Pulse of Oriental Medicine: Alternative Medicine That Works for Regular Folks
Alternative Medicine That Works for Regular Folks






Is Acupuncture a Good Job or Career?
by Brian Benjamin Carter

Brian is the founder of the Pulse of Oriental Medicine. He teaches at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and maintains a private acupuncture and herbal practice in San Diego, California, and is the author of Powerful Body, Peaceful Mind: How to Heal Yourself with Foods, Herbs, and Acupressure.

Hello, I have a question that I think you can help me find the answer. Is it easy to find a job with a Master degree of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in California?

The reason why I ask this question because my family doctor just told me, "you can't find a job after you graduate because Americans do not believe in Acupuncture." I love studying acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Although I just started this year, I am so interested in it. Please give me some advice and your opinion. Thank you so much. Sincerely,SN

Your doctor hasn't a clue. I've noticed some MD's give their opinions on things in which they have no training or experience. On what study or survey did your MD base his opinion of American's beliefs? The answer is none, because Eisenberg's study shows the opposite is true

The fact is that most Americans don't know a lot about Chinese Medicine (CM). Most of them only know about acupuncture, and very little about that. Only 9% of Americans have tried acupuncture, according to a 2003 survey of 2,717 Americans conducted by the internationally-known research firm Harris Interactive. However, two-thirds of the respondents who had not tried it “would consider it as a treatment option."

Many Americans people are interested in acupuncture... and there is a lot of good research on it. So, if they don't "believe" in it, then they are closed-minded, and unscientific. These people live out the motto, “My mind is made up – don’t confuse me with the facts.”

Making it as a Chinese medicine practitioner is easier for the business-minded. There's an owner mindset, and then there's an employee mindset. If you are set on being an employee, you'll find a pretty narrow market, but it can be done. You may even find a hospital job somewhere, if you can put up with the ego's and attitudes of some doctors.

The state of California will pay you $120 per worker's compensation visit. You could see 2-4 of them per hour. I know of a guy here in San Diego who grossed $1 million a few years back. He was working pretty hard, but it's possible. My wife grossed over $100,000 her first year of practice in 1988. Interest and understanding has grown quite a bit since then.

If you move to some cities across America after getting licensed, you can have an INSTA-practice. That means that as soon as you show up, people mob you. There are only 15,000 acupuncturists for the 200 million American adults. Even though some places are relatively saturated with acupuncturists, chiropractors have been able to survive with one or more of them on a city block.

So whether you can find a "job" or not, I don't know, but as a practitioner you can make more than a living.

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About The PULSE
All information herein provided is for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of appropriate local experts and authorities.

Copyright 1999-2074, Pulse Media International, Brian Carter, MSci, LAc, Editor