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President’s Message

  • Why Five Branches?

When you study Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) you are choosing to become immersed in a rich healing tradition passed down for generations in Asia. You will learn the great TCM classics and their clinical applications to become an expert acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist. 

The study of this precious body of knowledge provides a deep understanding of the energy body, and the ancient, profound and useful principles of TCM diagnosis and treatment. In addition, our Western medical curriculum provides you with the knowledge and skills to perform as an effective primary healthcare practitioner, working in harmony with the wider medical profession. 

TCM and Western medicine differ profoundly, yet for more than 80 years they have been offered side-by-side in Chinese hospitals and universities. This practice of “integrative medicine” is now widely accepted in the U.S.  Western medical schools are offering courses in complementary and alternative medicine, while a recent survey indicates that more than 50% of M.D.s today support their patients seeking alternative therapies. More recently, Five Branches students are completing hospital residencies at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland.

The U.S. National Institute of Health has recognized acupuncture as a valid, effective method of healing, and the Bureau of Labor has categorized the Acupuncture profession in the category of “Bright Future” with a growth rate of over 20% per year. With hospitals such as Kaiser and Sutter adding acupuncture to their integrative medicine departments, insurance providers including acupuncture coverage in many states in the U.S., and regulations requiring hospitals to use non-pharmacological methods to treat pain — the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine is growing.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM), the leading think tank for defining healthcare for the 21st century, has made patient-centered care and multidisciplinary medicine their top two priorities. Five Branches graduate and postgraduate TCM programs, embody both of these important goals. 

We believe that Traditional Chinese Medicine will continue to play a growing and central role in the development of future healthcare systems. Our goal is to serve, and we are devoted to the transmission of this profound body of knowledge to the next generation of sincere and dedicated students, and future practitioners.

Ron Zaidman, 

President & CEO