Pacific College improves lives by educating and inspiring compassionate, skilled leaders of traditional medicine and integrative health sciences.
Pacific College is the recognized leader in delivering traditional medicine and integrative health science education to practitioners and the public. Pacific College is a catalyst for the adoption and expansion of traditional medicine and integrative health science principles, practices, and research, empowering individuals to gain and maintain health and enjoy life. Pacific College is contributing to the transformation of the structure and economics of healthcare by bringing education and integrative health science to where people live, learn, and play.
All members of the Pacific College community embody the intention of improving lives exponentially by supporting health and well-being through our daily actions. We lead by example and by practicing the values of:
- Critical Thinking
Our Educational Philosophy
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine believes that the energetic and physiological principles of Oriental medicine are grounded in the laws of nature. While they may seem mysterious at times, they are not mystical. That is, they are knowable by the average human being without any appeal to the supernatural. Moreover, the knowledge base of this medical system can be increased through scientific inquiry. Lastly, these principles comprise a system of medicine that is applicable through natural means to the treatment of disease. Simply stated, we believe that Oriental medicine is knowable, teachable, and accessible.
Pacific recognizes a spiral-like process in the endeavor to learn. Observation and reason lead to knowledge. After obtaining foundation material in the classroom setting, the student applies this material in the clinical setting. The clinical application leads to a deeper understanding of the original foundation material, which in turn leads to enhanced clinical practice and new academic advancement. Pacific also recognizes that learning is an individual achievement, though one in which others can, and often must, be of assistance. Pacific will assist by providing a tested curriculum, quality instruction, educational resources, personal support systems, structure, and a good dose of inspiration.
Pacific encourages study groups and instructional methods designed to maximize the abilities of alternative medicine students with varying learning styles. Yet, in the end there is no substitute for time spent with effort. Pacific will provide the best personnel and instructional design realizing that it is the student who possesses the indispensable learning tools: a mind and determination.
So, to what will students of Pacific College apply their academic abilities? We believe that it is essential that practitioners of Oriental medicine thoroughly understand and have the ability to communicate,and apply the wide variety of theories and techniques of massage and acupuncture and other aspects of Oriental medicine. Additionally, to create a safe and successful practice and to positively represent Oriental medicine in today’s medical culture the acupuncturist must understand the principles of modern medicine and have the ability to communicate in a professional manner with all healthcare practitioners. It is imperative that practitioners with primary care responsibilities have the ability to think critically, challenge traditional theories and practices, and imagine new possibilities. Pacific believes that even its non-primary care students, i.e., its advanced body therapy students, should be exposed to the underlying principles of Oriental medicine in order to anchor their evaluative and critical-thinking skills in a time-tested, accessible medical system.
The Goals of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine
- To train qualified practitioners of Oriental medicine. In 1986, the founders of Pacific College – a pioneering and leading institution among natural health colleges – made a commitment that the college would anticipate the evolving needs of Oriental medicine patients in this culture and stay at the forefront of presenting a curriculum to meet those needs. In the 1980s, acupuncture was used most commonly for pain relief. Today, Oriental medicine is used as a primary or complementary therapy for cancer, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, most internal disorders, as well as pain and many other complaints. It is evident that today’s student would not succeed with yesterday’s curriculum. Most of the college’s founders and its faculty are working practitioners of Oriental medicine so the college’s state-of-the-art curriculum is the result of direct clinical experience. Pacific’s academic leaders, who possess advanced degrees in Oriental medicine and educational theory, translate that experience into effective coursework designed specifically for adult learners.
- To enable graduates of its Master’s degree programs to function as primary healthcare providers, to apply the principles of Oriental and natural healing, and to become an integral part of the modern healthcare system. Pacific College interns and graduates are increasingly participating in multidisciplinary biomedical settings. See our catalog for examples.
- To provide graduates of the college’s body therapy programs with the skills necessary to deliver safe and effective Asian bodywork therapy, to apply the principles of Oriental and natural healing, and to become an integral part of the modern healthcare system. Body therapists have long been considered an integral part of pain and rehabilitation therapy. By expanding the knowledge and skills of our graduates, we hope to continue and advance this tradition.
