Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine

Doctoral Degree Announcement

Unknown-6SIOM begins its Doctoral Degree in Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (D.A.H.M.) in the Fall of 2016

SIOM recently received permission from its accrediting body, the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) to begin accepting applications for its doctoral degree in acupuncture and herbal medicine. This is a major accomplishment that will allow the Institute to provide a program it has been developing and planning for over a decade. The first three years of the four year doctoral program will be identical to SIOM's present masters degree in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. This M.Ac.O.M. degree is configured to meet the foundational requirements of doctoral training and provide clinical training at the doctoral level. The additional fourth year of the doctoral program will then highlight the final stage of preparing physicians in this medicine by emphasizing individualized study of clinical specialties, teaching experience, translation/research activities, and advanced clinical practice; including participation in multi-disciplinary health care teams. The goal of the four year doctoral program is to graduate physicians who are able clinicians and educators and have the capacity to work both independently and in integrated health care settings.

The SIOM doctoral program is one of the first programs granted permission to proceed by ACAOM that is not embedded in a larger regionally accredited institution. SIOM's mission has always been to have a single purpose instructional focus to train practitioners in the field of East Asian Medicine in a small school setting. This vision insures that all of the resources of the institution are directed to the programmatic goals to train highly qualified practitioners. The doctoral degree offering is SIOM's most recent step to insure it is providing the best education possible in this field.

Because SIOM is a small single purpose institution, it does not have regional accreditation, as do larger colleges and universities. Therefore SIOM's doctoral program must go through a several year process with ACAOM to receive accreditation. This means that while students are completing the first three years of the program they are enrolled in SIOM's accredited masters degree, and through this enrollment, they may receive financial aid. However; financial aid is not available at this time for the fourth year of the doctoral program. Students will be able to become licensed in acupuncture in Washington state after the first three years of the program. They then will be eligible for teaching assistant positions at the school. This will help reduce the costs of education in the final year. It is possible that SIOM will receive financial aid approval for the final year before the first cohort of students reaches their fourth year. But this possibility is tied to the accrediting body's efforts to receive financial aid for these programs from the U.S. Department of Education. This process and its result is uncertain at this time.

SIOM has prepared for the opportunity to offer a doctoral degree in this medicine for over a decade. The school's long held vision is that the public needs two primary kinds of practitioners in this medicine. First, the practitioner of acupuncture and bodywork, as trained in the Master of Acupuncture degree (M.Ac.), who can provide acupuncture therapy in international relief clinics, community clinics, and a range of health care settings in this country. Secondly, the doctor with the full breadth of training in East Asian medical therapeutics, who also has the ability to access Chinese sources directly, and thus provide in-depth care to a wide range of chronic and acute medical conditions while working independently or in integrated health care settings. Both programs emphasize preventive health care and each of these programs will graduate practitioners to meet the health care needs of the community, here and abroad. It is SIOM's goal that its graduates be both successful and effective in their careers as providers in this medicine, and bring to the public a depth of care based in deep understanding of the ancient and contemporary approaches to health that are provided through this discipline.

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