Many people in Australia are excited about Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is a discipline for healing that is non-intrusive, makes maximum use of the body’s natural mechanisms for healing, and is devoted to the fundamental doctrine of the health professions, “Do no harm.” TCM is an ancient field, but it is also at the forefront of modern thinking about the body.

Are you asking yourself how do you become a practitioner of TCM? You can do so in three steps, not necessarily easy but achievable if you have the right tools and guidance.  Getting a degree in a medical field is never easy. You have to study and practice. But when you qualify you will find a career with endless possibilities for exciting new learning and meeting the needs of human beings.

When you commit yourself to the study of TCM, you commit yourself to four years of full-time study or a longer period of study on a part-time basis. When you complete your courses and your practical clinical supervision, you will have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in TCM and certification in the practice of clinical acupuncture. The course is approved by the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia in all areas: Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, and Chinese Herbal Dispensing.

What are the steps?

I-  Have fun  Researching and  APPLY

Set some time apart to check out what is out there. Research colleges that have the desired course, go to their Open Days, while you are there, make sure you ask questions as many as you wish. The questions can be from the course length, classes time, internship positions or industry affiliation.  if you prepare yourself before the Open Day the changes to make the most out of the sessions and have all information needed, will help you later to make a better decision on what college you feel most comfortable with. 

After making a decision on where to study, is time to apply for a course. 

Apply to the Sydney Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SITCM). To be considered for admission you must have completed the High School Certificate (HSC), and the received an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank at a level that would enable you to be admitted to an Australian University (or an equivalent international standard). Some alternatives that would qualify you for admission if you come from outside Australia or were evaluated in a different way. The courses are taught in English. Proficiency in English is required.

Learn more about careers in TCM

II. Complete the coursework. 

This brief statement sounds easy, but it is challenging. The coursework is stimulating, It is taught by experienced professionals. Much of the TCM curriculum resembles the kinds of courses you would take if you went to a program of study in Western Medicine. These courses are mandatory if you are to understand the way the human body works.

  • Courses like Human Anatomy and Physiology, Pathology, Microbiology are taught in years one and two to give you a grounding that is shared across all medical fields. 
  • Courses that give you a grounding in Chinese medicine itself begin in Year one with fundamentals of theory, channels and points, and the fundamentals of herbal medicine.

More advanced topics in TCM begin in year two.

  • The program in year two includes the study of research methods. Acupuncture, including practical experience, is introduced in year two.

Year three begins the study of the classical basis of TCM in Chinese literature.

Year four begins the focus on more practical courses.

  • Year four introduces practical applications in pharmacology, acupuncture, herbal medicine, TCM gynecology, pediatrics. In year four, students get a grounding in the realities of clinical practice. 
  • You will be expected to complete an original research project in year four as well.

III. Complete the required practicum

Observers in TCM are required to complete a prescribed period of clinical practice in the clinic under the supervision of advanced certified practitioners. Students will experience the full range of TCM practice which is open to serve the public. Chinese medicine practitioners must be licensed under the national registration and accreditation scheme with the Chinese Board of Australia. Categories of registration include separate divisions of 

  • Acupuncture.
  • Chinese herbal medicine.
  • Chinese herbal dispensing.

The certification assures the public that the practitioner has completed a list of essential courses of study and practice to a satisfactory level of proficiency and have completed the required practical training at SITCM Teaching Clinic. There are four areas of education recommended to the board:

  1. Australian health care context.
  2. Restricted herbs.
  3. Internal medicine.
  4. The final clinical practice unit or a clinical competency test.

The opportunities are countless after the course, you can work in clinics, hotels or open your own business.

Sydney Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine ( SITCM) is registered with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) as an approved higher education provider (PRV12177), the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as a registered training organisation, and is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). Please contact us to learn more.

Click below to download our FREE guide on Studying Traditional Chinese Medicine.  


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