Western Medicine

Alan Wong, M.D.

Department Chair
Course TitleCodeUnitsHours
[Required Courses]
CPR/ First AidCFA0.58
Surface AnatomyFWM 100 230
General BiologyFWM 101 345
Anatomy & Physiology I & IIFWM 103|203 575
Patient RelationsFWM 200115
ChemistryFWM 202 345
Pathophysiology I & IIFWM 300|400 7105
PhysicsFWM 301 230
Lab Analysis & ImagingFWM 500 230
Western Physical Examination /LabFWM 510 345
Psychology and CounselingFWM 600 345
Diet, Nutrition and VitaminsFWM 610230
Research & Medical Literature ReviewFWM 700345
Western Case Management I, II, & IIIFWM 800|900|X10 9135
PharmacologyFWM 810345
Public Health and EpidemiologyFWM 910 230

CPR/ First Aid

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. 


Surface Anatomy

FWM 100
2 Units 30 Hours

This course provides an introduction to the study of human structure by presenting an integrated approach to the normal human body. Western anatomy and acupuncture energetic anatomy are bridged in this course that emphasizes musculoskeletal anatomy through lecture, palpation and movement. Major landmarks are described and are related to interior anatomical structures, emphasizing key acupuncture point location with physical assessment. Human skeletons, anatomical charts, models and full color digital images will be used for demonstration.
After completing this course, students will understand human structure at cell, tissue, organ, system and organism levels. Throughout knowledge of human structure will be a foundation for further study of physiology, patho-physiology, western medicine and acupuncture.


General Biology

FWM 101
3 Units 45 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.


Anatomy & Physiology I & II

FWM 103|203
5 Units 75 Hours

This two course series covers the human body structure (anatomy) and function (physiology) and their interrelationships. Human skeletons, anatomical charts, models and full color digital images will be used for demonstration. The course also touches upon some common human disease processes.
The first of this two-term sequence includes the study of structure and function of cells, tissues, as they apply to the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular and lymphatic/immune systems.

Prerequisites: Anatomy and Physiology I: Concurrent enrollment in Surface Anatomy.

The second course in the sequence covers the study of the nerve system, endocrine, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems.
After completing this course, students will understand human structure at cell, tissue, organ, system and organism levels. Knowledge of human structure & function is the foundation for further pathology, patho-physiology as well as acupuncture point location & function.

Anatomy and Physiology I: Concurrent enrollment in Surface Anatomy. | Anatomy and Physiology II: Completion or concurrent enrollment in Anatomy and Physiology I

Patient Relations

FWM 200
1 Units 15 Hours

The dramatic technological innovations of the past few decades have substantially altered the manner in which diseases are diagnosed and managed. In this era of modern-technologically based medicine, one of the primary principles of compassionate and patient centered care is often overshadowed by the results of imaging studies and laboratory tests. Quality medical care requires a combination of comprehensive scientific knowledge along with sophisticated communication skills.
This course aims to train students in the art of ‘treating the patient and not the disease’ by using effective communication strategies, namely proper interpersonal communication skills, listening skills and interviewing skills. Students will also learn how to incorporate the broader psychological and social context of the patient into an understanding of the patient’s overall health. In addition, students will learn through example case studies how to properly and professionally handle various clinical situations and difficult patients.
Upon completion of this course the student will be able to demonstrate effective interpersonal and professional communication skills with patients and other health care providers.
Upon completion of this course the student will be able to demonstrate effective interpersonal and professional communication skills with patients and other health care providers.
This course provides a structure for students to develop case reports and case presentations, as well as an opportunity to discuss clinical cases in groups. This course introduces clinical case review and management in a clinical setting, including history taking, data collection from subjective findings and objective findings, case assessment, treatment plan and treatment outcomes, analyzing data to modify patient care and continuity of care, follow-up care and clinical outcomes, prognosis and future medical care, referral and risk management, emergency procedures, as well as collaboration with other healthcare providers. Case analysis and presentation skills are emphasized.



FWM 202
3 Units 45 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.



