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Poll Results for the following Question:

Should medical doctors be allowed to practice acupuncture?



Total Respondents: 677


Note: These comments are reproduced as written by visitors to this Web site.
They have not been edited for content, grammar, or spelling.

Yes Only if they have similar standardized training equal to an acupuncturists, and pass the NCCAOM.

No However a medical doctor who studies chinese medical theory and acupuncture for a number of hours commensurate with educational requirements for acupuncturists AND is able to pass the requisite exam for the jurisdiction, then they should be recognized as competent and be allowed to practice
Yes I believe medical doctors should be permitted to practice acupuncture only if they have completed a minimum Master's degree in Oriental Medicine. Poking people with these needles with 1-200 of training is both dangerous and less effective.

Yes a degree does not automatically mean that someone will be particularly good or bad at acupuncture

No As is well known about the acupuncture community, the amount of education it takes to understand an 'Eastern' vs. a 'Western' modality is a minimum of 2 to 3 additional years. This additional education on top of a Medical (or Naturopathic) Physicians already over-whelming course load is, well, over-whelming! Besides, the amount of time it takes for an acupuncture treatment in a busy practicing MD's office is not practical. Many of the MD's I've heard from do not even want to take that much time with a single patient, when they could see 5 in the same hour!

A. Noni Muss
No MD's should not be allowed to practice acupuncture even if they have 4,ooo+ hours of acupuncture studies. A brained damaged by medical training can never be cured or even rehabilitated.

No MD's, chiros and others wishing to practice acupuncture should only do so with the proper training and appropriate certification hours --- 200-300 hours without theories and principles knowledge about this wonderful medical art is possibly why there is so much discrepancy with our profession and conventional practitioners.

Yes As with any other medical practice and modality, only with proper training should M.D.s be able to perform acupuncture. This standard should be set by International criteria and not by cultural or political guidelines.
Yes All doctors should be experienced to perform acupunture, I was involved in 3 car accidents and for four years could not dress in the morning and could not stand until midday, I had chiropractice and physiotherapy treatment and attended a pain management clinic, I was given spinal injections and pain relief drugs nothing helped, my doctor advised an operation and I refused he told me there was nothing more that could be done and I would have to live with the pain. A friend recommended I go to see an acupunturist.
I was treated not with needles but with a laser pressure machine by this Chinese doctor and after only 6 treatments I was able to attend a gym at 8.30 in the morning all my pain had gone, when I told my doctor he said it was debatable that this had worked but also could not explain why I no longer had pain, I have a lot of faith in Chinese medicine and the only doctor I see now is an acupuncturist.

No Unless they have a minimum of 300 hours of specific training in acupuncture.
No If the M.D. completes the same educational
requirements that I had to complete, well of
course. If I wanted to become an M.D. could I skip
any duplicate classes that I had to take while at
SBU? Probably not. David Brewer

P.S. Marilyn, this is a nice website. I will be
sending in the enhanced locator offer.

Yes I feel that if someone is qualified to practice alternative medicine, like acupuncture, that they shoudl be able to practice it. If a medical doctor is not qualified to do so, then they should not be practicing it.
 only if they have enough tcm training,as tcm has nothing to do with occidental medecine
No While I certainly accept that any one with sufficient training should be allowed to include acupuncture in their medical practice. I have several problems with the practice of "medical acupuncture" as practiced by Allopathic Physicians. I also have difficulty with other Medical Boards allowing the inclusion of acupuncture with 50-100 hrs of training. If these other medical practicioners wish to add acupuncture to their modalities, they need to learn the basics of Oriental Medicine to understand proper point prescription theory. Therefore, I must vote no, with the stipulation that anyone with a full TCM education should certainly be allowed to practice, regardless of their primary medical experience.
Yes Yes if they do the correct studies like the rest of the TCM practitioners. After all, if we were to do a weekend course in general medicine, I am sure they would object!
No MD's should not practice acupuncture without additional training. The training that qualifies them for their medical practice overlaps with TCM training, but does not include the specialized knowledge or experience required for responsible and effective acupuncture. Perhaps they should be required to fulfill the educational objectives and requirements of TCM practitioners minus any biomedical education they have already received.
Yes YES. A medical doctor after proper training can definitely be a better Acupuncturist than a non-medical person. Because, in my openion thorough
knowledge of human anatomy is very essential for the practice in Acupuncture. ____Dr. Nandany.

