When starting a career in any field, it’s important to set yourself apart from the competition. Within complementary and alternative medicine, earning a degree in more than one health field can be especially advantageous, not just among future employers but your future patients.
Today, integrative medicine is becoming more popular among hospitals, private practices and, most importantly, patients. According to U.S. News and World Report, Americans are spending more health care dollars on various types of complementary and alternative medicine. Last year, The University of California in Irvine received its largest donation yet: $200 million for a new integrative health care facility on campus.
Together, two health care degrees can better prepare you for a future in this kind of holistic and comprehensive health care environment.
Here are several other advantages of earning a dual degree at National University of Health Sciences.
1. You will be able to offer multiple health care perspectives.
At National University, there are five different health care degrees to choose from: chiropractic medicine, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, oriental medicine and massage therapy. Each type of medicine offers unique perspectives on a patient’s health and can help make you a more well-rounded practitioner and diagnostician.
For example, while Western medicine diagnoses disease based on laboratory tests, scans and other tests in conventional medical science, Eastern medicine considers an individualized diagnosis of a patient’s Qi (or chi) or energy in relation to the whole person. To diagnose, Eastern practitioners will also test the pulse of both wrists and will look at the patient’s tongue, eyes, and overall color. By combining these fields, you can determine more comprehensively what ailments patients are suffering from and therefore be better able to prescribe treatment.
2. You can reach more patients and increase your earning potential.
A degree in two separate fields allows you to attract multiple types of patients giving you the chance to introduce them to new disciplines and a wider variety of treatment types. Patients interested in acupuncture may not necessarily be aware of naturopathic care, but with a dual degree, you are able to educate these patients about each field and how they might complement each other.
By offering more treatment modalities, you can increase both client base and your earning potential. It’s also much more convenient for patients. Rather than being referred elsewhere, they are able to receive their treatments all in one place.
3. You will be better prepared to work integratively with doctors in other fields.
When earning two degrees, it is important to study at a university that understands how multiple health care fields can work together for the benefit of patients. National University’s emphasis on integrative medicine makes the campus a perfect setting for earning degrees in multiple fields.
The on-campus Whole Health Center clinic allows students to work alongside other health care students and practitioners within chiropractic medicine, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, oriental medicine and massage therapy. The clinic also houses a MD practice giving students exposure to a wider variety of patients and conditions as well as experience working collaboratively with traditional allopathic physicians.
By understanding how each field treats patients, you can provide more treatment options to patients through referral. You will be better prepared to discuss diagnosis and treatment options with other doctors. You are also able to understand the kind of care a patient may have already received under a different doctor.
4. Earning a dual degree will save time and money.
National University is the only school in the United States that teaches integratively, in one college of professional studies, with shared classes and clinical experiences.
By earning both degrees at the same time, you can save both time and tuition money. As part of National University’s dual-degree program, completing courses in one degree allows you to have an advanced standing in the other degree. So, after successfully completing three trimesters in one field, you can immediately begin coursework in your second degree choice.
No matter what fields of medicine you choose, National University provides the tools you need to give you an edge in your future career. Because National University has several health sciences programs, we are constantly investing in expert faculty, many of whom hold degrees in multiple heath care fields themselves, along with state-of-the-art facilities.
Our facilities feature:
- Top of the line gross anatomy lab where Oriental medicine and acupuncture students learn Western anatomy and Eastern meridian theory through hands-on dissection of a human cadaver.
- Life-size 3-D interactive table called The Anatomage Table offers students, faculty, and clinicians access to an advanced digital visualization system to augment anatomy education.
- Large and well-stocked herbal dispensary where students learn how to correctly choose and prepare effective herbal prescriptions, granular preparations, etc.
- State-of-the-art Biochemistry lab where students learn Western and clinical lab diagnosis using the latest equipment and technology
- A comprehensive Learning Resource Center, one of the largest medical libraries in the area that houses a huge collection of books, print and electronic journals, e-books, bibliographic databases, and more.
At National University, you have access to the kind of education and training that will best prepare you for a career in the promising future of integrative medicine.
We invite you to learn more about these programs and other alternative medicine degrees by subscribing to our blog The Future of Integrative Health.