More foreign health professionals are learning and practicing traditional Chinese medicine in China
Tim Vukan, one of the growing number of foreigners who study traditional Chinese medicine in China.
From theory to practice
Becoming a qualified TCM doctor requires years of hard training and effort, a feat made more difficult when one is a foreigner. “Chinese medicine is hard to understand. Every time I attend a class or lecture I need some time to get back to the way of how Chinese medicine looks at things,” said Vukan.
“For foreign students, ancient texts are very fascinating. We want to learn from them because we believe it’s best to learn from the roots and origins,” he said.
Among the texts he studied is Huangdi Neijing, or “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.” Seen as the fundamental doctrinal source for TCM for over two millennia, it is a must-learn for all TCM students. The ancient language of the classics is also challenging. Learning with the help of translators, who often do not have a medical background and cannot fully translate the ancient doctrines, is of little help.
Foreign TCM students need to achieve a high level of Chinese language proficiency, said Vukan. He has been learning Chinese since 2004.