TCM Clinic Internship Singapore – Going Beyond Theory to Solve Clinical Cases

This is what you could be doing as a research intern:

At Chinese Doc Singapore, we want to value add to the patient coming in. In most cases, it is enough to use a traditional approach to treat a certain conditions. But we always want to find better ways to help our patient. Or to at least tell the patient the areas we are able to help with, and the areas that are not the strong suit of Chinese medicine.

For this project, we deep-dived into the medical journals to uncover the manifold uses of XCHT, including for breast cancer, Hepatitis C, Atopic Dermatitis, Alzheimer’s, Anxiety, Depression and Chronic Fatigue.

Our Research Assistant (who was started as an intern two year ago) proceeded to have her do a full intake on a patient with Depression and Chronic Fatigue. Her final formulation was considered and used by us to successfully help that patient – watch the video above to learn how!

Are you a student looking for a TCM Clinic Internship?

We have been hosting clinic interns since 2016. A TCM Clinic Internship should allow you the chance to move beyond books and actually try out the work to see if you really want to be a clinician.

We know that you have been on the treadmill since starting school, and it only gets more busy. While all the book knowledge is essential, trying your hand at clinical work is equally important.

Clinical work is not just taking needles out of patients, or watching while the Practitioner you follow is seeing a patient. Where possible, you will want to be trying your hand at this yourself, while in the presence of an experienced practitioner.

tcm clinic internship do i want to be a clinic or researcher

We believe in providing an experience we wish we had when we were learning the ropes.

So, first of all, we need to establish a fit.

Our Approach

We believe that learning from the textbooks is not enough.

Once you know the language of TCM, you can always refer back to the textbooks, but that is not enough.

We don’t want to spend too much time on Yin and Yang and the Five Elements (阴阳五行). While the philosophies around it are beautiful, what happens at the clinic is that there is someone in front of you with a problem you are tasked to solve.

The focus is to solve his or her problem.

The beauty of TCM is that we have a lot of knowledge at our disposal. Not just all the accumulated knowledge from the classics all the way up until the 20th century. But also knowledge about herb pharmacognosy that informs our use of herbs within a classical framework.

How do we start the clinical internship?

We will start by understanding your areas of interest so that we can assess how best  to support your growth. We want the learning to fit your interests.

We start with research on a medical condition. We can figure out what specific condition is a fit for you and the Clinic.

We start with herbs. Herbs from a TCM Framework, then a pharmacological framework.

And we proceed from here.

If you don’t like this work, you wouldn’t stay. But if you like it, it can be very interesting.

tcm clinical internship singapore

What you won’t get at the beginning

You won’t get to work with patients from the get-go. We just focus on digging deep into an area that you have a preference for.

You may end up reading a lot. And then producing your own knowledge from what you read.

You won’t be seeing cases so much (you might) in the beginning. The point is not for you to watch a case happening, but for you to gain the knowledge so that we will be able to have an intelligent conversation about the case at hand. Ultimately, you want to start doing cases — cases equals clinic experience.

As a TCM Intern, you want to learn how to think on your own. It should not be an experience where you are being fed reasons why this or that. It should be a process where you are thinking actively how to solve the problem with your present toolset.

How do I know if I am a good fit for the internship?

If you have a good brain and have the motivation to want to research deeply into an area, you will have the opportunity. We believe that the rote learning in school is important, but this type of on-the-job learning is crucial.

The point is to use your brains to help add more value in the clinic.
If what you just read awakens something in you, it mean you are probably a good fit.

What others have experienced before

Choosing an area they want to work on.

Waiting for the opportunity to try your hand.

Reading up on the writings of other Lao Zhong Yi (老中医) to deepen your knowledge.

Researching on the same topic from reading research papers — this is a must because we don’t want to just remain in the TCM framework.

Below are some of the areas we have focused on:

Case Study: Treat Vitiligo Patient

[Click on Image above to watch Youtube Video]

Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition where the skin looses the ability to make pigment. Pigment-forming melanocytes are destroyed and these parts of the skin turn white.

After looking through the case studies of 20th century Chinese Physicians from China (at least 10 different authors), the intern combined this with research on the pharmacognosy of herbs to build a solid understanding of Vitiligo.

As part of the TCM Clinic Internship, she had the opportunity to do an intake with 2 Vitiligo patients, learn about their condition, and strategize on herb formulation for the patient. In the end, her input on herb selection for one of the patients proved to be helpful. His vitiligo went into remission 3 months later after starting herbal treatment.

Psoriasis – Classical & Modern

[Click on Image above to watch Youtube Video]

This was covered by a student moving from 2nd to 3rd year at NTU’s TCM Program. She researched the classical approach to treatment of Psoriasis, as well as the herbs most commonly used.

She also looked up and summarized papers on how Chinese herbal medicine is able to modulate the immune status for Psoriasis Vulgaris patients.

Case Study: Lady Windermere

tcm for mycobacterium avium complex infection lady windermere syndrome treatment chinese medicine

This 3rd-year student had a strong influence in crafting a proposal for a Medical Doctor who was considering usage of Chinese herbs to treat Lady Windermere Syndrome.

