In this issue
By Gene Hong, MD, DABMA
At the Symposium, a change was made to the bylaws to allow Academy members to remain at the associate level without the 50 hours of continuing education required for full members. This change was made in response to the difficulty of obtaining acupuncture-related education expressed by Academy members. We recognize that in this current practice environment, it is difficult to maintain an acupuncture practice. With this change, we hope that physician acupuncturists will find it easier to participate and benefit from the Academy.
We have looked to gain membership by promoting our organization to physicians in physician acupuncture training programs. In particular, programs that have been approved by the American Board of Medical Acupuncture as meeting educational requirements for board eligibility have also been approved as meeting membership requirements in the Academy. We have been in contact with these other programs to better inform their graduates of the benefits of AAMA membership and ABMA certification.
I would also like to thank those who came to volunteer at the AAMA booth; more than 30 people signed up. The strength of our organization is the member who is willing to volunteer time and effort. We cannot know and correct our deficiencies unless you point them out and help us fix them. If you have concerns or issues, please contact someone on the board or simply contact me. We welcome your thoughts and participation.
For example, a relatively new member of the Academy, Dr. Peter Hanfileti, has been very active in organizing educational conferences for the Oregon Chapter. As the AAMA CME Committee coordinates CME credits for local Chapters, Peter has been tapped to serve on the AAMA CME Committee, chaired by Michael Coomes, MD.
It is clear that much work still needs to be done. There are still physicians who practice acupuncture who have not yet seen the benefits of AAMA membership.
Our organization is like a growing tree. It takes the entire structure -- the roots, trunk, limbs and leaves -- working in harmony to grow and remain healthy. We lose strength and power when we fail to remember our past, to focus on the present or to plan for the future. These are the benefits of attending the Symposium, it is the place where we can all come together, to share and be heard.
If you would like to become more involved with the creation and implementation of policies that will help the Academy grow, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org, 503/408-0865).
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A group of physicians and investigators are working on a program to treat hypertension with acupuncture. With clinical work being done at Massachusetts General Hospital, the SHARP study is being funded as a cooperative agreement by the NCCCAM, NIH. Following screening, patients are randomized into three groups: individualized, standardized and control acupuncture. They will receive acupuncture for free two times a week for six weeks and followed for 12 months from start of treatment. The primary endpoint will be a change in blood pressure from baseline to 10 weeks. A 180-patient base may be expanded to 900, pending results. Details are available from principal investigator Leslie A. Kalish, ScD (email@example.com) or James Thompson, MD (617/726-7487). A line for patients interested in the study has been set up (617/724-0407).
If you've read any good books
on acupuncture or related products recently, please send details to AAMA
to be shared with the membership. Also, you can post a review of the publications
in the Academy's online bookstore. Go to: medicalacupuncture.org, click
on AAMA Store and then on Order Books. Next click on the book cover (or
More Info) and then on Post a Review.
Narda G. Robinson, DO, DVM, DABMA, FAAMA, was profiled in the Associated Press article, "Ailing animals find relief with ancient techniques." The piece focused on her work on animals at Colorado State University. She told how acupuncture relieves animals' muscular and skeletal pain, and head and neck pain.
Members participating in AAMA's referral program will be happy to hear that 427 calls came into national headquarters in April (3,716 website hits to the referral page); 354 calls in May (3,225 website hits) and 283 calls in June (3,190 website hits) from patients seeking medical acupuncturists. The toll-free number patients are calling for referrals is 800/521-2262.
Some members have had difficulties with medical liability coverage of acupuncture. An AAMA committee has formed, which asks anyone with problems on this to e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The committee also wants to hear about insurance providers you've found adequately covering medical acupuncture at reasonable rates.
Drs. Marshall Sager and Bryan
L. Frank, AAMA president and past president, attended the 2002 NACAOM
meeting for the Academy in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in June. Comprised
of medical acupuncturists and practitioners, this group has met for about
nine years to discuss differences of the three North American countries
as well as between physician and non-physician acupuncturists. They reviewed
training standards, licensing and more.
Many Academy members have been featured in the media lately. For example, George H. Kramer, MD, had an article, "Auriculotheraphy: New trends in acupuncture and acupressure," published in the Complementary Medicine section of Minnesota Physician (July 2002, Vol. XVI, No. 4). He outlined the increase in popularity of alternative medicine and referenced AAMA, the patient referal number and website. For more members in the media, visit: www.medicalacupuncture.org, click on Current Events on the home page and then on Members in the News.
