English Chinese (Simplified) Japanese Korean Spanish

San Diego - Off-site Internships

If you have not worked at an off-site clinic before, you are in for an excellent learning experience, one that very well may change the way you practice and your views of yourself as a healer. It may also challenge and enhance your views on the efficacy and place of our medicine.

At the off site clinics we come in contact with, and work alongside, other medical practitioners. How we conduct ourselves directly affects the perception that they may form about our profession.

Work at the off-site clinics is at times different from the work at PCOM clinic. Sometimes we work under cramped conditions, and don't always have the administrative support that we are used to or would like to have. Some set-up of tables and equipment may be needed, requiring us to work as a team and help each other to work fast and efficiently. Since there is no access to herbal remedies, it is an opportunity to sharpen your psychomotor skills and become very effective with your needle technique. Some locations are inundated with patients, while others experience a smaller patient load. At all locations, we have a very grateful clientele, avid to learn more about our profession and willing to cooperate with our recommendations.

1) Senior Clinic at First Lutheran Church
1420 3rd Ave, (Corner of 3rd Avenue and Ash Street)
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 234-6149

Description: This is a very popular clinic and the pace is fairly fast. We have a lot of senior patients whose chief complaint is often pain, although they often also have underlying complex medical problems. This clinic provides a great opportunity to see the effects of acupuncture when administered frequently, since most patients are willing to come to the clinic 2-3 times per week.


2 & 3) UCSD Free Clinics Project at two locations:

Pacific Beach United Methodist Church
1562 Thomas Ave.
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 274-6573
Wednesday evening
Supervisor: Don Phillips, Margi Duran

First Lutheran Church
1420 3rd Ave (corner of Ash St)
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 234-6149
Monday evening
Supervisor: Aaron Cook, Jessica Ifshin,
Catherine Austin

Description: These are busy clinics for the Homeless and the underserved run in collaboration with UCSD medical students and volunteer UCSD faculty physicians. The clinics offer a great opportunity to interact with western medical professionals and future physicians. We see a wide variety of medical problems on a population ranging from young adults to old age. The people who make use of our services are friendly. The atmosphere is safe, upbeat, and relaxed.


4) Rady Children's Hospital
8010 Frost Street, Entrance 9, Hematology/Oncology Dept
San Diego CA, 92123
(619)-933-0863 Shift Information
(858) 576-1700 , Ext 4754

Description: The hospital is a completely unpredictable environment, so adaptability, dependability and independence are the paramount traits. Over 50% of the patient/family population is Hispanic and not always bilingual. We treat all over the hospital in: cramped patient rooms, open bays right next the nurse administering chemo, the parent-family lounge and cold exam rooms.

Other differences from PCOM include:  charting, dress code, and techniques used in lieu of needles. Though interns primarily treat chronic pain, and hematology/oncology, we also treat GI and spinal cord injuries.  Every Thursday noon-1, chronic pain team meets to review patients, you're encouraged but not required to attend. Gentle needle technique, willingness to do massage & tuina, great people skills and the confidence to be autonomous are a must.


5) UCSD Rimac
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093
(858) 534-4211

Description: This clinic serves UCSD athletes. PCOM students have the opportunity to treat many types of muscular-skeletal injuries alongside physical therapists and athletic trainers. The pace is fast and the work is focused on specific problems. Pacific College interns use acupuncture to help rehabilitate post-operative injuries, sports injuries and athletic performance by increasing range of motion, muscle strength and tissue healing potential. Interns will have the unique opportunity of working with clinical supervisors who utilize a unique combination of Sports Medicine, Chinese Medicine, and Kinesiology. There are on average 3-5 treatments per shift, varying in length, from 15 minutes to one hour. This is an excellent opportunity to learn musculoskeletal assessment and treatment techniques, this site is for interns only. To be selected for this site, students must pass a required examination.


6) Owen Clinic at UCSD Medical Center
4168 Front St
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 543-3995

Description: The Owen Clinic is among America's top HIV care programs because of its' comprehensive offerings, its' experienced healthcare staff, and its affiliation with the UCSD Medical Center.

The Owen Clinic incorporates various disciplines that an AIDS patient may utilize into one outpatient clinic, saving the patient the effort and confusion of going to many stations to get his or her needs met. An experienced team of physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners utilize 15 rooms for patient exams, and each patient is assigned a primary care practitioner based on his or her particular needs.

All gender & socioeconomic groups are represented in addition to a liver clinic and oncology clinic and research.

Requirements: Interns only. Current TB tests are required. Acupuncture will be primary modality, students who wish to use only one method (ie: Master Dong points) should not apply.


