TCM Internal Medicine

General Information
Duration 1 semester (14 teaching weeks)
Level Year 3, Semester 5
Unit Weighting Unit Credit Points: 10 credit points
Total Course Credit Points: 320 credit points
Student Workload Number of timetabled hours per week: 4
Number of personal study hours per week:  6
Total workload hours per week: 10
Prerequisites/ Corequisites ACU207 TCM Practice 1 (Acupuncture Techniques); CHM208 Chinese Herbal Medicine and Formula 3
Academic Details
Description TCM Practice 2 is focused on dispensing prescriptions and the aims of Paozhi and relevant techniques; Students will acquire specific knowledge of the theories that underpin and enable the safe application of Chinese herbal dispensing skills, including ethical and legal issues, policy and guidelines, botany, taxonomy and zoology, basic herbal processing, interaction between herbal and pharmaceutical medicines. The focus will be on performing the duties of a dispenser in an active clinic and Paozhi lab. In a supervised dispensary, students should undertake all aspects of management including the preparation and processing of herbs and the dispensing of prescriptions. In the Paozhi lab, students should practice all Paozhi techniques in related to their individuate requirements throughout the study of this subject and in accordance with Australian regulations and the SUSMP. The importance of a commitment to appropriate reporting of adverse events and implementation of appropriate first aid measures when a patient displays an adverse reaction to treatment, and ensure prompt transfer to medical services where necessary will be emphasized. Appreciation of Australia’s healthcare context and the multi-cultural/multi-racial nature of the community and how this may affect the practice of TCM will be discussed and debated. The desire to achieve excellence in the practice of Chinese herbal medicine and to contribute to improving both the quality of life of patients and the wellbeing of the community and the environment will be a key feature in the teaching and learning of this unit.

For clinical practice, students will be provided with the opportunity of reporting and reflecting on their observations in the clinic and gain experience in acupuncture, herbal medicine treatment, and herbal dispensary.

Students will be referred constantly and appropriately throughout the course to the TGA and CMBA guidelines on the use of herbs vis-à-vis the various regulatory instruments and the management and reporting of adverse events.

Learning outcomes Upon completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Explain and demonstrate the procedures involved in assisting in the management of an herbal dispensary including storage, labelling, inventory control, contamination control and hygienic procedure, and record keeping. Identify and analyse herbal prescriptions and demonstrate advising patients about the safe preparation of raw herbs, granules, poultice herbs in appreciation of Australia’s multi-cultural/multi-racial nature and how this may affect their administration
  2. Describe and demonstrate compliance with CMBA Code of Conduct, policies, codes and guidelines to their practice, and awareness of the Updated listing of restricted Chinese herbs
  3. Describe and explain the aims, requirements, and methods of general herbal preparation (Pao Zhi); Demonstrate herbal preparation of Dry stir frying, Stir frying with solid / liquid adjuvants, Blast frying, Calcination, Roasting, Steaming, Boiling and Water-refining
  4. Describe the basic knowledge about botany, taxonomy and zoology, and recent developments in herbal preparation methods; Demonstrate working knowledge of the interaction between herbal and pharmaceutical medicines, and restricted and scheduled herbs as well as their use in accordance with Australian regulations and the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP); Describe and explain procedures for appropriate reporting of adverse events and implement appropriate first aid measures when a patient displays an adverse reaction to treatment, and ensure prompt transfer to medical services where necessary
  5. Demonstrate competency in conducting patient interview and examination, accurately reporting and synthesising the information with reasonable explanation gathered during the process
  6. Demonstrate the basic procedures and skills in the diagnosis, patient’s management with acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and herbal dispensing
  7. Demonstrate competency in professional communications, general patient care, record keeping, clinic reception, stock taking, and the day-to-day management of clinic facilities as well as equipment
  8. Demonstrate self-assessment and self-reflection through actively encourage feedback from patient, classmate and supervisor during practice
Unit requirement To successfully complete the unit, students must: attend 80% of all the lectures and tutorial classes plus 100% of clinic hours including fulfilling all rostered receptionist duties; attempt all assessment tasks and achieve at least 50% of the total marks; and achieve a mark of at least 40% in the final examination and at least 50% for Clinical Assessment.
Assessment Assessment 1: Practical tests (Paozhi) (30%)

Assessment 2: Clinical Assessment (30%)

Assessment 3: Final Examination (40%)

Prescribed text * The prescribed and recommended readings are subject to annual review.

Bensky, D., Clavey, S., Gamble, A., &Stoger, E. (2004). Chinese herbal medicine: Materia medica (3rd ed.). Seattle, Wash.: Eastland Press.

Bensky, D., &Barolet, R. (2009). In Scheid V. (Ed.), Chinese herbal medicine: Formulas & strategies (Rev. ed.). Seattle, WA: Eastland Press.

Philippe Sionneau, Bob Flaws (1995), Pao Zhi: An Introduction to the Use of Processed Chinese Medicinals, Blue Poppy Press.

Recommended readings Sydney Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine (2015). Australian Regulations on Restricted Chinese Herbal Medicine

Cai, Bao Chang (2008): Processing of Chinese Materia Medica. Beijing, China Chinese Medicine Press.

Chang, H., & But, P. P. H. (1986). (1986). Pharmacology and applications of Chinese material medica (English ed.). Singapore; Philadelphia, PA, USA: World Scientific.

Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (2015), Guidelines for safe Chinese herbal medicine practice, Available at (Accessed 07/01/2019)

Kerridge, I. H., Lowe, M., & Stewart, C. (2009). Ethics and law for the health professions (3rd ed.). Annandale, N.S.W.: The Federation Press.

Maciocia, G. (2008). The practice of Chinese medicine: The treatment of diseases with acupuncture and Chinese herbs (2nd ed.). Edinburgh; New York: Elsevier.

National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee (NDPSC). (2018). Standard for the uniform scheduling of Medicines and poisons. Canberra: Australian Government. Available at (Accessed 07/01/2019)

Weir, M. (2007). Complementary medicine: Ethics and law (3rd ed.). Ashgrove, Qld. Prometheus Publications.


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