Who We Are
About Our Instructors
TCM Review Seminars instructors are both licensed healthcare providers and teachers at Chinese medicine schools in the San Francisco Bay area. The current TCM Review Seminars instructors passed their board exams on their first attempt, making them uniquely qualified to create and teach classes that are essential for preparing you to pass your exam(s).
Bina Jangda, LAc.
President | Foundations, Diagnosis, Acupuncture, CA Herbology
Bina is an LAc., the President of TCM Review Seminars, and an instructor at the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley. She is the author of The Clinical Handbook of Oriental Medicine, a complete reference guide for Chinese medicine. Bina has lived in Korea, Thailand and Amsterdam, teaching yoga and ESL. She has a private practice in Berkeley and is passionate about her practice and teaching.
Bina Jangda Acupuncture
Laura Drago, LAc.
Foundations, Diagnosis, Drills & Case Studies
As a former pre-law student, Laura earned her B.A. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Upon the completion of her undergraduate degree, she worked as both a trainer and manager in corporate and small business settings, using the abilities that she learned from her mother, a teacher of 36 years. After 10 years in business, Laura headed into the world of Chinese Medicine. She began her studies at Emperor’s College in Santa Monica, CA, and also spent a year at Southwest Acupuncture College in Albuquerque, NM. She is currently an LAc., practicing in Los Angeles, CA and is working toward National Certification.
“When it comes to passing boards and succeeding in this medicine, my experience has shown me that everyone has a unique style for learning and achieving success. A favorite quote of mine in regards to learning and perception abilities is from Albert Einstein: “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Jared Van Der Beek, LAc., PT
Jared received his Masters degree from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and additionally a degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Vermont. Jared is an LAc. in the state of California, and serves on both the California Acupuncture Board and the National Acupuncture Board. Jared conducts a private practice in San Francisco called Physiopuncture, where he combines the modalities of Physical Therapy and Acupuncture. Having also earned a certification in Integrative Manual Therapy, he has taught nationally and internationally for over 10 years, developing a seminar company called Coastal Seminar where he teaches Manual Therapy Essentials. Jared has been teaching for TCM Review Seminars since 2010.
Jen Bookout, LAc.
Jen is licensed acupuncturist living and practicing in Los Angeles, CA. Having trained at Emperor’s College, where she earned a masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, she also has extensive experience as a veterinary technician, and has worked as a liaison between surgeons and patients’ families in hospital environments. In addition to being a practitioner of Chinese Medicine, Jen also has a strong interest in Western medicine. She advises and supports her patients in maintaining their health, and choosing allopathic interventions only when necessary.
Robert R. Pontecorvo Jr., LAc., MBA
Robert grew up learning traditional Native American herbalism as well as physical treatment methods, which were passed down to him by his grandparents. These forms of traditional Native American medicine has helped him understand that there is much more to health than what conventional wisdom provides. On the other side of his youth, Robert grew up with western medicine as a primary structure in his upbringing, which required learning human anatomy and physiology in a manner to be groomed as a future doctor. Once Robert was old enough to go to college, he became a student of clinical nursing which allowed him to work in various clinics with many phenomenal physicians of various specialties for over twenty years. Although Robert had studied western medicine in a conservative manner, he realized that his skills and abilities would be more useful in alternative health. While a student of acupuncture, Robert has taught full time for several nursing schools in San Diego, with a concentration in anatomy and physiology classes. He is currently Adjunct Medical Assistant Instructor at Southwestern College and is a Medical Assistant Instructor at San Diego College. He previously taught at Newbridge College of San Diego, Intercoast College of El Cajon, and Kaplan College of Chula Vista. As of 2014, he is licensed as an acupuncturist in California and recently opened an integrative medical clinic: Hozho Health and Wellness in Sorrento Valley. Robert is delighted to be joining the TCM Review Seminars team, where he hopes to help fellow future acupuncturists acquire the knowledge needed to understand western terminology, anatomy and physiology.
Sharone Franzen, LAc.
Drills & Case Studies
Sharone is an LAc., and received her Master’s Degree from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, where she additionally taught a review course for two years. She did her undergraduate work in English Literature and Science at San Francisco State University. She has a private practice at Lakeside Village, and does private tutoring in English and Chinese Medicine.
Blue Willow Acupuncture
Laura McKinley, LAc.
Laura is an LAc in California, and completed her Master’s of Science in Oriental Medicine at Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College, Berkeley. Additionally, Laura is certified as a Diplomate of Oriental Medicine by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Raised by a public health nurse, Laura transformed her lifelong passion for ensuring access to quality healthcare into her profession. Laura draws on her background in the mental health field to specialize in the treatment of mental and emotional conditions. She particularly enjoys working with children.
Laura was born and raised in Colorado, and is currently transitioning to Denver, where she will set up her new practice.
What People Are Saying About Us
To prepare for the CALE, I attended the TCM Review course, took the mock test as well as group tutoring. I feel that this trio kept me focused and motivated. The TCM Review teachers were like loving drill sergeants. They laid the foundation of knowledge that pertained to the CALE and repeated it over and over until it was second nature. I did attend another instructor’s review course and felt TCM Review had no peer. The main differences were that TCM Review hands you the information completely so the stress of hunting down answers was not there. Another big difference is there is concrete information that is always focused on CALE. I truly believe that TCM Review gave me the tools to pass the CALE the first time. Because of the preparation they offer, I finished the test in a little over 4 hours (like they trained us) and felt calm and at ease during the test. You can’t go wrong with TCM Review!