Oriental Medicine Program

The College’s Oriental Medicine Program combines rigorous academic course work with broad clinical experiences, leading to a Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine combined with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition (TCM).

Students in the Oriental Medicine Program study various forms of acupuncture, traditional herbs and formulas, as well as, nutrition and Chinese food therapy. They are introduced to new clinical protocols, based firmly upon the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), that combine nutritional supplements with herbal formulas. Students also learn which foods to recommend and which to avoid based upon the TCM pattern and presenting complaint of the patient.

Education focuses on the “Zang Fu” system of physiology, pathology, diagnosis, and treatment strategy. Traditional pulse and tongue diagnosis aid the graduate in formulating a comprehensive treatment plan. This is the style taught and practiced in China today at Universities of Chinese Medicine and their affiliated teaching hospitals.

Clinical Experience

MCOM’s clinics provide the opportunity to rotate through a variety of unique clinical settings where interns experience the approach of many different practitioners. Interns at MCOM treat a wide range of conditions and gain thorough hands-on experience in acupuncture and the other physical modalities of Oriental healing, such as, Tui Na massage, moxibustion, and cupping.

Interns also gain clinical experience making healthy eating recommendations and suggesting specific healing foods based upon their TCM energetic characteristics. The nutrition component in the program is fully integrated into the Oriental Medicine courses. Clinical Internship is designed to build knowledge and skills, and also to fine-tune patient/healer sensitivities. MCOM delivered over 14,000 individual treatments in 2014. Internship begins in the very first fall quarter you are enrolled and continues throughout the entirety of the program. After completing the program, graduates are confident in their ability as Oriental Medical Practitioners to address the full spectrum of conditions seen in practice.

Hours of Training/ Length of Education

The total hours in the Oriental Medicine Program are 199.8 quarter credit hours, or 2,826 clock hours. Additional internship hours and courses may be needed for licensure in some states. However, graduates are qualified for licensure in the Midwest.

Minimum completion time for the Oriental Medicine program is 36 months). To complete the program in the minimum time frame, students attend classes on Saturdays and a minimum of two evenings per week. Students have up to six and a half years to complete the program on a part-time basis. For more information on a typical schedule, click here.

What You Earn

Graduates of the Midwest College’s Oriental Medicine Program earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition (TCM) granted simultaneously with the Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine. Graduates are qualified to sit for all examinations given by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, NCCAOM, and meet the requirements for licensure in Illinois, Wisconsin and many other states.

This course is a practical study of the internal and external causes of disease within the Eastern medical model. A clear understanding of 'TCM pathologies' is needed in order to apply the sophisticated system of Oriental Medicine based on sign and symptom patterns.
This course consists of procedures of physical and neurological examination; providing an understanding of the methods used in making physical diagnosis.
Courses begin with a review of the normal physiological  processes and then discuss how these are altered by disease.  Students will be able to recognize pathological indicators and biochemical pathways to better correlate the basic science of pathology with physical diagnosis and disorders related to nutrition.
This course is a review of the basic sciences focusing on chemistry, microbiology and human biology. Includes an overview of the basic structures of organic molecules sufficient to understand the structure of chemical compounds studied in human chemistry. This course prepares students for courses in physiology, pathology and other western clinical sciences.
This directed learning paper develops additional competencies in basic sciences. Five pathological disorders from different systems are assigned.
This class concentrates on the processes involved with taking in and utilizing food substances by which growth, repair and maintenance of activities in the body as a whole or in any of its parts are accomplished. This includes ingestion, digestion, absorption and metabolism, as well as, basic nutritional needs and the use of vitamins, minerals and supplements.
This class includes topics in neuroanatomy and neurophysiology. Mechanisms of the nervous system are covered as related to the scientific basis of Acupuncture and its application to the treatment of disease. Students in this class gain the ability to explain the mechanisms of Acupuncture in modern medical terms. Communication skills between Acupuncturists and Medical professionals are stressed.
Students continue to practice needle insertion with combinations of points that would be used in treatment.  There is emphasis on safety with difficult points and more complex point prescriptions.
Students review the anatomical structures through which needles pass at progressive depths of the body.  This includes proper insertion, angle, depth, duration and withdrawl of needles.
At the beginning of the second year, students begin developing needle insertion skills. Students receive intensive instruction in techniques of clean needle insertion as approved by current national standards.
This course helps students develop their skills in organization and analysis of presenting symptoms.  The clinic review class includes evaluation of the physical and psychological components of an illness and specific treatment strategies.
This class covers the basis of treatment using the eight principle and secondary vessel pathology. Students learn to formulate a treatment using the information gathered from pulse and tongue diagnosis. Practical use of classical point categories such as antique points, influential points and windows of the sky points in the treatment of eight principle disease patterns will be covered.
It is in this class that the prior three quarter of TCM theory begin to flower and faculty can see the "light bulb go on", as students get a sense of how well the TCM theory fits together.  At this point, students are beginning their next phase of clinic and now have responsibility of using this information in a clinical setting.
A continuation of Anatomy 1, this course is an in-depth study of visceral structure and physiologic function of the human body.
This course is an in-depth study of the somatic structure of the human body: skeletal, muscular, ligamentous, and an introduction to the peripheral nerves. There is attention given to the palpatory anatomy that will be needed for Point Location and Needle Technique classes.
In this course, students are oriented to the procedures and protocol needed to successfully complete internship. Physical assessment skills needed in the practice of Oriental Medicine are covered including: vital signs, temperature, pulse, and blood pressure. Standards of history taking, SOAP noting and unique documentation found in TCM clinical records are part of this course.
This course includes discussion that brings up pertinent issues in healthcare practice and examines the approach taken by a counselor. It focuses on ethical decision-making and the patient practitioner relationship.
The directed learning paper traces the development of Chinese medicine including: the classics, historical figures and periods, and a discussion of important theoretical developments. It gives students a respect for the ancient traditions from which the modern, clinical practice of TCM developed.
The moral and ethical principles that are the core of the teachings of Confucius and Lao Tzu are taught in a manner that can be applied in present day. The influence of these schools on the development of Chinese medicine is stressed in this course.
This course continues massage techniques to regions of the body for local and systemic problem. Good Tui Na technique combined with accessory techniques is an important adjunct to an acupuncture practice.
Tui Na is a form of Chinese massage that includes different hand techniques applied to specific areas of the body. Students will gain proficiency in manipulation skill and sensitivity to energy balancing as they practice techniques in class and apply them in clinic.
Students will attend lectures, demonstrate and practice in the traditional and modern accessory techniques of Oriental Medicine: moxibustion, magnets, guasha, cupping and auricular techniques.
In this course, students will use charts, models and their fellow students as subjects to locate and mark the most important acupuncture points. Students will spend six quarters developing the sensitivity needed to achieve the Qi sensation required for effective treatment.
In this course, students will use charts, models and their fellow students as subjects to locate and mark the most important acupuncture points. Students will spend six quarters developing the sensitivity needed to achieve the Qi sensation required for effective treatment.
This course further studies the eight principle theory as it applies to the pathology of the five phases, the Zang Fu organs and the triple burner.
The rigorous clinic –based educational experience is designed to take classroom learning and first year theory so have students see the clinical application of concepts during their internship activities and experiences.
This is the first class in Chinese medical theory and introduces students to the language and refinement found in Midwest’s academic program. This class will also establish the foundation from which student’s understandings will grow.