Ancient Remedies for Modern Lives

12 Reasons DAOM Programs Will Benefit Your Acupuncture Practice

By +LisaRocchetti, Director of Admissions & Marketing at Emperor’s College

There are 3 questions that run through the minds of most acupuncturists.

1) Am I doing right by my patients?

2) How can I increase my referral network?

3) What’s the deal with DAOM programs?

What’s the answer to all this questioning? One might be to get your DAOM degree.

DAOM programs (DAOM = Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) are designed to help both new and veteran acupuncturists accelerate their careers, fine tune their clinical skills and add to the body of research in Oriental medicine.

DAOM programs help the eager and passionate achieve the career success they are seeking.


Most acupuncturists I speak with want hard evidence on what DAOM programs will get them. As much as I tell them that the DAOM program at Emperor’s College will set them apart from their peers with the well-deserved title of “doctor”, earn them a dual-specialization in Internal & Physical Medicine, provide advanced clinical skills that accelerate the effectiveness of their treatments, and increase their professional confidence which builds rapport and collaboration with other medical providers, nothing is more powerful than testimonials from fellow acupuncturists.


Here are 12 reasons DAOM programs have benefited the careers of other acupuncturists & can benefit yours, too.


Reason #1

“People expect their acupuncturists to be doctors. In a competitive marketplace it’s important to separate yourself.  Getting your DAOM is just one way.” -Brad Whisnant, DAOM, LAc, class of 2011

Brad Whisnan

Brad Whisnant (left), DAOM, LAc, class of 2011

In addition to running a tremendously successful practice in St. Helen’s Oregon, Pinpoint Acupuncture Clinic, Dr. Whisnant, DAOM, LAc, dedicates his free time to his non-profit organization Acupuncture Volunteer. Through Acupuncture Volunteer, Whisnant travels internationally to provide medical care to underserved populations. In a recent trip to Vietnam, Dr. Whisnant treated over 150 patients per day as a solo clinician.

Reason #2

“I knew I wanted to be more than ‘just an acupuncturist’ but my heart wasn’t into the idea of medical school. I am pursuing my doctorate because I feel it’s important to advance our profession and I wouldn’t be satisfied leaving that up to someone else. The DAOM program is my residency; it allows me to refine my skills as a practitioner, educator and doctor.” -Chris Ruth, LAc, DAOM student

Chris Ruth, DAOM

Chris Ruth, DAOM

Chris Ruth, LAc, completed his master’s degree in Oriental medicine in 2011 and began his doctoral studies less than 2 years later. Active in the home healthcare movement and a national member of the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Ruth is also a passionate advocate for the integration of Eastern and Western medicine. He fulfills this mission by serving as a clinical teaching assistant at several acupuncture schools and leading CPR and First Aid courses for the medical community.

Reason #3

“The DAOM title increased my stature in the eyes of not only the medical community but also with patients, both current and prospective. Most new patients who come to my practice have investigated a few other practitioners and have selected me because of my credentials.” -Mary Snyder, DAOM, LAc, class of 2009

Mary Snyder

Mary Snyder, DAOM, LAc, class of 2009

Dr. Mary Snyder, DAOM, LAc, has been practicing acupuncture and Oriental medicine in Santa Barbara and Orange County since 2002; she began her doctoral education in 2006. Along with managing two busy practices, Dr. Snyder is also an adjunct professor at Cerritos Community College teaching medical terminology classes.

Reason #4

“Being able to earn a specialty in an area of medicine was important to me. It has allowed me, as a doctor, to concentrate my practice on confidently and effectively treating patients who suffer from pain.” -Brendan Armm, DAOM, LAc, class of 2008

Brendan Armm

Brendan Armm, DAOM, LAc, class of 2008

Brendan Armm, DAOM, LAc, was among the first fifty Oriental medicine practitioners in the United States to have completed a clinical doctorate in Oriental medicine. Being from a medical family, Dr. Armm’s interest in compassionate medicine began at an early age and continues to fuel his work in clinical medicine to this day. Dr. Armm is the founder and medical director of Lotus East-West Medical Center, a successful integrative medical clinic in Santa Monica, CA.

Reason #5

“The clinical mentorship I received in the DAOM program has given me an extra boost of confidence.  It is an incredible feeling to walk into a treatment room with the experience and wisdom of my clinical mentors at my side.” -Thorunn Gudmundsdottir, LAc, DAOM student

Thorunn Gudmundsdottir

Thorunn Gudmundsdottir, LAc, DAOM student

Thorunn Gudmundsdottir, LAc, completed her master’s degree in acupuncture and Oriental medicine in California in 2002 before returning to her home country of Iceland where she maintained a private practice for eight years. While temporarily living in Los Angeles for her doctoral studies, she is relishing in the camaraderie and professional networking Emperor’s College provides.