No This is a conditional "no" on my part. Until and unless M.D.'s are required to obtain adequate training comparable to any other "specialty" medicine(far more than a weekend workshop), they should stick to what they have been trained to do, as should acupuncturists.

No Western Medical doctors do not cover any Eastern Medicine in there training. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a profession in its own right and requires rightfully the same amount of dedication and training that Western Medicine necessitates. There is absolutely no overlap in either area except for the need to know anatomy thouroughly. Chinese medicine is a completely different method of healing and requires at least four full time years of training to become proficient in diagnosing and practising. To do a course of a few days duration or even a couple of months does in no way prepare a
Western doctor for practising acupuncture. All the Western doctors I've met who say they practice acupunture do not know why they are inserting a needle in a specific point, ( a necessity if they are going to succeed in practicing properly with results). Nor do they understand differentiation of syndromes or even what different points are used for on a certain meridian. An Eastern doctor has just as much to learn in Acupuncture as a Western doctor! Western doctors can practice acupuncture but only if they have completed the four year recognised length of a proper course and only then should be allowed to practice. They give the profession a bad name and I have many examples of that with patients I treat in my practice who have tried Western doctors first, only to realise they are lacking in knowledge and then seek out a properly trained Doctor of Acupuncture. I'll bet if Eastern doctors did a short course in Western Medicine and started praciticing it there would be an uproar!!!, for the same reasons.

Yes M.D.'s should be allowed to practice acupuncture if they meet the requirements of NCCAOM.
No UNLESS----they attend a board certified, state accredited school and put in the hours required to take the NCCAOM exam. If they are unwilling to 'do the time', they usually do not have an understanding of the chinese theory of acupuncture, how and why it works. They therefore do not serve their patients to the best treatments possible.

Yes MD's should be able to practice acupuncture just like we should be able to practice medicine: Enroll in a school and go through the appropriate training and clinical hours.

No They should not be allowed to practice without a complete education in acupuncture and chinese medicine.
Yes go md acupuncture!
Yes Doctor's should be able to practice acupuncture,but only with proper training. It takes 6 years or more to be a certified acuncturist in China, and in the West it's much less. This is lax enough... However, Eastern and Western Medicine will eventually combine (many years in the future perhaps, but eventually), therefore they should be allowed to practice acupuncture.
The question is too vague. In what context and what type of DR.'s should practice it?

No Not without appropriate training in theory and point function.

Yes Only if trained and competent in acupuncture procedures.....not just because they have an all inclusive license.

No MD's currently have woefully inadequate standards of training in acupuncture. MD's arrogantly believe that they are competent to practice with only 200-300 hours of training, a significant portion of which is offered on videotape, with a negligible clinical training component. Remarkably, some states allow MD's to practice acupuncture with NO training. This is unheard of in any regulated health care field.

There are no accreditation standards to ensure MD's have received adequate training and no certification processes to ensure that they have acheived the critical competencies necessary for safe and effective practice. Conversely, fully trained acupuncturists can only become licensed in most states with 4 full academic years of training from an ACAOM accredited or candidate program, and passing the rigorous exams administered by the NCCAOM. The rigor of training and testing is simply absent for MD's seeking to practice following completion of their 200-300 weekend MD CE courses.

Practically speaking, it is not possible to adequately train a beginning practitioner (even with a significant western science background) in a strictly didactic setting with minimal clinical followup or evaluation which is offered in the 200-300 hour MD training programs. Acupuncture is a comprehensive sysstem of medicine that cannot be reduced to the few weekend courses that are promoted by MD's. Beginning practitioners who receive inadequate training not only jeopardize public safety but contribute to poor clinical outcomes as well. Patients do not recieve adequate care because diagnostic abilities and needling techniqes are primitive at best. Also, poorly trained practitioners may not recognize their limitations thus creating a financial drain for consumers who continue to come back for care not knowing that the problem lies with the practitioners skills and not with the medicine.

