A master degree program in alternative medicine will train you in specific holistic treatments as well as administrative issues related to practicing complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM). Programs range from general degrees to specific disciplines.
A general program in alternative medicine may cover a variety of areas such as acupuncture, massage,... herbs and supplements, and mind-body approaches. They can be very rigorous and cover many aspects you would learn in majors related to Western healthcare. In fact, Master degree programs in CAM are increasingly being offered at traditional and prestigious colleges and universities. These programs strive to teach you to understand the safety and efficacy of alternative medicine and to consider these techniques in relation to mainstream or Western medicine.
Students enrolled in these programs often include those previously trained for professions such as nursing or pharmacy; if you're currently working in the health industry, you might want to enroll in a master-level program as a way to gain expertise in the field of alternative medicine. You might also consider earning a master degree in this area if you are considering establishing a private practice or want to go into research, education, or the regulation of alternative medicine.
Within the discipline of alternative medicine, you may also enroll in a specialty master degree program such as acupuncture, naturopathic medicine or midwifery. When required for your practice, coursework should qualify you to become licensed and/or certified in these specialty areas when you complete the master program.
For a degree in acupuncture, you will study the history and philosophy of Oriental medicine and will receive extensive training in the areas of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, scientific research, and western clinical medicine. Since many graduates plan to set up their own private practice, the curriculum may also include topics such as effective practice management.
If you are looking to pursue a master degree in neuropathy, you should prepare for a rigorous mix of courses that integrate core medical sciences, clinical observation, and naturopathic philosophy. After graduation, you can work as a naturopathic doctor or can continue on in a more advanced degree programs.
As a midwife student, you'll prepare for a career in private practice. You may also become affiliated with a hospital or other medical organization. Courses should provide in-depth training in epidemiology, nutrition, genetics, and counseling. Your training will likely include clinic work where you interact with patients.
To be accepted to most alternative medicine master programs, you will need to have a bachelor degree and should have completed undergraduate level courses in biology, chemistry, math, and physics.