Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine
Students gain practical clinical skills by working under the supervision of licensed naturopathic physicians, both in NCNM’s primary teaching clinic and at other health care facilities. Students begin learning through observation and gradually gain more responsibility for patient care. All patient care is under the direct supervision of licensed physicians.
Requirements for the completion of the clinical practicum include 1,224 clock hours of direct patient contact with a minimum of 500 patient contacts; demonstrated competence in specific clinical skills; under the guidance and assessment of the clinic faculty in clinical skills, knowledge, judgment, professional and ethical behavior, and communication skills. Clinical experience begins during the summer after the first year.
The first year of clinical experience is chiefly technical—with students performing various hydrotherapy treatments on clinic patients. Students enter the clinic as secondary interns after their second year is completed, and as primary interns after their third year. As interns, students become part of the treatment teams that deliver naturopathic care in the college clinics. Each student has a required summer clinic shift as a primary intern. Summer shifts in the clinic, prior to the mandatory summer as a primary intern, are done at the request of the student and not required.
In addition to the minimum 1,224 hours of direct patient care, third- and fourth-year students attend Naturopathic Grand Rounds, in which clinical cases of interest to students and clinicians are presented. Clinical education includes community education activities, medicinary, X-ray and laboratory practicums in addition to direct patient care hours.
Masters of Oriental Medicine & Masters of Acupuncture
The clinical training objectives of the program are fundamentally aligned with the overall intention to train quality practitioners in the art and science of Chinese medicine. The clinical aspect is expected to be a refinement of the knowledge base acquired in the academic portion of the program, with the implicit understanding that many important skills can only be attained in an applied context of a practical learning situation. These skills include, but are not limited to:
Clinical training consists of two sequential parts: Observation and Internship. Before clinical observation occurs, students receive training in Chinese diagnostic techniques as well as in the theory and philosophy of classical Chinese medicine. Before clinical internship commences, students develop their interpersonal skills and diagnostic abilities, and receive further training in point actions, needling technique and the Chinese herbal formulary. The content and sequence of the academic courses are designed to accomplish this goal.
Students are gradually led through the clinical experience in a sequential fashion, from active observation to being able to conduct a comprehensive patient intake and treatment protocol. In the spirit of the classics, emphasis is placed on recognition of Chinese syndrome pattern differentiation (rather than symptomatic prescribing), with the goal of creating individual treatment plans designed to assist patients in returning to a more harmonious and balanced state.