For this first blog post on our new (!!) website, I want to talk about POCA. Mainly because PCA wouldn't be here without it! Well, technically, it started out as the Community Acupuncture Network (CAN) and then became the multistakeholder co-operative that it is today and of which we are a proud clinic member. There is always a lot happening over at pocacoop.com, but the biggest development of the past few years was the launching of POCA's own acupuncture school, POCA Technical Institute (PTI or POCA Tech for short). Two cohorts have now graduated and the school is nearing accreditation by the NCCAOM. It's huge. Golden Ana Re is a student at POCA Tech and shadowed the practitioners at PCA for awhile -- some of you may remember her.
A lot of people who end up trying acupuncture for the first time and who are considering career beginnings or changes end up asking us, as practitioners, if we think it's a good idea to go to acupuncture school. Such a complicated question!! And I don't want to take a lot of time or space here with the long answer that usually involves asking lots of questions in return. The short answer is this: IF you really decide you want to be an acupuncturist, the ONLY school I could ever recommend attending is POCA Tech. For so many reasons! I wish I had been lucky enough to have attended POCA Tech instead of the acupuncture school I attended! Whenever I visit Portland and see the resident POCA Tech punklings, I get really jealous of the experience I know they are getting to have there, with the teachers, with each other, and the immersion in what really is the heart of the community acupuncture movement. Check out this video (posted below) someone just made about it! And check out the websites if you are even considering the possibility yourself. I know there are some future punks out there... and there is no shortage of job opportunities for POCA Tech grads, FYI!