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Acupuncture MCPHS

NESA Dean Describes Advantages of DAIH for Today's Healthcare Field

  • The two-semester, 20-credit program at MCPHS's New England School of Acupuncture (NESA) is designed to empower practicing acupuncturists to thrive as members of the integrative healthcare team.

    Dean of NESA and Professor of Acupuncture Dennis Moseman, DC, LAc, Dipl Ac (NCCAOM), who has more than 20 years of professional expertise in both acupuncture and chiropractic medicine, has helped develop a revolutionary program. His passion for advancing the field of acupuncture and integrative health is clearly seen in this doctoral degree as it prepares acupuncturists to meet the demands of an evolving healthcare system.

    “The DAIH program is designed to provide students with innovative clinical experiences in integrative healthcare and acupuncture integrative pain management, and to help them build an understanding of the healthcare practices and policies that guide patient-centered, collaborative care,” says Dean Moseman. “The idea is that by learning from interprofessional leaders in various practice settings, they will be better prepared to work in integrative healthcare settings and as leading interprofessional team members.”

    For those who might be interested in a Doctor of Acupuncture and Integrative Health, Dean Moseman answered some key questions about the program:

    Why is NESA at MCPHS offering a doctoral-level degree?

    As the first school of acupuncture in the United States, we have extensive experience in training clinicians from every possible background who to go on to succeed in a variety of practice settings and become leaders in the profession. In addition, our alumni want to be on the cutting edge of how acupuncture is practiced in the United States. They have asked us to advance our influence on the field by designing an acupuncture doctoral program that will prepare clinicians to participate fully in the integration of healthcare.

    Why is preparing practicing acupuncturists to serve as part of the integrative healthcare team so important?

    Acupuncturists are trained to address many of the most pressing challenges in healthcare. We offer safe, effective non-pharmacological treatment of chronic pain. We can reduce the side effects of medications. We provide supportive treatment for addiction, and we help ameliorate the impact of emotional trauma. These are conditions and challenges that are often best managed through a team-based approach and patient-centered care. To ensure that acupuncturists are part of these teams, they need to learn the competencies that will allow them to work collaboratively and successfully in integrative healthcare settings.

    How does a shift toward integrative healthcare benefit acupuncturists and the future of the field of acupuncture?

    Overall, healthcare is moving in the direction of enhancing disease prevention, empowering patients in their self-care, and finding ways to manage chronic illness and pain conditions through low-cost, safe, and effective approaches. The field of integrative health has emerged from these demands. Acupuncturists are trained to look at the whole person, seeing their disease or distress as a pattern specific to their unique history and personhood. This emphasis on the whole person is what integrative medicine is all about. Gaining a doctorate in acupuncture better positions acupuncturists to be leading members of the integrative healthcare team.

    Tell us about the clinical experiences in the DAIH program.

    Students participate in 120 hours of doctoral-level clinical experiences as part of the program. Students in the program will have had a range of training experiences at the master’s level; some will have trained or practiced in biomedical settings, while others will be seeking their first exposure to integrative healthcare settings. By giving all our students access to clinical experiences in which interdisciplinary health professionals communicate, cooperate, and collaborate to deliver high quality, patient-centered care, we set them up to be integral leaders of the integrative healthcare team. Additionally, the evidence base for efficacy with these populations or environments is reviewed, as are information systems utilized to support interprofessional communication and enhanced care.

    In some healthcare settings, acupuncture is part of an integrative care delivery team; in others, acupuncture is a specialty service offered via referral. With the Doctor of Acupuncture and Integrative Health degree, acupuncturists can become more integrated into any healthcare teams and better support interprofessional health workers with whom they share patients. By learning from leaders in the field of integrative medicine, students build competencies and communication skills necessary to succeed in these settings.

    Who is the best fit for this program?

    Students who will thrive in the DAIH program are interested in developing meaningful interprofessional collaboration skills by learning from leaders in the field of integrative medicine. They are self-directed and eager to make the best use of the online experiences that the program has to offer. They are curious about how acupuncture connects to broader systems of healthcare and are interested in how to navigate the complex framework of contemporary healthcare. They recognize the need for professional decorum in healthcare settings and are committed to helping to shape the future of integrative medicine.

    For more information: Visit the Doctor of Acupuncture and Integrative Health (DAIH) program page.