We are a vibrant, small school in one of the most beautiful places in the world: Tucson, Arizona. We are located in the Sonoran desert near the remarkable Rillito River whose dry bed is a definite stimulus to the imagination for 10 months of the year. There are mountains on four sides: the Catalinas are close at hand to the north; we look south to the Santa Ritas; the sun rises over the Rincons; in the evenings we are in the shadows of the Tucsons. These mountains are a never-ending source of wonder and delight.The desert attracts many winter visitors: some pass through, others stay to enjoy the temperate weather. Some are on the ground, and some in the air. Notably, the San Pedro River area to the southeast is one of the great migratory bird flyways of North America, attracting people from far parts of the world to listen and watch. The locals, living here as they do the year around, say they prefer the dry heat of early summer and the skies of the monsoons, and so they stay.I came here from Florida, fell in love with the desert and the mountains, went back to close down my affairs, and returned to stay. When I go somewhere else, I’m in a hurry to come back.We were the first school of Chinese medicine in Arizona before there was a licensing law. It was a risk. The local acupuncturists were more or less hiding out, laying low, working very quietly or under other peoples’ licenses. Some were afraid that by starting a school, we would attract unfavorable attention. Nevertheless, a handful of first-rate practitioners stepped up and went to work. Eventually they became skilled teachers. Many of them are still with us. After three years in candidacy, in November 2003 we were accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), the only national accreditation commission in our field. Accreditation was renewed for five years in February 2007. In 2012 we were accredited for another five years. By virtue of accreditation, our graduates are eligible to take the national acupuncture boards and be licensed in Arizona and many other states. Our students are eligible for Federal grants and loans.Why should you come to our school? Maybe you shouldn’t. I say, “Go where your heart leads you.” But if you’re drawn to us, here are a few reasons:
- We cover essentially the same core curriculum as other ACAOM schools, so you have a solid grounding in the basics and are prepared for the national boards.
- You start in clinic right away by watching your teachers treat patients. At the beginning of the second year, you start treating your own patients in clinic under supervision. So from the first week everything you do prepares you to practice medicine.
- When it comes to training practitioners, our faculty compares well with other accredited schools in this country. Our teachers are competent, committed, and share what they know with their students. They don’t hold back.
- Finally, being small is an advantage: you get more of the teacher’s attention and there is more dialog; one simply learns better in a small group than a lecture hall.
I applaud your interest in Chinese medicine; you are foresightful. Chinese medicine is, I believe, the ancient medicine of the future. I respect your willingness to look beyond your culture in search of truth, and your courage in reaching beyond the conventional medical paradigm. I think you must be a person who wants to be an effective healer. If so, you are on the right path, because Chinese medicine works. Perhaps you will learn to work it with us.
David Epley, Ph.D., L.Ac., Founder
Revision Date: March 24, 2012