Traditional Chinese Medical Practitioners attend 4 years of graduate school, completing close to 4000 hours of classroom, lab and internship hours. Practitioners sit for comprehensive yearly exams and take a National Board Certification in Oriental Medicine, Herbology, Acupuncture Points, and BioMedicine. Along with Western Medicine courses like Anatomy, Orthopedic Neuro-Evaluation, Psychology, and BioChemistry, practitioners studies include in-depth, rigorous coursework focusing on Eastern Medicine. 

Dry Needling

In medical acupuncture, the practitioners are graduates of western medical schools. Their application of needles is not based on the traditional acupuncture points, but on anatomic data. These practitioners most commonly use shorter needles and the insertions are shallower. Some practitioners have as few as 100 hours of training and are given a "certificate" in acupuncture.  Dry needling is a modern term for what the Chinese call "hit medicine" or trauma medicine and is only a very small part of understanding the art of Oriental Medicine. 

The type of practitioner you choose for your care is certainly up to you. Many of the practitioners that hold a certificate in acupuncture (DCs, PTs, MDs, DOs) can most definitely learn to be skillful in the art of dry needling.  True competency comes from a thorough education and years of daily practice.