“I get the feeling that the faculty have been pulling for me since before they knew me.”
What drew you to MUIH?
In 2008, I first looked at and visited MUIH while searching for a school where I could study herbal medicine. The institution is well known in herbalist circles as having the premier master’s program in the country. At the time I was living overseas, and the Master of Science in Therapeutic Herbalism was not yet online. By the time we relocated to the area in 2014, I had studied herbal medicine elsewhere, and caught the bug to learn acupuncture. Fortunately, MUIH is also well known as one of the premier acupuncture teaching institutions in the country, so my choice was clear.
What excites you about your academic field of study?
The thing that excites me about studying Chinese medicine is that I will never master this craft or this field of knowledge in my lifetime. It will be endlessly knowable for as long as I care to study. There will always be something new and interesting to discover. This career field also draws a lot of really interesting people.
Has there been a course you’ve particularly enjoyed?
I am particularly enjoying the small group class I have this trimester. As a group of six students, with the guidance of our instructor, we are treating a patient with acupuncture each Friday. Conducting the process of assessment and selection of points with our instructor is the finest instruction possible, and watching the effects of the treatments unfold over time has been indescribable.
Can you speak about the faculty here?
Some of our elder faculty members are among the first generation of Americans to learn acupuncture. The nice thing always present in the background here is that the faculty members are all members of the profession I’m trying to enter. Every one of them has drunk from the same fire hose at one time or another. This tempers the pain that might accompany the attempt to internalize the huge volume of knowledge necessary to become an acupuncturist. I get the feeling they’ve been pulling for me since before they knew me.
What is your best MUIH memory?
Recently, I passed the big acupuncture point location final exam. After a year and a half of study I have learned enough so that I can begin to understand and participate in the conversation that happens in an acupuncture treatment room.
How do you plan to use what you’ve learned here?
I plan to enter clinical practice. I’m a U.S. Army veteran, and I hope to help my fellow service members with the myriad pains and difficulties that accompany military service.
What would you say about MUIH to a prospective student who is interested in attending?
It’s not just anyone who shows up at the doors of MUIH looking to enter as a student. There are easier alternatives to make a living. To me this means those looking to become students at MUIH are in some measure doing so in answer to a call to serve. If that describes you, I would suggest it’s no accident you’re here, and you’ve come to a good place. You know what’s right for you, so take a good look and make a decision. Everyone you will encounter has been pulling for you since before they met you, and everyone is hoping you will ask questions. Don’t be shy.
What is the one word that comes to mind when you think of MUIH?
Kevin McNeeley is a student in the Master of Oriental Medicine program.