Message from the AAMA Board

Annual AAMA Symposium Wrap-Up

The AAMA’s lively and info-packed 2021 Annual Symposium drew attendees from across the United States and beyond. Thank you to committee members, staff members, speakers, presenters, attendees and sponsors. Your contributions made the event a huge success!

For those of you who weren’t able to attend, it’s not too late to take advantage of the educational offerings. You can still register. The session recordings are available to watch on-demand, whether you registered early or if you register this week.

Among the important business and announcements (and fun!) that were part of the Symposium are the following:

Board of Directors

Following the recent AAMA elections, newly elected to the Board of Directors are:

  • Janice Brown, MD
  • Nancy Lorenzini, MD, DABMA
  • James Stahl, MD, DABMA
  • Gary Stanton, MD, DABMA

And members re-elected to the Board include:

  • Larissa Bresler, MD, DABMA
  • Michael Freedman, MD, FAAMA
  • Tammy Lindsay, MD, FAAMA
  • Sue Sorensen, MD, FAAMA
  • Kendra Unger, MD, FAAMA

Newly elected officers for the Academy are:

  • President – Kendra Unger, MD, FAAMA
  • Vice President – Donna Pittman, MD, FAAMA
  • Treasurer – Joseph Audette, MD
  • Secretary – Montiel Rosenthal, MD, FAAMA
  • Immediate Past President – Freda Dreher, MD, FAAMA

AAMA Fellows

Congratulations to the following members who were elected to be Fellows of the Academy:

  • Barbara de la Torre, MD, FAAMA
  • Geoffrey Gustavsen, MD, FAAMA
  • Amanda Katie Hill, MD, FAAMA
  • Clasina Leslie Smith, MS, MA, LAc, MD, FAAMA
  • Chi-Tsai Tang, MD, FAAMA

Research Paper Competition Winner

“Incorporating Intraoperative Acupuncture to Reduce Opioid Usage After Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Prospective Cohort Trial” by Stephanie Cheng, MD, DABMA, was selected as this year’s AAMA Research Paper Competition winner. Cheng’s presentation was part of the virtual Annual Symposium and will be available for viewing on the AAMA website.

Poster Presentation Winners

Congratulations to the following poster winners, whose outstanding work was presented during the Symposium:

  • 1st place: $500; Auricular Battlefield Acupressure for Treatment of Pain in the Emergency Department, Dr. Shiu-lin Tsai
  • 2nd place: $250; Acupuncture Emergency Service in Brazilian Public Health System: Quantitative Analysis of Cases Attended in a Semester, Dr. Marcia Yamamura
  • 3rd place: $100; Standardized Protocol for Measuring Reactivity of Auricular Acupoints in Functional Abdominal Pain in Pediatrics, Sophie Shan

Gamification & Trivia Winners

In an effort to boost attendee engagement and give the virtual symposium a few fun twists, a point-collecting competition and a team trivia competition were added.

Congratulations to our three Gamification winners, who earned the most challenge points throughout the event:

  • 1st Place: Kamran Sahrakar, MD – won a $100 Amazon gift card
  • 2nd Place: Rosanne Sheinberg, MD – won a $75 Amazon gift card
  • 3rd Place: Thuy-Tien Dang, NP – wone a $50 Starbucks gift card

Congratulations, also,  to the team Pointer Sisters who were the AAMA Symposium Trivia Champs! Team members included Carolina Salvador, Adam Cohen-Lewe, Kaarolyn Mauro, Kendra Unger and Bertha Tien. Thank you to Lhasa OMS for supplying prizes for the winning team.

2022 Symposium – Save the Date! Cincinnati, OH May 5-8, 2022

Do you have ideas for lectures, presentations or workshops for the next Annual Symposium? Reach out and let us know now so the Symposium Committee can consider your topic proposals.

Upcoming Professional Development & Educational Opportunities


AAMA 2021 Annual Symposium – VIRTUAL
Register now for on-demand access!

SAR International Research Conference
June 14-16, 2021
Virtual event

ABMA Examination Session
June 27, 2021
Sheraton Suites, 6501 Mannheim Rd, Rosemont, IL (near Chicago O’Hare Airport)
Board Certification Process and Application

ICMART World Medical Acupuncture Congress
July 2-4, 2021
Athens, Greece

AAMA Website: Education Listings
The AAMA maintains an ongoing calendar of educational events and professional development opportunities related to medical acupuncture. The calendar is accessible on the AAMA website. Members are encouraged to share events and calendar items from their regions and about educational topics that may be of wider interest among peers and fellow AAMA members.

