The amount of coursework and clinical practice required to take Doctor of Oriental Medicine (D.O.M., O.M.D.) makes online courses impractical for beginners in the field. If you have a master’s degree, however, 100% online and hybrid format curriculum is available. Due to recent developments in the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine community, looking for a graduate school that offers D.O.M. is challenging. Most of the institutions nowadays offers D.A.O.M. instead of D.O.M., but still the same training more or less.

Have you tried being sick but can’t afford the hefty price tag of medicinal drugs? You want to resort to herbal medicine, but you have trust issues with quack doctors. In this situation, a person specially trained in Oriental Medicine might save your life. And, you can be that person too.

What is Oriental Medicine?

Oriental medicine refers to the medical practices in East Asia particularly in China where treatment methods date back 2000 years ago. Ancient healing techniques in the Far East include acupuncture, herbs, and homeopathy. In Western countries, acupuncture and oriental medicine gained prominence in the 1950s. Now, all states except three in the US have an Acupuncture Practice Act.

In a nutshell, Oriental Medicine involves alternative medicinal methods that stimulate the body to health itself. Through the use of herbs and insertion of needles to qi points, the nervous system will release hormones that bolster the person’s natural regenerative abilities. In the contemporary world, Oriental Medicine practitioners engage in research on the restorative properties of herbs and through that data, they may create new and cheaper remedies than Western drugs.

What sort of accreditation should I look for in a school?

In the United States, the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) administers the accreditation of acupuncture institutions. For now, there are approximately around 50 schools are accredited or in a candidacy status by ACAOM.

How do I earn my D.O.M. degree?

To become an acupuncturist, one needs to acquire a master’s degree and pass the licensure exam. The acupuncturist may then proceed in advancing his/her career by undergoing to any of the following doctorate programs: Doctor of Oriental Medicine (D.O.M., O.M.D.), Doctor of Acupuncture (D.Ac, D.Acu), and Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (D.A.O.M).

While these academic titles mentioned sounds almost the same, their training varies regarding scope and focus. D.O.M. emphasizes the utilization of Chinese herbs to make remedies and D.Acu focuses on various techniques in acupuncture such as needles, cuppings, and other technologies. Lastly, D.A.O..M is more concerned with the integration of both D.O.M and D.Acu courses. Nevertheless, any of these three degrees offer valuable credentials in the field of alternative medicine.

Specifically, acupuncturists with a D.O.M. degree are expected to be capable in diagnosing illnesses and in prescribing Chinese herbs that cure them. Moreover, the basic principles of oriental medicine, such as the flow of “qi” (chi) in the body and the balance yin-yang elements are fundamental to promote health and prevent diseases naturally.

If you have a masters degree, you may finish you D.O.M. degree within three years. Expect the duration to delay or shorten because your current credentials determine the length of your doctorate study. For example, if you already have a Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine, you need not take the pre-requisite subjects that should be made in the undergrad training. Thus, training in both basic acupuncture science and clinical practice are longer for newcomers in the field.

Distinct coursework for D.O.M. graduate students highlights the task of prescribing Chinese herbs and the management of Chinese herbal dispensary. This means D.O.M. students are expected to seek for ways to integrate Chinese herbs to current acupuncture and medicinal practices. The unique perspective of D.O.M. in looks at the overall health of a person to develop an effective treatment to physical, mental, and psychological stress. This includes utilizing herbs as important components in address corporal and spiritual issues.

What type of degree do I need to pursue research or educate others in Oriental Medicine?

Like in any other academic institution, a Ph.D. degree in Oriental Medicine is preferred for teaching in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine schools. The academic background of a Ph.D. professor should foster research literacy and scholarly output from students. However, any competent individual in the field of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine may teach in colleges, given that they teach individuals who have lower degrees than them – i.e., a professor with only a master degree cannot teach a doctorate student.

Aside from PhD dissertations and Acupuncture books, the community of Oriental Medicine are actively publishing in scholarly journals in the U.S. namely The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Acupuncture in Medicine, Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Research, and Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies.

How do I earn a transitional or bridge DOM degree?

If you are a neophyte in the field of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, studying remotely is not conducive for quality training. However, if you already have a master’s degree and want to continue your practice while pursuing a D.O.M degree, you can enroll in accredited acupuncture schools offering 100% online education. Hybrid curriculum formats are mostly available for currently-practicing acupuncturists who can afford to pursue D.O.M. in a modular schedule.

What kind of career and salary can I expect with my D.O.M degree?

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is a growing profession in the US. Most acupuncturists are self-employed, but the increasing acceptance of alternative healing methods allow them to work in the clinical settings. They toil hand in hand with, chiropractors, reflexologists, naturopathic practitioners and physical therapists. They can also work in Chinese stores and districts featuring herbal products.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the median annual of acupuncturists and other diagnostic and treating practitioners range from $74, 530 to $96,770. The salary rate varies depending on the location and experience of the acupuncturist.

Do I need a license to be an Oriental Medicine practitioner?

One needs at least a master’s degree in either Acupuncture or Oriental Medicine to take the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) examinations. Afterward, you may enjoy the “LAc” title which means “licensed acupuncturist.” It is also important to note that California implements their license examination for acupuncture practices in their jurisdiction.

What schools offer Doctor of Oriental Medicine degrees?

Maryland University of Integrated Health in Laurel, Maryland specifically offers “Doctor of Oriental Medicine” degree in a hybrid on-campus and online format. Whereas the following schools offer  “Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine” instead: American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA;  Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland; and Emperor’s College School of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Santa Monica. Still offering “D.A.O.M” instead of “D.O.M” is Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in an entirely online setting.

Are you interested in in learning effective medicine that does not break the bank? Enroll in D.O.M. now and be proud of the “Dr.” name on your future business card!