Study Aids & Resources

License / Certificate

Licenses and regulates the education and practice of acupuncture and East Asian medicine in the state of California. The CAB administers the California Acupuncture Licensing Examination (CALE) which provides licensure to acupuncturists in California; approves and monitors students in tutorial programs; approves acupuncture schools; approves continuing education providers and courses; and enforces the Acupuncture Licensure Act. In order to practice acupuncture in the state of California, applicants must meet the eligibility requirements set forth by the CAB to sit for the CALE.
Awards certification in acupuncture, Chinese herbology, Oriental medicine and Asian bodywork therapy. National certification or examination is required by most states (with the exception of CA, WY, ND, SD, KS, OK, LA and AL) for the practice of acupuncture and/or Oriental medicine. Always confirm the regulations regarding the practice of AOM with the state in question.

Textbook References for MCE & CGE

The test will cover all the materials that were taught in the DULA MSOM program, following the breakdown percentage of the contents.

The purpose of the CGE is to evaluate the students’ knowledge and preparation before graduation and before sitting for the state licensing and/or national exam. Please understand that the state licensing exams and/or national exams design test questions based on textbooks, not instructors’ notes. Therefore, you are required to read the textbooks and understand the materials thoroughly.

To also assist students in preparing for the CGE and MCE, students may practice questions from the following books, which can be borrowed from the DULA library. Please note, these books are intended only for self-study; thus, the actual questions in the CGE, MCE, CALE, and/or NCCAOM may differ. However, for the MCE and CGE, at least 30% of the questions will be created each quarter from these practice question books.

Here are additional textbooks for your CGE preparation:

  1. Jameson et al, Harisson’s Principles of Internal Medicine 20th Edition, McGraw Hill, 2018.
  2. Beers, M., R. Porter, T. Jones, J. Kaplan and M. Berkwits, The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy (19th Edition), Whitehouse Station, NJ, Merck Research Laboratories, 2011.
  3. Bensky, D., V. Scheid, A. Ellis and R. Barolet, Chinese Herbal Medicine: Formulas and Strategies (2nd Edition), Seattle, Eastland Press, 2009.
  4. Bensky, D., S. Clavey and E. Stöger, Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica (3rd Edition), Seattle, Eastland Press, 2004.
  5. Bickley, L. and P. Szilagyi, Bates’ Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking (12th Edition), Philadelphia, Wolters Kluwer Health / Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2017.
  6. Magee, David J. Orthopedic Physical Assessment, 6th ed. St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier, 2013.
  7. Cheng, X., Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion 3rd edition, Beijing, Foreign Language Press, 2010.
  8. Deadman, P. and M. Al-Khafaji, A Manual of Acupuncture (2nd Edition), East Sussex, England, Journal of Chinese Medicine Publications, 2007.
  9. Deng, T., Practical Diagnosis in Traditional Chinese Medicine, New York, Churchill Livingstone, 1999.
  10. Johns Robert, The Art of Acupuncture Techniques, North Atlantic Books, 1996.
  11. Katzung, Bertram G., Susan B. Masters, and Anthony J. Trevor, eds. Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. 14th ed. New York: McGraw Hill Medical, 2017.
  12. Karch, A., Lippincott’s Nursing Drug Guide, Philadelphia, Wolters Kluwer / Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2014.
  13. Maciocia, G., The Foundations of Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Text for Acupuncturists and Herbalists (3rd Edition), New York, Churchill Livingstone, 2015.
  14. Maciocia, G., Tongue Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine (Revised Edition), Seattle, Eastland Press, 1995.
  15. Maciocia, G., The Practice of Chinese Medicine: The Treatment of Diseases with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs 2nd Edition, Churcil Livingstone, 2008.
  16. Nigel Wisemann and Andrew Ellis, Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine, Revised Edition, 1995.
  17. Ted Kaptchuk, The Web that Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine, 2000.
  18. McPhee, S. and M. Papadakis, Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment (57th Edition), New York, McGraw-Hill, 2018.
  19. National Acupuncture Foundation, Clean Needle Technique Manual for Acupuncturists: Guidelines and Standards for the Clean and Safe Clinical Practice of Acupuncture (7th Edition), Washington, DC, National Acupuncture Foundation, 2015.
  20. Pagana, K. and T. Pagana, Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests (13th Edition), St. Louis, Mosby Elsevier, 2016.
  21. Fischbach, Frances and Marshall B. Dunning. A Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests. 9th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Publishers, 2014.
  22. Patton, K. and G. Thibodeau, Anatomy and Physiology (9th Edition), St. Louis, Mosby Elsevier, 2015.
  23. Pitchford, P., Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition (3rd Edition), Berkeley, North Atlantic Books, 2002.
  24. Bensky D., O’Connor John, Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture: A Comprehensive Text, Seattle, Eastland Press, 1996.
  25. Acupuncture Board, Laws and Regulations Relating to the Practice of Acupuncture, Sacramento, California Department of Consumer Affairs, 2018.
  26. NCCAOM Code of Ethics (

It is also important for you to be familiar with the reference from NCCAOM and CA Acupuncture Board. You may see the reference textbooks list from CALE in here but it is to be noticed that California does not produce any of the reference list again now. To see the textbooks reference from NCCAOM you need to see the NCCAOM Exam Preparation Book in here.

How to Answer a Case Study Question


A 50-year-old male patient has had fatigue, dizziness, and insomnia for two months. Because he is busy at work, he has difficulty falling asleep, wakes up at 2-3 AM, and can’t go back to sleep again. He also suffers from headache on the temples, and tinnitus sometimes. His appetite is reduced, urine and bowel movement are normal. His tongue is red with little fur, the pulse is wiry and small. His face color is red, his BP is 170/98 mmHg. What is your diagnosis?

  1. Deficiency of yin and yang
  2. Liver qi stagnation transforming into fire
  3. Yin deficiency with yang rising
  4. Phlegm turbidity obstructing the Middle Jiao

This question is asking about a current diagnosis. Pretty standard, nothing tricky


The tongue is red with a scanty coat; the pulse is wiry and small. The tongue indicates yin deficiency and the pulse indicates deficiency and Liver involvement. Therefore, you can cross off option #2 (that answer is all Excess) and #4 (if there was phlegm, the tongue would have a greasy coat and the pulse would be slippery).

STEP 3 : READ THE WHOLE QUESTION–WHAT DO THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS INDICATE? Underline and label these as you read through the question so you don’t get confused.

There are no yang deficiency symptoms, so the answer must be option #”3″, which makes sense.