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Dr. Kien Trinh, MD, PhD, FCFP, FRSS

McMaster University Health Sciences Medical Acupuncture Program Chair

McMaster University Health Sciences Medical Acupuncture Program Chair

Clinical Professor, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University Chair, MD Admissions, McMaster University (2011-6)

Research Chair, Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine Director, Ancaster Sports Medicine Centre Medical Director, Boxing Canada

Dr. Kien (Ken) Trinh received his M.D. degree and residency training from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. He is licensed to practice medicine independently in Ontario, Canada and in New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida, USA. Dr. Trinh is licensed as an acupuncturist and a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner in Ontario by the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario. He is licensed to practise acupuncture in New York. He has many years of experience in acupuncture. He holds a Diploma in Sports Medicine from the Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine. He earned his M.Sc. degree in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University. His thesis topic was on acute low back pain and acupuncture. His PhD thesis was in the area of medical school admissions.

He was the recipient of many awards such as the Sport Hamilton Award, the McMaster University Innovator Award and most recently Trinh was the recipient of the McMaster University Health Sciences Outstanding Preceptor Award. His most significant artistic merit was winning a contest to design the University of Western Ontario Medical School Emblem.

Teaching and Clinical He was a team physici an for Canada for the 2003 Pan American Games in Dominican. He was a team physician for Canada again at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2007. He was on the board of directors as the Medical Director for Boxing Ontario He was a team physician for Boxing at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece and the boxing pre-competition examining physician at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Dr. Trinh is the current Medical Director for Boxing Canada and is the Lead Medical Doctor for the Pan American Games, Oshawa Sports Centre in Toronto, 2015. He was a Field of Play physician at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He is a certified Ringside Physician by AIBA and has covered many professional combat events such as Mixed Martial Art (MMA) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Dr. Trinh has covered many international events such as athletics, diving, field hockey, gymnastics, judo, karate, soccer, taekwondo, beach volleyball and wrestling.


Dr. Trinh is an attending physician at the Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation, McMaster Hospital Site. He is the Elective Coordinator for the Acupuncture in Sports Medicine electives for undergraduate medical students at McMaster University.


Furthermore, he was the Chair of the M.D. Program Admissions at McMaster University.

Research He is the first author on two of the few positive systematic reviews on musculoskeletal conditions with acupuncture. His research has been evaluated by funding agencies as evidence for acupuncture effectiveness. He is quoted by Wikipedia and in many citations by others.

Dr. Trinh is a creator of the innovative method for interviewing and selecting medical students here at McMaster University, the multi-mini interviews (MMI). This interviewing method has been adopted or pilot tested by at least half of the Canadian medical schools. Most of the Canadian medical schools have adopted this innovative method of selecting our future physicians. The MMI has also been adopted by some physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dental hygiene schools and other commercial establishments. The MMI has been used around the world; Asia, Australia, Europe and North America.

His present research interests include Acupuncture, Sports Medicine and Evidence-based Medicine. He is the Principle Investigator for the project on Acupuncture in Neck Disorders; a Cochrane review. He is a coauthor and contributor to several Cochrane reviews for Neck Disorders. Dr. Trinh is currently the Principle Investigator for the randomized controlled trial on acupuncture for rotator cuff disorders at McMaster University.

He has lectured extensively to the medical profession and the public on the topic of acupuncture and has published numerous articles on acupuncture research methodology. Dr. Trinh serves on numerous international panels as an expert in acupuncture research methodology. He is an acupuncture expert in the Exeter Consensus Symposium in 2001 where the STRICTA statement (a guide to acupuncture research methodology) was compiled. He is a member of the advisory board for the Cochrane Collaboration Complementary Field.

Selected Publications

Trinh KV, Graham N,Gross AR, Goldsmith C et al. Acupuncture for Neck Disorders: A Systematic Review. Cochrane Collaboration Library 2006. Trinh KV, Phillips SD, Ho E, Damsma K. Acupuncture in alleviation of lateral epicondyle pain: A systematic review. Rheumatology. Jun 2004. Trinh KV, Phillips SD. A Critique of a Cochrane review. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. January 2006. Trinh KV, Phillips SD. Needling the facts.: An evidence-based review of acupuncture. The Canadian Journal of Diagnosis. March 2004. p81-84 Trinh KV. The challenges of non-pharmacological trials: Blinding and other issues in acupuncture research as an example. Drug Information Journal. 36(4) 2002. p509-511 Trinh KV. Blinding issues in acupuncture research: Should the treating acupuncturists be blinded? The Journal Clinical Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. 3(4) 2002. White AR, Trinh KV. Performing systematic reviews in acupuncture. The Journal Clinical Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. 3(2) 2002. p26-31

Selected Presentations 1) Trinh KV. Evidence of acupuncture treatment in diseases of the locomotor system. First German Joint Acupuncture Congress. Plenum in Raum Frankfurt. One of the two invited international speakers. May 2007, Bad Nauheim, Frankfurt.

