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October 28, 2005

AAOM RE-Cap: New age voting and the future of Acupuncture

Thanks to consultants brought on by the AAOM, we were able to experience real-time polling results of an opinion survey conducted at the conference (about 90 of us). Dr. William Prensky, formerly director of Mercy College, helped lay out some questions for how we wanted the AAOM to go forward, and what we all thought should really happen with the new Doctorate...

IMGP1977.JPG What surprised me the most about the voting, was not the sweet thrill of technology, but actually how people voted. Sure, it was awesome to press a 1 or a 2, to say I think it's more important that we focus on getting Medicare coverage for Acupuncture than say planning more social events (and luckily everyone agreed with me). Yet, for example, many thought that learning how to integrate into western medical settings was more important than getting Medicare coverage. Many thought that standardizing herbs as a mandatory part of school training was more imporant than getting third-party insurers to cover our services.

Maybe this is just semantics, but it seems imperative for us to secure Medicare and 3rd party coverage for us to even be able to integrate into a western medical setting. Most hospitals don't want us because they don't know how to bill for us. If they can't figure out how to charge for us being there, then how can they afford to pay us to be there. From a strengthening of our profession standpoint, how does standardizing herbs into our schools help really anyone? I'm not sure that's where the AAOM should be focusing it's energy.

Schooling was part b of our survey. Dr. Prensky reminded us to forget whether or not we should, but that ACAOM was already drawing up plans for a first-degree Doctoral, and they wanted to know what it is that should be added to the current Masters-level curriculum. Should they teach us how to read research, how to write a medical chart, better knowledge of the classics, or better knowledge of western science? The two most popular were providing a greater foundation in the classics, and teaching us how to understand the new research coming out.

I agree with the research bit, but I have to say I don't really think we need more knowledge of the classics. After being in practice for 4+ years, the things I wish I learned were how to start a business, how to integrate modern research into my point prescriptions, or how to talk to a Gynecologist about someone's fertility without using the word Jing. I knew the classics relatively well. I knew Acupuncture relatively well. I sure as hell didn't know enough of western medicine to truly become part of an Integrative Medicine approach to a person's health care.

Results aside, the voting scheme was extremely informative, and the results will hopefully be made available on the AAOM website soon.

Posted by Admin at October 28, 2005 03:02 AM