President Thomas C. Shepherd of Bastyr University, Kenmore, Wa., recently announced the signing of a sister-school agreement with Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China.

The agreement formalizes a 10-year relationship between the universities whereby Bastyr students in the acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) department have received clinical training at Shanghai University.

"The agreement," explained Terry Courtney, LAc, chair of the AOM department at Bastyr, "is an indication of a successful relationship that has strengthened over time. This past spring I had the opportunity to travel to China with a group led by President Shepherd. We spent time working with the administration of Shanghai University, creating new curriculum tracks for advanced studies in areas such as cancer, internal medicine and gynecology. It was an ideal time to move our affiliation to a 'sister-school status'."

Courtney emphasized how valuable it was for AOM students to study in China. "Because it's a more acceptable form of medicine there," she said, "our students see a higher volume of patients with a broader range of illnesses. They're also able to witness a model of integrative care- Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine -- that works remarkably well." She pointed out that several Bastyr students were currently studying in China and had emailed that they'd experienced a real outpouring of kindness and concern following the recent tragedies.

Bastyr University, in Kenmore, Washington, is an accredited institution, internationally recognized as a pioneer in the study of natural healing. It is the leading university for natural health sciences in the United States, encompassing a multidisciplinary curriculum and a world-renowned research institute. It has offered degree programs in acupuncture and Oriental medicine since 1989.