It’s the Annual POCA Survey of Clinics Time!

I bought the world's worst thesaurus yesterday. Not only is it terrible, it's terrible.

Hey- I know my audience. Might as well give you what you want, right? 


Right. Now about that POCA Survey of CA clinics. That's a thing. And we are doing that thing again. Here's the linky to that thing:

And, yes, the first THREE clinics to fill it out get a free registration to a future POCAfest. Nashville POCAfest is in two weekends (March 18-20); after that is Marin the last weekend next September and probably next year's POCAfests will be in St Petersburg FLORIDA in April and perhaps Salt Lake City in the fall. 

Also all clinics that fill out the survey get one free POCA volunteer membership to use for anyone in your clinic. 

Okay those are your immediate rewards for doing the survey. But there are other rewards that I want to talk about…in just a minute. First you know I get a lotof my jokes from Lucas, my math doctoral student son so here's one he likes: (*Skip reads the joke, has no idea what it's talking about, decides to find an easier math joke*):

An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first says, “I'll have a beer.” The second says, “I'll have half a beer.” The third says, “I'll have a quarter of a beer.” And so on.
The bartender pours two beers and says, “You guys need to know your limits.”

Soooooo, why fill out the survey? Several reasons. I'll let Lisa explain a new reason:

There are some new questions on the survey this year — just a few, and they’re easy to answer, so don’t worry. They relate to POCA Tech. As it turns out, the POCA annual survey is an enormous asset to the school. As part of the accreditation process, it’s very important to be able to show that we gather data in order to evaluate whether we are meeting our goals. And since one of POCA Tech’s objectives is for graduates to “enter their careers as healthcare providers not unreasonably burdened by debt from the POCA Tech program; in order to support this objective, POCA Tech will keep the total cost of tuition and associated program expenses under the amount a graduate can reasonably expect to earn in their first year of employment (about $25,000)” — well, the survey data is EVERYTHING. It’s something other schools don’t have and it’s a way to show that we’re collectively very serious about our mission ” to recruit and train students to provide acupuncture to underserved communities through the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture”. By filling out the survey, you’re helping POCA Tech toward accreditation.

Thanks, Lisa. 

Its realy important for us to have a grip on how community acupuncture is doing in North America. In general the state of the acupuncture profession is precarious. We know this in our sinews, but just being intuitively aware of how hard it is to make a living doing what we love is not good enough. Thus the simplest, most basic thing to do is query ourselves, with ourselves being CA clinics-both POCA CA clinics and non-POCA CA clinics that meet the criteria from our LOC page. That way people who want to open new CA clinics will have a rough idea of what they can expect in terms of making a living. How sustainable are our clinics anyway? This annual survey is a big step in answering that. 

In saying that though, a copuple thoughts come to mind. The first of course is:

A skeleton walks into a bar and says, “Give me shot — and a mop.”

I mean, obviously that's the first thought. The second though goes like this: how happy are we in our clinics? 

Thanks to alamedapunk’s suggestion on the forums, (go here: to see where she is coming from and where the thread is going to) we’re in the process of creating a job satisfaction survey that will include all POCA workers (punk employees, non-punk employees, and clinic owners). For a variety of reasons, the first being that it would make this survey of clinics too long,  we’re rolling that out separately from the annual survey later in the year. If you want to help make up that survey please run, don't walk, to that thread. Your input is — well, let's just say we could really use your two cents. Canadian or American. 

But first, this survey of clinics. Let's fill it out!  And if you are slow to fill it out, you know that I wil bug you and when I mean bug you I mean I will keep sending you jokes like this:

I just read a book about Stockholm Syndrome.
It was pretty bad at first, but, by the end, I liked it.

Yep, I'm not playing nice here. And, true story! last year a clinic owner wrote to me saying she filled out the survey solely to keep me from sending her, “those horrid jokes”. I am not making this up. (For those of you who a) fill out the survey early and thus b) miss my bugging of those slow to respond clinics I will be posting some of the jokes from time to time.)

One of the fun things that happens as clinics fill out the survey is that I give out updates on the number of treatments we CA clinics have done in aggregate. I usually post running totals on the POCA Facebook page and in the forums so keep checking. The real interesting data though are the income answers as those give us a better idea of how sustainable clinics are. After we close the survey (May 15) we wil make available to everyone the raw data, without the names of the clinics in order to preserve confidentiality of course. Every year I get a bunch of emails thanking POCA for making this data available, especially from newbie clinics. We are all in this together, people. 

Also, did you ever notice that glass tastes like blood?

So please fill out the survey. Here's the linky again:

A squirrel is in a pine tree, when all of a sudden, it starts shaking. He looks down, and sees an elephant climbing the tree.
“What are you doing? Why are you climbing my tree?” the squirrel calls down to the elephant.
“I'm coming up there to eat some pears!” the elephant responds.
“You fool! This is a pine tree! There aren't any pears up here!”
The elephant looks perplexed for a moment, and then says, “Well I brought my own pears.”

How many tickles does it take to make an octopus laugh?
Ten! Ten tickles!

What is red and smells like blue paint? Red paint.

Q: What happened when the ship carrying blue paint and the ship carrying red paint crashed into an island?
A: The sailors were marooned.

Guess what my grandfather said before he kicked the bucket?
“I wonder how far I can kick this bucket.”

A guy goes into a lawyer's office and asks the lawyer: “Excuse me, how much do you charge?”
The lawyer responds: “I charge £1,000 to answer three questions.”
“Bloody hell – That's a bit expensive isn't it?”
“Yes. What's your third question?”

Did you hear about the magic tractor? it was driving down the road and turned into a field.

People, I can do this all day….

Skip Van Meter
Author: Skip Van Meter

Skip is Lead Acupuncturist and Co-Founder of <a href="" target="_blank">Working Class Acupuncture</a> in Portland, Oregon. With the earlier part of his life spent acquiring knowledge about geology, urban planning and teaching high school, he has now been an acupuncturist for 19 years, using about a 1,750,000 needles poking his patients. He likes all things soccer, has three fabulous sons, the best wife in the world, and a great dog and two cool cats.

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  1. UPDATE! As of Sunday, March 13th 56 clinics have responded with 324,496 treatments. That’s 37,000 more treatments than those same clinics reported last year.