with what Hammer said in his/her post above; if you're tired of being behind on bills, investing in an acupuncture education will just add to them without a real-world payback. In my experience many who are drawn to acupuncture schools are confident they're going to the "best" school and that someday they're going to become a "master" of the craft and patients will be beating down their doors for a chance to be treated by them. It just doesn't work that way; even for those rare acupuncture practitioners who are the very best in the field, making a living in acupuncture is a real challenge for the reasons that Hammer states. IMO, stick with what you're doing, in radiology. If you want to have a more "hands-on" part in the healing of people, consider becoming an R.N., an occupational therapist, or perhaps a physician's assistant. Do some research in medical careers (begin by googling it); there are many possibilities. Choose the one that appeals to you, yet also has a projection for strong future growth.

Here's a start:
http://www.medicalcareerinfo.com/index.htm

Best of luck!
raine

Norristown, PA

#32 Apr 15, 2011
thanks so much for yur opinion.
royal

Huntington Park, CA

#33 Apr 15, 2011
Hi Scott,

I am also thinking about going into acupuncture, after an Engineering/MBA degree...I think it is fascinating! I don't care about the money, I will be happy helping people.

oh, by the way I am 55, I will be 60-61 after graduation,

I hope it helps!
ScottC wrote:
Hi, I've been accepted to American College of Traditional chinese medicine, but I'm having second thoughts about attending. I figure I might be in debt
for at least 10 years after I graduate. I'm already 33 years old. I figure I would owe about 130K after graduation.
Do you think I should go for it, and will I make it back? I'm already a computer programmer and make between 65K and 70K a year. I see a real problem and conflict of patient care and trying to pay back my loans. If I can't pay back my loans, I would feel like the pressure is now on me and I can't fully treat patients, but worry about money. If you know what I mean.
I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks.
Scott
raine

Rutherford, NJ

#34 Apr 20, 2011
Does anyone know what sort of school loans if any cover acupuncture? Does stafford or any loans that dont make you pay back untill one graduates? If anyone has any ideas or thoughts Id appreciate it. Thanks
royal

Rosemead, CA

#35 Apr 20, 2011
Humm

130k, that sounds like a lot, have you checked Yosan, Emperor College, etc. other colleges in CA?

Ican't give you advise whether go or not for it if you are hesitant.
However, I can tell you that I am done with Engineering.

I should be starting school within the next two years.
I plan to open the clinic in 5 -6 years. There is a lot of people that will need acupuncture.
royal

Rosemead, CA

#36 Apr 20, 2011
Some schools have Hospital internist acupuncturist as part of the donated hours required before graduation. Yes, some other hospitals have acupuncurist on staff, but those are limited seats.

If you plan to be an employee, tough choice.

However, if you plan to open your own clinic, mayb you will have some future.

I think that the radiologist, MRI, Ultrasound, PET, Cat Scan might be better for you if you plan to be an employee.
Acupuncture will take you 4-5 years
royal

Rosemead, CA

#37 Apr 20, 2011
how much do you guys think an acupuncturis make?
reader

Skokie, IL

#38 Apr 22, 2011
nhyton wrote:
Do it if you really feel like this is what you need to do with your life. Try not to put the money first, instead try to determine if you would be unhappy with your life if you DID NOT do it. Lots of other people have done it before you so, yes, it is absolutely possible for you to make it, that is not the issue. If you really want to do it you can definitely make it happen.
thank you for this! The best advice ever.
Royal

Rosemead, CA

#39 Apr 22, 2011
You will be helping people get rid of pain and other illnesses,
you will have a flex schedule, in some states, acupuncturists are considered primary care physicians and do not need an MD referral.
people helping people!
that's the bottom line
raine

Washington, NJ

#40 May 2, 2011
thanks for all your input and thoughts. Good luck to you all in whatever you do. Im still up in the air about it. I love the thought of helping people and alternative medicine and financially Im willing to put myself in a hole with loans. I just dont want tto stay that way for the rest of my life. I keep looking up, googling etc. What jobs are out there, is there a need for acupuntcturist, do people thinks its voodoo and so on. Im still leaning towards that degree. For you guys that do acupuncture or going into field, what does it take to start your own business? Once licensed can you do it out of your house? Partner up with a Chiropracter? I know all states are different. NY I found out you can practice as long as you obtain education from a certified school and have an associates degree. NJ requires a bachelors.....decisions , decisions......lol
fire_tiger

Berkeley, CA

#41 Jul 11, 2011
For all you who are curious about going to school for Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, please check out
the message boards at:

www.tcmstudent.com

It contains posts from potential students, current students, graduates, established professionals and professors alike. Best of luck!

- Current student
Check it out

Seattle, WA

#42 Nov 26, 2011
http://www.jobsinwa.us/job/ftr/1111/view/acup...

I think this job shows more acceptance and opportunity! Do what you love and success should come
ScottC wrote:
Hi, I've been accepted to American College of Traditional chinese medicine, but I'm having second thoughts about attending. I figure I might be in debt
for at least 10 years after I graduate. I'm already 33 years old. I figure I would owe about 130K after graduation.
Do you think I should go for it, and will I make it back? I'm already a computer programmer and make between 65K and 70K a year. I see a real problem and conflict of patient care and trying to pay back my loans. If I can't pay back my loans, I would feel like the pressure is now on me and I can't fully treat patients, but worry about money. If you know what I mean.
I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks.
Scott
Izzydunne

Los Angeles, CA

#44 Dec 28, 2011
There are too many acupuncturists! The schools are a for- profit factory that continues to crank out practitioners even though most graduates cannot make a living and leave the profession. The current model is wrong. Most acupuncturists are wanna be MDs and try and charge high fees. The only way to survive in the profession is with very low overhead, and low fees. When I went to acupuncture school is was only two years, and only one Western Science course required. The price was $2,500. Now, graduates are in high debt situation in a economy that is in crisis.
Dragon

Australia

#45 Feb 11, 2012
Having been in this industry for 15 years, I have seen 90 percent leave the profession. Not because they don't get results, but because the system is set up to support mainstream medicine practitioners. There is little to no integrative aspects on offer for continued professional development which means most practitioners get stuck in a poverty cycle and simply burnout.
My advice is simple. Don't do it.
I will say it again just in case you missed it!
Don't.. I say don't Do it!
royfiggy

Weston, CT

#46 Feb 11, 2012
A friend of mine is in the field, he sees 100 patients a day.

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