Western Medicine
Modern practitioners of TCM must have a fundamental understanding of Western medicine to effectively communicate with medical doctors and other healthcare professionals. Western Medicine studies are an integral part of the curriculum providing knowledge of Western diagnosis and pharmaceuticals, necessary to make appropriate referrals, and to provide the best care possible for your patients. Introduced to the basic methods of Western diagnosis, you will learn the fundamental vocabulary used in diagnostic analysis and the clinical methods used in Western medical approaches to disease. With this knowledge, you can become an active part of today’s dynamic healthcare network. Our Western medicine department is enhanced by our educational and clinical relationship with Stanford University and the doctoral residency program we have with Stanford and O’Connor hospital. These professional relationships not only benefit you as a student but also contribute to a better understanding and acceptance of TCM in the West.

Alan Wong, M.D.

Department Chair
Course TitleCodeUnitsHours
[Required Courses]
CPR/ First AidCFA0.58
General BiologyMWM 101348
Human AnatomyMWM 103348
Western Medical TerminologyMWM 110116
Medical PhysiologyMWM 203348
ChemistryMWM 204348
Introduction to PhysicsMWM 301232
Pathophysiology I & IIMWM 310, MWM 410696
ImmunologyMWM 315116
Public Health and EpidemiologyMWM 412232
Western Physical Examination /LabMWM 5203.5 56
Diet, Nutrition and VitaminsMWM 530232
Western Case Management I & IIMWM 610348
PharmacologyMWM 620348
ResearchMWM 712232
Red FlagsMWM 715232
Psychology and CounselingMWM 720232
Lab AnalysisMWM 815116
Medical ModalitiesMWM 820116

CPR/ First Aid

CFA
0.5 Units 8 Hours

This is a required class that students must take through an outside provider. Completion of this course is required before entry into Intern Rounds. Upon completion of this course, students will have certification in CPR and First Aid and will have the necessary skills to respond to emergencies within the clinic.

Prerequisite:
None

General Biology

MWM 101
3 Units 48 Hours

This course covers the basics of the chemistry of life, molecular and cellular biology, structure and function of organisms, reproduction and development, genetics, evolution and ecology (the relations of organisms to each other and to their environment). This course, with emphasis on human biology, provides a solid basis for further biomedical studies with knowledge of vocabulary, concepts, and skills.

Prerequisite:
None

Human Anatomy

MWM 103
3 Units 48 Hours

This course gives an introduction to the study of human structure. This includes examination of cells, tissues, organs, systems and their interrelationships. Structural components of all physiological systems including nervous, endocrine, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, excretory, reproductive, immune systems and those involved in human movement will be studied. Emphasis will be placed on the nervous system and musculoskeletal system, which are particularly important in acupuncture. Human skeletons, anatomical charts, models and full color digital images will be used for demonstration.

Prerequisite:
None

Western Medical Terminology

MWM 110
1 Units 16 Hours

This course introduces students to the basic principles, concepts and terminology of modern Western medicine.

Prerequisite:
None

Medical Physiology

MWM 203
3 Units 48 Hours

This course outlines the principles of human physiology, general properties and functions of the living cell and the internal environment. The course will systematically cover the nervous, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, renal, reproductive and endocrine systems, with an emphasis placed on the interrelationships among the systems. Additionally, students will learn about metabolism and homeostasis, and the diseases of the body systems. With the knowledge of human physiology, students will build a solid foundation for further study of human disease.

Prerequisite:
MWM 101, General Biology; MWM 103, Human Anatomy; MWM 110, Western Medical Terminology

Chemistry

MWM 204
3 Units 48 Hours

This introductory course explores various topics of inorganic chemistry including the periodic table of elements, atomic structure of matter, nuclear chemistry, molecular bonding, atomic quantum numbers and orbitals, equilibrium states, acid/base chemistry and thermodynamics. The basic organic chemistry of alkanes and unsaturated hydrocarbons will also be examined throughout the course.

