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December 08, 2005

First MD's now Chiropractors

Apparently NM chiropractors think that with 200 hours of training they can be us. Don't know how many different ways to say the words 'bull @$%&.' I don't understand in whose fragile mind the concept that certain practitioners of medicine could practice a completely different form with minimal training was born. I don't claim to be able to adjust the spine, and no weekend course should allow me to do just that since obviously my 2+ years of TCM theory won't be applicable!!! But for 200 hours chiropractors think they're smart enough to learn what we take 4 years to. Albuquerque Tribune Article

If you guys are out there, let's all write a letter to the editor of the Tribune telling them what kind of crap this is: letters@abqtrib.com.

Posted by Admin at December 8, 2005 04:14 PM


I think that education of the public and the media is very much needed. On another note, has anyone in NM checked with the licensing boards oversight about pursuing a formal legal filing to have acupuncture dropped from the DC license.

There was a legal opinion from an east coast state (unsure who) that determined that "chiropractic acupuncture" is illegal. This is not taught within DC program nor is it in any way accreditted by the CCE.

As for me, it really seems to be confusing as to what part of regulation a board is supposed to provide. You cannot have two boards with differing amounts of training regulating the same procedure/techniques.

By the way, acupuncture is not within the scope of practice for a chiro in all states or countries. I think they might be a little sore after losing rights to practice in some countries in SE Asia to the MD and TCM docs.

Make this a political issue and they will dig themselves into a corner, kind of hard to argue either raising education to our standards (acu license) or why they are trying to set a much lower educational level that could jeopardize public safety (a board req). Make sure to raise the red flag on safety and you have a chance.


Posted by: naturaldoc at December 8, 2005 06:08 PM

This really gets to me.

I have a lot of MD friends as I am in the western medical field myself, as a Nurse Practitioner. I am undergoing full training for OM, and one of my friends just finished the UCLA course. I think that course is actually pretty decent for treating basic, very basic, SYMPTOMS of pain.

However, when I suggested that I thought to treat other diseases an MD needed much more training, she stated thet "We have gone to school for 12 years!" She states "they" trust MDs are smart enough to just know how to look things up if necessary.

Well, sorry, but most folks in OM school also have a bachelor's degree, and then four years of OM study on top of that. Does that mean we should be able to practice western medicine with a 200 hour course? Or even a 500 hour course? Of course not! They're totally different!

Its just so frustrating the people don't appreciate the complexity of OM, and how long it takes to master it...if ever!

Happily, my husband, also a physician, replied to her that OM treatment was more "constitutional" than being able to look things up in a book.

I wish people would let everyone practice their respective specialties. It helps the world go 'round, and is safer for the patients. In the end, the patients end up getting the best care when people practice what they know the best, and leave the rest up to other specialists.

Posted by: Ana at December 8, 2005 07:22 PM

I am in the TCM and Naturopathic medicine programs at Bastyr University. As a future Naturopath, I am realizing that my scope of practice will be limited in many states, e.g. Texas. Currently in Texas, I am not be unable to prescribe conventional meds, order x-rays, or perform osseous manipulation or physical exams. That limitation does not, however, reflect my level of education, experience or aptitude. It is more reflective of the politics of the state, the relative presence of my profession in the state, and acceptance of my services in the marketplace.

I feel that it is a disservice to Chinese medicine that DCs, NDs, MDs and DOs are able to practice acupuncture in many states with little, or no, additional training. A DC colleague expressed to me his concern that naturopathic training in manipulative medicine is insufficient and that NDs should not be licensed to perform osseous manipulation, when licensed in Texas. Would he feel the same way if the DCs ability to perform acupuncture were at issue?

I have a deep respect for all of the healing arts and for the artists that heal. I have a bit of distaste for the business and politics of it all, but such is life. With respect to Chinese medicine, I would like to see all acupuncture care by NDs, DCs, DOs and MDs to be accompanied by the level of instruction in Chinese medicine, which each of these respective professions would require of their own graduates.

Let's make a deal: I won't perform open-heart surgery on you, if you agree not to bleed all of my Jing Well points.

Posted by: jsfinnell at January 21, 2006 06:53 PM

I am a chiropractor that practices TCM and I think you are mistaken about our education. The reason we are not in the 4 year program is that the intital portion of your program is in Human anatomy which we have thoroughly mastered in our education and do not need to repeat.

Chiropractic philosophy is very closely related to chinese medicine as the practice of manipulation was also done in chinese medicine.

There are enough patients in the world for everyone to help and if you are good at what you do it wont matter who is practicing what down the street from you. Healthcare will forever be political but your focus should not be in that arena, it should be focused on being the best practitioner you can be what ever initials are after your name

Posted by: Dr. S at February 24, 2006 07:41 PM

hey. im from the uk and am studying tcm - 1 year left - hurray!
anyway a colleague of mine is a well established physio and did a couple of weekend courses and now treats the odd gynae problem via tcm although im pretty sure doesnt even recognise the existance of qi.....! i am truly aggreived by the whole thing. happily though my college has at least 2 chiropractors and osteos who are doing the full 3 year course (minus the anatomy side)and also a guy studying to be a MD at the same time. commonn sense prevails sometimes i guess.

Posted by: nicola at February 27, 2006 05:37 AM

Its insulting to anyone of intelligence that this is even an issue. Licensure, if it were perfect ('if' being the operative word), would be based on competency. If someone has 200 hours of training to treat pain, then that is what they should be limited to practicing. To say that Chiropractic is very closely related to Chinese medicine because they both employ techniques of physical manipulation is a logical fallicy, nothing more. I have a tremendous amout of respect for Chiro, both my uncle and cousin practice and I have used it all my life. However, after studying this medicine for nearly nine years, it is very clear to me as I look back to my earlier years that I repeatedely underestimated the complexity of this medicine. It is easy to think you have it figured out, that you can look it up in a book or practice it competently without much training. Nearly every experience acupuncturist will tell you otherwise. Chinese medicine is a medicine built for complexity, and the reductionist approach is antithetical, though complimentary to this. Just because someone has a DC or an MD doesn't mean they have any idea how to treat a complex problem in the interaction of the Neuroendocrine and Digestive systems (the Kidney and Spleen to us) using needles and herbs. Its like asking a rocket scientist to perform brain surgury merely because he is smart (well, not quite that extreme obviously). Talk about mixing metaphors.

Posted by: E at May 5, 2006 01:56 PM