Below are some of the TCM education programs previously organized by Dr. Mark in China.

Practical Course on Chinese Herb Recognition

This course was run 7 seven times between 2011 and 2016. It was organized for student-practitioners from Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) and covered 20 hours of CEUs over the span of 4 days.

The Practical Course on Chinese Herb Recognition was run once a year between 2011 and 2016. This TCM education program mainly involved student-practitioners from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, and covered 20 hours of CEUs over the span of 4 days.

The course brings participants to the largest Chinese herbal market in the world, and is designed to deepen your familiarity with Chinese herbal medicine.

Many students of Chinese medicine learn the names of herbs and how these herbs work, but have not seen it before. Others might have seen the herb, but are not sure whether it is a root, stem, bark or how it has been processed. And there is of the course cultural experience of being in China.

Many herbs arrive to our clinic pharmacy already cut or powdered and packed so we wouldn’t recognize the herb in its whole form. We would never distinguish a good quality herb from an inferior one, and certainly will not recognize the herb if it is growing in our backyard!

The Practical Course on Chinese Herb Recognition includes:

  1. Daily visits to the biggest Chinese herb market in China, an enhanced learning from seeing, smelling and touching real whole herbs.
  2. A visit to an herb farm and see how farmer here in China live and how they manage their crops.
  3. Familiarization trip to a local factory to learn how herbs are processed here.
  4. Ongoing reviews, using a booklet we have created, to helps us differentiate herbs that look similar.
  5. An overall experience that aids all participants in understanding the possible origin of herbs in their countries, from planting in the farm to its sale in the markets to processing in the factory to its final packed form.
  6. With this course, participants end up having a much better understanding of Chinese herbal medicine.

We will see many classes of herbs first-hand, including:

  • a host of minerals and stones that most TCM students have not yet seen.
  • animal products like antlers, placentas, geckos, leeches, centipedes and other bugs.
  • a plethora of unique herbal flowers teas that possess blood or qi moving qualities, many of which you’d probably never heard of.


  • “The details of this TCM education program were intently planned and executed with care. Mark made it a point to see that we were all happy and learning along the way.”
  • “Coming to Bozhou was an amazing experience. Seeing how Chinese herbs are grown, processed and sold has been an invaluable experience that will guide my usage of herbs in my future practice. Plus, it was a ton of fun!”
  • “I really appreciated Mark’s in-depth knowledge and explanations of the herbs, where they were grown and how to tell them apart. It made the experience that much more enjoyable.”
  • “Traveling to meet some herbal farmers, see their lands, view first-hand how Chinese herbs are grown and harvested was truly a magical experience for a Chinese medicine practitioners; one i won’t ever forget!”
  • “Thank you for sharing your knowledge, I feel like this enriching experience has made me a better herbalist.”
  • “The best part of the trip was going to the countryside and digging up herbs. I also liked learning about the herb qualities and how to pick them out such as quality Chuan Bei Mu. Just looking at the herbs was amazing!”

American Board of Reproductive Medicine (ABORM) Training Program in China

This training program was organized in partnership with Dr. Ray Rubio from the American Board of Reproductive Medicine during the 5 years from 2011 to 2015. It was a two-week course that involved:

  • Observing 4 different experienced (名老中医) fertility specialists in Nanjing. Some of these specialists are from the direct lineage of Xia Gui Cheng (夏桂成); others are his peers who are also his rivals; some might have already passed on.
  • Immediately attending 4 sets of 3-hour lectures by Juliana Hoyos and Mark Chern on unique approaches of each fertility specialist, including interpretations of blood tests and imaging, treatment protocols for different conditions (e.g. PCOS, endometriosis, amenorrhea, diminished ovarian reserve, etc), herbal formulation preferences, integration of chinese herbs with western IVF protocols.

Details below:

The Advanced Oriental Reproductive Medicine Training Program is an intensive two weeks of observations, lectures and discussions. This TCM education program is created for Chinese Medicine Reproductive Specialists who already possess all the basics in reproductive medicine and are experienced practitioners.

As such, it is exclusive to members of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine ( or members of Clinical Excellence in Fertility Professionals ( The 4th Fellowship Training Program will be in May 2015.


