The American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) was established in 1997 in response to the encouragement of staff and faculty at the Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Jinan, China. Classes began in 1999 in a small collection of rooms in the University Technology Center building in Dinkytown, near the University of Minnesota, United States. At that time there were about 40 full and part-time students and the school consisted of two class rooms, four treatment rooms and a small series of adjoining offices which served as reception, administration office and pharmacy. The one clinic consultation room was little more than a closet with a window and enough space for a desk and two chairs.
Today the American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine occupies its own campus with a traditional herbal pharmacy, five classrooms, 12 treatment rooms, student clinic, student lounge, a study room with internet access, a large practice space for events and t'ai chi ch'uan classes as well as a library of Traditional Chinese Medecine (TCM) literature in Chinese and English in the United States.
AAAOM is the only independent accredited school of TCM in Minnesota. In 2000, TCM World magazine awarded AAAOM “Best Faculty.” In 2002, Twin Cities Wellness magazine called AAAOM the “Mayo Clinic of Eastern Medicine.” In 2003, TCM World Magazine recognized AAAOM as being the “Best New School” and recognized as having the “Best Curriculum” for TCM in the country.
AAAOM offers a Master of Science degree in acupuncture and Oriental medicine – emphasizing the diagnostic and pathology model of TCM and all aspects of traditional treatment methods; not just acupuncture, but also extensive study of Chinese herbal medicine, dietary therapy, Chinese tuina massage and healing Qigong. AAAOM is one of the minority of schools in the country that offers a replica of the training received if the student was to study TCM in China. Students may elect to specialize in traditional Chinese internal medicine, gynecology, geriatrics, pediatrics, dermatology, neurological disorders, musculo-skeletal disorders or sensory organ disorders.
A feature of the AAAOM program is its affiliation with medical schools in China.
The Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Jinan, China (AAAOM sister school) has served not only as a model for the formation of AAAOM, but has also hosted two graduates for PhD study in TCM. Exchange programs for advanced study in TCM can also be arranged at other medical universities in China.
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