Alternative Medicine & Systems
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Alternative Medicine & Systems Overview

Although Western medicine has made dramatic advances and can treat and cure a variety of illnesses, some people prefer to use herbal remedies or more holistic treatments. A degree in Alternative Medicine and Systems will allow you to learn about many the natural and alternative treatments available.

Students with a degree in Alternative Medicine and Systems often work with organic ingredients to cure illnesses and work to find the cause of illnesses instead of treating just the symptoms. Students take classes in nutrition, medical ethics, herbalism, acupuncture, aromatherapy, yoga, and massage to learn how to treat patients without relying on manufactured drugs or dangerous chemicals.

Some areas of specialization in this field include general Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Herbology, Naturopathic Medicine, Homeopathic Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, Holistic Health, and Direct Entry Midwifery.

Required Skills

Students in the Alternative Medicine and Systems major are committed to working with natural ingredients and using a variety of treatments to help patients. Since professionals are devoted to finding the cause of the illness, strong observation and analytical thinking skills allows professionals to listen to patients and figure out what is causing pain or sickness. Strong interpersonal and communication skills also help professionals work closely with others and make them feel comfortable under their care.

A degree in Alternative Medicine and Systems often leads to a fulltime job in the field. Professionals work at alternative medical clinics or specialized medical offices where they can meet with patients and perform treatments.

Some students choose to pursue an associate's degree in this field, as a bachelor's degree is not always necessary depending on your career goals. You can also continue your education in medical or nursing school to improve skills and find better job opportunities.


Alternative Medicine and Systems graduates go on to find a variety of career options within this field. Graduates have become acupuncturists, homeopathic practitioners, massage therapists, midwifes, or specialists in various types of alternative medical systems that deal with treating patients using herbal remedies and traditional medicines. Graduates work in medical offices where they avoid the use of prescription drugs. With this occupation growing at an average rate, students should be able to find jobs after graduation.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Alternative Medicine & Systems might open up.

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners, All Other
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Workers, All Other
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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