- To inspire, through the presentation of Oriental and natural healing, a deep and lasting respect for the integrity of the human body, mind, and spirit. It is the college’s observation that exposure to the principles of Oriental medicine does indeed lead to an appreciation for the integrity of the human body, mind, and spirit. Observation of advanced students and graduates reveals a maturation process and a synthesis of knowledge, skills, and personal growth that enhances their abilities as healers and their development as human beings.
- To provide continuing education and post-graduate programs for graduates and other practitioners of Oriental medicine and body therapy. Pacific College’s annual national conference, Pacific Symposium is recognized as the leading continuing education event in the profession.
- To provide a supportive, educational environment conducive to personal growth and academic advancement. The college offers a host of free or low-cost personal development courses for its students, e.g, yoga, dance, tai ji, conversational Chinese language, student council activities and more, in addition to its for-credit courses. The college’s overall curriculum, and particularly its counseling courses, reflect institutional commitment to the personal development of both our practitioners and their patients. The institutions’ administrative staff strive to make the daily business of running an institution supportive of the students’ educational goals.
- To further the understanding of the profession of Oriental medicine and bodywork therapy through dialogue with other members of the healthcare community and the public at-large. The college achieves this mission in ways perhaps too numerous to mention, but a few examples follow:
- Participation in national professional organizations in both Oriental medicine and bodywork; Open houses for the public; Providing informative lectures at Sharp Hospital, San Diego Drug Abuse Services, UCSD School of Medicine, Beth Israel Hospital, City College of New York, Columbia Presbyterian and others; Cooperative programs with San Diego Community Connections, San Diego Hospice, UCSD School of Medicine, Olympic Training Center, Lincoln Hospital, Manhattan Veteran’s Affairs Hospital, St. John’s Riverside Hospital, and the Fortune Society of New York; Complementary alternative medicine (CAM) lectures at the Feinberg School of Medicine (Northwestern University), Cornell Medical School, NYU Medical School; Auricular treatments at the Bonaventure House, Chicago; Open clinic rotations with Chicago Children’s Memorial Hospital residents; Open clinic rotations for the Northshore University Evanston Hospital’s Family Practice Residents; Presentations to high school seniors considering healthcare careers for the National Youth Leadership Forum; Publication of informational aricles in the Rush Presbyterian Integrative Healthcare newsletter by Pacific College faculty; Habitat for Humanity fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, October 2005; The San Diego Veteran’s Stand Down; Integrative East/West Medicine Discussion Group on the San Diego campus; “Senior Health Information Goes Electronic” Project; Co-Sponsor of the Healing Arts Festival in San Diego; Partcipation in Illinois State 39th Ward Women’s Resource adn Wellness Fair; Conducting Asian nutrition and cooking classes at Whole Foods; Particiapation in Ada S. McKinley Foundation Community Health Fair; Community education on massage and wellness Asian Human Services Family Health Center; Alcohol and Substance Abuse Programs -NY State; American Cancer Society – Relay for LIfe Health Fair; Harlem Department of Education Health Fair.
- The college’s students have an opportunity to participate in the above activities and directly experience the benefits of networking and charitable, community service.
- To participate in state and national Oriental medicine and bodywork therapy issues and convey the essence of professionalism to its students.
- To provide a center for the research and modern validation of Oriental medical principles. The college was a recipient of a National Institutes of Health’s Office of Alternative Medicine research grant. The college includes clinical research and design within its curriculum. Master’s students are invited to become research assistants for doctoral fellows.
- To provide Oriental medical services to the community. Pacific College’s library trains seniors to access health information on the Internet; Pacific’s clinics provide over 50,000 low-and no-cost treatments annually at its onsite and community clinics.
The Methods of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine
- To admit students with the educational preparation necessary to undertake and appreciate the unique program and information provided in the study of acupuncture, bodywork therapy, and Oriental medicine.
