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Acupuncture Today – March, 2016, Vol. 17, Issue 03

In Sympathy: Dr. Richard Tan

By Marilyn Allen, Editor-at-Large

We in the profession want to express our sincere sympathy to the wife and family of Dr. Richard Tan. Dr. Tan has been a valuable and contributing member of the Asian medicine community throughout his outstanding career.

We will miss his teaching and technical skills. We thank him for all he has given to us and will miss him.

United The Nation

As the Year of the Monkey opens up, this profession must look at where it is and where it wants to go. What does the profession want to achieve? I have heard several time recently, "the medicine is growing, but the profession is not." If this is true, what can be done? How can the profession continue to grow and thrive?

The national Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) have updated their requirements to include safety along with ethics. The organization held its first one day seminar to cover these timely topics. Attorney Michael Taromina presented information covering many of the ethical and safety issues facing and challenging the profession in today's healthcare market. (For complete coverage of this ethics symposium, see "NCCAOM Hosts Ethics Symposium" of this issue.)

Mr. Taromina, has researched and studied these issues in healthcare and answered many question from the audience during the presentation. If you were not present at the seminar in Orlando, you missed hearing about very current and very relevant information. Many helpful hints on safety could be taken back and implemented into your office on Monday morning.

The afternoon session was a panel including Eugene London, LAc, and the current board chair person for the NCCAOM; Dr. Kory Ward-Cook, the CEO, Asula Bromley, LAc. from The St. Louis area and Iman Madj, MD and LAc, from Seattle. The panel discussion was led by Michael Taromina.

In 2015, the NCCAOM Board of Directors adopted a new mission and vision statements. The mission statement is: To establish and promote national standards of competence by utilizing evidence-based credentialing to assure the safety and well-being of the public and advance the professional practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

The new NCCAOM vision statement is: Acupuncture and Oriental medicine provided by NCCAOM credentialed practitioners will be integral to healthcare and accessible to all members of the public.

To this end, NCCAOM will play a more deliberate role in advancing the professional practice of its Diplomates, keeping in mind its vision of having NCCAOM credentialed practitioners be integral to healthcare and accessible to all members of the public. The NCCAOM Board and staff are listening and desire to emphasize our commitment to our Diplomates by more directly assisting Diplomates throughout their career.

The following strategic goals have been adopted:

  • Integrate NCCAOM credentialed providers into healthcare in the United States.
  • Distinguish NCCAOM as the expert source for AOM credentialing and competency standards.
  • Expand the value of NCCAOM credentials to assure and advance professional opportunities for NCCAOM diplomates.

As a strategy of the above goals, the NCCAOM has launched a public education campaign to promote and advance its diplomates and the NCCAOM credentials. This will be implemented throughout 2016 and 2017 to enable NCCAOM and its diplomates to be the expert source for AOM for the media and the public. Consumers will be able to distinguish NCCAOM diplomates as the most qualified acupuncturists with the greatest efficacy for a variety of ailments as well as preventative care. The NCCAOM Find A Practitioner Directory will become the go to source for consumers, insurance companies, hospitals, employers and others to find qualified AOM practitioners.

The NCCAOM represents around 19,000 diplomates. They are responding to many requests and have reached out to a cross section of the profession and have created the Public and Professional Recognition Awareness Task Force. A public relations firm has been engaged to help with two main issues.

Distinguishing diplomates throughout the country – as acupuncturists who have passed national recognized tests. The public and the medical community need to know and understand that there are national training standards to practice this medicine. Now is the time to unite the nation under educational standards, national clean needle standards and national testing standards. State governments and Federal agencies look at national standards for each profession. There are five remaining states that have to be licensed, certified or regulated.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics are studying this profession for independence. The Acupuncture Board in California is studying the national exam and the California exam. We must unite the nation and form a set of common denominated national standards. NOW IS THE TIME.

No matter what style you practice, no matter what language you speak, no matter where you are from, no matter where you practice, no matter if your practice is solo or in a group, or you are for integration or not, NOW is the time to unite.

Click here for more information about Marilyn Allen, Editor-at-Large.

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