This week marked an historic ceremony, with acupuncture and oriental medicine students each receiving a caduceus pin for their white coat. The caduceus is a traditional symbol for the healing professions, and dates back to the time of Hippocrates.
While the university has held pinning ceremonies in the past for DC and ND students (which are now combined with the current White Coat Ceremony scheduled each trimester), the Thursday, October 20th ceremony marks the first such event specifically for MSOM and MSAc students. President James Winterstein personally presented each AOM student with their pin, with the assistance of Vice President for Administrative Services, Ms. Tracy McHugh.
In addition to the recitation of the NUHS Student Oath, the ceremony included words from Assistant Dean for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Dr. Frank Yurasek, as well as an address from Dr. Winterstein.
Both gentlemen pointed to the historic role played by National University in acupuncture education in the United States. Dr. Winterstien recounted how four years prior to President Nixon’s trip to China, two chiropractic physicians who had traveled to China wrote a book on acupressure. In 1970 National’s former president, Dr. Joseph Janse, had dispatched a group to China to study acupuncture. Upon the group’s return, National conducted two clinical studies on acupuncture from 1970 to 1972. In 1972, National successfully petitioned the State of Illinois to allow it to teach courses in acupuncture. National was the first educational institution in Illinois, and in the United States, to receive such authorization.
With the opening of its MSAc and MSOM programs in 2006, National University has brought those initial efforts to their full fruition. “Acupuncture and oriental medicine have earned their prominent place in integrative medicine, and we are proud of our faculty and students in these fields for their professionalism and dedication,” says President Winterstein.