Please Note! Due to the high volume of irritating spam and slow-down of participation here, we are no longer accepting new comments, questions, or subjects on this Forum. We are keeping all the subjects and comments for review as there is a lot of good stuff here relating to practice-building subjects. So, dig deep! Thanks to everyone who participated here but it is time to move on to bigger projects educating the public about acupuncture! Matt Bauer
10-Jun-2014 11:32 AM
I’m writing because I have been wanting to study Chinese Medicine for a few years now and have been daunted by the price tag that comes with it. I have accepted a place at a school in CA to begin this coming Fall, but am still really nervous about the debt I will acquire.
I just bought the book, Making Acupuncture Pay, and started reading it. I wonder if you would say that a successful practice in attainable when a practitioner would be beginning with a significant amount of debt? Someone told me that if I can’t come out with less than 50K than I should choose another profession. I can’t see how there is any way that I would come out of school with less than that in loans. I’m looking at more between 80 and 100K for a four year Masters, and this only because my parents have agreed to help me.
Is it doable? Or is it financial suicide? I would appreciate thoughts and advice.
10-Jun-2014 12:06 PM
Hi Hanna – Thank you for posting here and your important question. I think your question is so important that I want to take some time to respond and will do so later today or by tomorrow. I am not sure if anyone else will offer their advice but I hope so as this is a big issue facing all AOM students.
My best –
10-Jun-2014 02:25 PM
Hanna – I wrote Making Acupuncture Pay especially for people like you to try to give a dose of reality regarding earning a living as an Acupuncturist. The skills you learn in acupuncture/Oriental Medicine (AOM) training are so badly needed that people with those skills should be able to enjoy a solid career but we are unfortunately not yet at the point where that is so. Based on where things stand today I would say this: Even with $100k in student loan debt, making a nice living is possible IF you are a determined go-getter who takes the time to plan how to open their own practice and hit the ground running. My book will give you a lot of advice on how to do just that. However, if you do not feel you have the personality type to start a practice from scratch and put the effort needed to build a practice from nothing then you cannot afford to take on that level of debt. There are no high paying jobs out there. If you are going to do well enough to cover that debt, you will have to do that from your own practice. That being said, I will tell you that there is a ray of hope out there that could start a trend to lower costs of AOM training. My friends in the Community Acupuncture movement are deep in the process of starting a new AOM college – POCA-Tech – that is going to have a fully ACAOM accredited program with a tuition of around $25,000! Unfortunately, at this time, this program would not be accepted in California as California is not yet aligned with the standards the rest of the nation uses for AOM training and licensing. Here is a link just posted of the POCA Tech reps addressing the Oregon Acupuncture Committee to educate them about POCA Tech. I am going to be posting this link on my MAP Facebook page soon so you may want to Like us there as that posting will probably get a number of responses. Please feel free to ask any more questions you may have as you prepare to make this big decision.