Are Acupuncture Schools Failing Their Students?

This post is going to be a bit controversial. And, at first, I hesitated to write it, but I feel strongly about the subject and think it warrants some discussion.

By now, I’ve interviewed and demo’d to hundreds of acupuncturists. And through that process, you start hearing some reoccurring stories. And some are disturbing!

One of these reoccurring themes is that acupuncture schools are inadequately preparing their students for post graduation and starting their own practice. I constantly hear this from both recent grads and more established practitioners.

Pile of Debt

One thing I hear is that acupuncture schools are selling students a false sense of the ease of recouping the money they take out in loans for education. And so, students are graduating with a pile of debt without a clear path to repaying that debt.

In turn, many practitioners are moonlighting as acupuncturists, meaning they have a primary job (not acupuncture) and then, after hours, they’re trying to get their practice going. To me, this seems like a very difficult way of starting a practice.

Not all Business

Another criticism I hear is that the business curriculum at acupuncture schools is inadequate in preparing the graduate for private practice and building a sustainable business. And, it sounds like, acupuncture students are given one business class which covers topics at a very high level. One business class!

While I understand that not all businesses succeed and that building a successful business and practice is in large part due to the work ethic and desire of the practitioner and business owner.

However, it also seems like it would be in the benefit of the acupuncture schools and the community to come up with a more worn path to success.


I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Please leave a comment below or email me directly. And, maybe, through dialog and discussion, we can come up with a better understanding of what it takes to create a successful practice!
Minto Tsai
P.S. If this helped you, please Like, Share, email… all the social network love you can give!