The practice of acupuncture in the U.S. has
been exponential in recent years and what has emerged are
practitioners with varying levels of basic training. Unlike
the practice of law or acquiring a Real Estate license, all
practitioners are not required to pass a basic minimum competency
exam in order to practice acupuncture in the state of Colorado.
The only national competency exam for acupuncture
is the one given by the NCCAOM (National Commission for the
Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.) To sit
for this board, a student of acupuncture must attend a graduate
school program in Traditional Chinese Medicine for 4 years
and acquire over 3,000 hours of training. Once this is completed
and the Boards are successfully passed, a person becomes NCCAOM
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology are now two
separate exams thus allowing the individual to acquire the
designation Dipl. Ac (for acupuncture) and Dipl. C.H. (for
Chinese Herbology). Only the acupuncture exam is currently
required for Colorado licensure. Due to their extensive training,
practitioners who are state Licensed and NCCAOM certified
are the most highly educated and qualified to practice Chinese
Doctors of Osteopathy (D.O.'s) and Medical
Doctors (M.D.'s) have no minimum requirements for training
to do acupuncture in the state of Colorado. These doctors
who practice acupuncture are usually called "Medical
Acupuncturists". There are a few weekend classes available
for medical doctors if they wish to learn some limited acupuncture
and use the title "Medical Acupuncturist", but the
state does not legally require or enforce it.
Chiropractors are required to have 100 hours
of training. No exam is required to practice and no acupuncture
License is required. As with M.D.'s it is considered
an "add-on" to their current professional scope of practice.
In the state of Colorado, acupuncture is regulated
by the Colorado State Dept. of Regulatory Agencies. Only those
who have passed the NCCAOM exam are awarded the title of "Licensed
Acupuncturist" in this state. Most states which license acupuncturists
use the NCCAOM exam as the licensing criteria, but a few states
(like California) have their own licensing exam.
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