Through my university (University of Oregon), I am required as a global health minor to intern at an organization of my choice, as long as it is related to public health. In December 2020, I came across POCA through a local acupuncture clinic’s (Acupuncture for the people) website. They claimed to be partners with the clinic, and by investigating further into POCA, I understood why the prices at the local clinic were so low. I’ve been going to that clinic for some time now, and I’ve always appreciated the affordability and accessibility of it all. The ability to access this kind of medicine is life changing and ahead of its time. I reached out to the main supervisors of POCA and I became an intern! My work is mostly social media outreach. I have enjoyed being an intern at this organization, because it upholds the same values I have. Being able to confidently pay for acupuncture without worrying about breaking my bank, being heard and understood by the practitioners, and happily leaving the clinic knowing that my issue is being resolved, is something everyone deserves to experience.
POCA is an organization I actually plan to work with once I start my own clinic. This promptly leads to me saying that I plan on becoming a Classical Chinese medicine practitioner in the future. I knew since I was 16 that this was what I wanted to do. Chinese medicine and all it contains is a passion of mine. Choosing POCA for my internship has benefited me as a future Chinese medicine student because I get to see behind the scenes of the business aspect of being a practitioner. I get to see the marketing aspect as well.
Working with POCA helped me confirm that advocating for affordable and accessible acupuncture is my main goal. It doesn’t matter if I am the only clinic in my city that provides that, because all it takes is one clinic and one practitioner to inspire others. I am grateful for my experience, and I can’t wait to see how much POCA grows in the future.