  • “The Fellowship in Nanjing is an intensive submersion into how Chinese Medicine, with a specific focus on reproductive health & fertility, as practiced in its home country. In daily clinic sessions it is not unheard of to see 60 or more patients per shift.”
  • “The lecture and case discussion sessions were a valuable addition to the clinic observation. These sessions truly made it possible to decoct and extract the most valuable information from the observation sessions.”
  • “The doctors that were selected are some of the best in the field of Reproductive Medicine/Gynecology so it was very focused on what we see in our daily practices. Clinically, it was incredible to see the way the different doctors created herbal formulas and their theories on how to treat infertility were much more diverse than what we learn here in the States. TCM doctors in China are able to prescribe Western medications as well as herbs so it was invaluable to see how the two were used hand in hand. I learned a lot that I have already started applying in my practice.”
  • “The TCM education experience was very intensive. Observing several specialists rather than just one doctor was invaluable to understanding and analyzing the TCM reproductive medicine field as practiced in Nanjing.”
  • “We benefited greatly from the months of observation that Juliana and Mark spent with the doctors thanks to their skills of analyzing and extracting the doctors’ practice methods and presenting them in a digestible way.”
  • “In my opinion (and I’m sure others who have completed the Fellowship in Nanjing would agree), the summary notes about each doctor’s style and experience were by themselves worth traveling half way around the world for.”

Participants observe the combined use of Western and Chinese medicine to treat both male and female infertility. The aim of the course is not only for participants to have the clinical experience of observing famous Chinese medicine doctors from the best gynecology hospitals in Nanjing, but also be part of a select group to learn more and discuss about how these doctors run their practice.

During the Fellowship, participants will be observing three famous doctors, one of whom is a male infertility specialist. Each doctor’s unique style of treatment would offer participants a broad spectrum of knowledge tools they can use back home.

The aim is that all participants in the China Fellowship will go back home and be representative of ABORM and CEFP’s high academic standards with regards to Integrative Reproductive Medicine and Infertility.

Participants will be limited to a total of six. By dividing them into two groups of three, we will be able to ensure that each participant receives sufficient attention.

Each group will be assisted by a translator who will help them understand what is going on in the clinic. In the process, participants will get an idea as to the overall style of the doctors.

That said, in between the translating Chinese language and the messy style of patient management in China, it’s not so simple for someone to put together a satisfactory conclusion about what is happening even if they were undergoing clinical observation for much longer.

The difficulty in getting all the information at the clinic is the reason why we have also created preparatory and theory sessions that accompany clinical observations.

This provides much added value to the Fellowship. Participants are aided in adapting to and understanding how Chinese medicine is practiced here. They are also given overviews and insights into the prevailing styles and its variations.

It is during these sessions that participants are aided in coming up with relevant summaries they can take back and immediately apply within their clinical practice.

At the end of the Fellowship, each participant would have undergone 20 hours of clinical observation with three great TCM gynecology and reproductive specialists.

They would also have attended 8 hours of theory & presentation sessions and invested 2 more hours in written assignments, all of which will help you tie the entire learning experience together in a seamless manner.

At the end of this Fellowship, you will have attained at least 30 CEUs for continued education purposes. All participants will receive a certificate for their participation in the Fellowship.

Applied Clinical Gynecology

Applied Clinical Gynecology was a TCM education course run for Chinese Medicine students from RMIT in the year 2013.

For those who have already worked on gynecology patients at the student clinic, you will understand how broad the scope of Chinese medicine gynecology is. You will need to know and understand the Western medicines the patients are on, the imaging and lab tests they have done.

You will need to employ both the use of acupuncture and herbs to treat the pattern you have diagnosed. You will need to understand the woman’s cycle, both in terms of the complex hormonal changes as well as these changes as understood in terms of Yin and Yang.

This workshop is about equipping soon-to-be practitioners with skills specific to treating diseases of gynecology using an integrative approach as practised in Nanjing.

We will be covering only theory that is useful to clinical practice. For sure, we will not waste time running you through yet another wholesale repetition of a disease and its various patterns; many of you have already gone through enough of this in great detail during your recent years of training.

Who is Eligible?

This is a workshop specifically designed for students who are about to graduate and start working as Chinese medicine practitioners. It will cater to the following groups of students:

Recent graduates from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM)
Final year students of the RMIT degree program in Chinese Medicine and Human Biology.

You will already be doing observation rounds in the Hospitals of Nanjing. By attending this workshop, your understanding of herbal formulation as well as treatment strategies will be further enhanced. This workshop is invaluable to those interested in really applying Chinese medicine to diseases of gynecology in your future practice.

