Only four more weeks to go and I can barely believe
With graduation, comes what seems like never-ending tests. I
have previously spoken of comprehensive exams that must be taken as
an intern increases in clinic rank. Well, the Exit Exam is similar
but only for those that are graduating. The exam's purpose, I have
heard, is to make sure the graduates are fully competent and will
be able to pass the boards tests.
The comprehensive test is an accumulation of questions from
various instructors of the program. They often are old test
questions so they should be familiar to the student. The exam
includes sections of Biomed, Foundations, Points, Differential
Diagnosis, and Herbs for those in the herbal program. The comp test
usually includes a practical portion, but this portion is excluded
for those taking the Exit Exam. After taking the Biomed Board and
currently studying for the Herbal Board, I am not worried about
taking this exam; it should be a piece of cake. The comp exam does
require a pass rate of 70% to continue in the clinical portion of
the program. The instructors have chosen the 11th week to take the
exam so there is sufficient time to make up the exam for those who
need to retake it. The same applies for graduates taking the Exit
Another project I am working on is a uterine fibroid
case study for my Herbal Senior Seminar with Dr. Cai. This class
specifically focuses on OB/Gyn topics. This is very important since
at least 70% of our patients are females who may have some
gynecological complaint. Infertility, painful periods, no period,
or menopausal disorders are often seen. I have not had a patient
with uterine fibroids so this is a great opportunity to research
I will obtain a complete medical history from the patient and
then come up with a treatment plan and herbal formula for the
particular patient. On the day of class, I will bring the patient
in and we will have a grand round-like atmosphere. I will share the
case with the classmates and Dr. Cai. Then there is opportunity for
any other questions to be asked directly to the patient. After, we
will provide treatment to the patient. This type of class format is
great because instead of paper cases we can actually talk to the
patient, take pulse, and look at their tongue and observe their
constitution. Whatever your learning style, I think one will find
that the program accommodates all of them.
Hello and welcome back to my blog! I had two weeks off to relax,
of which I did little.
I am taking my first board exam, the biomedicine part, on
Wednesday. Much of the vacation I spent in coffee shops studying
all of the past course material. The biomedicine part is only
offered three-four times a year. Since this is a newer board, they
are still making changes to it, and it is a paper exam as opposed
to the other exams that are taken on the computer.
The test has 100 questions and has a range of topics that might
be included, such as CPR and HIPPA to blood chemistry, muscle
skeletal, or pharmacology. The time allotted is one hour and a half
to answer the 100 questions. From what I hear, I will be
fingerprinted and videotaped while taking the exam. Sounds a little
intimidating, but I am sure it will be fine.
The other exams have modified questions based on how you answer
the question. For instance, if you answer the question correctly,
the next question will be a little more challenging. If the
question was answered incorrectly, the next will be a little
easier. Once you finish the computerized exams, you will be told if
you have passed the exam. However, the biomed test results are
mailed to you in 4-8 weeks.
I am also using TCM tests to study online for the exam. This
website has many modules with thousands of questions to prepare you
for any of the board exams. They also have daily free questions
that can be sent to your email. If you are aspiring to a career in
acupuncture or just testing the waters, you should check out their
site. A good book that might also introduce you to TCM is The
Web That Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine by Ted
I would like to congratulate the recent graduates Ryan, Crystal,
Iris, and Linda. Good luck and much prosperity!
The dreaded comp exams are here. Well, for some they are not
dreaded because they don't really study for them, and others freak
out and study like a maniac. Me, I am in between. This weekend I
freshened up on some topics that I felt I could use some extra work
Comps last two days and kind of remind me of the chiro boards,
but not as intense. The first day is the written portion and the
second is the practical portion. We are told the tests are
pass/fail. The results are given to the student's clinicians in
clinic to determine how much supervision the student will need.
The written test is at least 100 questions and from experience
tests the student on point location, energetics, diagnosis,
accessory techniques (such as moxa, electric stimulation or
cupping), and biomed questions such as lab diagnosis, orthopedics,
rehab, and radiology.
For herb students, there are questions on individual herbs and
formulas. These tests are taken approximately three times during
your education and the last test is called the exit exam. The test
must be passed in order to graduate. It shouldn't be a problem for
students who have studied and passed all their classes. The
practical portion consists of three or four patient encounters.
Each patient has a different condition and a list of diagnostic
tests they must be performed. Outside the room, a S.O.A.P. note
must be written and questions answered based on history
I feel the tests do two things:
Everything is learned in bits and pieces regardless what
education you have, and it is the student's job to piece it
together and conclude how to best utilize it in practice.
Week seven has come and gone and now I am studying for midterms.
I am also working on my business plan which is due in a couple
weeks. Hopefully, Dr. Hodges our business professor is able to find
someone from the Acupuncture field to talk about the ups and downs
of going into business.
Speaking of business…On Wednesday, I helped my friend Jennifer
present at the Lenore Cox Foundation Group. The group was set up to
keep women and men informed on ways to keep the body young, healthy
and mobile. Jennifer and I gave a presentation of ways to stay
healthy in the fall and winter using food and qigong exercises.
We kept the presentation fun and interactive which kept the
group wanting more. The group of mostly women seemed very
appreciative to learn ways to combat the common cold, digestive
disorders and insomnia. This was a great way to experience
what it will be like when I start to market my practice and the
field of acupuncture. It was also a great way to fine-tune my
public speaking skills. The one thing I did learn was that I must
learn how to interpret the lingo of TCM. Words such as wind
heat or constitution have no significance to the public.
The school is also abuzz regarding the upcoming visit from the
NCCAOM accrediting team. National's AOM programs, since they
are new, have been working through the various steps toward full
accreditation. The accreditation team's visit will take place
on December 1-3, 2010.
Well enough talk, I have to get back to studying for my two herb
exams. The picture is of my Herbal Formula 2 class with Dr.
Gary Xie our instructor.
• Clinic Success
• Rainy Saturday
• Business Planning
• Bee Venom Therapy
• Kinesio Taping
• SACA Seminar
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