In the hopes of bringing together a fragmented AOM community, an inside source from a prominent acupuncture college has leaked both portions of the curriculum as well as educational techniques for the fourth year of training in the first professional doctorate program (FPD) in acupuncture. On conditions of anonymity, the source, calling himself Pla-Qibo, claims that his information comes from being directly involved with the actual training of an experimental class composed of faculty at a well known New York acupuncture college. He, along with several administrators from this large unnamed New York school that is a allegedly a driving force behind the Council of Colleges and the FPD, worked directly under the schools president, implementing the latest in cutting edge educational techniques designed to make the FPD graduate an asset to any western medical care environment. Emphasis will be placed on certain core competencies rather than credit hours, as is the case with the existing masters degree. And while doctoral standards have been debated and written up in the past, the new standards are quite unlike any previously considered.
“We wanted to make sure that the acupuncture students were good boys and girls. Initially, we had a fear that students might jump up on the M.D.’s if they got too excited or possibly wet themselves”, Pla-Qibo said in a hushed tone over a long distance line that had its caller ID blocked. “So we started them off with choke collars and only moved on to a harness when a student was showing proper submissiveness and no longer a threat to a doctor. Make no mistake, FPD training will be tough, but the trials successfully domesticated the test subjects. You could say they were hospital-broken.”
The fourth doctoral year will start with students learning basic commands, working in small groups with a real, western medical doctor that is their lead trainer for the year. The first task for the acupuncture student will involve their medical doctor-trainer holding a mock FPD diploma under the students nose for a moment and then bringing it up under the doctors chin, saying, “Look at me!” The competency being taught is learning exactly who is in control of healthcare delivery in a western medical environment. Pla-Qibo commented that, “The acupuncturist needs to be able to focus on the doctors, first and foremost. They must learn right away who is in charge, who is their master.” After this basic skill of holding attention is retained, more involved commands will be taught. The first module of training will be rounded out with the mastering of “Sit”, “Stay” “Down” and “Come”.
Pla-Qibo was quick to mention that the skills will be taught in a way that is fun and humane with no hitting involved. Shock collars were used with success in the trials and will be permitted on only the most unruly of students, but it was observed that a steady stream of compliments and play made the training process easier, more enjoyable and extremely effective. “It was not uncommon to see an acupuncture student on their back with a doctor rubbing their belly after a good job. You would hear a lot of ‘Good boy!’ and ‘That’s a girl!’ The doctors really had a good time with them.”
Doctors also seemed to enjoy themselves, discovering that training acupuncturists is an excellent release of personal stress, as well as amusing. “The doctors would get so much pleasure out of listening to the acupuncture student explain a western medical disease in AOM terms. They would laugh and laugh and laugh! The student would just smile dumbly with their tongue hanging out, wagging their tail. I loved watching a doctor play ‘fetch the patients chart’ with a student that did a good job of something or other. The doctor would hurl a chart down a hallway. You wouldn’t believe how fast those students could run, how high they would jump! It was really heartwarming. It was nice.”
The second module of training incorporates more involved competencies such as “begging for referrals”, “shake doctors hand” and “medical-Speak!”. Upon graduation, the acupuncture student receives their own collar and ID badge. The badge is in the shape of a bone.
“We truly believe that this will be the most forward looking program in Acupuncture Today. With all graduates learning these basic competencies, we’ll have the insurance companies on their hind legs in no time!” barked Pla-Qibo, confident in the future of the FPD. And although Pla-Qibo wanted to remain anonymous, he firmly believes that opposition to the FPD will heel if only everyone could come to understand that a well trained and obedient acupuncture practitioner is essential to patient focused integrative care. And so it appears that finally, acupuncture will get out of the western medical dog-house. Thatta boy! Good job, girl! Fetch!