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Re: titles in the world of acupuncture (Re: thanks for the info)

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  • Berns
    Hi Richard, Julia, everyone in the group, This topic is taking an interesting turn. I responded a few days ago to Harry s original post (i m the lonely
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 31, 2002
      Hi Richard, Julia, everyone in the group,

      This topic is taking an interesting turn. I responded
      a few days ago to Harry's original post (i'm the
      "lonely acupuncturist in Ohio") and I just wanted to
      offer a respectful counterpoint to the points made by
      Richard. As a first year (allopathic) medical student
      at the University of Cincinnati as well as a newly
      licensed acupuncturist, I believe I have an unusual
      perspective that I wish to share...

      In my personal experience I agree with what Julia has
      posted, insofar as I believe that the "medical"
      acupuncturists (and I do dislike that term as it
      marginalizes L.Ac.'s) understand their own
      shortcomings. I have had occassion to meet an M.D. who
      went through the UCLA medical acupuncture program and
      took it upon himself to continue his acupuncture
      training to encompass more of the traditional TCM
      theories (he went back and read the standard U.S.
      texts, Maccioca, etc.) In fact, this particular M.D.
      that I met entirely gave up his allopathic practice
      and now works at an integrated medicine clinic with
      several other M.D. acupuncturists, chiropractors,
      massage therapists, and practitioners of other
      modalilties. He was very earnest in desiring to be the
      best acupuncturist he could be, and that, I think, is
      an attitude that many licensed acupuncturists could
      learn to adopt themselves.

      My point here is that when I look at the situation
      from the perspective of the allopathic community I see
      a lot less competitiveness and ill-will on the part of
      the M.D.'s and a lot more genuine interest in what TCM
      is all about. Many (but not all) of the faculty here
      at Univ. of Cinci. are very curious and open to
      finding out what is the deal with acupuncture, and
      this is Ohio. Yes, some of the M.D. acupuncturists are
      just "playing" around with needles, but for the most
      part their impact should be rather inconsequential
      when you take into account the fact that it is only a
      very, very, very small percentage of M.D's who
      actually care enough to go out and learn acupuncture,
      even if it is for only 200 hours or whatever.

      Furthermore, from a consumer point of view, if the
      treatment doesn't give good results, they'll just go
      somehwere else anyways. If the M.D. acupuncturist
      helps his patient, then that's great. Some good has
      been done. If the M.D. acupuncturist is just playing
      with silly point combinations without the backing of a
      good understanding of the pricnciples of TCM diagnosis
      and point selection, then the treatment won't do any
      good and the patient will go elsewhere.

      Anyway, I don't want to ramble on for too long (I
      could go on and on). I guess I'd just like to close by
      saying that if we as L.Ac's organize ourselves and get
      on the same page in terms of desiring and acquiring
      top-notch training and education, then we have nothing
      to fear from M.D. acupuncturists. We are all trying to
      do the same thing, bring healing to our patients. If
      an M.D. is genuinely interested in learning
      acupuncture, more power to him, that's great. In my
      book, that makes him an M.D. who is seeking to
      transcend the limitations of his allopathic training.
      And, to be sure, we as acupuncturists should seek to
      do the same by recognizing and trying to overcome
      limitations in our own knowledge and training (which,
      by the way, is at least part of the reason why I
      decided to go to medical school). I think the
      *perceived* antagonism from the M.D.'s is exactly
      that, merely a perception. In reality, there are many
      M.D.'s who really do want to learn about acupuncture
      and see what it can and can't do.

      My two cents,
      Bernard Kim


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    • acudoc11@aol.com
      Hi Bernard Your views and experiences are valid and I am glad to see your statement. A slight update for clarification. I believe it was clearly said (and I
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 1, 2003
        Hi Bernard

        Your views and experiences are valid and I am glad to see your statement.

        A slight update for clarification.

        I believe it was clearly said (and I didn't take your statement as an attack)
        regardin some MD Medical Acupuncturists. YES, certainly there are MDs who
        care more for their patients than the mighty buck and the way the system
        forces them to 'move' patients through the revolving doors in order to cover
        their overheads among other reasons. With that in mind there are very few of
        the approximate 3,500 MDs who have gone through the UCLA week-end and home
        video coursework who have gone further than the 200 hours of almost nonsense.
        And YES, the 200 hours has changed since Joseph Helms originated this academy
        training.

