Regional Influences on Chinese Medicine Education: Comparing Australia and Hong Kong

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2016, 2016
Issue Date:
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© 2016 Caragh Brosnan et al. High quality education programs are essential for preparing the next generation of Chinese medicine (CM) practitioners. Currently, training in CM occurs within differing health and education policy contexts. There has been little analysis of the factors influencing the form and status of CM education in different regions. Such a task is important for understanding how CM is evolving internationally and predicting future workforce characteristics. This paper compares the status of CM education in Australia and Hong Kong across a range of dimensions: historical and current positions in the national higher education system, regulatory context and relationship to the health system, and public and professional legitimacy. The analysis highlights the different ways in which CM education is developing in these settings, with Hong Kong providing somewhat greater access to clinical training opportunities for CM students. However, common trends and challenges shape CM education in both regions, including marginalisation from mainstream health professions, a small but established presence in universities, and an emphasis on biomedical research. Three factors stand out as significant for the evolution of CM education in Australia and Hong Kong and may have international implications: continuing biomedical dominance, increased competition between universities, and strengthened links with mainland China.
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