People want natural, safe, and effective care. We provide that. Sounds like a win-win situation, right?
Yet, some acupuncturists seem determined to shoot themselves (and our profession) in the foot. For years, a combination of high prices and insider jargon has ensured that the majority of the population won’t even consider acupuncture. Now, our preferred weapon of self destruction is the FPD.
Proponents of the FPD claim that having a doctorate would allow us to gain respect. I would argue that it would cause us to lose respect from the people who matter most– our patients.
My patients already have a primary care doctor and often see several specialists. The last thing they want is another doctor. It would alienate most of my patients if I started calling myself “doctor,” wearing a lab coat, and making them wear johnnies*.
I wish that I could be passive about this and say that those who want a doctorate should be allowed to get one and leave it at that. Unfortunately, this is not just an individual choice. The FPD has the potential to negatively impact our profession as a whole– in tangible ways (by making acupuncture school less accessible to incoming students and making acupuncture treatments more expensive and out of the reach of the majority of patients), and in a less perceptible but just as important way, by turning off our patients and potential patients.
* When I was just out of school, I worked for a BA practice that used johnnies. One patient said that he would rather kill himself than wear one. A bit melodramatic, but telling.