Arthur Yin Fan1,2, Sarah Faggert1
1. McLean Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, PLC., Vienna, VA 22182, USA 2. American Traditional Chinese Medicine Association, Vienna, VA 22182, USA
ABSTRACT In recent decades, acupuncture has been used more widely and extensively in the United States (U.S.). However, there have been no national surveys or analyzes reported in academic journals on the number of practicing or licensed acupuncturists. This study was conducted to identify the approximate number of licensed acupuncturists active in 2015. The Board of Acupuncture or Board of Medicine in each state or U.S. territory was contacted to collect data. Online license information searching was also performed in order to get accurate numbers of licensed acupuncturists for those states in which a board was unable to be contacted. The study found that the number of licensed acupuncturists in 2015 in the U.S. was 34 481. Of this, more than 50% were licensed in three states alone: California (32.39%), New York (11.89%) and Florida (7.06%). The number of licensed acupuncturists increased 23.30%, and 52.09%, compared to the year 2009 (n = 27 965) and 2004 (n = 22 671), respectively; increasing about 1 266 per year. There were 62 and 10 accredited acupuncture institutions providing master’s and doctoral degrees, respectively. The West Coast comprised 51.39% of degree granting programs, while the East Coast comprised 29.17%; together the coastal states housed more than 80% of all programs, with the remainder sprinkled across the southern (9.72%), northern (8.33%), and the middle/central states (1.39%). Forty-four states and the District of Columbia regulated acupuncture practice by law at the time of data collection. Acupuncture continues to be a quickly growing profession in the U.S.
Keywords: acupuncturist; acupuncture educational institution; acupuncture regulation; oriental medicine; United States