Reason #6

“While a master’s degree in Oriental medicine is sufficient to practice, pursuing a doctorate degree has enabled me to deepen my knowledge and become an even better practitioner.” -Cherrie Laygo, DAOM, LAc, class of 2011

Cherrie Laygo

Cherrie Laygo, DAOM, LAc, class of 2011

Dr. Cherrie Laygo, DAOM, LAc, received her master’s degree in Oriental medicine in 2007 and began her doctorate degree in 2009. In her private practice she unites the best of Eastern and Western medicine, focusing on corrective and preventative care for a variety of conditions including musculoskeletal disorders, pain management, orthopedics, anxiety, digestive disorders and women’s health.

Reason #7

“I really appreciated that the doctoral program put an emphasis on networking and referrals. Building solid relationships with the allopathic world is key to integrative medicine thriving and the doctoral degree equipped me with the skills and knowledge to forge ahead.” -Asha Randall, DAOM, LAc, class of 2008

Asha Randall

Asha Randall, DAOM, LAc, class of 2008

Dr. Asha Randall, DAOM, LAc, recognized the value of a doctorate in acupuncture and Oriental medicine early on and was amongst one of the first doctoral fellows at Emperor’s College. She is the founding director of Malibu Healing Center and is an avid attendee of medical conferences, including a recent symposium at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas that reaffirmed her optimism about the future of integrated Oriental medicine.

Reason #8

“I have met an incredible group of people whom I now consider my professional family. Nothing beats collaborating with like-minded acupuncturists who help each other grow, learn and expand.” -Priya Advani, LAc, DAOM student

Priya Advani

Priya Advani, LAc, DAOM student

Priya Advani, LAc, graduated with her master’s degree in Oriental medicine in 2007 and began her doctorate in acupuncture and Oriental medicine in 2013. She is a featured acupuncturist in Suzanne Somer’s book, Knockout: Interviews with Doctors Who are Curing Cancer, a regular contributor to Huffington Post Wellness, and maintains private practices in Santa Monica and Long Beach, CA

Reason #9

“Pursuing my DAOM degree has allowed me to integrate my 6 years of clinical experience with practical classroom knowledge. It’s very exciting to learn new acupuncture techniques and herbal applications that I can utilize in my office the next day.” -Geoff Thomas, LAc, DAOM student

Geoff Thomas

Geoff Thomas, LAc, DAOM student

After earning his master’s degree in traditional Chinese medicine in 2007, Geoff Thomas, LAc, completed post-graduate studies at Chengdu University Hospital in Chengdu, China. In early 2013, Geoff began the doctoral program at Emperor’s College while at the same time opening Tripoint Holistic Therapy where he serves as owner and founding medical director. Geoff sees 40-60 patients a week and attributes part of his success to the respect he has gained from his patients because he is pursuing his doctorate degree.

Reason #10

“Although I’ve had a dynamic clinical practice in Oriental medicine for nearly two decades, I choose to pursue the DAOM program in order to fine tune my diagnostic skills and help form the new wave of innovation in Oriental Medicine.” -Raman Basha, LAc, DAOM student

Basha Raman

Basha Raman, LAc, DAOM student

Raman Basha, LAc, entered the field of Oriental medicine in 1992 and after nearly 20 years of successful clinical practice, numerous media appearances, and international speaking invitations, Basha conducted an extensive search of DAOM programs that suited his professional goals. He is a true believer that it is never too early or too late for an acupuncturist to begin their DAOM degree.

Reason #11

“Before the DAOM program I did not have the confidence to market my own practice, much less promote our medicine to the greater public. I can now hold my own in interviews, speak confidently with other healthcare providers, and educate the world about acupuncture and Oriental medicine.” -Gretchen Badami, LAc, DAOM student

Gretchen Badami

Gretchen Badami, LAc, DAOM student

Gretchen Badami, LAc, entered the DAOM program immediately after earning her master’s degree in acupuncture and Oriental medicine in 2011. As a newly licensed acupuncturist, she feels she has benefited tremendously from the years of experience of her cohort members and has gained a valuable professional network.

Reason #12

“Having my doctorate in acupuncture and Oriental medicine (DAOM) will put me in the one percent of licensed acupuncturists that have the title “Doctor”. As a new acupuncturist, setting myself apart is already proving to make a big difference!” -Kara MoraMarco, LAc, DAOM student

Kara MoraMarco

Kara MoraMarco, LAc, DAOM student

Kara MoraMarco, LAc, is a second generation acupuncturist and has always strived for greatness. As a teenager, Kara was a world-class figure skater training with many notable Olympic athletes. After completing her bachelor’s degree in exercise science, Kara immediately began her graduate studies in Oriental medicine at Emperor’s College and then transitioned straight into the doctorate of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

Ready to offer more to your patients and accelerate your acupuncture practice?