I have no problem with MD's performing acupuncture as long as they have received adequate training in accredited programs and have been fully tested through psychometrically sound certification exams to ensure that they have achieved the critical competencies necessary for safe and effective practice.

To do any less jeopardizes public safety. If MD's are so arrogant that they should be able to practice with little or no training, perhaps acupuncturists should take a few CE courses to prescribe western medicines, perform surgury or other similar modalities. It is ironic that were this proposed in our field, MD's would howl concerns for public safety based on inadequate training, but believe they need little or no training to practice another comprehensive system of medicine. The words that come to mind regarding this issue are hipocracy and arrogance on the part of the allopathic medical community.

Yes Only with enough training to warrant competent

Yes Do doctors know everything of human body?

Yes I am currently a student in an acupunture and oriental medicine program after several years heading in the direction to internal medicine from a estern approach. There are certain acupuncture treatments that are not covered under the acupunctrists mal-practice insurance policies that can be risky for ancupunctrists to treat with the increased population of people sueing doctors to get rich. In the state of FL of example dental is not covered, I think that a dentist should be allowed to take acupuncture regarding his/her profession and be able to help patients coming to his/her office for specific dental work or problems beyond the scope of the western approach. I believe that any specialized doctor that has the desire to reach beyond their current teaching to treat and help cure their patients desreve this benefit. A dentist that can use acupuncture for anesthesia for a patient that is allergic to the rx's that they use, benefits the patient highly. I also think that the schooling should not be taken lightly in a 100 hour "crash course" of TCM, and that strict guide lines should be taken b/c of the such different approaches to medicine and theories behind them. I do however believe that there can be a very well run network between the eastern and western medical feild but that it has many obstacles to overcome on both sides and only then we can lay a foundation for the future. Keep in mind that however that even thought both approaches are vastly different that both sides are still healers.
Yes I believe they should be able to practice acupuncture only if they have had the required amount of training and are certified.
Yes In the absence of any evidence that acupuncture is less effective or less safe, what basis would there be to deny them other than turf (i.e. insecurity)!? We best keep our own house in order by continuing to raise our standards or we will lose what we have.
No Only those trained in Traditional Chines Medicine should be allowed to practice. There are too many dishonest doctors who would do it without formal training just to profit from it.

Yes If they pass the same exam.
Yes with stipulation. MDs or DOs who believe in the therapeutic effects of meridian release, and who have been adequately trained in acupuncture techniques, should be allowed and should even insist on incorporating the same to their clinical practice. Would be more beneficial for their patients to be able to obtain comprehensive holistic care under the auspice of one practitioner.
Yes Medical doctors should be required to receive the same acupuncture training as licensed acupuncturists. I believe it undermines our profession when medical doctors with only a few hundred hours of acupuncture training go out and "practice acupuncture".

Yes Only with adequate training in TCM and its related whole-body practices.
No Its not a question of whether other health
professionals should be allowed to practice
acupuncture, but on a practitioners qualifications
within acupunctu
No I think they should be able to practice ONLY if they have undergone the same type of study and passed the same exams as acupuncturists. They SHOULD NOT be allowed to practice acupuncture with just the study of a 200 hour weekend course.
Yes Medical doctors should be able to practice acupuncture limited to pain management only. This somewhat contradicts current TCM practice in that MD's are not adequately trained to formulate a TCM diagnosis and treat accordingly. However it has been my experience that treating pain using local/distal pts., command pts., empirical pts., and auricular acupuncture, can help with chronic pain, and MD's can be trained to do this. They are not,however,trained to diagnose, and treat with acupuncture and herbal medicine according to current TCM standards ie. internal medicine.

No Medically licensed providers should have the minimum
academic training in TCM and a prescribed number of
clinic hours of training documented to practice
acupuncture. Acupuncture is a procedure similiar to
diagnostic procedures and surgery in medicine that
require adequate training, certification, and
privileges to perform efficaciously and safely in a
clinic or hospital.............................

