Indications from DÄGfA

The German Medical Association for Acupuncture e.V. (DÄGfA) with around 8,300 members is a self-regulated professional institution for medical doctors that seek education in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Founded in 1951 it is with the AGTCM one of the oldest German acupuncture societies.

They offer medical doctors a training path to practice acupuncture that is covered by the national German health insurances. A medical doctor in Germany must go through a 200 UE (UE= Study Credits roughly the equivalent of one hour of teaching in a classroom setting). The attendance of courses must be spread over 24 months and doctors will need to pass an exam at the Ärztekammer and its local medical examination board for qualifying doctors beyond their GP (General Practitioner)-status to be able to advertise their acupuncture offering to the public.

The DÄGFA lists the following indications for acupuncture on their website:

  • Shoulder and arm pain
  • Back pain
  • Headache migraine
  • Shoulder and arm pain
  • Elbow pain
  • Myofascial pain
  • Sleep disorders
  • Hay fever

What it takes for a doctor to practice acupuncture

More information on the training curriculum for medical doctors to practice acupuncture in their clinics where the treatment is covered by the national health insurances:

Acupuncture training

A doctor needs 120 units of further training with practical exercises (Teaching is divided into curriculum units G1 to G15, according to Sections A-E of the course book of the German Medical Association) and then another 60 units practical acupuncture treatment as well as 20 units being taught in a case-based seminar setting.

For the 60 units practical acupuncture treatment and 20 units of case-based teaching, the doctors may attend so-called case seminars as part of the practical courses (GP). The block A Basics (G1-G3) must be completed before G4 to G15 can be taken

Between the first course (G1) and the last practical course (GP) must be at least 2 years. After completing the 200 hours, doctors may then apply for the exam at their local medical examination board. There is a 1-day preparatory / refresher course available for this exam.

The exam consists of a written part (10 open-ended questions) and practical supervised discussion / examination in a small group setting.

Other additional training needed

  • 80 units in psychosomatic basic care
  • 80 units in special pain therapy