GUEST BLOG: Statement of Opposition from Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine National Coalition (AOMNCC)

(AOMNCC’s membership is currently around 1200, most of whom are licensed acupuncturists, with some educators and patients also.)

Having been involved in the field of AOM since 1985 as an apprentice under Dr Robert Sohn PhD LAc and as a practitioner of Oriental medicine since January 1997 and Florida Legislative Chair for the AOM profession from 1998 through 2002, I have been and continue to be a key stakeholder in the successful practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine in this country.

I am STRONGLY OPPOSED to the development of additional scheme standards for yet another dream degree to be called the “first professional doctorate” in acupuncture and/or in Oriental medicine.

The present Masters Degree is already the equivalent of a PhD according to Florida’s Department of Education (Sam Ferguson). The 60 college credit pre-requisite entrance requirement added to the 2,800+ hrs of didactic and clinical education equals the credit hours of a Bachelors, Masters and PhD.

Why doesn’t ACAOM: 1) streamline the present Masters Degree; and 2) then simply rename the Masters degree already in place as the entry level Doctorate and stop this game to drain additional money from students and practitioners alike which will immediately cause much higher patient treatment fees?

Since 1986, Florida practitioners of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine have been primary care providers SUCCESSFULLY diagnosing and treating illness and injury based upon traditional Chinese medicine and modern Oriental medical techniques. More importantly without the excessive need for courses in biomedicine. The operative word being EXCESSIVE.

In Florida, from 1986 through 1997 (eleven years) the didactic and clinical education for Acupuncture Physicians (LAc’s) was just the two year (1,900 hr) program.

It is a testament that during that period over 1,300 practitioners with just a 1,900 hour education were capable and successful as primary care providers.

Since it has been accomplished in Florida it can be accomplished anywhere in the USA.

ACAOM’s propaganda appears to omit these Florida facts.

In the whole USA, just a handful of states contain the majority of acupuncturists in this country who are primary care providers and who successfully treat their patients without any safety problems or for that matter without any referral or communication problems with allopathic doctors.

Furthermore it appears that all the patient safety issues have arisen from untrained MDs, DOs and DCs with 100 hours of training or less.

There appears to be no patient safety needs to have an additional night-trade-school dream degree (FPD), which will definitely cost current students and already licensed practitioners exorbitant amounts of additional money….placing ALL in deeper debt.

As a side note such additional degrees fail to: guarantee regional accreditation acceptance; fail to guarantee full parity with medical doctors; and fail to guarantee healthcare reimbursement.


In 1994 in Florida, the ACAOM Master’s Degree cost students $15,000.00 for the full four year course of study completed in 36 months. Without any substantial changes in the program the cost QUICKLY rose to over $50,000.00 for the same night-trade-school Masters degree.

Today this Masters degree is still not recognized by the regional accreditation system. More accurately this Masters degree is LAUGHED at! Unfortunately it’s a joke on the graduates having to take second jobs to pay off their student loan debt if they are lucky.

It is my and many other colleagues opinion that the current level of training (already the credit hour equivalent of a PhD) creates safe and effective practitioners capable of functioning as entry level acupuncture physicians diagnosing and treating illness and injury. Today, Florida has over 1,965 licensees which prove this point since no new FPD has been necessary and during the past thirty years no Masters was necessary.

Anything beyond the present Masters Degree is nothing but a scheme to burden students and licensees alike with exorbitant additional educational costs and more importantly will translate into higher patient fees.

This FPD scheme will deter new practitioners from entering the field while causing cost prohibitive patient fees from the graduates of an FPD.

So far it appears from the few polls taken that at least 40% of the licensees are against an FPD.

CONSENSUS means group solidarity in-agreement and so far it appears that the profession is a long way off from the true meaning of consensus.

That being the case it is expected that ACAOM will immediately drop the project for any kind of FPD.

With kindest regards,

Richard A Freiberg, OMD DAc AP LAc

Oriental Medicine Practitioner

Board Certified in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Family Practice – AOMNFP

Distinguished Acupuncture Physician – AOMNCC

Founding Director AOMNCC – Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine National Coalition, Corp.