Prerequisite:
None

Introduction to Physics

MWM 301
2 Units 32 Hours

Designed for health science students, this is an introductory course on physics with minimum calculations. It will conceptually explore various topics of physics, including: motions and forces of a body, properties of matter, heat, sound, light, and electricity and magnetism. Basic atomic and nuclear physics, as well as the theory of relativity will be introduced.

Prerequisite:
None

Pathophysiology I & II

MWM 310, MWM 410
6 Units 96 Hours

Pathophysiology is the study of the mechanism of disease in humans from a western medical perspective. In this two-semester course sequence, students receive a brief overview of healthy physiology of the body’s major systems, focusing on disease processes and the body’s attempt to adapt to them. These courses link western anatomy, physiology and biochemistry to clinical practice. The first course will cover infectious, psychiatric, hematological, cardiac and pulmonary diseases. In the second course, students learn about selected diseases in the departments of oncology, neurology, rheumatology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, musculoskeletal and nephrology.

Prerequisite:
MWM 110, Western Medical Terminology; MWM 103, Human Anatomy; MWM 203, Medical Physiology

Immunology

MWM 315
1 Units 16 Hours

This course begins with a review of basic immunology. Subsequently, the principles of immunology will be applied to enhance the understanding of various autoimmune diseases. The pharmacology of vaccines, immune-modulating drugs, herbs and supplements will also be discussed.

Prerequisite:
MWM 203, Medical Physiology

Public Health and Epidemiology

MWM 412
2 Units 32 Hours

This course explores the impact of disease and wellness in regard to populations. Factors in epidemiology such as prevalence of incidence of disease in given populations, and sensitivity and specificity of tests in diagnosis will be discussed. Environmental, socio-economical and cultural factors that contribute to health and illness in our society will be explored, as well as the role of evidence-based medicine. Particular emphasis is paid to the ways TCM practitioners interface with, and are affected by this system. Topics will include the effects of economics on the current health care system, especially to the underprivileged segments of population and the role of L.Ac.’s in the public health setting.

Prerequisite:
None

Western Physical Examination /Lab

MWM 520
3.5 Units 56 Hours

In this course, students are instructed in Western methods of information gathering and evaluation. They will study and perform adult history and physical exams, including the use of blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes. Laboratory tests and x-rays are presented and discussed and students will gain a basic understanding of their use and results. The course also covers how and when to make referrals to other providers, as well as how to recognize and respond in emergency situations. Students will be required to give an oral and written presentation of a patient’s history and physical exam.

Prerequisite:
MWM 310, Pathophysiology I; MWM 410, Pathophysiology II

Diet, Nutrition and Vitamins

MWM 530
2 Units 32 Hours

This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of the fundamentals of human nutrition and how excess or deficiency of essential nutrients affects our health throughout life. Students will learn digestion and assimilation, including useful assessment tools and lab tests, and how to counsel patients on developing a healthy diet. There will also be a discussion of vitamins and minerals, recommended intake, the role of diet in the various stages of the life cycle, the way chronic disease is influenced by excessive or deficient states, and the bio-variability of needs among different patients. The course will cover special issues like food allergies, detoxification, and weight loss as well as possible nutritional approaches to illness commonly encountered in clinical practice.

Prerequisite:
MWM 204, Chemistry

Western Case Management I & II

MWM 610
3 Units 48 Hours

This two-semester course sequence is intended to help students bring together information from all prior Western medicine classes. Symptoms and signs, and X-ray and laboratory results will be analyzed. Students will study musculoskeletal, respiratory, gastrointestinal, endocrine, cardiovascular, dermatological, urinary, menstrual, and psychosomatic conditions. Students will be required to derive a list of differential diagnosis, including assignment of ICD 9 codes. Particular emphasis will be placed on conditions commonly encountered in an acupuncture practice. Recognizing red flags, indicating a serious disorder, will be covered in detail. Students will learn when to refer to other healthcare providers, and how to treat patients from an integrative perspective. Students will be required to present one case study, with written analysis, as part of the course assignment.