AAMA News & Announcements

Welcome Our New AAMA Members

Please join us in welcoming the following new members who became part of the Academy in April 2021.

  • Somnang Pang, DO, of Garnet Valley, PA
  • Elaina C Wild, MD, of Omaha, NE
  • Christopher G. Gibson, DO, of Lancaster, OH
  • Marcia L. Yamamura, MD, of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • James A. Stober, MD, of Mary Esther, FL
  • Sarah E. Clevenger, MD, of Lake Charles, LA
  • Anna G. Gushchi, MD, of Allison Park, PA
  • Su-Min Oon, MD, PhD, of Gainesville, FL
  • Paivi Ullner, MD, of Stamford, CT

If you have peers or colleagues who aren’t currently members of the AAMA, please encourage them to learn more about the benefits of membership by visiting the website or contacting Janice Brown, the membership committee chair.

Legislative Advocacy – Committee Update

The AAMA Legislative Committee is currently monitoring 47 bills that address acupuncture, chronic pain, opioids, and dry needling.

  • Maine AAMA members were informed of LD1045 which would include acupuncture as a covered benefit under the Maine Health Care Act.
  • Massachusetts AAMA members were notified of 11 bills involving acupuncture. The bills covered requirements for dry needling, establishment of a commission on acupuncture and wellness, regulation of auricular acupuncture detoxification, and coverage for acupuncture in a state Medicare program.
  • The committee is investigating a proposed regulation by Florida Department of Health to determine how it will affect medical acupuncturists.
  • A letter was sent to sponsors of Colorado HB1276 regarding acupuncture as an alternative to opioids. The bill fails to include physician acupuncturists.

Legislative tracking and advocacy are ongoing priorities of the AAMA Board of Directors. If you become aware of legislative issues/bills being proposed in your state that would affect medical acupuncturists, we encourage you to let us know. Contact the AAMA by email ( or phone (310-379-8261).

New Benchmarks from WHO for the Practice of Acupuncture

From the World Health Organization: “With the increasing use of acupuncture in clinical settings worldwide, there is a need to develop benchmarks for the practice of acupuncture, against which actual acupuncture treatment can be compared and evaluated. This document presents a stepwise guidance for the administration of acupuncture treatment, provides the minimum infrastructure requirements for delivering an acupuncture service and emphasizes the key elements for the safe practice of acupuncture.” Download document now. 

In Case You Missed It Last Month

British National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Recommends Acupuncture

A newly released NICE guideline formally advises against the use of painkillers for unspecified chronic primary pain, recommending instead exercise, psychological therapy and acupuncture, among other treatments. Read the full article.

Practice Acupuncture for Veterans

Working directly with Optum on behalf of AAMA members, the AAMA Legislative Committee recently assisted three members in successfully getting contracts to provide acupuncture services to veterans through the Community Care Network. Are you interested in additional information about how to practice acupuncture for veterans? Learn more.

New Scientific Research Related to Acupuncture 

Effect of acupuncture treatment in patients with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis: a randomized, participant- and assessor-blind sham-controlled trial

[BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies]

Conclusions: Twice-weekly acupuncture treatment was effective in reducing AD symptoms in patients with mild to moderate AD without serious adverse events.


Comparative Utility of Acupuncture and Western Medication in the Management of Perimenopausal Insomnia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

[Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine]

Conclusions: Despite limited evidence, in comparison to hypnotics, acupuncture was associated with significant improvements in PMI, and reductions of other menopausal symptoms. This finding suggests that acupuncture may be a useful addition to treatment for PMI.


Student Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs about Acupuncture: An Exploratory Study

[Acupuncture in Medicine]

This pilot study suggests that young adults may be willing to use acupuncture for non-serious health conditions even with limited prior experience. Recommendations from health care professionals are likely to guide their decision-making. However, many respondents indicated not knowing enough about acupuncture to have beliefs about it.

Note: Some of these news sources may require you to create a free account to read their content, while others may have a paywall.