Lady Windermere Syndrome describes a lung infection by non-tuberculous mycobacterium avium complex (MAC). This was a rare type of condition where the usual interventions with antibiotics are not that effective.

As part of the TCM Clinic Internship, we looked at existing literature, established the types of formulation that might be a fit for this patient, and finally presented the proposal. This was a good experience both for the intern and the patient on how Chinese herbs can be useful in helping boost the immune system when other methods prove less effective.

Gout – TCM Treatment Works?

tcm for gout hyperuricemia high uric acid chinese medicine

This was an NTU student who was in her third year of studies. It began was a research into possible strategies for treating Hyperuricemia and Gout. This was later applied to one patient who suffered from Gout – the patient benefited from the research and application of the research into his condition.

Asthma & TCM

[Click on Image above to watch Youtube Video]

At Chinese Doc Singapore, we treat Asthma with patients. Our expertise continues to advance as we continue to keep updated on the latest research on how herbs are able to tweak the immune system and reduce inflammation.

A fourth-year student helped to put together knowledge on the advantages of using TCM to treat Asthma:

  1. 5 untapped ways to treat Allergic Asthma
  2. 12 super herbs to treat Asthma effectively

You can also watch the following videos on Youtube on:

  1. How Chinese herbs help to tweak a Th2/Th1 imbalance
  2. How Chinese herbs reduce inflammation by inhibiting mast cell degranulation

TCM Herbs for Gut Health

[Click on Image above to watch Youtube Video]

This was a month-long learning intensive done by a first-year student at NTU School of Chinese Medicine and Biological Sciences. We built his learning intensive off a 2010 training module we did for students in Nanjing (China).

Under our guidance, the student dived straight into year-2 textbooks on herbs (中药学) and formulas (方剂学). He was to sort out the knowledge base out on his own, and report his findings.

He did a good job, and was also able to familiarize himself with the herbs used in all the basic Spleen Fortification formulas, hence establishing a good foundation on formulas such as Si Jun Zi Tang, Liu Jun Zi Tang, Gui Pi Tang, Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, Shen Ling Bai Zhu San, Jian Pi Wan and more.

He was able to elaborate in detail the positive effects of Si Jun Zi Tang (四君子汤) on Leaky Gut. He was also capable of expounding on how Shen Ling Bai Zhu San (参苓白术散) is perfect for a certain type of Qi-deficient person.

Parkinson’s Disease & TCM

acupuncture for parkinsons disease

A first-year student at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore was tasked to look for research online on the treatment Parkinson’s Disease (PD) using acupuncture. As part of the TCM Clinic Internship, he categorized and summarized acupuncture points that are effective in the treatment of PD.

Another student in the 4th year of NTU’s Chinese Medicine Program categorized and summarized research on the usage of herbs to treat Parkinson’s Disease.

Some of the knowledge gathered can be seen in the links below.

  1. Two practical reasons why you will want to use acupuncture to treat Parkinson’s Disease
  2. Acupuncture for Parkinson’s Disease: How does it work?
  3. How to choose acupuncture points when treating Parkinson’s Disease

Thyroid Eye Disease

tcm for thyroid eye disease graves disease hyperthyroidism

Thyroid Eye Disease is another name for Grave’s Ophthalmopathy, which presents in some patients who suffer from Grave’s Disease or Grave’s Hyperthyroidism.

At Chinese Doc Singapore, our interest is in the treatment of autoimmune disease with Chinese Medicine. As part of her TCM Clinic Internship, in-depth research was done by a fourth-year student at NTU regarding the treatment of Graves, Hyperthyroidism and Thyroid Eye Disease aka Graves Ophthalmopathy.

Below are some of the summaries:

  1. How does TCM treat Graves Disease with Chinese Herbs?
  2. How can Chinese Herbs treat Thyroid Eye Disease?
  3. How to treat Thyroid Eye Disease with Acupuncture?

TCM Helps Nasal Conditions

tcm for allergic rhinitis infectious sinusitis post nasal drip

At Chinese Doc Singapore, a large demographic of patients come in for the treatment of Allergic Rhinitis, Infectious Sinusitis, Post-Nasal Drip and subsequent Dry Cough.

A 2nd-year student of TCM at Nanyang Technological University did a deep dive into the way through which Chinese herbs reduce nasal congestion, dampen the allergic response, increase circulation in the nasal cavity and clear out the sinuses.

ITP Treatment with TCM

tcm for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura ITP - use Chinese herbs to treat ITP!

This was completed by a 3rd-year student at NTU’s School of Biological Sciences and Chinese Medicine.

She looked into a case of an existing patient who suffered from an autoimmune condition called ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura). Her task was to uncover the immunological reasons why Chinese herbs are able to elevate PLT levels which had remained low despite drug intervention. She also elucidated on the reasons why the herbs used for treatment were able to help raise PLT levels, which we then sent as correspondence to her Hematologist.

Prior TCM Education Events

In case you are interested in the educational philosophy of Chinese Doc Singapore, here are prior TCM educational program organized in China.