Clinical Program

Your Clinical Experience

MCOM student clinics provide a variety of unique clinical settings where interns experience the approach of many different practitioners. Interns at the Midwest College treat a wide range of medical conditions and gain thorough, hands-on experience in acupuncture and the other physical modalities of Oriental healing, such as Tui Na massage, moxibustion, and cupping. The internship is designed to build knowledge and skills and to fine-tune patient/healer sensitivities. After completing the program, graduates will be confident in their ability as an Oriental Medical Practitioner to address the full spectrum of conditions seen in practice. The College’s clinical directors are available for interns to discuss their interest in a wide variety of modalities and application of various special techniques during their internship.

The clinical program is arranged into three phases for Acupuncture and five phases for Oriental Medicine. Acupuncture students complete a total of 660 hours using acu/moxa therapy. Oriental Medicine students complete 648 hours of acu/moxa internship and then begin integrating herbs and nutrition for an additional 270 hours; for a total of 918 hours

  • Phase 1: Interns learn the procedures of clinical intake and physical assessment. They also observe senior interns doing intakes, performing acupuncture, and dispensing herbs. Interns document this phase with the Observation Workbook in which they record their experiences.
  • Phase 2: Interns deliver acupuncture treatments, perform Tui Na, and use accessory modalities under supervision of clinical faculty. This is documented by completing the TCM 10 Question Intake and Acupuncture Treatment Workbook.
  • Phase 3: Interns develop a treatment plan based on their diagnosis. They complete the Continuity of Care Workbook to document the objectives of this phase. These three phases, and workbooks, compose the internship portion of the Acupuncture Program.
  • Phase 4: Interns work closely with their supervisor developing the skill needed for herbal diagnosis, compounding formulas, and making nutritional recommendations. They begin to complete a Herb Formula / Nutrition Workbook to be completed over Phase’s 4 and 5.
  • Phase 5: During the final phase prior to graduation, students perfect their skill in herb formula modification and are responsible for making diagnoses and developing treatment plans using all the modalities of TCM; acu/moxa, herbs and TCM nutrition. They complete the Herb Formula / Nutrition Workbooks.

After completing the internship program at Midwest College, students have 2 or more years of intensive experience treating patients. These years of clinical contact, guided by well-experienced supervisors, prepare graduates for the demands and responsibilities of a busy practice.

lotus flower

Clinical Competencies to Be Achieved During Internships

Phase 1 Internship Performance Objectives:


  • Demonstrates skill in basic Western diagnostic examinations; blood pressure, pulse, etc.
  • Assists with the operation of the clinic; setup, charting, patient flow, etc.
  • Complies with blood-borne pathogen safety
  • Takes advantage of observing and participating in pulse, tongue, and palpation exam
  • Displays skill in accessory therapy: tui-na, moxibustion, cupping, etc.
  • Displays knowledge of point location consulting texts and charts

Phase 2 Internship Performance Objectives:


  • Adheres to clean needle technique
  • Demonstrates skill in administering assigned treatments
  • Displays skill in reading pulse, tongue and palpatory findings
  • Demonstrates ability to insert needles with little or no pain
  • Demonstrates ability to interview; eliciting necessary information
  • Demonstrates ability in the complete documentation; SOAP note process
  • Displays knowledge of point location, occasionally consulting texts and charts
  • Demonstrates professionalism in attitude/appearance and sensitivity to patient needs
  • Demonstrates knowledge of patterns; differentiation and selection of point combinations

Phase 3 Internship Performance Objectives:


  • Demonstrates ability to arrive at a TCM diagnosis accurately and independently
  • Able to independently devise and skillfully administer treatment
  • Able to independently construct a treatment plan and evaluate its efficacy
  • Demonstrates skill in insertion and manipulation techniques
  • Completes thorough and accurate documentation: SOAP notes, history, etc.
  • Displays accuracy in knowledge of point location without consulting texts and charts
  • Demonstrates critical thinking in creation of a comprehensive acupuncture care plan
  • Demonstrates awareness of nutrition in health, vitality, and resistance to illness
  • Makes appropriate referrals to allied health professionals

Phase 4 Oriental Medicine Internship Performance Objectives:


  • Coordinates acupuncture, herb, and nutrition therapy
  • Compounds and dispenses formulas in an herbal pharmacy
  • Understands protocol and standards for the management of an herbal pharmacy
  • Conducts the medical history needed for planning and delivering an herbal treatment
  • Acquires and interprets significant clinical information in light of herbal therapy
  • Makes nutritional recommendations as an integral part of a patient care plan
  • Recommends foods to add and foods to remove from a diet based upon TCM energetics

Phase 5 Oriental Medicine Internship Performance objectives:


  • Independently plans and delivers an herbal treatment
  • Demonstrates the ability to modify a formula for specific circumstances
  • Recognizes when to choose patent, prepared, or crude herb formulas and makes nutritional recommendations for health promotion, maintenance, and treatment
  • Integrates all TCM modalities and nutrition into a comprehensive, holistic treatment plan
  • Makes appropriate referrals to allied health professionals
Guangzhou, China

Foreign Internships: Course Number 596, optional

The Midwest College of Oriental Medicine has been conducting foreign internship trips to China for over twenty years. During these trips, students have gained clinical experience at TCM hospitals all over China, including Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou. In 1996, the Midwest College was granted formal affiliation with the Guangzhou Medical University, whose eight hospitals in Guangdong province treat over three million patients per year and perform ten thousand outpatient treatments per day.

The Midwest College’s affiliation with the Guangzhou University has led to a new cooperative relationship between our two schools to develop curriculum and support international exchange in the field of medicine. Our collaboration has allowed us to bring the most recent advances in TCM medical therapy to our educational programs.

Only Midwest College foreign internships are accepted for approved credit. Private or unaccredited foreign study programs are not accepted for credit. Students must have their Midwest College tuition paid up to date before foreign internship credit is accepted. The China internship trip may not cause attendance requirement conflicts with the didactic portion of their education. A maximum of 108 hours of acupuncture clinic may be completed through the Midwest College’s foreign study trip.

The Midwest College of Oriental Medicine, its Master’s-level program in Oriental Medicine (MSOM), and its Master’s-level program in acupuncture (MLA) are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). Accreditation status and notes may be viewed on the ACAOM Directory. ACAOM is recognized by the United States Department of Education as the specialized accreditation agency for institutions/programs preparing acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners. ACAOM is located at 8941 Aztec Drive, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55347; phone 952/212-2434; fax 952/657-7068;

The Midwest College of Oriental Medicine’s advanced practice doctoral (DAOM) program, approved to begin enrolling students, is not yet accredited or pre-accredited by ACAOM. Graduates of this program are not considered to have graduated from an ACAOM-accredited or pre-accredited program and may not rely on ACAOM accreditation or pre-accreditation for professional licensure or other purposes. The advanced practice doctoral program is eligible for ACAOM accreditation, and Midwest College of Oriental Medicine is currently in the process of seeking ACAOM pre-accreditation/accreditation for the program. However, Midwest College of Oriental Medicine can provide no assurance that pre-accreditation or accreditation will be granted by ACAOM.