Know Your Acupuncturist

by Linda Browne on April 20, 2009

Practitioners whose educational focus is in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine receive
approximately 80% of their training exclusively in this field, and undergo an extensive
clinical internship averaging 3 years. Other healthcare practitioners may use acupuncture,
which is one of the many therapies of Oriental Medicine, as an adjunct to their primary
practice. While all of these practitioners also have training in western medical sciences,
this chart is designed to illustrate the varying levels of acupuncture training generally
undertaken by healthcare professionals.

Know Your Acupuncturist

For a list of ACAOM-approved colleges and national education and training standards, see

For a list of CCAOM member colleges, all of which are ACAOM-approved, see

For national certification standards, see

*Many Acupuncture & Oriental Medical schools exceed 2000 hours.

**Acupuncture/Oriental Medical practitioners are able to obtain a D.A.O.M. doctoral degree from an ACAOM-approved clinical doctoral program. Some states also designate the licensing title (non-degree) as D.O.M. or D.Ac, or Acupuncture Physician. Licensed Acupuncturists may have also obtained an O.M.D., Ph.D., or D.Ac. for non-extensive post-graduate training (from unaccredited programs). Thus, it is important to ask where such a title was received.

***Some medical doctors and chiropractors are trained and licensed in both western and Oriental medical acupuncture. Ask your physician about his or her credentials. Acupuncture should only be administered by a practitioner who has specific training in this field, due to risk of improper needling, inadequate understanding of Oriental medical diagnostic procedures, transmission of disease, imbalancing of energy, or ethical violations.

Produced by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (CCAOM). For reprint information contact 301-476-7790 or For information about the Council please see our web site at

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