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September 14, 2005

Physicians Divided on Impact of CAM on U.S. Health Care

This was an interesting study, done by a research firm I've never heard of (HCD Research and The Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religion and Social Studies of The Jewish Theological Seminary): Link

Basically it says that physicians are just about split down the middle as to whether they think CAM is worthwhile or effective. Acupuncture is the most respected and referred to by physicians (59% thought it could be effective), beating out both chiropractic and massage. Interestingly, massage also beat out chiropractic.

For the actual survey results, go here

Posted by Admin at September 14, 2005 11:15 AM


I find it interesting that chiro's are less respected than acupuncturists considering how much more schooling, licensing and power that chiro's get. I wonder if it's because of competition with the chiropractors and because they are closest to MD's in terms of insurance coverage and ability to order tests.

Posted by: acucali at September 15, 2005 09:51 PM

To the other poster, I seriously doubt the schooling is harder, also did you take the california state board or just the nationals? Also, it is not uncommon for chiropractors to actually make their patients worse with a mal-adjustment, the worst thing in acupuncture is probably a pneumothorax.

Posted by: heshouwu at October 6, 2005 06:42 PM

Leaving issues of safety aside, I would tend to agree with the orginal post. I would say that chiro's have more power as a group and also much more ability to order tests, insurance coverage and in some states, the ability to perform acupuncture.

I am currently in my second year of chiropractic college and also had the op to graduate from PCOM and passed the dreaded CALE.

I would say that in many ways the chiro program is way more in depth and the pace is much faster. Few acu students get the chance to work with cadavers and go thru the details on this level.

There is such a disparity of education within our profession that it makes it hard to generalize about this but on the whole, I think, that we have a long way to go to get to the level of the other practitioners in knowledge and this in turn is reflected in professional respect.

Posted by: naturaldoc at October 9, 2005 09:15 PM

I agree that in the insurance world there is a great disparity between chiro and acu, however, when I look at the schooling required at my institution of higher learning, I think that both venues have their strengths and weaknesses. I don't think that the chiro program is any more difficult than the OM program. We also have cadavers, if that is a measure of difficulty, and we go to school the same number of trimesters. Of course our program could use some improvement, as all programs can, but on the whole I think that there is not that much difference in the quality of education between the two, just the content. Just because someone can order more tests, or order xrays does not necessarily make them a better treater. Being able to say that something needs more attention in a different venue than you can provide is what makes someone a more effecient and safer practitioner.

Posted by: shelley at November 21, 2005 10:36 AM

I am in both the Chinese medicine and Naturopathic medicine programs at Bastyr University. As a future ND and LAc, I am realizing that, in many states (e.g. Texas), my scope of practice will be limited. In Texas, I am not be unable to prescribe conventional meds, order x-rays, or performs most physical exams, and, as an LAc, I am required to obtain referrals from DCs, DOs and MDs. These limitations do not, however, reflect my level of education, experience or apptitude. It is more reflective of the politics of the state, the relative presence of my profession in the state, and the demand in the market for my services.

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 insuffiecient and that NDs should not be licensed to perform osseous manipulation, once 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 prefessions 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 Wells.

Posted by: Finnell at January 21, 2006 06:15 PM