Total Treatment - Diane Sater & Helen Yee

When you first walk the halls of The American Institute of Alternative Medicine (AIAM), the communal vibe is immediate. Students greet each other in the cafeteria between classes; a faculty member is spotted helping another student in the library; and even AIAM’s cofounders and executive team are overheard cheerfully greeting students by name as they pass in the hallway. This is a school where you are more than just a student ID number; you are a member of a unique and diverse educational community. 

What started as a way to share the holistic knowledge and benefits of massage and acupuncture that cofounders Diane Sater and Helen Yee learned as part of their martial arts background has grown into a full-fledged school that also focuses on nursing and medical assistance. Twenty years later, AIAM remains one of the longest standing, locally-owned, higher education institutes in the city. 

“Diane and I wanted to share the knowledge that made us successful in the healing arts by providing educational programs that offered an additional layer of alternative medicine philosophies,” Helen says. “There are not many schools that offer that to their students, even though it continues to be a growing trend and is highly accepted in the medical field.” 

Alternative medicine philosophies or holistic methods originate from centuries of different cultures’ history. The philosophies encompass the idea of treating the mind, body and spirit of a person. AIAM’s programs embrace this rich diversity of healing models and incorporate it into the coursework and necessary instruction to best prepare its students for their health care careers.

“Our school started with only 20 students, and now we have over 200 students enrolled at any given time,” Diane explains. “We revel in the fact that we’ve been afforded the ability to grow our school and curriculum, but still maintain small class sizes in order to provide personalized attention to students’ needs.” 
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