What to Expect
Oriental medicine programs teach students about healthy diets, adequate
sleep, clean air and moderation of personal habits. But students start off
with a lot of theory.
"During the first year, which consisted of basic theory of acupuncture,
I studied six to seven hours a week," says Mike Campbell. He studied at the
Maryland Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine. "The second year, this
increased to eight to 10 hours."
Eventually, you get to do something besides hit the books. Campbell says the
last year is research-oriented. "I really like the hands-on aspect of
applying what you are learning. This is a very 'close' environment, and the
student population is growing rapidly."
Jackie Hutchings decided to enter the profession when she quit her flight
attendant job to be with her mother as she battled cancer. "My mother experienced
tremendous pain, and I just want to help others avoid that," she says.
Hutchings is a product of the program at Keimyung Baylo University in California.
The best thing about the program, she says, is learning how to handle people.
"Eastern medicine focuses on empathy with patients and learning how the whole
body is involved when you are dealing with pain," she says.
How to Prepare
Hutchings' suggestions for those interested in Chinese medicine include reading
Oriental philosophy and exposing yourself to other cultures.