Finnish Education and US Healthcare

Well it was nice to hear that ACAOM tabled the entry-level(first-professional) doctorate for now, but it is clear in the end of theirstatement that they intend to go forward with this:

Beit resolved thatthe Commission urges the acupuncture and Oriental medicine communities ofinterest, as the primary conveners, to continue to seek consensus bywhatever means deemed appropriate regarding the issue of a firstprofessional doctorate as entrylevel into the profession.



Beit resolved thatonce consensus is reached within the profession, the Commission will renewits efforts todevelop and subsequently pilot standards, policies and procedures for firstprofessional doctoral programs in AOM as entrylevel into the profession.(emphasis is mine)


My initial reaction to this is WHY?Why do we need a new degree asentry-level?

Why do we think that another degree with a “doctor”designation is going to bring us any more credibility or prestige?The why I think is what I want toexplore more with other acupuncturists and acupuncture students…I want tounderstand the WHY because I know our collective energies are going to bedirected towards supporting or opposing different trends in our profession andI would rather that we use this energy wisely to make big changes, rather thanon fighting turf wars that result in minor changes.


When it comes right down to it, there really do seem to bedifferent reasons that people go into healthcare— helping others is the obviouscommonality, but other things like prestige, making a living, being on thecutting edge, doing something different, etc, also figure prominently.Is there really a unified value systemfor AOM practitioners?And  ifthere were, what would the real values and goals of policy makers, educators, etc. be?  Profit?  Altruism?


I just read an article at Common this morningabout education in Finland which the message was that education there is valued as an end to itself. Inthe US, education is run on more of a business model, where standardized testscore results get schools more money.In Finland there is very little standardized testing. Teachers in Finlandhave far more latitude to teach what they want beyond a narrow core curriculumand report greater job satisfaction and respectability, even though their wagesare comparable to other European countries (wonder how they compare to USteacher’s wages?).There are highrates of literacy and numeracy and Finland ranks highest in the world forprimary-educational achievement.


From this article I made some connection to CA andhealthcare in the US in general (I do this a lot.)First, if healthcare in the US was an end to itself, ratherthan feeding corporations (we have a health-insurance-care system, eh?) wewould have a healthier society—DUH.Secondly, when success of a system is based solely on statistical outcomesand does not consider more subjective responses, like the happiness, controland empowerment, it leaves out an important human dynamic, that is essential inboth healthcare and education.Thirdly, when given the freedom to practice (or teach) according toone’s own interests and motivations we are more effective.Our medicine is all about moving qi andif ours is stuck how are we going to serve others? 

Author: crismonteiro

I've always thought that I would live to be 100 years old and now that I have an actual idea of what it might be like to inhabit this body for a century I want to be damn sure that Community Acupuncture is around to help me through my days and in the end, on my way. In the meantime, I am passionate about getting shit done, and also having fun.

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  1. future of acupuncture

    Wow! This is great news! truthfully I had lost all hope, and have been focusing on educating laypersons on using Chinese medicine to maintain health and prevent illness. I have been pretty discouraged about the profession in the U.S. of A.
    Thanks, ‘Pu.