strong>1) Looking at the recent NCCAOM Job Task Analysis, why do you think there are so few jobs for acupuncturists? What do you think that says about the acupuncture profession?
I think that we are just not there yet. Acupuncture is still too unfamiliar to Americans in general. The profession is here for people who believe in it and want to help other people who also believe in it. I don’t know anyone who went to acupuncture college for the money.
strong>2) What jobs for acupuncturists do you know of that fit the criteria of The Toaster Tour — real, relevant, and replicable? (See this blog post for an explanation of the criteria.) Please list the jobs, including the nature of the funding stream that supports them if you know it. We will try to independently verify them, of course; any contact information you have is greatly appreciated.
I do not believe that these jobs exist today.
3) Who do you think is the largest employer of L.Acs in the U.S.? How many jobs
does the largest employer provide?
Due to the high volume of sole proprietor acupuncture practices, the largest employer of L.Ac.s in the U.S. is the American people. Our patients are who provide us with jobs.
4) In your opinion, what groundwork needs to be done in order for more acupuncturists to have real jobs? Who is responsible for doing that groundwork?
I believe that any practitioner who has done due diligence prior to paying for acu college will understand the current climate and know that the responsibility is theirs to create work for themselves. I went in knowing I would have to start a practice. How to do that, where to do that, and when to do that were all in order in my mind ahead of time. We should all be working together to educate other healthcare providers, human resource directors, patients, and the insurance companies about the benefits of what we offer. If we believe that our service is effective, affordable, and worth paying for, we should be able to facilitate a discussion about that. Organizations like the NCCAOM, AAAOM, and the CCAOM should be putting money towards that public education.
strong>5) The availability of jobs for acupuncturists is a pressing concern because students are now graduating with so much Title IV debt that it is impossible for many of them to start their own businesses, which means more and more graduates are never able to practice acupuncture at all. What do you think is the solution to this problem? And who is responsible for addressing it?
I believe that some of the responsibility belongs to the for-profit colleges benefiting from the Title IV loans. Students should be more prudent about how much they borrow. Living within their means, working part-time, and saving to start a practice are reasonable expectations for anyone. If I can do it, any smart practitioner can. I’m not special, just well networked.