Pathophysiology I & II

FWM 300|400
7 Units 105 Hours

Pathophysiology is the study of the mechanism of disease in humans from a western medical perspective. In this two-trimester 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.

FWM 100, Surface Anatomy; FWM 103/FWM 203, Anatomy & Physiology I & II


FWM 301
2 Units 30 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.


Lab Analysis & Imaging

FWM 500
2 Units 30 Hours

This course provides an introduction to the application, interpretation and limitations of biomedical laboratory diagnostic studies and medical imaging. The class reviews routine labs and radiographic techniques that apply to the major body systems and correlate 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. Laboratory findings are reviewed in the context of practice as a licensed acupuncturist.
Upon completion of this course, students should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of laboratory testing and medical imaging application.

FWM 300-400, Patho-physiology I & II

Western Physical Examination /Lab

FWM 510
3 Units 45 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.

FWM 300/FWM 400 Pathophysiology I & II

Psychology and Counseling

FWM 600
3 Units 45 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. 

Concurrent enrollment in FCL 400, Clinical Internship Rounds

Diet, Nutrition and Vitamins

FWM 610
2 Units 30 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.

FWM 202, Chemistry

Research & Medical Literature Review

FWM 700
3 Units 45 Hours

The amount of information available these days on-line can be overwhelming and sometimes contradictory or false. Acupuncturists must be versed in the up-to-date medical literature to inform their patients on the one hand, and to effectively communicate with other health care providers on the other.
This course will first introduce students to the fundamental principles of research and evidence based medicine, with emphasis on clinical trials. Then students will learn the techniques for assessing medical or research literature. Students will also learn how to use library and online research. Emphasis will be placed on critically analyze and evaluate medical research literature. Students will review a variety of published research studies in biomedical medicine as well as in the acupuncture and oriental medicine field, and will learn to compare their strengths and limitations. Students will conduct literature searches and develop bibliographies related to research topics. Upon completion of this course students will be able to read and critique medical literature. They will be able to keep up to date with new information appearing and become versed in methods to finding the latest medical information.

Completion of FWM 103/FWM 203, Anatomy & Physiology I & II. | Concurrent enrollment in FWM 300, Pathophysiology I

Western Case Management I, II, & III

FWM 800|900|X10
9 Units 135 Hours

This three-term course sequence is intended to help students bring together information from all prior Western medicine classes. Instruction includes appropriate assessments and interventions including laboratory testing and X-ray. Results of such testing will be discussed and analyzed in class. Courses also include recognizing severe or life threatening emergencies that warrant referral to a western physician. Proper management of serious conditions that fall under “red flags” and “yellow flags” will be reviewed. Appropriate procedures for making referrals to other interdisciplinary team members such as physicians, physical therapists, nutritionists, chiropractors, naturopaths and others will be presented.
The procedures for referral include determining whether the referral is to an ER or an outpatient clinic. Students will be required to derive a list of differential diagnosis, including assignment of ICD 9/10 codes. Particular emphasis will be placed on conditions commonly encountered in an acupuncture practice. Emphasis will also be placed on when to refer and how to treat patients in an integrative way with other health care providers. Students will be required to present one case study, with written analysis, as part of the course assignment.
This first course will concentrate on musculoskeletal, neurological, psychiatric and dermatological conditions.
The second course will attend to cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematological, gastrointestinal and autoimmune conditions.
The third and final course will focus on endocrinal, gynecological, and urological conditions.
Upon completion of these courses, students will have acquired the basic skills to assess cases from a biomedical perspective. Based on history, physical exam and lab findings, students will be able to arrive at a differential diagnosis, treat accordingly and know when to refer.

Completion of FWM 300/FWM 400, Pathophysiology I & II; FWM 700 Research & Medical Literature Review; and FWM 500, Lab Analysis and Imaging.


FWM 810
3 Units 45 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, including biochemistry. 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.

FWM 300/FWM 400 Pathophysiology I & II

Public Health and Epidemiology

FWM 910
2 Units 30 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.