The decision as to who should be allowed to practise acupuncture must lie with the individual national health authorities. However, it is possible to establish general requirements for basic training in this field, and these are essential to the safe and competent practice of acupuncture.
Among the basic requirements are a knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology and medicine, as well as diagnostic skills. What needs to be determined, above all, is how much knowledge of modern Western medical science is necessary for acupuncturists trained in Oriental medicine and, conversely, how much knowledge of Oriental medicine (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) graduates in modern Western medicine should possess if they wish to practise acupuncture.
A preliminary analysis of acupuncture training programmes in different countries, conducted by WHO, would be helpful to national regulatory authorities.