        With all due respect (seriously) to the prolific writers of the last 20 years
        (and they have done us ALL a great service)......when the depths of
        Acupuncture/OM are more more fully revealed - barely anyone will read these
        early writings. As I may have stated - there are over 2,000 classical books
        never translated into modern chinese of which 500 are very important.

        You are again CORRECT when you state that the majority of the MDs involved in
        acupuncture are not overly competitive or ill-willed. Even the MDs who have
        no interest generally are not ill-willed.

        It is a SERIOUS PROBLEM caused by a few hundred or so MDs who are in control
        of the various allopathic organizations, insurance carriers and state/federal
        governmental agencies. The are the ones who probably never had or were
        incapable of a decent practice.

        I wish it weren't so but the ONE thing for sure that exists and which many
        seem not to be apprised of is the intent and behaviour of those who you do
        not KNOW or SEE within varying legislative and Public Relations drives across
        the US. THEY are out to destroy LAc's or in the least insure that they will
        be subservient to the allopathic world. Just LOOK and remember how the AMA
        got their hands seriosuly slapped by the US Supreme Court for restraint of
        trade against Chiropractors. Do you think they ever stopped? Do you think
        that from the 1970's they weren't doing the same thing to the acupuncture
        world?

        These are so-to-speak ALL separate realities. One thing has little to do with
        the other. There are the majoirty of the 3,500+ Medical Acupuncturists that
        couldn't ever compare to the average LAc.
        There are the few (maybe 100 or so) MD medical acupuncturists who should be
        applauded for their personal efforts.
        And THEN there are those MDs who are control freaks who want LAc's down and
        out and/or under their control.
        And if any don't think this is reality then you are not exposed or paying
        attention.

        In this day and age (1/1/03)....can you imagine that the Federal government
        supposedly does not KNOW what acupuncture is? They apparently are holding up
        the acceptance and standardization for HIPAA of the C.A.M. coding system
        because of this supposed lack of understanding of terminology ----- yet the
        majority of those codes are designed for and desired by and already approved
        by over 2.3 million allopathic Nurses and other health care providers. Tell
        me - what kind of game is being played? Just maybe - part of this reality is
        that when this CAM coding system is approved, 80% of the coding revenues will
        go bye-bye because the majority of health care pracitioners in the US are not
        MD/DO physicians. You must keep in mind this REALITY. -> If there is no code
        for a procedure...you can't bill for it, you can't collect for it and more
        importantly you cannot prove the procedure's benefits either in financial
        savings or efficacy.

        Let me know, anytime, the University of Cinncinati (as example) is seriosuly
        interested in setting up some REAL provable and repeatedable results oriented
        research either in the domain of Oriental bodywork(not limited to acupuncture
        needles) or in Chinese Materia Medica.....and I would be more than happy to
        show/tell and be involved.

        I know you weren't denegrating Ohio.....sometimes the less poisoned but small
        places (in a sense) are better soil for real work.

        Richard










        In a message dated 1/1/03 1:53:40 PM, bernard_m_kim@... writes:
        << Hi Richard, Julia, everyone in the group,

        This topic is taking an interesting turn. I responded
        a few days ago to Harry's original post (i'm the
        "lonely acupuncturist in Ohio") and I just wanted to
        offer a respectful counterpoint to the points made by
        Richard. As a first year (allopathic) medical student
        at the University of Cincinnati as well as a newly
        licensed acupuncturist, I believe I have an unusual
        perspective that I wish to share...

        In my personal experience I agree with what Julia has
        posted, insofar as I believe that the "medical"
        acupuncturists (and I do dislike that term as it
        marginalizes L.Ac.'s) understand their own
        shortcomings. I have had occassion to meet an M.D. who
        went through the UCLA medical acupuncture program and
        took it upon himself to continue his acupuncture
        training to encompass more of the traditional TCM
        theories (he went back and read the standard U.S.
        texts, Maccioca, etc.) In fact, this particular M.D.
        that I met entirely gave up his allopathic practice
        and now works at an integrated medicine clinic with
        several other M.D. acupuncturists, chiropractors,
        massage therapists, and practitioners of other
        modalilties. He was very earnest in desiring to be the
        best acupuncturist he could be, and that, I think, is
        an attitude that many licensed acupuncturists could
        learn to adopt themselves.

