Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has taken steps to make sure its acupuncture programs are more culturally responsive through the removal of the phrase “Oriental medicine” from its department and program titles.
The department, now named Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, began this work in early 2019 in alignment with similar discussions on the state and national level. Through parallel discernment, the Maryland Board of Acupuncture, the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM), and the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) have also taken steps to change their language and naming conventions.
MUIH has also received approval from the Maryland Higher Education Commission to similarly change the names of its master’s and doctoral programs in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. MUIH is among the more than one-fourth of all ACAOM-accredited programs to have made program name changes in compliance with ACAOM’s new program naming policy, first implemented in March 2020.
“Oneness is at the core of our profession. Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging are tenets that we are committed to embodying and are demonstrated by consciously naming our programs while aiming to reinforce these same principles and foundations within our curriculum,” said Dr. Sharon Jennings-Rojas, department chair of the Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Department. “We further emphasize the importance of inclusivity through community immersion where our students learn to deliver culturally competent compassionate care. This is our commitment to educating future healers and leaders within our healthcare industry. We must prepare practitioners to serve all people, in all environments, while being sensitive and culturally intelligent throughout health care delivery. So, it’s paramount that the names of our programs, how we represent ourselves and our medicine, are demonstrative of the same inclusive, diverse, and equitable tenets that are the foundation of oneness.”
“These changes represent the outcome of a deep and thoughtful reflective process by the acupuncture faculty and academic leadership team. They are a priority to the University and an important aspect of our academic diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives,” added Dr. Christina Sax, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs.
For more information, visit www.muih.edu.