Clinical Training

Clinical training is a critical component of every program at the Seattle Institute of East Asian Medicine. The founders of the school believe that effective clinicians are best trained through a combination of rigorous academic work placed firmly in the context of patient care. To achieve this goal, we have developed multiple clinical opportunities for our students. In each setting, students work with practitioners who have a minimum of ten years of clinical experience.

Through SIEAM's own teaching clinic and through external sites, students see a significant number of patients from a variety of backgrounds, ages, and medical complaints. Over the course of the clinical training, student interns develop into effective clinicians.


Acupuncture practice has varied throughout history and today, the methods of engagement are no less diverse. 

SIEAM’s faculty represents expertise in varied approaches to assessment and treatment. Students learn diverse methods of palpation assessment, acupuncture techniques, and other related interventions. Through classroom and clinical experiences with our experienced faculty, students create a rich“toolbox” of approaches to treatment. Having knowledge and clinical experience using these varied techniques means that our graduates are able to adjust techniques to the needs of the patients and address difficult-to-treat concerns with flexibility. The development of these skills may be one of the reasons why so many of our graduates remain in active clinical practice, year after year.  


The SIEAM curriculum places an emphasis on developing clinical skills in several styles of Asian bodywork, including Tui Na and Shiatsu.  During each trimester of the first year of the program, students receive classroom instruction while simultaneously participating in a Bodywork Internship in the SIEAM clinic.  This allows students to develop expertise in these areas and to gain valuable clinical exposure by immediately applying what they are learning to patient care under the supervision of an experienced faculty member.  


Students begin learning Chinese herbal medicine as soon as they enter our program. In the first year, all students are introduced to the study of Chinese herbs and formulas, Chinese medical classics and Chinese medical language. Students who choose to enter the MS.Ac.O.M./D.A.H.M. program will begin a more detailed and thorough instruction in in these topics during their second year.  Students participate in weekly clinical preceptorships with experienced herbalists on the SIEAM faculty and assist in the herbal dispensary preparing herbal formulations and learning how to manage an herbal pharmacy.

Unique to SIEAM’s curriculum is the completion of a three-year study of Chinese Medical Language & Classics. Students begin in the first year, developing basic vocabulary and reading short selections from the medical Classics. Starting in the second year of the program, students work with Chinese-language materials, classical and modern, to enhance their understanding of herbal medicine theory and its clinical application.  Accessing, translating and discussing information obtained from these texts provides the student with a rich understanding of diagnostic nuances and treatment strategies not commonly found in the English language literature.  


Qi Gong is a form of exercise that when practiced regularly can greatly enhance personal health and improve the efficacy of acupuncture and bodywork techniques.  Many of these same exercises can be taught to patients to be used as a method of physical rehabilitation and health improvement.  Qi Gong is an important component of East Asian medicine that is often not emphasized in modern training programs.  

The SIEAM curriculum is unique in that students participate in Qi Gong instruction and practice each week during all three years of the master’s programs.  As a result, students are exposed to a variety of sequences and approaches in order to cultivate a lifelong practice, enhance clinical efficacy and provide effective patient interventions for a wide range of conditions.  

Students completing the D.A.H.M. will have an opportunity to further develop all these skills in relation to a chosen topic relevant to their clinical practice interests.