Clinical Internships

Clinical InternshipThe Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences is a graduate level traditional Chinese medical school offering a Master of Science degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Graduates of our degree-granting program are eligible to sit for the California licensure examination for licensed acupuncturists (L.Ac.). Licensed acupuncturists in California are qualified as primary care providers to provide traditional Chinese medical care.

The Academy, as part of its medical curriculum, provides students with clinical training in traditional Chinese medical skills in its teaching clinic. The clinic exists for three purposes: First, to train students of traditional Chinese medicine in the skills needed to practice; second, to provide the East Bay community with high quality, low-cost access to traditional Chinese medical care; and third, to advance the field of traditional Chinese medicine in the United States through the patient contact and interaction offered in a teaching setting.

In the 960 hours clinical training, students advance from observer (0 – 150 hours) to pre-intern (151 – 450 hours) to intern (451 – 960 hours) only after a successful evaluation by the clinic supervisor and manager. If a student displays unsatisfactory progress in learning and practice, the supervisors may decline to advance that student, pending performance of remedial work.  Credit for the course will be withheld during this time.  In addition, students must complete 350 patient treatments with at least 60 different people during their clinical residency.

Didactic Prerequisites

Before being permitted to attend the teaching clinic, students must fulfill the following prerequisites:

  • Foundations I and II 412 & 413
  • Clinic Procedures AT171
  • Herbology I HM150
  • Herbology II HM151
  • Acu Points I AT172
  • Acu Points II AT173
  • Medical Terminology BS116
  • CPR (10 Hours)
  • Diagnosis I (recommended) OM144


English students must satisfy the TOEFL requirement at the time of program admission. Chinese students must satisfy the proficiency in English before beginning the clinical training. Required TOEFL computer test scores for students in English program is 173 and for students in other language program is 133. A mean score on the TSE is also required.

CPR & First Aid

CPR training (including adult and child CPR and First Aid) of a minimum of eight hours is required for attendance in the teaching clinic. Students must show a current CPR card in order to register for clinic shifts. The administration can help arrange a CPR class if at least 10 students commit to a common date.

Health Examination

Each student is required to provide verification of a health exam, including a Tuberculosis test, administered by a M.D. no more than six months prior to entry into the clinic. The exam report must show that the student is free of communicable diseases. Any clinician or student with an infectious disease that could endanger a patient or other clinic personnel is not allowed in the clinic until the disease is no longer contagious. A standardized examination form is available from the clinic managers.

Lab Coats

Each student is required to wear a clean, well-pressed white lab coat whenever attending clinic. The Academy presently orders regulation lab coats with the student’s name on an attached badge. Students must order 2 at $30 per trimester, which includes laundry service..

Roles and Ranks

Clinical Internship SeatedIn a training facility, it is important that roles and ranks be clearly defined and respected. This ensures quality of patient care, and contributes to a smoothly functioning clinic. The Academy has established three MSTCM ranks of instruction in the clinic. Clinic rank reflects skill demonstrated in clinic, as well as the levels of didactic instruction students have accomplished at the Academy or other approved acupuncture schools. Students advance based on the number of clinic hours completed and on periodic evaluations by the manager and supervisor. Regardless of prior training in other states or countries, students are not allowed to perform anything that is beyond the scope of their clinic rank, as assigned by the Academy. Color-coded tags indicate clinic rank among all clinical trainees.

The goal of this system is to provide a logical and safe structure for the development of diagnostic skills, needling technique, and practitioner responsibility in the clinic