- To present Oriental medical theory in a sequential format in such a way that students achieve a firm theoretical foundation which enables continued learning of the practical skills necessary to enter internship and private practice.
- To present the wide variety of theoretical patterns, as well as diagnostic and treatment procedures that have arisen throughout Oriental medicine’s long history, for example, Zang-fu; five phases, Japanese and Korean acupuncture theories,and more. This method will enable the student to make an informed choice as to their own practice preference and the treatment needs of their patients. Within the individual programs, appropriate attention is paid to knowledge and skills relevant to the California, New York, Illinois, and national Oriental medical and/or body therapy licensing or certification examinations.
- To utilize technological and theoretical advances in instructional design to increase the quality of, and access to, the college’s educational resources. The top academic roles at Pacific are filled by individuals with graduate degrees in education and extensive experience applying adult education theory, educational technology, and curriculum development.
- To present courses in a schedule accessible to working adults, as well as full-time students.
- To provide a clinical experience that follows from and enhances didactic training, ensuring both clinical competence and confidence on the part of the graduate and effective healthcare for patients. Pacific students begin to participate in the clinical experience from very early in their training.
Educational Purpose & Outcomes – Master’s Degree in Acupuncture and Traditional Oriental Medicine
The purpose of the master’s program in Traditional Oriental Medicine is to train practitioners of Oriental medicine and to enable them to function as primary, independent healthcare providers. The programs are open to applicants demonstrating the necessary maturity and interest in the field, and prior undergraduate study that indicates the ability to undertake graduate level work. The program enables graduates to apply the principles of Oriental medicine, to take any California, New York, and Illinois state licensure exam, the national certification examinations, and, most importantly, to become an integral part of the modern healthcare system.
- Graduates will understand and demonstrate personal and professional ethical standards.
- Graduates will understand of the etiology of disease from a traditional Oriental and biomedical perspective and apply this understanding by recommending disease prevention strategies.
- Graduates will evaluate patients exhibiting complaints commonly seen and treated by Oriental medicine and in a manner which indicates cognizance of all relevant Oriental medical diagnostic paradigms.
- Graduates will recognize signs and symptoms necessitating referral to appropriate complementary healthcare providers.
- Graduates will formulate treatment principles for patients that follow logically from the diagnosis and in a manner that prioritizes treatment procedures.
- Graduates will formulate acupuncture, herbal (M.S.T.O.M. graduates), and supplemental treatment plans and be able to provide a logical rationale for such plans.
- Graduates will indicate as part of the treatment plan the number of treatments recommended or required, the frequency of treatment, and be able to provide a logical rationale for such plans.
- Graduates will be able to personally, or by the use of appropriate support personnel, administer the designated treatment plan.
- Graduates will demonstrate knowledge of clinical sciences from a traditional Oriental and biomedical perspective.
- Graduates will communicate in a professional and knowledgeable manner about Oriental medicine and biomedicine with relevant healthcare professionals.
- Students will demonstrate an ability to contribute to the knowledge base of the profession.
- Graduates will understand of the legal environment for the practice of Oriental medicine.
Educational Purpose & Outcomes – Department of Asian Holistic Health and Massage
- Train qualified practitioners in the art and science of Western and Asian bodywork therapy.
- Provide a supportive, educational environment conducive to personal growth and academic advancement.
- Inspire, through the presentation of Oriental and natural healing, a deep and lasting respect for the integrity of human body, mind, and spirit.
- Provide graduates with the skills necessary to deliver safe and effective Oriental body therapy, to apply the principles of Oriental and natural healing, and to become an integral part of the modern healthcare system.
- Prepare our graduates for successful careers in professional bodywork by teaching them the knowledge, hands-on skills, business skills, and professionalism to succeed.
- Prepare our graduates for successful completion of local and national body therapy examinations.
- Provide continuing education programs for graduates and other practitioners of Oriental medicine and body therapy.
- Further the understanding of the profession of Oriental medicine and body therapy through dialogue with other members of the healthcare community and the public at-large.
- Provide Oriental medical services to the community.