Dr. K. Trinh, MD, PhD, FCFP, FRCP, FRCPEdin, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London and of Edinburg

McMaster University Health Sciences Medical Acupuncture Program Chair

Professor, Clinical Track, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences
Research Chair, Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine Committee
Chair, MD Admissions, McMaster University 2011-2016
Director, Ancaster Sports Medicine Centre
Medical Director, Boxing Canada
Society Editor, Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine

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; New York, USA; 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 practice acupuncture in New York. He has many years of experience in acupuncture.  He holds a Diploma in Sport Medicine from the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine and an Added Qualification in Sport and Exercise Medicine.  He earned his M.Sc. degree in Health Research Methodology at McMaster University.  His M.Sc. thesis topic was on acute low back pain and acupuncture.  He has a second MSc in Statistics from McMaster University. His Ph.D. thesis topic was on the creation of an innovative medical school admissions tool. Dr. Trinh completed another M.Sc., this time at the University of Oxford in musculoskeletal sciences. He is pursuing to complete a second Ph.D. in the synthesis of evidence-based medicine to further his knowledge in this area. Dr. Trinh was elected to fellowship status at the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh for his exceptional contributions to his profession.

He was a recipient of many awards such as the Sport Hamilton Award, the McMaster University Innovator Award and most recently Dr. Trinh was the recipient of the McMaster University Health Sciences Outstanding Preceptor Award. He was a nominee for the Excellence in Teaching Award with the Professional Association of Residents of Ontario. His team at McMaster has won many awards such as the prestigious Faculties of Medicine Award from the Association of the Faculties of Medicine of Canada for the MMI and the Tait MacKenzie Award from the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine. He was a recipient of many Certificates of Participation with the Pan American Games, Commonwealth Games, and the Olympics. 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 physician 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 was the Lead Medical Doctor for the Pan American Games, Oshawa Sports Centre in Toronto, 2015. In 2016, Dr. Trinh was the Field of Play physician for the 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. 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 Interviews (Multiple Mini Interviews) for over 10 years and Chair of the M.D. Program Admissions (2011-2016) at McMaster University.


Dr. Trinh is the current Research Chair for the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine. His team has published anti-doping research on pseudoephedrine, marijuana, and erythropoietin; is in the process of publishing anti-doping research on testosterone, and glucocorticoids; and has completed anti-doping research on beta-blockers. He is interested in the effects of herbal medicine on doping and their interactions with prescription medicine. 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).  Dr. Trinh and his team at McMaster University has published numerous articles on the reliability and validity of the MMI. All but one 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, medical school admissions, and evidence-based medicine.  He is the Principal Investigator for the project on Acupuncture in Neck Disorders; a Cochrane review.  He is a co-author and contributor to several Cochrane reviews for Neck Disorders. Dr. Trinh is currently the Principal 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 in Acupuncture

Trinh, K.V., et al. 2021. The Efficacy of Acupuncture on Foot and Ankle for Pain Intensity, Functional Status, and General Quality of Life in Adults: A Systematic Review.  Accepted by Medical Acupuncture.

Trinh, K.V., et al. 2021. The effect of acupuncture on hand and wrist pain intensity, functional status, and quality of life in adults: A systematic review.  Submitted for peer-review.

Trinh, K.V., Diep, D. and Chen, K.J.Q., 2019. Systematic Review of Episodic Migraine Prophylaxis: Efficacy of Conventional Treatments Used in Comparisons with Acupuncture. Medical acupuncture, 31(2), pp.85-97.
Trinh, K., Graham, N., Irnich, D., Cameron, I.D. and Forget, M., 2016. Acupuncture for neck disorders. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (5).
Trinh, K.V., Diep, D. and Dorsher, P., 2017. A Critical Look into the 2016 NICE Guidelines: Acupuncture for Low-Back Pain and Sciatica. Medical Acupuncture, 29(1), pp.20-24.
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 the 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 of 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 KPhillipsSD. 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. May 30, 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 a 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