        My point here is that when I look at the situation
        from the perspective of the allopathic community I see
        a lot less competitiveness and ill-will on the part of
        the M.D.'s and a lot more genuine interest in what TCM
        is all about. Many (but not all) of the faculty here
        at Univ. of Cinci. are very curious and open to
        finding out what is the deal with acupuncture, and
        this is Ohio. Yes, some of the M.D. acupuncturists are
        just "playing" around with needles, but for the most
        part their impact should be rather inconsequential
        when you take into account the fact that it is only a
        very, very, very small percentage of M.D's who
        actually care enough to go out and learn acupuncture,
        even if it is for only 200 hours or whatever.

        Furthermore, from a consumer point of view, if the
        treatment doesn't give good results, they'll just go
        somehwere else anyways. If the M.D. acupuncturist
        helps his patient, then that's great. Some good has
        been done. If the M.D. acupuncturist is just playing
        with silly point combinations without the backing of a
        good understanding of the pricnciples of TCM diagnosis
        and point selection, then the treatment won't do any
        good and the patient will go elsewhere.

        Anyway, I don't want to ramble on for too long (I
        could go on and on). I guess I'd just like to close by
        saying that if we as L.Ac's organize ourselves and get
        on the same page in terms of desiring and acquiring
        top-notch training and education, then we have nothing
        to fear from M.D. acupuncturists. We are all trying to
        do the same thing, bring healing to our patients. If
        an M.D. is genuinely interested in learning
        acupuncture, more power to him, that's great. In my
        book, that makes him an M.D. who is seeking to
        transcend the limitations of his allopathic training.
        And, to be sure, we as acupuncturists should seek to
        do the same by recognizing and trying to overcome
        limitations in our own knowledge and training (which,
        by the way, is at least part of the reason why I
        decided to go to medical school). I think the
        *perceived* antagonism from the M.D.'s is exactly
        that, merely a perception. In reality, there are many
        M.D.'s who really do want to learn about acupuncture
        and see what it can and can't do.

        My two cents,
        Bernard Kim >>
      • Berns
        Hi Richard, Your points were well taken and I tend to agree with most of what you ve said. I agree that there is a lot of work to be done in translating the
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 2, 2003
          Hi Richard,

          Your points were well taken and I tend to agree with
          most of what you've said. I agree that there is a lot
          of work to be done in translating the huge corpus of
          Chinese (and Korean and Japanese) texts not yet
          available in the English language.

          Also, I agree that the AMA's history in the early part
          of the 20th century to squeeze out other medical
          systems is an historical fact but is still largely
          unknown to most people (except maybe the chiropractors
          themselves).

          You bring up the coding issue. That to me is a
          significant one. I agree with your main point but
          would only add that I believe part of the issue here
          is that before acupuncture and other "alternative"
          therapies can be coded there needs to be more
          efficacy/outcomes research done. This is an economic
          issue. The insurance companies won't reimburse on a
          modality that is not shown to be of at least some
          efficacy. Once the data show that the treatment works,
          they will be coded. This is just speculation on my
          part, but I believe that it would be in the intersts
          of the insurance companies to code for effective
          alternative therapies because for the most part they
          are cheaper than allopathic procedures. For example,
          acupuncture and Tui-na tx's for carpal tunnel syndrome
          instead of the horrific surgery that M.D.s perform.

          I know that one possible objection to what I've just
          written is that the research has been done in China
          and that TCM has a 5000 year hx and all that, and I
          totally agree. But, the studies can and are being done
          here in the U.S. and many (but not all) of the results
          are favorable. I think this is an area where L.Ac.'s
          and others can get involved. We can help with study
          design since the western scientists know how to
          perform a study, but may not be familiar with the
          specifics of acupuncture therapy (BTW, this is an area
          that I am interested in, and yet another personal
          reason why I decided to go to medical school).

          Anyway, yes, when it boils down to it I suppose I see
          your point that there are a few M.D.'s out there who
          wield a lot of power in terms of policy, legislation,
          and change. And they are exerting their negative
          influence against the L.Ac's. However, I would still
          assert that internally, L.Ac's have a
          personal/professional obligation to be the best that
          they can be and bring change and unity to the
          profession from within. As our training becomes more
          and more refined, the consumer-public will take note
          and they will be the driving force to bring L.Ac's out
          of the margins and into the mainstream.
          Consumer-pressure, I believe, will overcome the
          slipping grip of the few, aging, old-boys-club M.D.'s
          that are making it difficult for everyone else.

