Licensure for Acupuncturists and Oriental Medicine

In the recently posted webinar by Dagmar Ehling, author (The Chinese Herbalist’s Handbook), acupuncturist, Chinese herbal, and functional medicine practitioner, you may note that she has quite a few titles next to her name. In the field of Oriental medicine, figuring out how to make sense of an acupuncturist’s degree and licensure titles is often confusing. Depending on the college an acupuncturist graduated from and the state he or she practices, you can see different degree and licensure titles. This also comes with the added complexity of different licensing requirements in each state. To make sense of this alphabet soup, below is a short list of some of the titles you may see in the acupuncture and Oriental medicine profession. My suggestion – trust references you may have received but verify the credentials of the practitioner for licensure in your state prior to getting needled.

LAc (Licensed Acupuncturist) AP (Acupuncture Physician) DOM (Doctor of Oriental Medicine) DAc (Doctor of Acupuncture) RAc (Registered Acupuncturist)Various state designations for licensure
MAc MTCM MAcOM MSOM MAOMAcademic master’s degree titles from various Oriental Medical Colleges
OMD DAOM DACMAcademic doctoral titles from various Oriental Medical Colleges. The OMD title was discontinued in 1988.
Dipl Ac (Diplomate in Acupuncture); Dipl CH (Diplomate in Chinese Herbs); Dipl OM (Diplomate in Oriental Medicine [which includes acupuncture, Chinese herbs, Asian body work, biomedicine, and theory]Diplomate designation from NCCAOM (National Certification Commission of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine). This diplomate is the basis for licensure in many states
FABORMFellow of American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine
R. TCM-DermRegistered Traditional Chinese Medicine-Dermatologist

For more titles, click on the links below.

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