Requirements for Certification in Medical Acupuncture

Candidates for certification in medical acupuncture must meet minimum general requirements, education and training requirements, experience requirements and must successfully pass the Board examination in order to achieve certification.

Application for Board Certification

  1. Application for Board Certification, accompanied by required application and examination fees, may be submitted at any time an applicant feels he or she meets the General and Education Requirements for Board Certification.
  2. It is not required that the applicant has met the Clinical Experience Requirements at the time of submission of the Application for Board Certification. However, Board Certification will not be granted until all such requirements have been met to the satisfaction of the Board.
  3. Applicants for Certification must submit a Certification Processing fee of $750, which consists of a non-refundable $250 application fee, and a $500 examination fee. The portion of the Processing fee attributable to the examination shall be waived for those applicants who have successfully completed the examination process.
  4. The Board will conduct such review and evaluation as necessary to determine whether the applicant meets the requirements for Board Certification including the General Requirements, the Education Requirements, the Clinical Experience Requirements and the Examination Requirements.
  5. Applicants whose applications have been approved as to the General Requirements and the Education Requirements only are considered “board eligible”. Those applicants who have been determined to be “board eligible” may take the Board Examination. However, Board Certification will not be granted until all requirements have been met, including the Clinical Experience requirements.

General Requirements

  1. Graduation from an accredited allopathic or osteopathic medical school in the United States or Canada, or possession of Final Certification by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) if graduated from a medical school in some other country.
  2. Possession of a current, valid, unrestricted license to practice allopathic or osteopathic medicine in a state or jurisdiction of the United States or province of Canada.
  3. The ABMA has adopted a policy that explicitly establishes that there is no requirement that applicants be a member of any membership organization or professional society in order to be eligible to apply for or to receive certification.
  4. Must have a moral and ethical standing satisfactory to the Board and in conformity with the Statement of Standards of the American Board of Medical Acupuncture. Moral and ethical practices that do not conform to the Statement of Standards may result in rejection of an application, deferral of examination or certification, and/or revocation of certification until such matters have been resolved.

Acupuncture Education and Training Requirements

  1. Subsequent to graduation from medical school, the applicant must have satisfactorily completed a minimum of 300 hours of systematic acupuncture education acceptable to the ABMA. Such education shall include a formal course of study of not less than 200 hours in a program that meets the WFAS standards for such courses as determined by the ABMA.
  2. At least 100 hours of the minimum 300 hours of education shall have been clinical training acceptable to the ABMA.
  3. All training hours must be acupuncture-specific training.
  4. Applicants should review the current list of ABMA approved education programs.
  5. Applicants who have obtained training through means other than through an ABMA approved education course must have the Board review their program to determine acceptability in lieu of an approved course of study. Detailed information regarding the content and curriculum of the course, the faculty, and the teaching methodologies employed in addition to appropriate certificates documenting successful completion of said training must accompany the application. The Board, in its sole judgment, shall determine the acceptability of any such training, on a case-by-case basis.
  6. For applicants who obtained training from programs not previously approved by the ABMA, the Board may determine that an oral interview of the applicant is necessary, in order for the Board to determine the adequacy of training.

Examination Requirement

  1. Applicants who have submitted an Application for Certification documenting that the applicant has met the education requirement established by the ABMA will receive notice of eligibility to sit for the written Board examination.
  2. The written examination will be conducted in the Spring each year at the Annual Symposium and at such additional times during the year as may be determined by the ABMA.
  3. Applicants who have passed the Proficiency Examination offered by the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture prior to May 15, 2000, have met the examination process requirement of the ABMA.
  4. All applicants desiring to sit for the examination must meet the educational requirements as set forth above. Applications must be received not less than 30 days prior to the date of any examination offering to allow sufficient time for the Board to review and accept the application if the applicant intends to sit for that examination. All Applicants for Certification who have been accepted by the Board will receive notice of each examination offering.
  5. Applicants, whose acupuncture training was in a program not pre-approved by the ABMA, may be required to submit to an oral interview to determine the adequacy of training. Organizing, scheduling and completing the interview and evaluation following the interview may require more than 75 days and thus such applicants should plan accordingly in scheduling which examination to sit for.
  6. Applicants desiring to withdraw from an examination must submit a written request to withdraw not later than 30 days before the scheduled examination. A refund of $250, ($500 examination fee less a $250 administrative fee), will be provided for those who have provided the appropriate notice. No refund will be provided for withdrawals less than 30 days prior to the scheduled examination or for candidates who fail to appear for the examination.
  7. Applicants shall have two years from the time of notification of eligibility to take the examination. Failure to take the examination within the two-year period will result in loss of exam eligibility and forfeiture of all fees paid. Applicants will need to submit an up dated application, with all appropriate fees in effect at that time, to reapply for eligibility to take the examination.
  8. Individuals who fail an examination may apply for admissibility for re-examination during any subsequent examination period. Fees for re-examination are $500.

Acupuncture Experience Requirement

  1. Applicants for certification must submit an affidavit attesting that the applicant has had a minimum of two years of medical acupuncture clinical experience subsequent to the completion of the basic 200 hour medical acupuncture training and an acupuncture case history of not less than 500 medical acupuncture treatments.
  2. Applicants should exercise care in completing and submitting the affidavit. Submission of a false or inaccurate affidavit may be cause for the Board to suspend the applicant’s application for a period of up to one year. An affidavit submitted before two years of clinical experience has been achieved subsequent to completion of the basic training program is a false affidavit. The Board reserves the right to require documentation sufficient to verify the applicant has provided the minimum medical acupuncture treatments.
  3. Acupuncture practice should involve more than one of the following acupuncture paradigms, including but not limited to energetic acupuncture, neuroanatomic acupuncture, 5 Elements, TCM, Auricular, Scalp, Hand, etc.
  4. Applicants for certification must provide confidential letters of reference from three physicians pertaining to the applicant’s character, professionalism, and standards of clinical practice.
  5. No decision regarding the applicant’s certification will be made until the physicians from whom references have been requested have replied. It is the applicant’s responsibility to secure the letters of reference. All information submitted to the Board by a physician from whom a reference has been requested will remain confidential and will not be disclosed to the applicant without the permission of said physician.