FAOMRA, the Federation of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Regulatory Agencies, was created in 1998. It has spent the last two years increasing its membership and preparing the infrastructure needed to play an important role in the evolution of Oriental medicine in America.
The mission of FAOMRA is twofold. Its first mission is to provide an organization through which the state licensing boards and regulatory agencies may work together to better assure the protection of the public through good communication about licensure, practice, regulatory activity and professional disciplinary action in the professions of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Its other mission is to promote the delivery of quality healthcare from these professions to the public.
How will FAOMRA accomplish these goals? By encouraging membership and participation of all regulatory agencies, and by exchanging information about licensing requirements, regulatory activities, disciplinary actions, educational programs, current issues, public outreach activities, scope of practice, standards of care, and reciprocity. Other objectives include: establishing and maintaining a website or comparable source of information that uses data standards conforming to healthcare industry requirements; developing and encouraging cooperation with other organizations whose objectives are related or similar in nature to the mission and objectives of FAOMRA; and discussing and developing appropriate standards regarding regulatory activities.
FAOMRA has been a sleeping giant, but it may soon emerge as a powerful national organization. All aspects of our profession are ultimately determined (or at least strongly influenced) at the state regulatory agency level. For example, scope of practice, educational requirements, and the types of exams that must be passed for licensure or legal recognition are determined by a state licensing board under the authority of a state law. These regulatory agencies are very influential when changes to state laws are presented to legislatures.
FAOMRA holds meetings twice a year (autumn and spring) at national conventions. A website (www.faomra.org) has also been created that provides information about the federation, its bylaws and meetings, and a membership application. The site also provides both an open public dialogue area, and a secured area for regulatory agency members. We hope this free service will facilitate dialogue about the key issues facing our profession.