In order to assist the Education Committee in developing programs, AAMA's Board of Directors is asking members to identify top individuals in North America qualified to conduct advanced acupuncture courses in their specialty. Please send physician names and workshop topics to Director Michael Arnold, MD (email@example.com, fax 831/648-1589).
With the increase in popularity of CAM, health practitioners and patients are becoming concerned with safety issues, policy regulation, evidence, biodiversity and preservation and protection of traditional knowledge. The World Health Organization recently launched the first global strategy to address these issues. The working document for adaptation and regional implementation is online. For details, log on to: www.who.int/inf/en/pr-2002-38.html.
With his assignment at the
Naval Medical Center in San Diego ending in July, Richard C. Niemtzow,
MD, PhD, MPH, was transfered to Malcom Grow USAF Medical Center, Andrews
Air Force Base in Maryland, where he will spend 60% of his time as a full-time
medical acupuncturist and the rest as a colonel on the Surgeon General's
Air Staff promoting acupuncture throughout the Air Force Medical Corps.
His new contact information: 9800 Cherry Hill Road, College Park, MD 20740
(301/937-7424, 301/937-3205 fax, firstname.lastname@example.org).
The NIH National Advisory Council for CAM will meet at 8:30 am Aug. 26 in the Neuroscience Building at NIH in Betheseda, MD. NCCAM's website (nccam.nih.gov) has just been redesigned for easier navigation, access, links and content.
Philip J. Stevens, DO, FAAPM&R, was selected for Philadelphia magazine's Top Docs 2002 for pain management/medical acupuncture. He also was appointed director of the Alternative Medical Acupuncture Division at Delaware County Memorial Hospital. He credits his success to Joseph Helms, MD, and AAMA.
Acubriefs recently added a feature: An online form (acubriefs.com/ref.htm) accepts references to the database to make this the most complete list of acupuncture references in the Western literature. The newsletter (acubriefs.com) is sponsored by Seirin-America and Oriental Medical Supplies.
Angelica Fargas-Babjak, MD, of Canada wrote, "Acupuncture, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and Laser Therapy in Chronic Pain," in The Clinical Journal of Pain (Supplement), Vol. 17(4):S105-S113 (lww.com).
Charles S. May, MD, DOM, of Mayfield Village, Ohio, has been busy giving lectures on medical acupuncture and TCM to healthcare professionals and lay people, as well as providing information for articles and book reviews.
Please send your news to: email@example.com.
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By William D. Rutenberg, MD,
Now is the time to be proactive and write or e-mail your Federal legislators in support of this important piece of legislation. A template letter that can be used to contact your representatives and the full text of the bill can be viewed on AAMA's website (go to: www.medicalacupuncture.org, click on Professional Information and then on Legislative Update). Academy member Tom Burgoon, MD, is heading the Academy's insurance task force, and members should contact him (firstname.lastname@example.org) with problems relating to malpractice insurance coverage for acupuncture.
Members in California are alerted to two action items in their state. First is the publication, " Consumers Guide to Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine," by the Department of Consumer Affairs. Not once is medical acupuncture mentioned nor is there mention of the disciplines of French Energetics or Neuro-anatomic acupuncture. The Academy has written the Department of Consumers Affairs requesting that the brochure be revised to incorporate all the paradigms of acupuncture. California AAMA members should contact Secretary Aileen Adams, State and Consumer Services Agency, and Director Kathleen Hamilton, Department of Consumer Affairs, urging withdrawal of the current brochure and replacing it with one that acknowledges all disciplines of acupuncture and make it known that physicians have also been trained to practice acupuncture.
Secondly, SB 1951, sponsored
by Sen. Liz Figueroa, about the California Acupuncture Board is pending
in the California Legislature. This important bill, if passed, will extend
the term of the Board. The Board's responsibility includes recommendations
on the scope of practice and educational requirements for acupuncturists
as well as evaluating recommendations from Accreditation Commission of
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and the National Certification Commission
for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
Contact me (email@example.com) for details on these issues. I also encourage any member interested in being nominated for the Physician seat on the California Acupuncture Board to contact me.
On a happy note, AAMA welcomes the Illinois Chapter: Officers are President David Bilstrom, MD, President-Elect Tony Lu, MD, and Treasurer/Secretary Manuel (John) Rosario, DO.
All Chapter members are reminded that they may claim one hour towards meeting the education requirement to maintain their status as Full Practice Member for each hour spent at a Chapter educational meeting.
Finally, our ability as an organization to respond promptly and effectively to issues, such as those requiring action in California, depends on the involvement of our members and thus affirms the need for a strong network of state chapters. If you are willing to organize a chapter in your state, contact Martha Grout, MD, chair of the Regional Chapter Subcommittee (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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