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China encourages master-apprentice system in TCM education

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China plans to combine the master-apprentice system with college education to train more practitioners in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), according to a guideline issued by the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

With a history of more than 2,000 years, TCM has unique theories and practices in herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage and dietetics. The master-apprentice system is part of the tradition of TCM.

The Law on Traditional Chinese Medicine went into effect on July 1, 2017, calling for TCM doctors and practioners to take on apprentices to pass on both theoretical and practical knowledge.

China has over 4,200 TCM hospitals, with close to 900,000 beds.

There were 482,000 TCM practitioners in China in 2017, according to data from the administration.

About 17.5 percent of all patients in China were treated with TCM.

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