The following is my submission to the AAAOM-Student Organization’s $1000 essay writing contest, whose Facebook club I am a member of I have been tossed off of(pun becomes relevant later). I hope to be the winner, and an inside source assures me that my victory is inevitable. I will use the $1000 prize to donate back to the AAAOM-SO and their Help A Failed Acupuncturist(HAFA) program. If you would like to apply for the HAFA program, check out their webpage. Preference is given to AAAOM members.
Essay Question:”How do you foresee the integration of AOM in mainstream U.S. health care affecting the overall health of the U.S. Society? Name and describe/discuss three ways you see this change occurring.”
1. I foresee well-paid medical doctors laughing at unpaid doctors of acupuncture working in clinical externships at western medical clinics. As laughter is the best medicine, patients that are nearby will join in and also laugh at these unpaid acupuncture doctors, improving their health. So, as more acupuncturists work unpaid in western clinical settings and are laughed at by western medical doctors and their sick patients, the health and well being of anyone in sight (except other unpaid acupuncturists) will be greatly improved, affecting the health of U.S. Society.
2. I foresee acupuncturists taking a greater role in U.S. health care as primary care providers. As acupuncturists are largely unprepared for this role, having nowhere near the preparation of western medical PCP’s, I also foresee a sharp rise in litigation against acupuncturists as episodes of malpractice increase. This boon in litigation will greatly increase the health of malpractice lawyers nationwide, a long suffering demographic. There will also be a dramatic rise in malpractice rates for all acupuncturists in general, improving the health of malpractice insurance providers like AAC. It may have a negative impact on the health of acupuncturists that can’t afford the new, higher rates and drop out of practice. But there will be newly trained doctors of acupuncture to treat these failed rejects. Until these acupuncturists also fuck up and/or run out of money and are out of practice as well. But there will be newly trained doctors of acupuncture to treat these failed rejects. Until these acupuncturists too fuck up and/or run out of money and are out of practice as well. But there will be newly trained…you get the point.
3. I foresee more and more patients needling themselves for common ailments. As acupuncture is ridiculously easy to administer and, when done on the extremities, offers very low chance for adverse reactions, self-administered acupuncture care will have a great impact on U.S. Society. Just as diabetics administer injections with little to no difficulty or adverse events, people will begin to needle themselves more often as the word spreads that they can actually do it, it works for many issues and doesn’t have to cost more than the price of the needle. The more that acupuncturists are removed from the equation of care delivery, the greater chance that acupuncture will actually have a positive impact on the health of U.S. society.
4. (Bonus answer!!!)The acronym landscape is a clear signal that the integration of AOM in mainstream U.S. healthcare is positively affecting the health of U.S. Society. Why, only a few years ago, the only acronym for the loose conglomerate of non-mainstream modalities and therapies that Americans use for health care was limited to only one broad term: Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM). But the times they have a changed. Now, we can rest easy that the acronym landscape is growing in leaps and bounds, even if actual use is going nowhere. There is Integrated Medicine (IM), Integral Medicine (IM), Integrated Wellness (IW), and my new favorite, Complimentary Integrated Medicine (CIM).
However, the public needs one final acronym, one acronym to rule them all and in the process bind them. The acronyms need to be Unified. And that gives us our answer: Complimentary Unified Medicine (CUM).
But, we don’t want to scare the public with our new acronym. They may not be ready to swallow another acronym, especially one as hot and powerful as CUM. As AOM practitioners we don’t want to push CUM down their throats and get all in their face with it. That would be unethical. CUM should be something that takes a long time to build up and it would be best not to rush it. We don’t want the quick and uncontrolled release of yet another sloppy acronym. We don’t want the process to be messy. If we don’t warn the public in advance about the release of CUM, they may not trust us in the future. That’s never good.
As a profession, AOM must step up and stop jerking the public around. We want the public to eat up CUM and by positioning ourselves just right, AOM can really get off to a good start. CUM should be all over the place. There is no reason that AOM should wait for some other profession to get to CUM first. WE want to do that. If some other profession gets to CUM before AOM, the public may only call us when those other professionals are too busy. We’ll continue to be sloppy seconds to modalities like chiropractic. Students as future professionals, as well as current professionals should encourage AAAOM, CCAOM, ACAOM and every state practitioner organization and school to cover themselves with CUM as a show of pride, uniting every CUM modality in order to further integrate AOM into U.S. society. Not only does our profession deserve the respect that only CUM will provide, the public deserves the assurance that our acronym is strong enough to impregnate it with a new vision for health and wellness and not leave it frustrated, unsatisfied and taking care of its own needs by itself.
Between CUM and the FPD, AOM will be positioned to spew across the horizon like a white-hot comet!
I can’t wait to be officially announced!