          Bernie


          --- ACUDOC11@... wrote:
          >
          > Hi Bernard
          >
          > Your views and experiences are valid and I am glad
          > to see your statement.
          >
          > A slight update for clarification.
          >
          > I believe it was clearly said (and I didn't take
          > your statement as an attack)
          > regardin some MD Medical Acupuncturists. YES,
          > certainly there are MDs who
          > care more for their patients than the mighty buck
          > and the way the system
          > forces them to 'move' patients through the revolving
          > doors in order to cover
          > their overheads among other reasons. With that in
          > mind there are very few of
          > the approximate 3,500 MDs who have gone through the
          > UCLA week-end and home
          > video coursework who have gone further than the 200
          > hours of almost nonsense.
          > And YES, the 200 hours has changed since Joseph
          > Helms originated this academy
          > training.
          >
          > With all due respect (seriously) to the prolific
          > writers of the last 20 years
          > (and they have done us ALL a great
          > service)......when the depths of
          > Acupuncture/OM are more more fully revealed - barely
          > anyone will read these
          > early writings. As I may have stated - there are
          > over 2,000 classical books
          > never translated into modern chinese of which 500
          > are very important.
          >
          > You are again CORRECT when you state that the
          > majority of the MDs involved in
          > acupuncture are not overly competitive or
          > ill-willed. Even the MDs who have
          > no interest generally are not ill-willed.
          >
          > It is a SERIOUS PROBLEM caused by a few hundred or
          > so MDs who are in control
          > of the various allopathic organizations, insurance
          > carriers and state/federal
          > governmental agencies. The are the ones who probably
          > never had or were
          > incapable of a decent practice.
          >
          > I wish it weren't so but the ONE thing for sure that
          > exists and which many
          > seem not to be apprised of is the intent and
          > behaviour of those who you do
          > not KNOW or SEE within varying legislative and
          > Public Relations drives across
          > the US. THEY are out to destroy LAc's or in the
          > least insure that they will
          > be subservient to the allopathic world. Just LOOK
          > and remember how the AMA
          > got their hands seriosuly slapped by the US Supreme
          > Court for restraint of
          > trade against Chiropractors. Do you think they ever
          > stopped? Do you think
          > that from the 1970's they weren't doing the same
          > thing to the acupuncture
          > world?
          >
          > These are so-to-speak ALL separate realities. One
          > thing has little to do with
          > the other. There are the majoirty of the 3,500+
          > Medical Acupuncturists that
          > couldn't ever compare to the average LAc.
          > There are the few (maybe 100 or so) MD medical
          > acupuncturists who should be
          > applauded for their personal efforts.
          > And THEN there are those MDs who are control freaks
          > who want LAc's down and
          > out and/or under their control.
          > And if any don't think this is reality then you are
          > not exposed or paying
          > attention.
          >
          > In this day and age (1/1/03)....can you imagine that
          > the Federal government
          > supposedly does not KNOW what acupuncture is? They
          > apparently are holding up
          > the acceptance and standardization for HIPAA of the
          > C.A.M. coding system
          > because of this supposed lack of understanding of
          > terminology ----- yet the
          > majority of those codes are designed for and desired
          > by and already approved
          > by over 2.3 million allopathic Nurses and other
          > health care providers. Tell
          > me - what kind of game is being played? Just maybe -
          > part of this reality is
          > that when this CAM coding system is approved, 80% of
          > the coding revenues will
          > go bye-bye because the majority of health care
          > pracitioners in the US are not
          > MD/DO physicians. You must keep in mind this
          > REALITY. -> If there is no code
          > for a procedure...you can't bill for it, you can't
          > collect for it and more
          > importantly you cannot prove the procedure's
          > benefits either in financial
          > savings or efficacy.
          >
          > Let me know, anytime, the University of Cinncinati
          > (as example) is seriosuly
          > interested in setting up some REAL provable and
          > repeatedable results oriented
          > research either in the domain of Oriental
          > bodywork(not limited to acupuncture
          > needles) or in Chinese Materia Medica.....and I
          > would be more than happy to
          > show/tell and be involved.
          >
          > I know you weren't denegrating Ohio.....sometimes
          > the less poisoned but small
          > places (in a sense) are better soil for real work.
          >
          > Richard
          >



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