The 2020 NCCAOM™ Exams

Updated November 7, 2019

The information in this article comes from:
1. NCCAOM 2019 Exams Content Outlines
2. NCCAOM 2020 Exams Content Outlines
3. NCCAOM Linear Exam FAQs
4. NCCAOM Linear Exam Schedule

Summary of 2020 Exam Changes:
1. The 2020 exams change the individual domain percentages in all of the exams
2. There are new domains, new subdomains, or the clarification of domains

We give you details of how TCMTests.com complies with the new 2020 exams.

The Acupuncture and Point Location Exam

Domains 2019 Weighing
I: Safety & Professional Responsibilities10%
II: Treatment Plan70%
III: Acupuncture Point Location20%

Domains 2020 Weighing
I: Safety & Professional Responsibilities15%
II: Treatment Plan50%
III: Treatment Techniques20%
IV: Acupuncture Point Location15%

The 2020 Acupuncture and Point Location Exam changes the percent of questions allocated to each of the previous 2019 domains.

The 2020 exam also includes a new domain called Treatment Techniques. This new domain is a reorganization of some of the subdomains found in the 2019 Treatment Plan domain. The 2020 Treatment Technique domain includes: needle selection, needle technique, moxibustion, adjunctive modalities (bleeding, cupping, gua sha, heat, e-stim), and Asian bodywork. The 2020 Treatment Plan domain also includes a subdomain on the selection of points according to biomedical concepts: a. Trigger points; b. Motor points; c. Myofascial treatments; d. Effects on blood flow, neurohormonal regulation, and brain connectivity.

TCMtests:We cover the major domain areas. We also cover the new domain, Treatment Techniques under the TCMtests.com Treatment Modalities section. We are working on a test for the selection of points according to biomedical concepts. Estimated date of completion 12/7/19.

The Foundations of Oriental Medicine Exam

Domains 2019 Weighing
I: Clinical Examination Methods10%
II: Assessment, Analysis, & Differential Diagnosis 45%
III: Treatment Principle and Strategy 45%

Domains 2020 Weighing
I: Clinical Examination Methods35%
II: Assessment, Analysis, & Differential Diagnosis 35%
III: Treatment Principle and Strategy
       Lifestyle changes and self-care modalities
30%

The 2020 Foundations of Oriental Medicine Exam changes the percent of questions allocated to each of the previous 2019 domains.

The 2020 exam also adds a new subdomain in the Treatment Principle and Strategy main domain. This subdomain is called Lifestyle changes and self-care modalities. It includes exercise (Qi Gong, Tai Chi), meditation, relaxation, breathing techniques, and dietary guidance.

TCMtests: We cover the major domain areas. For the new subdomain, Lifestyle changes and self-care modalities we cover Qi Gong, Tai Chi, and dietary guidance. We do not plan on covering meditation and relaxation until we can determine what NCCAOM will be emphasizing in those topics.

The Chinese Herbology Exam

Domains 2019 Weighing
I: Safety and Quality10%
II: Treatment Planning & Strategies60%
III: Patient Management 30%

Domains 2020 Weighing
I: Safety and Quality10%
II: Treatment Planning & Strategies70%
III: Patient Management 20%

The 2020 Chinese Herbology Exam changes the percent of questions allocated to each of the previous 2019 domains.

For the first time, the 2020 content outline provides a published list of individual herbs. The 2020 Chinese Herbology Exam also changes the list of formulas. The 2020 formula list removes the following formulas from the 2019 list: Ding Xiang Shi Di Tang, Gan Cao Xie Xin Tang, Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang, Xi Jiao Di Huang Tang, and Xiang Ru San. The 2020 formula list includes the following new formulas: Da Huang Mu Dan Tang, Dang Gui Si Ni Tang, Fang Feng Tang Shen San, Jia Wei Xiao San, Liu Jun Zi Tang, San Ren Tang, and Shen Fu Tang. The current 2020 formula list has 162 formulas. The single herb list consists of 272 herbs.

TCMtests: We cover have all of the the 162 formulas with actions, contraindications, indications, ingredients, modifications, and comparisons. We currently have 238 out of the 272 single herbs. We are working on including the remaining 34 herbs. We cover the herbs with actions, contraindications, dosages, combinations, and comparisons. Estimated date of completion of the remaining 34 herbs is 12/15/19.

The Biomedicine Exam

Domains 2019 Weighing
I: Biomedical Model
      A. 30% Pharmacology, Nutrients & Supplements
      B. 25% Patient History & Physical Examination
      C. 30% Clinical Assessment Process
      D.  5% Clinical Decision-Making
90%
II: Safety & Professional Responsibilities10%

Domains 2020 Weighing
I: Biomedical Model
      A. 25% Pharmacology, Nutrients & Supplements
      B. 20% Patient History & Physical Examination
      C. 30% Clinical Assessment Process
      D.  5% Clinical Decision-Making
80%
II: Safety & Professional Responsibilities20%

The 2020 Biomedicine Exam changes the percent of questions allocated to each of the previous 2019 domains. The 2020 exam also clarifies and adds to the lists of pharmaceuticals, nutrients and supplements, and medical conditions. Furthermore, domain II, Safety & Professional Responsibilities, has a new subdomain called Integration of acupuncture and Chinese medicine with biomedicine. This new subdomain includes: 1) communicating the differences and commonalities between acupuncture and Chinese medicine and biomedicine (e.g., correlation of diagnostic categories, differences in uses of organ systems). 2. Explain acupuncture and Chinese medicine concepts using biomedical terminology for health care providers, patients, and the public.

TCMtests:We cover the major domain areas. We need to update our Western drug tests to include the new 2020 drug categories such as antidementia medications, cannabinoids, and fertility medications. We need to update the medical conditions to include the new 2020 conditions such as suicidality, autism spectrum, and eating disorders. We will not cover the new subdomain called "integration of acupuncture and Chinese medicine with biomedicine". Practitioners should research and develop their own talking points regarding these topics. Estimated date of completion for the new drugs and new medical conditions is 12/20/19.

Huangdi Says:

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