In the absence of professional regulation, how can I be sure that my TCM practitioner is qualified?

TCM herbal medicine is prescribed based on the disease diagnosis and the accurate identification of patterns. Therefore, the effective and safe use of TCM herbs depends on the quality of the practitioner. In Canada, due to the lack of professional regulation and standardization of the practice outside B.C., it is the individual's responsibility to check the qualifications and credentials of their practitioner.

There are two well established and officially recognized organizations in North America where TCM practitioners must meet high educational requirements and pass strict examinations before becoming certified as a TCM Herbalist, Practitioner of TCM or Oriental Medicine, or a Doctor of TCM. You can find a qualified practitioner by searching for their names on the websites of these two organizations:

  • College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia (CTCMA, Canada) at http://www.ctcma.bc.ca/
  • National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM, USA) at http://www.nccaom.org/
Editor's note: In July, 2005, shortly after this interview was conducted, the Province of Ontario announced its intention to set up a regulatory system for Traditional Chinese Medicine.
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