Prerequisite:
MWM 310, Pathophysiology I; MWM 410, Pathophysiology II

Pharmacology

MWM 620
3 Units 48 Hours

This course is designed to familiarize students with the use of Western pharmaceutical drugs. The lectures will focus on the categorizations of the Western pharmacopoeia, and the broad principles and mechanisms of action of drugs commonly used in a Western paradigm. A large percentage of patients seeking TCM care will already be taking prescription medications, and this course offers the student an opportunity to understand how these drugs are used in the treatment of disease.

Prerequisite:
MWM 310, Pathophysiology I; MWM 410, Pathophysiology II

Research

MWM 712
2 Units 32 Hours

In this course students will learn the elements of doing research in the biomedical field. The following concepts will be covered: basic and literature research papers, clinical trials, blinding and research design, forming and testing hypotheses. The element of writing and implementing research proposals will also be covered including relevance of the study, materials and methods, and conclusions and basis statistical analyses. Students will be introduced to the various methods of evaluating research literature. The class will discuss special problems arising from the application of modern research methods on acupuncture and oriental medicine. A research paper or an evaluation of a TCM research report will be required to unify the student’s knowledge gained in the course.

Prerequisite:
MCT 100, TCM Foundations; MWM 310, Pathophysiology I; MWM 410, Pathophysiology II

Red Flags

MWM 715
2 Units 32 Hours

In this course students review signs and symptoms indicating severe or life threatening emergencies that warrant referral to a Western physician. Instruction includes appropriate assessments and interventions including lab and common diagnostic information. The course includes training in proper management of “red flags” and “yellow flags” and the proper procedures for making referrals to other physicians. The procedures for referral include determining whether the referral is to an ER or an outpatient clinic. In addition, the course reviews how to handle simple emergencies within the acupuncture clinic.

Prerequisite:
Completion of one of the following: MWM 610, Western Case Management I; MWM 710, Western Case Management II

Psychology and Counseling

MWM 720
2 Units 32 Hours

This course is designed to assist students in acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate and treat clients with mental disorders. The class introduces the psychotherapeutic diagnostic system (DSM IV-TR) and the vocabulary to empower practitioners to more effectively interact with western clinicians. The course covers suicide, psychosis, chemical dependency, depression, anxiety and the psychopharmacology used in western medicine. Emphasis is placed on developing solid boundaries, interviewing and communication skills, and setting up a safe and trusting environment. The course presents an introduction to western counseling skills and also addresses eastern influences on counseling. Various modalities of psychotherapy are presented.

Prerequisite:
Concurrent enrollment in MCL 400, Clinical Internship Rounds

Lab Analysis

MWM 815
1 Units 16 Hours

This course is an exploration of Western laboratory approaches to diagnosis. The class will review routine labs applicable to major body systems. Lab tests will be correlated with clinical diseases. The class will discuss lab methodology, normal values, variation in laboratory results as well as the limitations and power of lab findings.

Prerequisite:
Completion of one of the following: MWM 610, Western Case Management I; MWM 710, Western Case Management II

Medical Modalities

MWM 820
1 Units 16 Hours

Patients are best served when their practitioners are part of a wider network of information and support. This course introduces students to guest practitioners representing various medical philosophies, histories and medical professions in the healthcare community. Guest speakers will discuss their medical philosophy, educational background, scope of practice, type of diagnosis and services offered, and how they manage their practice. The professions represented may include a general practitioner (M.D.), surgeon, pharmacist, chiropractor, neurologist, podiatrist, osteopath, gynecologist, oncologist, public healthcare nurse, homeopath, naturopath, shaman, and ayurvedic practitioner.

Prerequisite:
None