Yes ok very well!

No Medical doctors should be allowed to practice acupuncture ONLY if they fulfill the education requirements that the NCCAOM requires of anyone wishing acupunture certification; they should need to pass the national certification exam.
Yes definitely yes, as long as medical doctors follow the same curriculum as anyone who is preparing for the NCCAOM licensure.
Yes As a non-physician Acupuncturist, I sometimes feel torn when answering this question, however, I've been treated by medical acupuncturists who really love and also pursue further studies in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. I do feel strongly that physicians should be required to take the same requirements as set forth by the NCCAOM. After all, would it be fair if I studied 200-300 hours of medical school classes, and then called myself a 'Doctor'?
Yes yes they should, they have a profession of taking care of even more threatning things, Acupunture shouldn't be one of them .
No I don't think that MD's or any other type of health professional should be given the privilege to practice acupuncture and/or chiropractic without having the appropriate degrees (MSOM and DC). I am a chiropractor with a master's degree in Acupuncture and Chinese medicine. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the depth and individuality of both professions and agree with California law requiring DC's to obtain a MSOM in order to practice acupuncture. That law should be extended to medical doctors as well. Most acupuncture schools have advanced standing for both MD's and DC's which significantly cuts down on the amount of time and money needed to complete the masters' program. MD's in California are encouraged to attend a masters' program, but most opt for short term weekend courses. It is alarming to me that many states allow them to practice acupuncture without even minimal formal training.
Yes Yes, provided they take and pass the NCCAOM exam, showing proficiency in diagnostics and therapeutics within a traditional Chinese medical framework. No Cookbook Quackupuncturists! Western medicine is NOT Chinese medicine!

Yes In my humble opinion if medical doctors learn how well Acupuncture works; they will become believers and realize they wont lose business the patients will come to them for all their medical issues & not feel like we have to go behind their backs when we want to have Acupuncture & any other choice using more natural remedies. They must open their thinking ..the trend is changing away from them & now is the time for young doctors go come onboard. dot
 All of us who have invested time and dedication to our medicine are undermined when it is practiced in limited "system relief" approaches. The view of TCM medicine in the allopathic circles is not one of admiration. Rather it seems that they, in their quest to "protect their patients" are willing to throw out the idea of theory training and exchange it for the "safety" of the MD doing the "acupuncture." Which is not safe, not even with the 250hours of training required by some states. Sorry, MD's. You wouldn't want us to do surgery with that limited of trainging...would you?
Yes If they complete the same type of program that non-medical people do and successfully pass the national boards.

Yes They should have to fulfill the same training as other s who practice acupuncture, but it would be an asset to have more people trained to provide this.

No Each profession must practice from within it's own scope of practice. As an DOM, should I start performing surgery?

No No, unless they have the proper education and training in TCM.

No MD's should learn TCM if they want to do acupuncture. What is called "Medical Acupuncture" is a shallow representation of what TCM acupuncture is all about.
No I don't feel that anyone who has not gone thru the proper acupuncture training should be allowed to practice acupuncture, regardless of the degree that they hold...I also don't feel the individual needs to go thru the intensive course work that most of us have gone thru if they limit the scope of practice to only acupuncture and not chinese medicine...If the individual completes the number of hours and passes the national boards they should be allowed to practice...I myself graduated from Los Angeles College of Chiropractic and continued on with my education at Samra to recieve my masters degree...I for one, having gone thru the education and course work know the amount of time and dedication it takes to learn the art of acupuncture...Instead of the acupuncturist's waging war against the other professions that want utilize acupuncture, I believe in my judgement that by educating the public we will be much furthur ahead, although the acupuncture associations also do need to take a stance and protect our rights to practice...
Brian N. Hardy, DC, LAc

Yes With proper training from an accredited acupuncture school and licensing from the state in which they practice.

Medical Doctors should be allowed to practice acupuncture. However, I believe we need to examine their current education requirements. In addition, there should be some sort of examination of their knowledge before they are licensed.
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