Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Clinical Student Handbook

Clinical Phases I / II

ACM Clinic Internship is divided into two phases. Phase I includes students in trimesters 5 and 6 (T5 and T6) and Phase II includes senior students in trimesters 7, 8 and 9 (T7, T8 and T9). Although each clinical phase focuses on the refinement of specific skills, all interns will already have a basic foundation of diagnostic, methodological and practical skills from preceding coursework.

During both phases, clinic interns will be assessed on multiple clinical competencies. An example of this assessment form and rubric may be found in the appendix of this manual.

Phase I

Phase I of the clinical internship requires interns to have successfully completed required observation hours, and T4 courses and exams in clinical preparation and are expected to begin to assume responsibility for patient care under the direct guidance of the clinical supervisor. Interns practice and increase skills in interviewing, observation, applying TCM principals for differential diagnosis, clinical techniques, point location and needle techniques.

Phase II

In Phase II, interns demonstrate increased proficiency in diagnostic skills, performing independent diagnosis using TCM methods and paradigms, and in the development and implementation of an appropriate treatment plan. As part of ongoing training in Phase II, interns will:

  • Demonstrate precision in differential diagnosis, including accurate analysis of more complex patterns and disease categories;
  • Demonstrate sophistication in construction of treatment plans, accurately assess the effectiveness of their treatments, and modify treatment plans as required, based on continued assessment;
  • Demonstrate safe, appropriate and effective use of all clinical techniques and equipment;
  • Be able to independently assess situations where patients require emergency care and to demonstrate effective control of emergency situations where patients require emergency care through practical demonstrations of “staged” emergency situations;
  • Recognize when referrals to other healthcare providers are necessary and be able to communicate with other healthcare professionals regarding patient care, using commonly understood medical terminology.

As expectations and training is increased through Phase II, CM interns will:

  • Develop proficiency in determining herbal prescriptions based on the Chinese medical diagnosis;
  • Demonstrate proficiency in modifying prescriptions, according to the patient’s changing needs;
  • Refine and communicate didactic knowledge of interactions with herbs and pharmaceuticals.