Unification News for August 1999

University of Bridgeport to offer Masters Program in Acupuncture

On May 19, 1999, the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic (UBCC) was granted licensure by the board of governors of the Connecticut Department of Higher Education to offer a master of science in acupuncture. The first acupuncture class is scheduled for January 2000.

The new acupuncture college complements the already strong alternative care base of UB's division of health sciences. UB has offered an MS in nutrition since 1977; the first chiropractic class matriculated in May 1991; and the doctor of naturopathy program began in 1996.

The university has completed construction of a 60,000 square foot health sciences clinic facility, which will provide 30 treatment rooms, research labs and support services for its programs in acupuncture, chiropractic, naturopathy and nutrition. Shared training and treatment resources are an important component of UB's integrated treatment philosophy.

Jonathan Lavelle, DC, is the head administrator of the acupuncture program. Dr. Lavelle has worked at the college of chiropractic as an adjunct assistant professor of clinical sciences, assistant professor of clinical services, and student affairs coordinator. A 1990 graduate of Northwestern College of Chiropractic, he has been practicing chiropractic and acupuncture for eight years.

Dr. Lavelle notes that with the development of UB's Health Science Center, "Interns in the acupuncture clinic will be able to work alone and in conjunction with the chiropractic and naturopathic interns, integrating and collaborating on case management and treatment outcomes. This will be the only integrated center for alternative medicine in the world."

Dr. Lavelle observed that while acupuncture has been in use in Asia for thousands of years, the "Asian community has refined this ancient healing art and shifted its paradigm to include Western medicine." The acupuncture program at UB has been developed in response to that shift. "It will combine these two systems and train practitioners to represent both modern analysis and traditional insight. The practitioner will be able to communicate and work alongside other health care providers."

Students in the chiropractic and naturopathic medical programs will be able to start taking classes in the acupuncture program after their sixth semester. Classes are set to begin in January 2000.

The acupuncture curriculum combines an intensive 27 months (2,262 hours) of lecture and clinical courses. Practitioners will learn the fundamental energetic principles, physiological concepts, theoretical foundations and diagnostic procedures of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). During the first year of study, students will gain the philosophical and biomedical knowledge to prepare them for clinical practice. The second year deepens the practitioner's knowledge of eastern and western diagnostic skills and provides hands-on clinical experience in the Health Sciences Center. The final semester prepares the practitioner for state and national certification exams and entrance into private or multidisciplinary practice. Lecture classes will be held on selected evenings during the week and on Saturdays.

The curriculum of the major consists of five distinct areas:

1. Acupuncture Practice and Technique (eight courses) The theoretical and practical information of acupuncture therapy for proficiency in the clinical applications of acupuncture, moxa, cupping and bleeding techniques. Identification of acupuncture points by anatomical location, palpation and proportional measurement. The classification, functions and indications of each acupuncture point will be discussed and demonstrated. In addition to the 12 bilateral channels and two midline vessels, forbidden and contraindication of points will be discussed, along with other categories and types of acupuncture points.
2. Oriental Theory, Diagnosis and Application (eight courses) Designed to provide an understanding of the scope, philosophy, theory and conceptual framework of Oriental medicine and how acupuncture specifically affects the body within the traditional Oriental treatment paradigms.
3. Western Biomedicine (14 courses) Western concepts and terms, measuring and recording of vital signs, physical exam, history and note taking. How to make appropriate referral and consultation, and the clinical relevance of laboratory and diagnostic tests and procedures.
4. Movement and Respiration Studies The tai ji quan and qi gung courses teach a wide variety of Oriental movement and breathing practices. Two courses of instruction in tui na soft tissue technique will also be covered.
5. Clinical Sciences (five courses) This learning will be segmented into observation, trainee and intern levels. The students will be taught to develop the interpersonal communication skills, professional conduct, efficiency and confidence in dealing with patients. The students will be told about alternative therapies and observe the approaches of other health sciences and determine how and when to make appropriate referrals. By the end of the clinical training, each student will have seen a minimum of 250 patients and completed 705 hours of clinical training.

Admission requirements for the acupuncture program include a bachelor's degree or equivalent (i.e., 120 semester credits) which must include: English (6 hrs.); psychology (3 hrs.) social science (3 hrs.) biology (6 hrs.); chemistry (6 hrs.); physics (6 hrs.); physiology (4 hrs.); and anatomy (4 hrs.). Each of the courses in physics, chemistry, anatomy and biology must be for science majors and include a laboratory. A minimum grade of C is required. A minimum g.p.a. of 2.25 is required in the science prerequisites.

Applications for the inaugural class in the spring 2000 semester are being accepted. Subsequent classes will be admitted for each spring and fall semester thereafter. For further correspondence and information, please contact:

University of Bridgeport Master of Science in Acupuncture Health Sciences Center 60 Lafayette Street Bridgeport, CT 06601 Tel: (203) 576-4963 or (800) 392-3582 Fax: (203) 576-4962 E-mail: admit@ubcom.bridgeport.edu Homepage: www.bridgeport.edu

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