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September, 2002, Vol. 03, Issue 09
By Editorial Staff
The Acupuncture Poll's question for June 2002 was:
"How would you describe your professional relationship with medical doctors and/or chiropractors in your area?"
These results are based upon 241 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:
Good: I have been pleasantly surprised at how accepting and helpful MDs and DCs have been. Six area MDs have referred patients, as have three DCs. On the other hand, I have found that there is a lot of jealousy and cattiness among my area's acupuncturists.
Fair: The medical field in my area has become a business rather than a health concern. I find it very difficult to get a practitioner to actually listen to what is going on in your life and how that relates to health. Medical doctors are too quick to make out a prescription and make a follow-up appointment and move on to the next patient.
Good: I'm a registered nurse as well as an acupuncturist, so I have an advantage in that I've worked with a lot of local MDs for years. Some are very interested in acupuncture and CAM; others think I'm basically crazy for pursuing this medicine. Most have been very supportive, and although I've only been in practice now for a few months, I believe I'll be getting some referrals.
MDs have always been the kings in the world of Western medicine, and some are threatened by alternative medicine. When their patients ask about it, they tend to pooh-pooh it because they basically don't understand it. But as their patients share more positive feedback, and they become more educated about it, I believe they will see the value of having the option to refer patients to acupuncturists when indicated. We need to educate Western MDs about our medicine. When they are convinced that it works, through research, personal experience or patient feedback, then we can expect more referrals.