Student at the New England School of Acupuncture

New England School of Acupuncture at MCPHS Launches Doctor of Acupuncture and Integrative Health Program

  • The New England School of Acupuncture (NESA) at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) has launched a Doctor of Acupuncture and Integrative Health (DAIH) program designed to empower practicing acupuncturists to thrive as members of the integrative healthcare team.

    The program is the first doctoral-level degree program offered by NESA, which is the oldest acupuncture school in the United States. The program represents a continued commitment to advancing the field of acupuncture and oriental medicine and providing acupuncturists with educational and career advancement opportunities.

    Maria Broderick, EdD, MAOM, LicAc, an Associate Professor and Director of the DAIH program, said that the program is a vital opportunity for acupuncturists to expand on their master's degree–level studies and meet the demands of today's healthcare field.

    "The DAIH program opens the door to helping practicing acupuncturists to bridge their training in Chinese medicine with the standards and practices of healthcare providers trained from the ground up in Western medicine," said Professor Broderick. "We are joining the growing movement in Western medicine that honors an integrative approach to healthcare."

    Professor Broderick said that acupuncture and oriental medicine is best practiced through a collaborative, team-based approach, a focus of the DAIH program.

    "Acupuncturists are trained to address many of the most pressing challenges in healthcare," she said. "We offer safe, effective non-pharmacological treatment of chronic pain. We can reduce the side effects of medications. We provide supportive treatment for addiction; we help ameliorate the impact of emotional trauma.

    “These are conditions and challenges that are often best managed through a team approach, with coordinated care,” Professor Broderick added. “To ensure that acupuncturists are part of these teams, they need to learn the competencies that will make them successful in integrative healthcare settings."

    That's where the DAIH program comes in, Professor Broderick said. Students in the program are given valuable exposure to a variety of areas of care through clinical placements at leading hospitals and medical institutions in Massachusetts, including Boston Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital.

    "Our students are already trained acupuncturists and, because of this prerequisite, these placements do not emphasize training acupuncturists in clinical competencies," Professor Broderick said. "Instead, they offer rich immersion in how acupuncture is delivered to these populations, where students shadow experienced practitioners who have succeeded in delivering acupuncture for many years to patients in hospital and community health settings."

    These clinical placements, Professor Broderick explained, are an opportunity for students to shadow members of the healthcare delivery team who are national experts in integrative health, giving them critical insight into how best to serve as members of an integrative healthcare team.

    The 25-credit program, which is offered online, also incorporates interprofessional collaboration and education, a University-wide focus. "Students in the DAIH program will participate online with students from the Doctorate of Science of Physician Assistant Studies (DScPAS) program, as well as students in the Doctorate of Health Sciences (DHS) program," Professor Broderick said. "They will have opportunities to participate in research projects that are cross-disciplinary, and, as part of the dissemination phase of their capstone, they will be encouraged to present at conferences focused on integrative health that welcome a range of healthcare disciplines."

    Applications to the Doctor of Acupuncture and Integrative Health (DAIH) program are now being accepted for the Spring 2018 semester.