This workshop has a huge slant toward the use of herbs, so participants are expected to already know their herbs well. We will also be using quite a bit of medical terminology, so some level of familiarity with Western gynecology would be appreciated too.

What content will be covered?

  • The woman’s cycle, effective use of BBTs in diagnostics
  • The use of Chinese herbs to regulate the cycle; textbook theories and clinical practice
  • Ovulation and strategies for promoting ovulation
  • Understanding how to use the hormone panel and other lab tests
  • Common gynecological diseases that you will see in the clinic and treatment strategies
  • Patient intake, not focusing just on the yin and yang, but zooming in on relevant questions.
  • Understanding where Chinese medicine and acupuncture can be useful in diagnosis, and where Western medicine diagnostics are crucial.
  • Treating the disease vs treating the pattern, and how to do both in this day and age.


  • “What I really liked about your TCM education course was that is was very thoroughly done. You covered a lot of new material for us, especially explaining the four-phase cycle theory and how to treat the patient according to this theory, but you also explained the history of the theory. I was very happy with the way you explained the menstrual cycle really well and kept going over it and reexplaining it. The notes are well set out and easy to follow. Your course has given me confidence in myself that I have a better understanding of gynecology and how to treat my patients. Thanks Mark! – J. B., Macleod, Australia”
  • “I would like to thank you for a most informative course in gynecology, even though we covered it in some detail, your presentation made the subject completely clinically relevant and as I was fortunate enough to be in the Gynae ward the following week I was able to take full advantage of your info and to be completely involved. The micro management of the cycle with different formulae was the most interesting part for me. You have given me an interest in gynecology I didn’t expect to acquire. My patients are all going to get BBT charts to do! – S.A., Victoria, Australia

Herbal Formulation: Focus on Gastroenterology

This was a TCM education course run for Chinese Medicine students at Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine in the year 2010. Completed in 4 sessions. For students of Chinese Herbal Medicine.

A Spleen-Stomach formula is a crucial component of your herbal armory. Spending enough time at any one of the departments in the hospital will convince you that every patient who comes in is Spleen deficient.
We assume that everyone coming already knows their “Fundamentals of TCM,” so no time will be wasted on expounding grand philosophical ideas we all already know. That said, we encourage students without a knowledge of “TCM Internal Medicine” to come, because they will benefit from seeing the big picture we present.

We briefly cover the main differences between a “Diagnose Pattern, Prescribe Formula” method associated by some with the Shang Han Lun and a formula created based on an understanding of individual herbs.

By covering the Spleen-Stomach’s relation to other organs, we will comprehend the spirit of the most important Spleen-Stomach formulas and understand their most relevant herbs.

We do a comparative analysis of all the disparate Spleen-Stomach formulas with the intention of linking them all up to put together the big picture. We also cover the TCM herbal approach to Constipation and Diarrhea.

There is also that grand overlap of the Spleen-Stomach with diseases of Gastroenterology. Assuming that “disease differentiation” is different than “pattern differentiation, and given enough time, Gastritis, GERD, Ulcers and Cancer of the upper digestive tract will be covered.


  • “mark, thanx a lot for the great lectures you gave if us last term, they totally gave a new approach to herbs and formulas, also to think out of the box when it gets to deal with individual herbs in/out a formula.. please let me know when you’ll be back in town to have other sessions. kind regards and loads of gratitude.”

Channel Palpation – Dr. Wang Ju-Yi

The 2010 Channel Palpation workshop with Dr. Wang Ju-Yu in Beijing was organized in tandem with Chinese Medicine practitioner Richard Blitstein for alumni of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.

This TCM education workshop involved a week-long observation and study with Dr. Wang himself. For those interested in Dr. Wang’s work, more can be found here:

Outside of time with Dr. Wang Ju-yi learning from him about his form of Classical Acupuncture as well as the method of Channel Palpation, we also take time to visit Beijing City Hospital to understand how they integrate acupuncture into their treatment of patients.

In tandem with the Beijing City Hospital, we organized s short conference attended by course participants and four separate hospital doctors. The focus was on the modern use of acupuncture in Beijing City Hospital. Topics included the use of acupuncture in the treatment of thyroid conditions, as well as Dr. Hu’s use of the fire needle.

We also visit two other departments to learn herbal medicine and tuina at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine Affiliated Clinic. Specific in-clinic demonstration of the use of tuina to treat TMJ.