Posted with Permission – Letter from a colleague opposing the FPD

To the ACAOM, As an ACAOM credentialed practitioner of acupuncture and TCM for almost twenty years, I understand that I am a stakeholder in the current practice of acupuncture and oriental medicine in my local and national community. I am resolutely opposed to the development of standards for and subsequent implementation of any kind of professional doctorate in acupuncture and /or in oriental medicine.

I do not believe it prudent or a worthy expenditure of our precious ACAOM
resources that may result in a change for the basic licensing of our
profession. The potential impact for existing practitioners who have passed
examinations and practiced under hard fought licenses and scope of
practices in individual states is devastating. The impact on the general
public’s perceptions regarding the “legitimate” identity and qualifications of
current and future TCM practitioners can only be damaging for practitioners
and patients alike.

I am not opposed to the evolution of standards and education for TCM and
acupuncture training, however the introduction of a professional doctorate
creates at least a two tier standard that will dilute the integrity of any TCM
related curriculum. Slow, gradual and measured change is the way of the
Tao as well as that of sound and well founded standards. The additional
expense, time and institutional burden for students and the profession from
moving toward a professional doctorate is both senseless and untimely.

I am not opposed to development of an academic doctoral degree program in
established and conventionally accredited universities, and trust that this
avenue of higher learning will conserve the high substantive and intellectual
traditions of learning that most of us in the mainstream value. Such a degree
would be valuable to prepare a future generation for credible research and
related public health activities that our profession so clearly does currently
need. An academically accredited PhD program in TCM/Oriental Medicine
much like a PhD in medicine would not be confused with that of the
professional LAc similarly as with an to an MD.

Please slow down and resist the temptation to attempt to realize legitimacy in
the US health care world by creating what the mainstream will inevitably
perceive as yet another relatively meaningless and poorly supported CAM
credential. Please honor our roots in TCM and act with moderation rather
than the typical yang bravado that contemporary consumer based health care expects.
William F Wulsin, MPH, MA, LAc,

river Jordan
Author: river Jordan

After graduating from the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine in 1997, I had a hobby practice for a few years before moving to Northern India to study Buddhism. During this time, I volunteered in a local clinic, giving acupuncture to Tibetan refugees and Indian nationals. <p> Returning to the U.S. in 2002, I started a typical insurance based acupuncture practice catering to the upper middle class. In 2005, following Hurricane Katrina, I volunteered with <a href="" target="_blank">Acupuncturists Without Borders</a>, using community style acupuncture to treat trauma victims in a natural disaster setting. </p> Inspired by the power and efficacy of acupuncture in a post-disaster setting, I began to contemplate issues of socioeconomic class. What could be done to make acupuncture accessible to everyone and still provider a livable wage for an acupuncturist? After attending WCA's first conference in October of 2006, I had found the answer to that question. In January 2007, together with my partner Serena Sundaram, we founded <a href="" target="_blank">Communichi</a>, Seattle's first dedicated community acupuncture clinic. <p> As a Buddhist, I believe that healing begins in the mind. As the positive qualities of wisdom and compassion are cultivated in the mind of a practitioner, this...

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  1. thanks Jordan!

    Something I didn’t realize until this discussion got going — the difference between regional school accreditation and national ACAOM accreditation. Guess which carries more weight with all the folks we are theoretically trying to impress? Yeah. Not the ACAOM variety. Argh.