2) Trinh KV. Workshop: Acupuncture in Sports Medicine. First German Joint Acupuncture Congress. Plenum in Raum Frankfurt. May 2007, Bad Nauheim, Frankfurt.

3) Trinh KV. Evidence-based Sports Medicine: How to deal with uncertainty in the evidence. Invited speaker for the plenary session. Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine Annual Scientific Conference. March 2007, Quebec City, Quebec.

5) Trinh KV. Acupuncture for neck disorders; An update of a systematic review. American Academy of Medical Acupuncture and ICMART Congress May 2006, Washington DC.

6) Trinh KV. An overview of evidence for medical acupuncture May 2005. ICMART Congress, Prague.

7) Trinh KV. Acupuncture for Lateral Epicondylitis; A systematic review May 2005. ICMART Congress, Prague.

8) Trinh KV. Acupuncture for neck disorders; A systematic review. ICMART Congress, Prague.

9) Trinh K, Medical acupuncture : An evidence based approach. April 2005. McMaster University, A special invited seminar for medical and allied health students.

10) Trinh K. The BMAS Annual Scientific Meeting. October 16, 2004. Topic: Neck pain. Served as an expert on an international panel. The Royal College of Physicians, London, England

11) Trinh K, Phillips, SD. The BMAS Annual Scientific Meeting. October 16, 2004. Topic: Epicondylitis: Clinical treatment and present evidence. The Royal College of Physicians, London, England

12) Trinh K, Phillips, SD. Acupuncture in alleviation of lateral epicondyle pain: A systematic review. Society for Acupuncture Research. October 2, 2004. San Francisco, California, USA

13) Trinh K. The BMAS Annual Scientific Meeting. October 5, 2003. Topic: Clinical heterogeneity: An example from a systematic review of acupuncture for neck pain. The Royal College of Physicians, London, England.

14) Trinh K. CIHR CAM Priorities Workshop. Toronto. February 10, 2002. Invited as an expert on acupuncture research methodology for the panel.

15) Trinh K. McMaster University. Complementary Medicine Day for Medical Students. November 21, 2001. Invited speaker. Topic of presentation: Acupuncture: An evidence-based perspective.

16) Trinh K. The 37th Annual Meeting of the Drug Information Association. Denver, Colorado. July 7 to 11, 2001. Invited speaker and served as an expert on the panel for acupuncture research methodology. Topic of presentation: The challenges of non-pharmacological trials.

17) Trinh K. International Symposium on Acupuncture Research Methodology. Exeter, United Kingdom. July 2 to 4, 2001. Invited speaker and served as an expert on the panel for acupuncture and systematic review methodology. Topic of Presentations: i) Proper blinding in acupuncture research and ii) Best evidence synthesis: Limitations and problems.

18) Trinh K. The 2nd Annual KMH Laboratory CME Event. Deerhurst, Ontario. Invited Speaker. Topic: Common Sports Injuries for Family Physicians.

19) Trinh K. The 48th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine. Baltimore, Maryland. May30 2001. Is One-month recovery too soon to expect from patients with acute low back pain? A systematic review.

Media Experiences 2008 CBC Radio interview on medical acupuncture 2008 CTV News: Acupuncture may be solution to chronic pain 2008 Canadian Press interview on medical acupuncture 2006 CFRB AM 1010 Radio interview on hepatitis in Boxing 2006 Boston Globe interview on neck pain publication 2006 Medical Post interview on medical school admissions 2006 Woman’s World Magazine & Health Behavior News Service on neck pain publication 2006 Reader’s Digest article on Boxing for fitness 2005 Fifty Plus Magazine on Boxing safety 2004 CBC TV or CTV interview on Boxing safety 2004 CHCH TV interview on Lateral Epicondylitis 2004 Western Gazette Magazine interview on McMaster Medical School Interview 2004 Ancaster News August 6, 2004 on Boxing Olympic coverage 2004 “Medical Students” Reality TV segment with Erin Carter

Dr. Kien Trinh, MD, PhD,  FCFP, FRSS
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