Dr Paul J Reinhardt, MD, OMD – Director AOMNCC

Dr David N Sontag, OMM AP LAc – Director AOMNCC

Jessica Feltz
Author: Jessica Feltz

<p> I learned about Community Acupuncture while studying at the Midwest College of Oriental Medicine (MCOM) in the Spring of 2006 when Lisa Rohleder's first article about her clinic appeared in Acupuncture Today. Coming from a middle-class background myself, I was the only student in my acupuncture class to have not experienced the healing benefits of this medicine prior to beginning studies at MCOM. I couldn't afford it. And my family couldn't understand what I was doing by investing in an education that they didn't perceive to be financially sustainable. </p> <p> The Community Acupuncture model is a perfect fit for me, balancing social justice and taoist simplicity with the patient's innate ability to heal him/herself (with a few gentle nudges from strategically placed needles). I am grateful every day to have found CAN and the love it brings into my life. I want to share that joy by spreading the message about how we can create a new health care experience in our communities through each of our very small efforts...and how those very small efforts can in turn change the world. </p> I enjoy my two sons, my 4 cats, and big stacks of books.  I own and operate...

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  1. Wonderful!

    Wonderful! Where has this letter been posted.  Has this been posted to the AAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCAOM? NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNCAOM?  or those hack reports at Acupuncture Today?

  2. Peoples

    It has been submitted to the ACAOM.  But the AOMNCC would welcome your distribution of this letter to the nether-reaches of our acu-world.  Feel free to forward…

  3. Hum. The AOMNC’s mission

    Hum. The AOMNC’s mission statement states (

    “The mission of the AOMNC as the primary voice of ‘qualified licensees’ is to advance acupuncture and Oriental medicine by promoting its full acceptance in every healthcare arena — private and governmental.

    To that end, we pledge the following:

    To support the new entry-level Oriental Medical Doctor (OMD) degree by NOMAA while at the same time supporting the ‘grandfathering’ for all the ‘elders’ of the profession by adoption of state titles to incorporate this realistic transition;”

    If I recall correctly, the NOMAA’s entry-level Oriental Medical Doctor was loaded with even more biomedicine courses than the ACAOM’s FPD.

    The AOMNC needs to update its mission statement.

  4. AOMNCC Mission Statement

    Yes….the mission statement needs updating, but why bother?

    The majority of the profession has been apathetic and up until recently couldn’t have cared less.

    Maybe now that the handwriting is on the wall is a little clearer to them, they will take action. Taking a position on the FPD is one such way to have their voices heard instead of sitting like bumps on a log on the side of the road.

    Having been the only organization (AOMNCC) and individual (myself) to ever sue the ten major insurance carriers for racketeering and seeing first hand how the court systems work (or better yet…. fail to work), we decided to focus on Florida issues. Although the majority of AOMNC supporters (1,200) are nationwide….we have a strong Florida support of over 400. What the hackers found out is that there really were 1,200 supporters!

    Since that time we decided to be more involved on a local state level as Florida acupuncture licensees have been primary healthcare providers for over 23 years diagnosing and treating illness and injury. The primary care aspect of the Florida practice act was incorporated into law in 1986 when the education was still just 1,900 hours of didactic & clinic requirements and it wasn’t until 1997 that the Florida Board of Acupuncture increased that education to 2,700 hours while still maintaining primary care providership.

    Retrospectively and on reevaluation it appears that it is not necessary to have any First Professional Doctorate of education beyond the Masters Degree…especially to effectively be primary care providers. Florida has been a perfect example of such success.

    The Florida Secretary of the Department of Education (Sam Ferguson) several years back (unofficially) stated that the 2,700 hrs of education including the 60 credit entrance requirement already totaled the equivalent of a PhD….so why does the profession need more?

    In 2002 a Bill amendment we proposed to give the acupuncture profession the Doctor title in the LAW, was sponsored by key legislators in both Florida houses, which included a slight increase in the education to 3,200 hrs and which was coordinated by the FSOMA (before I was illegally removed) along with the Florida Board of Acupuncture (before they were attacked)…. was agressively blocked apparently by money hungry night-trade-schools. Apparently if that happened there would never be a FPD in Florida.

    Richard A Freiberg OMD DAc AP LAc

  5. Where has this letter been posted?

    I (Richard A Freiberg) sent that letter DIRECTLY to AAAAAACCCCCAAAAAAOOOOOMMMM with a copy to Mr. Dort Bigg!

  6. You made good points in your

    You made good points in your statement of opposition to the FPD.

    Are you saying that you made a mistake by pushing for the “Doctor” title and an increase in the education to 3,200 hrs? Most, if not all, the posts on this forum seem to be anti “Doctor” title. What is your position on the “Doctor” title?

    It seems odd that there are so many practitioners that are so desperate to have the “Doctor” title that they’re willing to illegally advertise licensing titles (OMD and DAc) as if these were degree titles. Some states are starting to crack down on this illegal practice. What is your position on advertising the RI licensing title “DAc” in FL for example?