7) Integrative Health Nights: Community Clinics
Description: This shift is offered in association with Alternative Healing Network, www.althealnet.org, a nonprofit started by a PCOM alumnus. It is an opportunity to witness "community style" acupuncture helping underserved families in a fast paced, integrative setting. Work along side medical assistants, massage therapists, chiropractors, energy healers and yoga instructors. Gain practical information about this growing trend for delivering acupuncture to the uninsured and less affluent population.

Current location schedule:

Tubman-Chavez Multicultural Center
The 1st and 3rd Thurs of ea month
415 Euclid Ave
San Diego, CA 92114

City Heights Wellness Center
Affiliation with Rady Children's Hospital
4440 Wightman St, #200

Hoover High School, Health Ctr
(2nd & 5th Thursdays)
Affiliated w/ Weingart-Price Fund of The San Diego Foundation
4474 El Cajon Boulevard,
Room #1103


8) San Diego Cancer Center (SDCC)
1200 Garden View Rd
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 634-6661

Description: Cancer Center has two primary arms, the first being a for-profit outpatient treatment center staffed by 4 oncologists. It provides consultation, radiation, chemotherapy and bi-weekly breast tumor board (oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and surgeons meet to round table breast cancer cases). The non-profit arm of Cancer Center consists of pharmaceutical clinical trials and an integrative program, with 30+ volunteer CAM practitioners.
The goal of this externship is to provide interns with hands-on TCM oncology experience within an integrated medical setting. Upon shift completion students will have become comfortable analyzing a case from a TCM, biomedical, and psychosocial perspective. Students will be encouraged, but not required, to participate in tumor board (every other Tues 12 noon) and integrative program events.

Requirements: Maturity, proper attire (no lab coats, business casual), and professional attitude are an absolute MUST. Prospective interns must submit a short (1page) statement answering the following questions as part of the selection criteria.

  1. Why do you want to participate in this externship?
  2. What do you hope to learn? Elaborate.
  3. What are your feelings about cancer? What images do you associate with cancer?
  4. What are your feelings about Western cancer treatment? Elaborate.
  5. What do you feel your role (scope of treatment) as acupuncturist/herbalist would be to a cancer patient in private practice? Would an integrated medical setting change this; if so, how?

As a new shift, the first in a private outpatient treatment center with an oncology focus, understanding your thoughts and feelings will enable us to provide the most profound and rewarding experience possible, for both interns and patients.

To be considered eligible in time for clinic shift sign up, submission deadline NOW. Email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


9) Mental Health Services Inc, sponsoring:
Family Recovery Center
1100 Sportfisher Drive,
Oceanside, 92054.

Description: FRC, housed in a renovated hospital for the last 10 years, serves women for whom CPS has stepped in and taken their children. Most of the women are in recovery from substance abuse as a requirement for being re-united with their children, some are there to avoid losing their kids. The 72 bed facility currently houses 40-45 women and approx 30 kids, ages 0-10. Pheobe the program director and Ph.D. in Psychology is familiar with acupuncture, specializes in biofeedback and eager to begin outcome studies of our work with the clients. As with most inpatient recovery programs, the client's days are highly structured with various forms of therapy, groups, classes, and AA meetings. We operate 1 group room w/ chairs in a circle and 1 room for "traditional" treatment. The type of condition treated is quite varied with addiction being only one part of the picture. Both adults and children are treated. The umbrella company, Mental Health Systems, Inc (MHS) www.mhsinc.org, is the largest provider of county/public mental health-recovery services in SD co.

Special Benefit: Anyone who's taken the NADA diadactic course already, can receive credit for the clinical hours in order to become a certified Acupuncture Detox Specialist.


10) Telecare Corporation's
San Diego Managed Care Access Program
3211 Jefferson St
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 873-5554 (supervisor contact)

Description: Telecare is a program in San Diego County that provides case management for individuals with persistent mental illness. These individuals suffer from schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, mood disorders (depressive disorders, bipolar disorders), and anxiety disorders. In some cases, the clinical picture is complicated with drug/alcohol addiction. One of the goals of Telecare is to provide risk assessment and crisis intervention/support, independent living skills training, medication management, and life skills coaching in an effort to increase satisfaction in the client's life and avoid hospitalization, if possible. The Telecare team is comprised of mental health rehabilitation specialists, personal service coordinators, psychiatrists, and nurses. Acupuncture services are being integrated with Telecare in order to assist patients not only with their mental illness, but also with addiction and pain complaints.