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The Best Chinese Medicines Scholarship

Welcome to the Best Chinese Medicines Scholarship Essay Contest! As an advocate for acupuncture, herbal and oriental medicine, Best Chinese Medicines is proud to support and nurture the next generation of practitioners in the United States. We understand the importance of education and the financial challenges that students often face, which is why we are offering five scholarships of $1,000 each to winning students enrolled in accredited CCAOM colleges studying acupuncture, herbal or oriental medicine.

At Best Chinese Medicines, we are committed to promoting acupuncture, herbal and oriental medicine and its invaluable contributions to holistic health and wellness. Through this scholarship program, we aim to not only alleviate the financial burden for deserving students but also encourage the exploration of knowledge to the wider public.

Scholarship Details


  • Five $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to students with outstanding entries that effectively and passionately address one (1) chosen topic (see below).
  • This scholarship contest is open to any student currently attending an accredited CCAOM college in the United States and are enrolled in an Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine or Herbalism
  • Applications must be submitted by 11:59pm Pacific Time on March 31st, 2024.
  • 5 winning submissions will be chosen and announced by May 1st, 2024.
  • Awards will be made by check to each winning applicant.

Publication Opportunity

We understand the importance of sharing knowledge and experiences to inspire others in their journey. As part of our commitment to promoting education, we offer an opportunity for the winning essays and runners-up to be published on the Best Chinese Medicines website. Alongside the published essays, each student’s bio and acknowledgments will be featured for due recognition for their contributions.


  • 1-5 headshot image files
  • Photocopy of student ID
  • LinkedIn profile URL
  • 1,500 word essay in document, audio, or video format

How to Apply

To apply for the Best Chinese Medicines Scholarship Program, eligible students are required to write a 1,500-word essay on a TCM-related topic provided by the scholarship committee. The essays will be evaluated based on their depth of knowledge, clarity of thought, and originality of ideas. The scholarship recipients will be selected by a panel of TCM experts who are dedicated to the advancement of herbal medicine.


Kaitlan Downes, MSAOM, L.AC Avatar

Kate Downes,

Content Writer & Educator

Kate Downes is a Chinese medicine practitioner with a passion for herbal medicine. In fact, it was her love for plant and earth medicine that first drew her to study Chinese medicine. Kate has a MSAOM (Master of Science, Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine) certification and practiced acupuncture in Indianapolis, IN for five years before packing her bags to roam the world. In order to stay in touch with the wellness community and continue to help others thrive with herbal medicine, she transformed her work from face-to-face patient care to spreading wellness through words. Her life as a remote herbalist and writer has allowed her to work with a variety of wellness brands, health pioneers, and her wonderful clients. She has a special interest in working with women’s health. Kate thoroughly enjoys writing educational and useful pieces for Best Chinese Medicine. Her goal is to help the public gain a better understanding of the wonders of Chinese herbal medicine so they can be empowered in their own quest for natural, vibrant health.

John Staversky, Certified Clinical Herbalist Avatar

John Staversky,
Certified Clinical Herbalist (CCH)

Chief Herbalist & Content Reviewer

John is well-versed in knowledge of holistic healing. His major interest is in the interaction between physical conditions and emotional and psychological healing.

Essay Topic Choices

Making TCM Accessible to the Public (TCM Foundations)

Traditional Chinese medicine has deep historical roots and concepts that can be difficult for our modern society to understand. Choose one (1) of the following topics and write a 1,500-word essay to share your unique perspective on the prompt. Cite any relevant, high-quality sources you use to inform your work. 

  • Yin and Yang: Understanding the Balance in Traditional Chinese Medicine
    Explore the concept of Yin and Yang in TCM and explain how it influences the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. How would you convey this concept to the general public in a way that promotes understanding and appreciation for TCM?
  • The Five Elements: Exploring TCM’s Approach to Health and Harmony
    Discuss the Five Elements theory in TCM and its significance in maintaining physical and emotional balance. How can this knowledge be used to promote holistic well-being and prevent illness?
  • Qi: The Vital Energy in Traditional Chinese Medicine
    Explain the concept of Qi in TCM and its role in maintaining health. How can the understanding of Qi benefit individuals in their daily lives, and how would you communicate this idea to the public?
  • Stick Out Your Tongue: TCM Diagnosis Basics
    TCM relies heavily on observation to diagnose patients. Give an overview of the different diagnostic methods in TCM and explain how you might use these to inform your herbal practice.
  • East vs. West: How does TCM differ from Western medicine?
    How would you educate someone on the differences between TCM and conventional medicine? What ideas, concepts, and experiences are different? In what ways are they similar?
  • Herbal Medicine: Nature’s Pharmacy in Traditional Chinese Medicine
    Discuss the use of herbal medicine in TCM and its role in promoting health and treating various health issues. How can the knowledge of herbal remedies be integrated into modern healthcare practices?
  • TCM Organs: Unlocking the Inner Balance for Optimal Health
    In Traditional Chinese Medicine, organs are viewed as more than just anatomical structures—they are associated with specific functions, emotions, and energetic qualities. Choose one TCM organ and delve into its significance in promoting overall health and well-being. Explain its corresponding emotions, related imbalances, and TCM practices to restore balance. How can this understanding of TCM organs be integrated into mainstream healthcare to enhance holistic approaches to health? Discuss specific examples and real-life applications to illustrate the importance of TCM organs in achieving optimal health.