The Institute of Clinical Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ICOM) has created a comprehensive professional degree program that leads to a Master of Acupuncture (MAc) with a Specialization in Chinese Herbal Medicine Degree Program. The curriculum, totalling 3,240 hours (180 credits) of academic and clinical education, is designed to provide our students with a strong foundation in the theory, philosophy, and practice of Oriental Medicine, the various treatment modalities employed as the biomedical model of health and disease. As students progress through the curriculum, they gradually become independent practitioners in this rapidly growing field of health care.
The program's academic portion is composed of four sections: Theoretical Foundations, Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, and Biomedicine. Altogether, these four study areas give our students a broad base of knowledge and understanding that they will apply in the clinical program. By structuring the courses in this manner, we ensure that our students build a strong foundation and gain the necessary knowledge and skills to progress in their studies.
The Department of Theoretical Foundations covers basic through advanced theory, diagnosis, disease pattern discrimination, Internal Medicine, history and classical literature, Medical Qi Gong, ethics, and practice management. The faculty and administration here at the Institute of Clinical Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine believe that a solid foundation in these areas is necessary for every student to build a strong foundation in the practice of Oriental Medicine, and we have created a structure of learning to accomplish this goal.
The Department of Acupuncture is designed to help students develop a deep knowledge and understanding of this ancient art that has become the hallmark of Oriental Medicine in the United States. It includes a comprehensive study of point location, channel theory, functions and indications of all the regular channel points, as well as many Extra or New points, the various techniques of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Tui Na (bodywork or manual therapy), Microsystems of Acupuncture (such as ear, scalp, and hand), Acupuncture Orthopedics which integrates acupuncture training with a study of the treatment of muscular-skeletal disorders and concludes with courses in Advanced Point Combination.
The Department of Chinese Herbal Medicine is designed for each class to build upon the previous classes' foundation. The Introduction to Herbology includes a study of botany and basic herbal theories; the study of Chinese Dietary Therapy also falls under this section, since herbs and foods are really part of the same continuum. The individual herbs are studied over three courses and involve a detailed study of over 300 different herbs, followed by herb combinations (Dui Yao). Similarly, the study of complex Herbal Formulas is covered in three courses where students will learn at least 150 different formulas. Finally, students will deepen their herbal knowledge by studying one of the most profound and influential classics, the Shang Han Lun and Wen Bing (Treatise on Cold Induced Disorders and Warm Febrile Disease).
The Department of Biomedicine in the program is intended to broaden the students' understanding of the structure and function of the human body and aid in the integration of Oriental Medicine and Biomedicine. Increasingly, practitioners of Oriental Medicine are working side-by-side with Biomedicine doctors, so students must develop the ability to communicate between these two disciplines. This section includes studying the History and Philosophy of Medicine, basic sciences including Biology, Chemistry, Nutrition, Anatomy, Kinesiology, and Physiology. Advanced studies cover Pharmacology, Pathophysiology, Physical and Laboratory Assessment, Clinical Psychology, a Survey of Clinical Practices, Western Nutrition, and Case Management. Concluding this section is a course on East-West Research Methodology.
Perhaps the most important part of the education at the Institute of Clinical Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is the Department of Clinical Medicine's Internship program. It is here that all the knowledge students have accumulated is brought together, ultimately leading to a greater understanding of what it means to be a healer. Throughout the clinical program, the students will become knowledgeable of a professional clinic's operations, including case management, and gain valuable experience in all of the skills needed in the practice of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, thereby preparing them to become an independent practitioner. Our busy teaching clinic offers high-quality, low-cost health care to the community, under the supervision of some of the finest practitioners in the state of Hawaii.
The Institute of Clinical Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine may offer additional courses beyond the required core curriculum to enhance the educational experience and offer the opportunity for further study in areas of personal interest, areas of specialization, and the chance to learn from experts in the field. Our offerings may include opportunities to diverse experiences at foreign hospitals and other universities of Traditional Chinese Medicine.