What to study??

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What to study??

Postby Sean » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:59 pm

Hi there, I am looking at studying acupuncture in Australia (i'm from Sydney but willing relocate if required). I have looked at various university degrees but have also noticed one college in Queensland which has a there year advanced diploma in acupuncture incorporating shiatsu. The course is accredited with ANTA but only the Shiatsu component is nationally recognised. How important is it to be accredited with the AACMA? What are the implications of the 2012 registration reforms that i should keep in mind when choosing where to study? Lots of questions i know, but any advice at all would be greatly appreciated.
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Postby mrpin » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:31 pm

Registration with AACMA? nice to have, Importance? who knows until they nut out all the details. Kind of similar to comparing a mercedes to a toyota, they will both work in theory.
Suffice to say a Bachelor degree would cover most options until further notice. Then you can choose whoever you like, bearing in mind that when registration happens these associations will probably be far less relevant than now.

There are many good courses in Sydney- and in just about all states (in my opinion far too many courses really).

The reality is, Job viability overall is poor (ask your uni for income stats).
The upside, Job satisfaction is high which makes up for the low average income.
As you are in sydney, perhaps try UTS for a few more detailed answers.

Hope this helps.
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Postby Sean » Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:22 pm

Thanks for your advice. I agree that there are too many courses, perhaps this accounts for at least part of my confusion. Interesting what you are saying about income and job satisfaction.
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Postby mrpin » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:04 pm

With so many schools offering TCM, there is probably by far more work opportunities for teachers and academics than anything else. If this is of interest then a course may be the way to go.
The way I look at it, the universities need to offer as many courses as possible, It is irrelevant to them if the graduates are able to convert this into a career or not (sad but true).
The teachers and the content of these courses are in fact very good, however the job prospects are very poor on average.
I don't mean to put you off doing a course if your set on it, but the reality is that 80 percent plus of graduates burn out in the first five years post graduating. Probably 50% are unaware of this when they enrol as it is not in the schools interests to tell them.
On a positive note. Many of the practitioners I know practice part time or in multiple locations. They do so only because they enjoy the end results and or helping people.
In summary the clinical results and satisfaction overall is excellent, on average the $ is most certainly not.
So, if your looking for a change of scenery, a hecs debt and a pay reduction then this may be a good career choice. :lol:
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Postby Sean » Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:19 pm

The truth hurts sometimes i guess but i would rather hear it now and use it to make an informed decision. I am still keeping my options open and will make a start by requesting income stats from any uni or college that has a course i am interested in. I guess every change in life is a comprimise to some degree so i need to have an understanding first of what is likely to change and then make my decisions from there. Thanks again
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Postby mrpin » Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:52 pm

I'm not saying don't do it, but researching the field is certainly the right thing to do. There are a minority of practitioners doing quite well from this field (occasionally people win lotto too) These practitioners are few and far between, but well worth copying!
If your happy to set your own hours and practice part time this can still be rewarding, just dont expect any help from the uni's after you graduate as they don't do this either. :wink:
Ps don't settle for a estimate income report as these are provided no problems! real stats only. Look for the levels of job vacancies posted as this is a good indicator of demand for these services and incomes.
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Postby mrpin » Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:59 am

Until these stats change... well make up your own mind.
Pretty much the same story in all states too.
http://www.cmrb.vic.gov.au/information/research/WorkforceReportChineseMedicine2009.pdf
Remember this is over 50% of practitioners seeing less than 20 patients per week (say on a good week all clients turn up you get $50 per client = $1000 less significant expenses rent marketing etc etc). Lets just say I estimate you will get about $300 in pocket post tax for the week, then take out your hecs debt and living expenses. Need I go on?
I didn't make these stats up... I just call a spade a spade.
I suspect this has much to do with the professions over 90% burnout rate.
Things may change from 2012 but I have some very serious concerns for this profession.
Merry Xmas all.....
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Postby cleondann » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:24 pm

Aacma is really great Australian institute for any one who want to become an acupuncturist. I tnever matters what is going around, the thing matter post is what you want to do and which is your subject of interest. So ,, keep going if you want to do.
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national registration

Postby Luke_ » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:39 am

I suggest you pick at least a degree level course to study as i believe this is the minimum standard for national registration which is set to happen in 2012. (if im wrong please correct me)
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Postby mrpin » Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:36 pm

Yep I think the degree is what will be required for registration. However I don't think registration will change the financial viability of this profession, at least not in its current form.
If you really feel the need to do it find a really good mentor.
And perhaps consider packing some baked beans or 2 minute noodles into the cupboard to eat.
This is the lowest paying degree you will find anywhere.. period.
Having said all this, many practitioners treat simply for the results $ is not an important factor. The other aspect to this profession is there are a lot of part time practitioners.
Acupuncture is offered by many however qualified practitioners are not the ones with the weekend certificate. Courses range from a weekend to a full degree, which one do you think works best? My vote is with the TCM degree.
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