Being an herbal student in clinic, I think it is important to
choose a shift with a clinician familiar with herbs. We have two
professors who teach herbs (Dr. Hui Yan Cai) and formulas/patent
formulas (Dr. Guang Xie) and are also clinicians. Currently, I am
on each of their shifts. Both professors have different expertise
to learn from. I have finished my three herb classes with Dr. Cai
and will begin formulas and patent formulas next tri.
If you are deciding between the MSAc and MSOM program, I would
suggest MSOM, because Chinese herbs are an integral part of the
medicine. Many times herbs are used in conjunction to strengthen
the acupuncture treatment. They can also be used if the patient is
Dr. Cai is well known in the Chinese medicine field. NUHS is
blessed to have her as a professor. Dr. Cai is an MD from China
specializing in OB/Gyn and pediatrics. In China, she worked in a
hospital performing everything from surgeries to births. Many of
the hospitals in China are integrated and doctors use acupuncture,
herbs and traditional medicine together.
Dr. Cai knows herbs like the back of her hand. She is also well
read on drug-herb interactions. She shares these interactions with
her Herbs students in her class notes. This knowledge is imperative
when many patients in the clinic are taking modern drugs. Many
infertility patients come to the NUHS clinic because of Dr. Cai's
expertise. We as students are exposed to these cases and she guides
us in asking questions and preparing a diagnosis as well as
choosing the proper herbal formulas for the patient.
Dr. Cai prefers using "raw herbal formulas" because they can be
individualized for each patient unlike the prepared formulas.
Raw herbs are cooked into a tea and therefore are easily absorbed
into the blood stream and have the fastest effect compared to
tinctures or pills also offered at the clinic.
Tip: As a student, it is important to be exposed to different
clinicians because they each have a different specialty or
technique that can only be learned in clinic.