First Professional Doctorate - San Diego

First Professional Doctorate - San Diego

It is with unparalleled excitement that Pacific College announces the offering of the Doctor of Acupuncture (DAc) and Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM) degrees to entry-level students. This historic achievement places our graduates among the ranks of other healthcare providers at the doctoral level: medical doctors, chiropractors, doctors of physical therapy, doctors of nursing practice, and others.

The doctoral programs represent an evolution of the entry-level master's degrees to include advanced study in evidence-informed practice, biomedical diagnosis, preventative medicine, public health, collaborative case management, current healthcare systems, and practice-based learning.

Foundational courses continue to present the fascinating world of Chinese medicine:

  • The broad range of theoretical paradigms
  • Meridian theory, point location and function
  • Acupuncture therapy, including moxibustion, gua sha
  • Body therapy, including tui na
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise therapy, including taiji and qigong
  • Chinese herbal medicine in the DACM
  • Basic and clinical biosciences
  • And much more

Advanced courses foster critical thinking and professional judgment. Students consider existing research, clinical experience, and diagnostic studies to define clinical objectives and manage cases. Graduates become familiar with U.S. healthcare delivery systems to help patients navigate community resources and treatment options. They acquire the knowledge and skill to work as part of the medical team in a wide variety of settings. As self-directed, life-long learners, doctors must honestly reflect on their experience and objectively judge their performance. This reflection is what Pacific College calls practice-based learning. It leads to personal growth, as well as professional development, and is a hallmark of a Pacific College doctor.

We welcome your questions about this groundbreaking development in the profession of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. 

Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM)

The entry-level doctorate in Chinese medicine trains practitioners to function as primary, independent healthcare providers, and most importantly, become integral to the modern healthcare system.

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Upgrade to Doctorate for PCOM Master's Alumni (DAc/DACM)

Pacific College has designed an online pathway for PCOM MSAc and MSTOM alumni to upgrade to the entry-level Doctor of Acupuncture (DAc) or Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM). PCOM master’s alumni, in large part, already meet the requirements for a doctorate, but do need some additional training to establish equivalency to the entry-level doctorate. The entry-level doctorate adds evidence-informed practice, advanced integrative diagnosis, inter-professional communication, practice-based learning, and healthcare systems training to the previous master’s level training. These are important skills and knowledge for acupuncturists to possess in today’s team-based medical model.

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Because the doctoral degrees achieve all the competencies of the master’s degrees, doctoral graduates will simultaneously earn both degrees.

For a limited time, PCOM will still be accepting students into the master’s degrees. However, students with sufficient prerequisites will enter either the DAc or DACM depending on the their interest and selected campus. Please contact an admissions representative to learn what options are best for you.

1: Entry-level means that students can enter the doctoral programs without having first earned a master’s degree.

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