June 25, 2008

Why Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Should Be Recognized as a Stand-Alone Profession by the U.S. Department of Labor

By Kory Ward-Cook, PhD, NCCAOM CEO

The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) is collaborating with the American Association for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM), the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), the Council of Colleges for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM), the Federation Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Regulatory Agencies (FAOMRA), and the National Acupuncture Foundation (NAF) to submit a request to the U.S.

Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) to have "Acupuncturists" be classified as a unique profession under the Standard Occupational Classification codes.

Acupuncturists are currently not listed. Moreover, "acupuncture" appears as a modality under Chiropractors and Registered Nurses. Please go to www.bls/gov for more information on the BLS and the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The NCCAOM will be utilizing its 2008 Job Task Analysis (JTA) data to assist in gaining more recognition of the acupuncture and Oriental medicine profession by federal agencies. Receiving an independent occupational code is crucial part of this goal.

To send a letter of support for this project, please email . We hope that you also enjoy reading the top 10 benefits for AOM to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor:

  1. Did you know that acupuncture and Oriental medicine does not have its own designation as a profession? Acupuncture is listed as a treatment modality, but not as a profession.

  2. The government of the United States does not recognize your profession or you as a professional practicing acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

  3. When you look up "Acupuncture" under professions in the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Bureau of Labor and Statistics, it is listed under "Chiropractic and Nursing."

  4. Becoming a recognized profession is the first step toward federal loan forgiveness.

  5. By receiving recognition, doors open to potential greater reimbursement from insurance companies and the possibility of Medicare reimbursement.

  6. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is supporting research in acupuncture; however, our profession will not receive adequate grant funding unless we are federally recognized as a profession.

  7. When recognized as a profession, AOM schools and practitioners will have greater social acceptance.

  8. The National Center for Complementary Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a division of NIH, does not recognize, list or link to anything that recognizes acupuncture as a profession unless it is associated with medical acupuncture. Acupuncture is listed as a treatment procedure, but not as a profession.

  9. Being recognized as a profession will help with the protection of Chinese herbs and herbal formulas.

  10. Recognition as a profession will raise consumer awareness nationwide. Most importantly, recognition by the U.S. government brings the patient to you as an acupuncture and Oriental medicine professional.

To voice your support for this important initiative, contact:

Katherine K. Wallman
Chief Statistician
Office of Management and Budget
10201 New Executive Office Building
Washington, DC 80503

Telephone: (202) 395-3093
Fax: (202) 395-7245
E-mail: (put "2010 SOC" in the subject line)

Note: All comments must be receive by OMB on or before July 21, 2008.

Dr. Kory Ward-Cook has over 35 years of experience as a medical laboratory professional, educator, and executive in association management. She is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and currently serves as the NCCAOM CEO.


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