Chinese Medicine Business Questions Answered

As part of the teaching in the Chinese medicine business course I teach at NCNM, I wanted to give perspectives other than my own.  It’s great when a teacher can bring in a guest speaker to deliver this fresh take on an issue.  Unfortunately, in most professions, the people who would likely have the most interesting information to share are often too busy to come speak to a group of students, no matter how eager.

So, I decided to try to do it another way.  I reached out to practitioners across the country, practicing in different ways, with different life experiences.  I asked them all the same set of questions.  There are lots of other questions I could ask, but I decided to ask the questions I most often hear from new practitioners.  I’m still accumulating responses, and they will be added as time goes on.

In fact, if you would like to add your answers to the mix, you can contact me using the contact form.  I will include most of the responses I receive, but I am trying to reflect a diversity of practitioners here – so if you think you can add in terms of life experience, region, practice style or something similar – do reach out!

The links below lead to a page of answers from each practitioner.  You can click on the practitioner name to go to the participating practitioner page, or if you would like to read up on everyone before you make your way through the questions, you can visit that page directly.

  1. What is the worst mistake you made in your first year after graduation?
  2. Do you believe that cultivating an online presence is important for the average Chinese medicine practitioner in the US?  Why or why not?
  3. Are you able to make a comfortable living using the skills, knowledge and experience you acquired during your education in Chinese medicine?  How long were you actively using your knowledge/degree before you were able to make a comfortable living?
  4. Do you take insurance in your current practice?  If so, approximately what percentage of your income does insurance represent?  If not, have you ever taken insurance as a Chinese medicine practitioner?
  5. What’s the most important thing for a new practitioner to remember when trying to make a living with their degree?
  6. Do you do something else than private practice that is still related to Chinese medicine?  What is it?  How long after graduation/education did you begin this activity?
  7. Have you managed to have your business practices align with your deepest social, moral and environmental values?  If so – how would you advise others do the same?  If not – why?
  8. Do you have an herbal pharmacy at your place of practice?  Do you believe that having one in one’s own practice is important?
  9. Any parting wisdom, reminders or stories to tell new practitioners of the medicine who hope to make a living doing this medicine that they love?