I am in my first year of the masters program at AIMC Berkeley and I am genuinely loving it so far. I had done a lot of research (mostly of California schools) before deciding to go to AIMC--I'm really glad I ended up going with my intuition. I think a lot of programs are strong academically, but another important aspect to consider is the culture of the school. If the school is not a good cultural fit for you, it will make your experience that much more stressful (and just getting through this type of masters program is already rigorous enough!). In my experience, AIMC Berkeley's faculty and program are excellent and the school has a very community oriented and collaborative culture. Generally, I find the students to be open-minded and supportive of each other through this journey (rather than cut-throat and competitive); and the leadership really fosters this healthy mentality. I've found the school administration to be committed to transparency and to serving the students as best as they can, though it's true there had been some glitches previously due to administrative change and turnover in prior years (this probably explains some of the negative reviews in the past). The good news is AIMC Berkeley has an amazing new President and leadership team with a lot of positive energy and savvy, and they are taking the school to the next level. The quality of education and how the school/clinic are run are constantly improving, and it's a really good time to be starting the program as the school takes on more forward-thinking approaches. Other highlights of AIMC Berkeley's program worth mentioning include opportunities to learn Japanese style acupuncture (which is more gentle yet powerful!) and an added emphasis on integrative medicine, which I think is extremely important in addition to having a strong traditional Chinese medicine foundation, given that as practitioners we'll often be working in collaborative settings and with patients who also visit Western MD's. My best advice is to talk to students and try to visit the schools during your research process so that you can get a better sense of the culture and where the school's priorities are. One last thing-- there is no cooler place on the planet to be a student than in Berkeley, California! :) Best of luck with your search.
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