Thanks but No Thanks.

For the life of me I am wondering what the FPD as it is proposed would add to the experience of running or working in a program in a hospital in the United States as an acupuncturist. I ran a program for 3 years in a hospital and at no time did I feel that my Masters level training was not up to the job.

It was a wild  and interesting ride for the most part.It was at the time arguably the only integrated acupuncture program within a US hospital in so far as our referral base was from the 20 Primary care docs upstairs as well as the specialty clinics in our building including mental health, OB/Gyn and Peds and each referral required a treatment plan and a referral back to the referring Provider at the finish of a course of treatment.Most programs at the time may have had the name of the hospital on them but were legally and financially seperate entities.

Isnt this the holy grail that is one of the goals of the FPD to have acupuncture programs integrated into hospitals and conventional health care settings? I suggest that the success of such programs happens one clinical success at a time and requires the sweat equity  of protocols that work to alleviate patient symptoms in a predictable successful way and programs that get patient candidates into see those acupuncturists in the easiest , quickest ways to facilitate that clinical success . The Masters level training does all that already.

If there was something that I might have needed help with there was huge amounts of that within the hospital. Working on a proposed paper for a medical journal I had the expertise of the doctor on campus who did that for all the medical Providers.If i needed to prove that acupuncture could be seen as a great intervention for herpes zoster for a patient in acute pain then I had the services of the hospital librarian who would send gobs of studies to my inbox within the day and we had procedures in place to fast track him into the clinic within hours. We had access to the best medical and university databases to build cases for things that acupuncture uniquely treats well within all that is provided in a hospital .The hospital had secretarial help a phone call away, computer courses for the asking and continuing education in my field in a generous package .

In the course of our days we might see a bunch of patients, meet with the OB/Gyn to design or discuss the interdepartmental breech pilot. provide education to in- house or visiting docs or med students, meet with other members of the complementary med team to design a program that would provide the most relief to the most patients within our patient community.We might work on procedures for using fire in a hospital therapeutically(moxa)  or protocols using the physical modalities of Chinese medicine alone without herbs that would give the best result in the shortest amount of time. It was all about access really because there was no point having this great intervention if the Providers or our patients did not know about it or if they could not get in to see an acupuncture Provider in a timely fashion .Neither myself or my fellow acupuncturist ever felt inadequate to the many hats that we were asked to wear

Reading Todds account of what it is like being a Doctor made me remember how lucky we both felt to not have the hospital priveleges that the chiropractors “enjoyed’ .They acted as our gatekeepers and spent an inordinate amount of time dealing with all the paperwork that came with that role.After we had educated them on what a good candidate for acupuncture looked like we were free to treat our patients  and design our program while they vetted the referrals and went to endless meetings.

The one thing that it might have been nice to have was the ability to prescribe herbs . I have no idea how this will ever happen in an integrated clinic  within an American hospital as it is an FDA thing not an FPD thing!I cannot imagine how rich and committed one would have to be to get one herb or herbal formula through the prohibitive, 10 year, FDA approval process.I see nothing within the FPD proposal that would lead to herbs being practiced within an American hospital , just as I see nothing that would lead to the hospital privelages that the Chiropractors worked for decades for with huge amounts of money,organization and time in prison. 

You schools did your job.Obviously you have trained us excellently for all the roles that we have taken on in all the healthcare settings that we have moved into quietly.. one patient success at a time. 

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Conference Keynote: Breaking the Ceiling

The theme for this conference is “Breaking Barriers”. You know, there are so many barriers to break in acupuncture that it was really hard to choose which ones to talk about for this speech. But since I’ve spent so much time talking about classism as a barrier, I thought it might be fun to shift gears a little and talk about numbers.

Responses

  1. Thank you, Diane!!!!

    A perspective on acupuncturists working in hospitals written BY AN ACUPUNCTURIST WHO WORKED IN A HOSPITAL. WHO ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT SHE’S TALKING ABOUT. BASED ON REALITY.

    Wait, is that kind of thing allowed in discussions of the FPD? 

    I might weep.

  2. Where are all the people who

    Where are all the people who support the FPD?  We all know that when members of the acupuncture community disagree with CAN ideas they come here and let their disagreements known.  No one is posting responses about how CAN is ruining the profession.  I wonder how many acupuncturists just going about their business practicing, (probably some in hospitals) don’t even know this is happening, or haven’t had a chance to give it any real thought.  Maybe this has been covered before, but has there been a practice wide survey of all practitioners (not just alphabet members) asking how the average practitioner feels about this?    

  3. I wrote to a board member of

    I wrote to a board member of my state board asking for them to officially stand together in opposition to the FPD.  I even sent him the facebook link.  His response was that he didn’t know anything about any decisions being made on the FPD, and that it would be unlikely that the board would actually make any kind of stand.

     I wrote back that it was his license in jeopardy also, especially if we do not get grandfathered in, and I asked again as I did last year “what exactly does the board do anyway?”