Highlights of the International Conference and Exhibition of the Modernization of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Health Products

August 11-13, 2005; Wanchai, Hong Kong

Robert I. Fox, MD, PhD; Chak S. Lau, MBChB, MD, FRCP


September 16, 2005

In This Article

Regulation of TCM in the United States

In 1976, California became the first state to license acupuncture as an independent healthcare profession.[45] Since then, 40 states and the District of Columbia have adopted similar statutes. Most states allow herbal medicine within the scope of acupuncture practice; only a few states require the supervision of a physician for the almost 11,000 practicing non-physician acupuncturists. The number of acupuncturists is rapidly growing and is projected to double by 2005 and quadruple by 2015.[49]

The typical education standard for an acupuncturist is between 2000 and 3000 hours of training in independently accredited master's degree 4-year schools.[45] Although some states allow physicians to practice acupuncture without additional education, most states require between 200 and 300 hours of special training. There are approximately 3000 acupuncturists with medical degrees practicing in the United States. Physician and non-physician acupuncturists independently maintain that their provision of care is superior.[45]


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