DAOM Program FAQ

Below is a list of questions that are frequently asked by prospective DAOM students. Please scan the questions for one that best represents your query, then click on the question to see the answer.

If you do not see the answer to your query, please contact admissions for further assistance.

ACCHS is seeking to fill a void in North American TCM education by developing an accredited DAOM program based on the Chinese medical classics. This focus, which will reinforce and deepen students’ grounding in pure Chinese medicine thinking, will be balanced by a strong, integrative education in orthopedics and pain management.

The program will operate one 4-day weekend per month, and will mostly follow seminar formats, with world-renowned teachers teaching all-day classes. Rather than be a patchwork collection of CEU’s, however, the teachers and courses will be organized along the core themes of Chinese medical classics and orthopedics and pain management.

In today’s varied healthcare landscape, there are a plethora of ways in which licensed acupuncturists can choose to practice medicine. In the modern clinic, many practitioners gravitate towards a predominantly biomedical understanding of disease processes, and prescribing mostly patent medicines and/or nutritional supplements. Online forums abound where case study queries are met with recommendations for blood tests, supplements, nutraceuticals, homeopathic remedies, western herbs, etc, and often conspicuously missing any in depth discussion of Chinese medical diagnoses or treatments, outside of a handful of the most commonly used points or formulas. There exist many continuing education opportunities to train and develop one’s clinical competency along these other, very useful modalities.

Conversely, many TCM practitioners do not feel very confident as herbalists when they graduate from their MSTCM programs, and without a coherent program for advanced learning, their knowledge and confidence may actually decline rather than increase with time and experience. This declining emphasis on herbal medicine is reflected by self-identification of MSTCM graduates as “acupuncturists” rather than “Chinese medicine practitioners”, and by changes in state or national policy (an example is the steadily declining herbal medicine portion of the Acupuncture Licensing Exam).

While the ACCHS DAOM curriculum will certainly provide its candidates with the biomedical knowledge to be fully qualified primary health care physicians, our program is especially designed for those students who seek to understand, diagnose and treat their patients according to Chinese medical principles such Yin and Yang, the Five Elements, the Six Conformations, and the states of Pathogenic and Righteous Qi. The goal of our program is to train students to understand the different paradigms that can offer benefit to their patients, and to be able to communicate with patients and other healthcare practitioners in a manner that is contextually appropriate, while preserving and enriching Chinese medicine’s traditional perspective and its unique potential to support the healing process.

Pain is one of the primary reasons patients seek medical treatment. As primary healthcare practitioners, many of our candidates will see more patients who are dealing with pain than with any other type of health problem. By developing their understanding of the anatomical, physiological (both Chinese and biomedical) and neurological sources of pain, and of the tools available to them as Chinese medicine practitioners, our candidates will be able to more precisely assess, and more skillfully treat the roots of their patients’ pain conditions.

In addition, the transition to national healthcare that will take place over the next few years will see more worker’s comp, personal injury and MD-referred cases, dealing primarily with musculoskeletal issues. Learning to diagnose, treat and chart according to standards set up for this multi-disciplinary style of healthcare will prove invaluable for DAOM candidates.

They will mostly follow a seminar format, with discreet but related topics being covered on separate weekends. Most weekends will consist of three days of lecture, and one day of Clinical Theater. In Clinic Theater, visiting professors will be able to demonstrate their diagnostic and therapeutic reasoning to the class in real time and in follow-up discussions.

ACCHS DAOM candidates have diverse backgrounds, but share a common interest in learning and practicing Chinese Medicine at a high level. The dual focus of the curriculum draws both students with a sincere desire to practice an authentically traditional, pre-modern style of Chinese Medicine, and also those who wish to learn imminently practical skills in assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, as well as strategies to work efficiently and effectively within the modern healthcare landscape (worker’s comp, insurance reimbursement, etc.).

The proposed program would include 592.5 didactic hours and 697.5 clinical hours, and can be completed in 24 months.

Courses are held over 4-day weekends each month (typically the first weekend of each month). Clinical hours can be completed through a variety of clinical activities, including internship at ACCHS (on Tuesdays and Thursdays), externship, case study presentation and discussion, and clinical supervision.

Classes will contain 20-40 students. In those classes with significant hands-on components, the primary instructor will be assisted by qualified practitioners of their own selection.

Graduation from an accredited MSTCM program or equivalent. A more detailed explanation can be found in the Admissions section of the Program Catalog. A link to the pdf copy will be provided shortly.

Clinical hours can be completed through a variety of clinical activities, including internship at ACCHS (on Tuesdays and Thursdays), externship, case study presentation and discussion, and clinical supervision.