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July, 2002, Vol. 03, Issue 07
By Editorial Staff
The Acupuncture Poll's question for April 2002 was:
"If you had to do it all over again, would you still become an acupuncturist or doctor of Oriental medicine?"
These results are based upon 412 responses. As this is a voluntary, non-scientific survey, caution should be used in generalizing the results. Here is a sample of the comments made by those who took the survey and how they voted:
Yes: I would do it all over again, but knowing what I know now, I would ask much more of my school. The schools are teaching minimum competency in acupuncture and Chinese herbals. What I need now and am having to pursue on my own is anatomy, physiology, and a basic Western understanding of the body. I also received insufficient preparation of setting up a practice. In many dental and chiropractic schools, practice development and management courses are taught. The one I received in grad school was just an introduction and has proven to be insufficient. Competency in practice is more than just diagnosing and treating. It is being there over time for your patients.
Yes: This is a challenging and exciting time to be starting as an acupuncturist. Little by little, providers of traditional Western medicine are becoming more curious about what we can do to improve the health of our patients. Hospitals are opening CAM centers because their patients are asking for it - and we must be ready to discuss our medicine, its history and theory, and have proof (i.e., valid research) to demonstrate its effectiveness. It will be awhile before we're "mainstream" or before we earn the respect we deserve from the Western providers. Thankfully, our patients make it worth the wait.
Yes: I am very proud to be a part of this profession. It is a great service to the community. There is always more to learn. It is very important to have work that is meaningful. This is very satisfying.
No: The education in this country is not worth the time and money. I tried two different TCM schools and looked at many more. The education is substandard and the programs are all essentially the same. There is no spirit left in the medicine. It is not holistic. It is cookie-cutter medicine applied to a set of presented symptoms. I wish I could say that I would go to China or Japan instead of attending school in the U.S. The problem would be the shame I would feel still being associated with the current level of practice within this country.
Yes: Absolutely! I love what I do. This medicine which I stumbled across years ago has the possibility to give many people in this country compassionate care and effective results for many ailments that are killing people in this country · Someday soon, we will have educated to our Western counterparts what we can do for their patients to improve overall health care in this and other countries.