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?
There a so few jobs because we learn a way of understanding the body that is vastly different than western medicine. It is our responsibility to translate our understanding into something that our culture can more easily approach. Our schools have kept us separate by remaing in private hands. This education should be put into community colleges and universities. It would then be easier to be accepted as part of the health career culture. It tells me that we have a lot of work to do for our future students and patients to help this medicine become more widely accepted. It also tells me that the acu-establishmet has built a bubble that will pop over the hopes and dreams of hapless students.
2) What jobs for acupuncturists do you know of that fit the criteria of The Toaster Tour — real, relevant, and replicable? 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.
Schools, private practice, CAN clinics, hospitals, cruise lines, spas (although my opinion considers these last two to be irrelavent.) Oh yeah, there is also a lot of us working at wholefoods and as waiters. To give a specific example, see #3.
3) Who do you think is the largest employer of L.Acs in the U.S.? How many jobs does the largest employer provide?
The largest employer I can think of is Integrative Therapies at Longmont Hospital in Longmont Colorado. They have been around for like 14 +/- years. I think they have like ten practitioners or something. In a broader sense. You can find them with a google search. Acu schools are the largest employers (although these people are teaching primarily and doing acu primarily.) It backs up the old addage that those who can’t do, teach. In other words, there are no jobs, there is only financial aid.
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?
Well more schools obviously (just kidding). We need a better education than the crap the schools feed us. Part of the problem is that a lot of the people who choose this education are anti-establishment freaks, so you get very poorly run schools, because that’s the only place to get a job. We also need to learn to communicate better with the other people who work in medicine, no matter what their title. In general, we need to become more inclusive and not remailn exclusive and opposing. We are responsible. We got stuck in the butt by the acu-man with empty promises. It our job to turn it around into something good.
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?
Let’s think. I took out the student loans, whether based on false premise or not. If I hadn’t, I probably still be picking arugula and onions every day. Well no more dirt farming for this guy! Woo hoo! But seriously though, the solution is for us, as practitioners to make the world a more hospitable place for us and our medicine. Get the education out of private hands and into the public schools. The teachers would get paid better and have more respect, too. We are responsible for making a better future from the crap we were handed and the crap we were born with. Sucks, huh 🙂 Eric