Occupy, Resist, Produce Redux: New Member Benefits

Last summer, I got an email asking when WCA was going to put on another Community Acupuncture 101 workshop. I sighed noisily (sort of the way my dog does when he flops down on the couch). Skip and I did something like 50 CA 101 workshops back in the day, and if you've never listened to yourself say the same thing out loud 50 times in a row, please take my word for it, eventually you get tired of hearing it. Even when you love the topic passionately, it's hard to get excited for the 51st rendition. So I wrote back and said, sorry, we don't have any plans to do another CA 101 workshop anytime soon, but allow me to direct you to this beautiful, overflowing resource otherwise known as the POCA website. Seriously, between the forums and POCA Tv, it's ALL there. My email correspondent wrote back, that's nice, but can you get CEUs for reading the POCA forums?

OH COME ON, I thought, SERIOUSLY? It's not enough that all these volunteers sweated blood over the years to put POCA together, you want CEUs just for reading it? I wrote back politely enough but I remained sort of cranky about the request. Just when I thought acupuncturists couldn't come up with more ways to annoy me, somehow they do, I fumed while walking the dog around the park. I had to go around twice to try to get some equanimity back, and somewhere on the second loop, a thought broke through my irritation: hey, I wonder if we could actually do that? I wonder how hard it would be?

Fast-forward to now and I can tell you: it was pretty hard, actually. CEUs are a racket, like a lot of things in the acupuncture profession, but POCA being POCA, we did it.

It's hard to be an acupuncturist, regardless of whether you're a POCA punk or not. It's hard for a whole smorgasbord of reasons, but one of them is that you're surrounded by people and entities who are looking to extract money from you whenever possible, by hook or by crook, starting with acupuncture school and continuing on through your professional life (if you are fortunate enough to have one of those).  CEU requirements are a burden. Even though it made me cranky to be asked about it,  it makes sense that acupuncturists are looking for some relief wherever they can find it. And that is a big part of why here at POCA we are a cooperative: so we can make life easier for each other.

Your POCA membership dues pay for an IT guy who's smart enough to figure out all the intricacies of having our own video channel and our own online course delivery, and committed enough to do it all for a tiny fraction of what we'd have to pay a non-POCA IT guy. Volunteers in both the POCA Publications and Content Circle and the Events Circle scoured the forums for course content, wrote outlines and quizzes, and generally knocked themselves out to create classes based on the goldmine of content we're sitting on. Carmen in the Membership office wrangled some really weird software to submit 15 classes at once so that we could qualify for the NCCAOM's bulk rate ($700 for 15 classes, if you're wondering). It was a major undertaking that involved a bunch of people.

Building infrastructure is always a major undertaking, and the fact that there is so little useful infrastructure in the acupuncture profession is why individual acupuncturists are at the mercy of entities that either couldn't care less about them, or whose priorities are based on utter fantasy about what it's like to do acupuncture in the real world. The only longterm solution to that is for us — and our patients — to build our own infrastructure that is based on our needs and designed with reality in mind.  There are enough of us, and we share and cooperate enough, that together we can actually figure out some really hard problems. Instead of being consumers, we can become producers. In this instance it's online CEUs, but of course we're not going to stop there.

So now POCA has these new member benefits — access to POCA Tv for everybody, and free online CEUs with a punk or clinic membership. There's so much about what we have now, in POCA's third year, that I look at and think, God, it would've been so great if we had had all this at the beginning. Everything would have been so much easier. But in order to have it, we had to build it ourselves, from scratch. Like everything else we've built, it's going to make the next level of infrastructure that we have to build that much easier. Stay tuned for POCA Tv content and POCA online CEUs that are based on the classes that POCA Tech will be teaching, God willing, this fall. Occupy, resist, produce!

Author: lisafer

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  1. Big love to all the POCAdots who worked their butts off to put this together! Wow!! So much happier giving my ceu money to POCA,AND learning skills that are applicable to my style of practice.

    In my state, a certain % of CEU’s must be “directly related to acupuncture”, as opposed to ethics, practice management, etc. Possibly a subcategory? If not, the course descriptions should make it easy enough to sort out. Ditto herbal studies, which I don’t see here yet, but I’m hopeful they’ll arrive.

  2. Diana, this is an issue for Florida too, where ALL of their CEUs have to be directly related to acupuncture. We’re hoping that filming a bunch of POCA Tech classes will help with that, besides fulfilling everybody’s fantasy of going back to acupuncture school in a better universe, but also if anybody wants to jump-start the process, we’re looking for volunteers: https://pocacoop.com/forums/viewthread/6711/