"I urge all acupuncturists to join together to insure the integration of acupuncture"
This letter is in response to the letter to the editor, "Who Represents the Acupuncture Community?" by Celia R.
Thibodeau, MAc, Dipl.Ac. in the April issue.
Ms. Thibodeau's letter is of concern for three reasons. First, her comments are self-serving, mean-spirited and not in keeping with the express desires of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA) and the mainstream LAc community. Our joint goals and direction emphasize working together for the promotion and integration of acupuncture as part of mainstream American medicine. Ms. Thibodeau's motivation is clearly that of territorial protection and financial gain. Such objectives are neither ethically nor morally defensible.
Second, Ms. Thibodeau's comments are in direct opposition to the WHO/WFAS standards for physician acupuncture training. She and the small, territorially-focused group she represents do not have standing to disagree with the standards established and honored throughout the rest of the world. Her tirade regarding physician vs. non-physician training is a repetitive, tired mantra comparing apples to tractors, not apples to apples or even to pears. I strongly suggest that she join with us to "fight the good fight" for patient rights and acupuncture's integrity, rather than continuing a hissing contest of no interest to anyone but a small cadre of malcontents.
Finally, Ms. Thibodeau's letter contains numerous inaccuracies and half-truths, not the least of which is regarding Dr. Rutenberg's current position. He is chair of the AAMA Medical Acupuncture Advisory Committee, not chair of the AAMA.
In conclusion, I urge all acupuncturists - physicians and LAcs - to join together to insure the integration of acupuncture into the American consciousness and into our medical system. To continue bickering deflects the rewards of our shared efforts as common goals. We as healers must continue our dialogue and work together for our mutual benefit.
Marshall H. Sager, DO, DABMA, FAAMA President, American Academy of Medical Acupuncture Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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