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any MDs who are also TCM/acupuncturists?

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11 years 4 months ago #16672 by mamabear
Since I'm preggers with #2 and want to be a SAHM until this one is at least 2 y.o., I've been brainstorming how to move towards my MD goal without having all the time I'd like to devote to it.

There are several good acupuncture schools in my area and the 2 closest provide free clinics at the place I want to volunteer at! Further research into these schools is showing me that TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) may be the best introduction to medicine for me as well. It also helps that the schools on their website talk about how it is of utmost importance that their students lead well-balanced lives (i.e. family) and have part-time training options.

Question is, how would TCM and acupuncture training look on a med school application? Anyone here have backgrounds in both? My particular interests in research are around mind-body connections as well as research on complementary and alternative therapies, so ultimately, this fits in to that. Just wondering if this may somehow be seen in an unfavorable light by adcoms, though.

"To see a world in a grain of sand,<br />And a heaven in a wild flower,<br />Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,<br />And eternity in an hour." - William Blake

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11 years 4 months ago #16673 by asunshine
it depends on how gung-ho you are--do you denounce traditional medicine or feel TCM is superior? that could really turn off adcoms and they would wonder why you want to be trained in traditional western medicine.

if your philosophy is that complementary medicine, well, complements, traditional medicine, many medical schools would find that an asset to their class makeup. you'd probably have to research each med school to see if complementary medicine is a big thing there. DO schools seem more supportive.

if it helps, i'm an aromatherapist and i did not put it on my amcas. i'm a part of the complementary med group on campus, and there are definitely many ways to combine your interests as a student.

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11 years 4 months ago #16674 by Cabinbuilder
Accupuncture is HUGE in the DO world. If I could afford to take the class I would. It is a CASH only practice. I know of at least 10 DO's personally who are trained in accupuncture and do aroma therapy, etc. If that philosophy works for you, I agree with asunshine that DO school may be more suited to your personality. You are a doctor no matter what degree is behing your name.

LECOM Class 2006
Osteopathic Family Practice Resdincy 2009
Locum Tenens: Urgent Care/Rural Medicine.

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11 years 4 months ago #16675 by mamabear
I think there are strengths (and weaknesses) in both western and eastern medicine. I personally agree that DO would likely be a better fit for me than MD but part of my desire to be trained as a healer is rooted in wanting to help bridge the modalities with research that reputably demonstrates what is good and bad science. Unfortunately, I feel in order to achieve this goal most effectively, I will "need" an MD and maybe even a PhD to gain credibility with the general medical populace.

Living in California, being Korean American and coming from a left-brained family (dad's a statistician, mom's an RN), I see the blind faith crunchy California people put into alternative or complementary therapies without any significant base in research. Not to say that these therapies are not helpful, but that if there were more evidence-based research to help clarify actions or results, I think we'd have a healthier society.

Likewise, as a mom expecting her second child, when I'm faced with an extremely limited choice in OB/Gyns who understand how mindset and setting or nutrition and being in good shape can radically affect the process of labor and birth, well, I'm mystified. Actually, I'm not, in the sense that the AMA is an institution and as institutions strive towards permanence, it is hard to evolve the core beliefs around the need to medicalize and standardize a natural process like birth. Fortunately, western medicine is evidence-based medicine and as more women are now entering medical school, my hope is that some evolution will occur, particularly around research for the "effectiveness" of unimpeded birth that has been supplemted by good nutrition, good health and proper emotional/social/psychological support. I don't know how many more doctors i can stand to meet who stare at me in disbelief about my drug-free, pain-free, fast, comfortable birth instead of asking the question - how is that possible and how do we duplicate that for more women?

Ok, off my soapbox. Thanks for the input, Kathie and asunshine. As a side note to Kathie - loved the article that made you "famous"! Inspiring! Wish I lived where you are so that I could get treated by you!

"To see a world in a grain of sand,<br />And a heaven in a wild flower,<br />Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,<br />And eternity in an hour." - William Blake

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11 years 4 months ago #16676 by Cabinbuilder
Thanks, mamabear, I hope you find what you are seeking in the medical world and that your dreams become real in the way your mind envisions them. I'm gald you liked the article.

LECOM Class 2006
Osteopathic Family Practice Resdincy 2009
Locum Tenens: Urgent Care/Rural Medicine.

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11 years 4 months ago #16677 by rock_see
Regardless of what an admissions committee would think, it would probably be a huge plus in your practice as a physician in the future.

The internist I saw when I was living in the bay area is an MD and certified in acupuncture. I never tried it, but my mom and sister did and had great results. They loved have another option to complement traditional medicine.

OB/Gyn R2 and Mom of three (10, 8, and 4)

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