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The Vancouver Sun, Saturday, May 28, 2005

Vancouver to host first TCM exams in North America
About 50 candidates will sit licensing exams in traditional Chinese medicine this weekend

By Jenny Lee

Vancouver The city is holding the first doctor of traditional Chinese medicine licensing exams in North America this weekend, regulators said Friday.

“We’re the only jurisdiction that recognizes a doctor of TCM licence in North America…we could be only one outside of Asia,” Mason Loh, chair of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of B.C. said in an interview.

“We really anticipate that Western medical professionals, not just physicians and surgeons, but other people in the medical field will have a higher degree of confidence in dealing with TCM professionals that have this TCM status,” college registrar Stan Nicol said in an interview.

“They can see what our core competency covers, see our exam design, and feel pretty confident that people who pass this exam are extremely well qualified.”

TCM practitioners have four years of professional training and a restricted scope of practice, while doctors of TCM have five years of training and no restrictions. If a TCM practitioner’s patient does not improve after a specified period of treatment, practitioners are obliged to refer the patient to another health professional such as a doctor of TCM or a Western physician.

The college grandfathered 260 TCM doctors since its inception in 2001, but candidates must now pass the exam. All 50 candidates sitting the exam today are qualified TCM practitioners. Half of them trained in North America, and half in China, Nicol said.

The $1,200 exam, which has a 300-question written component plus a full-day clinical component, can be taken in English, traditional Chinese or simplified modern Chinese.