Increasingly, students today are looking to the field of acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) as a first career choice. There is now expanded awareness of the recognition of acupuncture as a separate profession.
AOM practitioners enjoy rewarding careers with competitive salaries and, flexible work schedules. Although new AOM professionals go into solo practice, there are growing opportunities in integrated healthcare delivery organizations They work in a variety of clinical settings which including:
Practitioners have also been on the front line during traumatic events including treatment of emergency care workers at the site of the 9/11 disaster and Hurricane Katrina, drug users in addiction recovery groups, and veterans suffering from PTSD. In addition, acupuncture is now utilized on the battlefield for pain control and a recent movement has seen many practitioners focus on delivering services in community treatment rooms.
Practitioners of AOM approach patients from a holistic perspective. They take into account all aspects of their health, recognizing the interconnectedness of the mind, emotions, and body, as well as the environment. Current AOM practitioners in the U.S. typically combine a number of therapeutic interventions specifically for the individual patient.
Integrative healthcare combines conventional Western medicine treatment options with complementary medicine practices in a coordinated fashion. This patient-focused approach to health care has become increasingly available as the benefits of integrative care are recognized.
Interest in training that prepares AOM students to work in integrative healthcare settings is high among CCAOM member colleges. Many offer internships in off-site clinics where AOM services are provided in local communities.