Written by: ACAOM
Physicians looking to practice acupuncture will need an integrative healthcare management masters degree, among other forms of qualification. Acupuncture is a highly regulated profession in the United States, and physicians are trained to use real medical knowledge to form a diagnosis and treat patient symptoms. If you’re looking to enter this exciting field of alternative medicine, here are some points you should be aware of to help the business grow.
There are several accredited acupuncture schools all over the United States. These programs teach students how to assess a patient’s symptoms based on Western medical ideologies and treat accordingly. These students learn how to diagnose a patient, and can talk about symptoms and risks associated with treatment. Some of these physicians can write prescriptions for alternative medicine to go along with treatments they provide. A degree holder also has the opportunity to get an internship, which gives valuable experience in an office.
Students are taught to assess a patient’s condition, and evaluate the healing process through several visits. An acupuncture session can last as long as the discomfort does, so healing can occur within days, weeks or months. It’s important for the physician to set realistic expectations for the patient, including the session itself. Patients may expect the procedure to be painless, and that’s not always the case. The physician should communicate risks to watch out for, and take the time to explain how the process works and what the doctor will be doing in session.
Each patient is like a job interview, so doctors must have good bed side manner if they hope to get repeat business. A patient’s medical history can also play a role in treatment, so part of setting a patient’s expectations involves establishing a base line for their health. Some practices find it helpful to keep a pamphlet of the process handy for patients new to acupuncture.
Practicing alternative medicine in Texas requires more than just a degree to stay competitive. Acupuncture therapists are encouraged to continue schooling and earn further certifications from state-accredited entities. Patients will check a therapists credentials, so it’s important to have accreditation from a reputable university. Certification also has the added benefit of making a therapist easier to find. Those with certifications are often listed in national acupuncture organizations, which provide referrals to patients.