My recent posting –Put Your Input In-while focused on the mission, purpose and values of the American Association Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine AAAOM, raised questions and comments about who the AAAOM is, and who they represent.
Two board members from AAAOM responded to this posting with invitations for more dialogue and participation in the AAAOM’s processes. I am having a dilemma in that I want to participate, but do not have any time I could commit to sitting on an AAAOM committee, nor can I allocate more funds to professional organization memberships at this time…already belonging to 2 organizations as an active member… my hope is that the dialogue continues despite membership status, and out of a desire stated by…. my hope is that the dialogue continues despite membership status, and out of a desire stated by Mark Evans in one of the comments generated by this posting that: “the AAAOM would want to have 100% participation from the acupuncture community.”I responded via email to both Mark Evans and Rebekah Christensen,who’s comments this letter is a response to:
I am writing you in response to your recent post on the Community Acupuncture Network (CAN) Blog. Thank you for your compliment, and interest in the Community Acupuncture Network. In recent weeks you and another AAAOM board member, Mark Evans, have responded to my posting where I proposed a re-write of the mission statement of the AAAOM, as well as stated purposes and values.
My interest in the AAAOM’s role in AOM stems from my own experiences in the acupuncture profession, as a practitioner of nine years, a community acupuncture clinic founder and employee and now as a board member of CAN, an active member of my state organization, and a business owner. When I first read the AAAOM document I was surprised to see the first professional doctorate listed as a value because I don’t actually see this as a value like integrity, compassion, or truth, and secondly because the first professional doctorate (or entry level doctorate) has been a much debated topic within our profession without a clear consensus or mandate.
Your response sets out to clarify AAAOM’s membership numbers, and possibly to imply that AAAOM represents more of the profession than others commenting on this posting suggested.
If AAAOM’s professional membership is now 1235 as you state, this still only represents just under 5% of the practitioner population in the U.S. Of these 1235 members, how many are individuals who joined to receive liability insurance discounts? How many are members by virtue of belonging to their state organization? How many are lifetime members?
You state that the total AAAOM membership is 2399. Total members minus professional members or 2399-1235=1164
AAAOM claims 982 student members, however are these students who joined the AAAOM as individuals, or are they members because they attend a school that has an AAAOM membership? or have attended an AAAOM conference, wherein to obtain student registration discounts they must be members? or have they become members to access health insurance?
You claim that the students are active in committee work and yet the student forum on the AAAOM website shows very little activity in the past year. Individual student members have no vote.
Non-professional members minus student members or 1164-982=182
So the total number of non-practitioner, non-student, allied, or national organization members is 182. My guess would be that of these 182 members about 40 come from of ACAOM , CCAOM, FAOMA, and NCCAOM . There are about 15 business members and so that would leave about 125 members who are not directly involved in the practice, business, or regulation of AOM. That seems impressive.
As a board member in the past for a state organization I know the difficulties of a few active members trying to represent the interests of the entire group, particularly when there is not much input generated from members at large. My editing of AAAOM’s mission, purpose and values aims to create a document that will hopefully reflect the interests of a majority of AOM practitioners and the ethics and responsibilities that come with our choice to be a part of a helping profession.
I appreciate your invitation to volunteer on a AAAOM committee, but I am unable to make such a commitment at this time. Is there a way for me to submit this new version for consideration of the board and membership of the AAAOM?
I am posting this letter on the CAN blog as a follow up to my previous post and hope that you can post your response there as well, to allow for others to participate in the conversation.
Thank you,Cris Monteiro