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Why Five Branches?

As modern healthcare systems around the world evolve to include traditional and alternative modalities, TCM is found in increasingly diverse and mainstream care settings.  Doctoral Completion programs are an attractive, straightforward and enriching opportunity for practitioners who want to update their professional skills and degree.  In this transforming environment, we can respond to the call to action to effectively represent Chinese medicine, creating growth in the profession worldwide.

Five Branches created a Doctoral Completion program that builds a bridge between foundational TCM training and modern integrative TCM practice.  We took the logic and view of TCM as the basis for designing the curriculum and structure of the program.  To appeal to the diverse backgrounds of practitioners, we used the common ground of TCM and acupuncture practice to serve as the basis of an integrative medical framework.  We chose faculty who reflect this organization of principles in their own successful clinical practices and approach to teaching.  The Doctoral Completion program, referred to as the “Bridge Program”, reflects this efficacy and potency in novel environments, that arises from strong roots in TCM.

The Bridge Program at Five Branches was the first, fully asynchronous, Doctoral Completion program in the field of TCM.  Asynchronous online learning uses state of the art instructional design methods, where students access course materials and submit assignments in a learning management system.  Course materials can be accessed 24/7 and are delivered in modules, allowing students to get school work done around their busy schedules.  After years in development, the first cohort was accepted in 2019.  Today, the Bridge Program continues to evolve to meet the dynamic needs of students.

The Bridge Program attracts a diverse community of practitioners, many of whom have significant clinical experience and effectiveness.  To enhance learning opportunities for students, we have intentionally designed environments and activities that allow them to effectively learn from each other as well as their outstanding faculty, in collaborative online seminars.  

Nicholas Hancock
Bridge Program Director