Message from the AAMA Board

Wellness Matters. Self-care Matters. You Matter.

This year has certainly been one for the record books — in more ways than I care to count. So, as we enter this season of thankfulness and reflection, I thought it might be nice to be nice to ourselves. Wellness matters. Self-care matters. And over the last year, it has been difficult for some of us to focus on ourselves given the stressors of the world.

How can we be kind to ourselves? How can we avoid or recover from the burnout trap?  Recent literature suggests that approximately 50% of physicians are going to experience burnout. Burnout is not only harmful to us and our families, but also our patients. By definition, during burnout, physicians become emotionally detached, exhausted, and apathetic. This does not lead to caring and compassionate bedside manner.

Dike Drummond, MD, is CEO of The Happy MD and a leading wellness expert and coach. He offers several tools to assist in the recovery process of burnout or to avoid it altogether. For instance, knowing burnout is not a failure or weakness on your part is a nice first step.

The system actually sets us up for burning out. The system taught us to place work before self-care. It does this with law enforcement, fire fighters, and military members, as well. However, if this is sustained without balance, the caregiver loses the ability to give. The old adage, “You can’t give what you don’t have,” definitely holds true.

We actively need to take control of our time. The calendar is a powerful tool. It shows people what is important to us. So white space on the calendar becomes critical. And when you get time off it means, take time off. No reviewing charts. No checking email. No answering calls.

How many of us get real time off regularly? It takes planning. Dr. Drummond recommends scheduling a two-week vacation every year. (This may be harder right now with the pandemic, but the idea is sound). His recommendation is:  Schedule it, request the time off and put money down. Physicians are less likely to back out when there is money involved!

But don’t stop there. Each week, be nice to yourself. Lay out time that is for rejuvenation activity. That is going to be different for everyone—it may be meditation, exercise, reading, date night, or even all of the above. Whatever it is, put it on the calendar. Make it as important as clinic.

You are important. You are even as important as your patients. So be kind to yourself. Find some white space. And rejuvenate.

Tammy J Lindsay, MD, FAAFP, FAAMA
AAMA Board of Directors

Upcoming Professional Development & Educational Opportunities

AAMA Webinar – The Japanese Perspective on Chinese Medicine
Presented by Butch Levy, MD
New 1-Hour Live Webcast
8pm EDT, 7pm CDT, 5pm PDT
Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Integrative Healthcare Symposium
January 14-16, 2021
New York, NY

2021 Medical Acupuncture Review Course
Virtual event
Details coming soon.

AAMA 2021 Annual Symposium
April 30-May 2, 2021
Save the date!

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

AAMA News & Announcements

Welcome New & Returning AAMA Members

Please join us in welcoming the following new member who became part of the Academy in October 2020:

  • Antonio Silva Sayago, MD, of Oakland, CA

And a special welcome back to two returning members:

  • Dayton Haigney, MD, of Searsport, ME
  • Indu M Lal, MD, of Stockton, CA

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. Remember: Your recommendation could earn you $50 if the individual joins the AAMA!

Physician Completes 10-Year ABMA Recertification Process

Congratulations to the following physician who has completed the process set by the American Board of Medical Acupuncture (ABMA) to be re-certified as a Diplomate for another 10 years:

  • Lynn A. Gershan, MD, DABMA, of Minneapolis, MN

Learn more about DABMA certification and recertification.

Legislative Advocacy – Committee Update

The AAMA Legislative Committee works to advocate for and protect AAMA members’ rights on a number of critical fronts. During the last month, the committee has focused efforts on these issues:

  • Committee members and other AAMA members attended an online conference of the Alliance to Advance Comprehensive Integrative Pain Management (AACIPM). The AAMA members and several ASA members discussed ways to promote acupuncture as an option for treatment of pain to state legislatures. There was a focus on Missouri, where practitioners are having difficulty getting reimbursed for procedures.
  • The committee sent an email to Ohio members clarifying payment for E/M services on the same day as an acupuncture treatment for Medicaid patients.
  • The committee continues to work with AAMA members who report problems contracting with Optum to provide acupuncture for veterans.
  • Working with the ASA to propose dry needling guidelines for future legislation, the committee is reviewing state dry needling regulations pertaining to PTs, OTs, and athletic trainers.

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 by email or give us a call at 310-379-8261.

2021 Annual Seminar Going Virtual

For the 2021 Symposium, the Board of Directors and Program Committee have made the decision to hold a virtual meeting as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Virtual Symposium will take place April 30-May 2, 2021 – please mark your calendars now.

The Program Committee is hard at work with program and speaker details and looks forward to bringing the education content you have come to expect at the annual Symposium in an online format that is both fun, engaging, and provides acupuncture education opportunities in a safe and healthy way.

Save the date for the 2021 Virtual Symposium – April 30-May 2, 2020!

New AAMA Webinar: The Japanese Perspective on Chinese Medicine

Presented by Butch Levy, MD
New 1-Hour Live Webcast
8pm EDT, 7pm CDT, 5pm PDT
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Details and registration. 

While the classic principles are the same in all Asian medicine, the interpretation and application of them is unique to each culture. Concepts of acupuncture and herbal medicine will be explored. Some key areas will include point location and needling the vector of the point. Also, the Extra Vessels and its pulse palpation will be discussed, as well as treating organ disfunction with the Channel Divergents. Auricular success will focus on the use of the use of the laterality and oscillation points. Finally, a brief discussion of the Kampo style of herbs will be presented. We all do abdominal palpation and this style, unique in that only MDs prescribe herbs in Japan, connects the abdominal exam with principle herbs and symptoms, or pattern recognition.

New AAMA Website In the Works

If you’ve visited the AAMA website during the past few weeks, you’ve likely noticed some big changes. We’re transitioning to a more user-friendly platform with added features for our members, and for our physician colleagues and patients. Not all functions are up and running at this time. Please pardon our construction as we build a better site to serve our members. Let us know if you need something you can’t access. We appreciate your patience!

Video Discounts for Fellow AAMA Members

AAMA member, Jay Sandweiss, DO, has recorded a series of instructional videos relating to osteopathic manipulation, kinesiology and integrative medicine. He’s offering AAMA members and friends a 60% discount on individual videos and packages through Sunday, November 29, 2020, at 11pm. Use this direct link with the discount applied:

In Case You Missed It Last Month

Boost Your DABMA Branding with AAMA Certification Mark
The AAMA’s medical acupuncture certification mark represents the AAMA’s commitment to promoting the highest standards of education and training in medical acupuncture. If you are a full member or Fellow of the AAMA with DABMA certification, you may request an electronic file of the certification mark and guidelines for its usage. Upon verification of your status, a jpg file will be sent to you. Email the AAMA. 

Clinical Registry: COVID-19 and Integrative Health
Call for participation: a clinical registry aiming to capture key case, treatment/supportive care, and outcome variables related to the use of traditional, complementary, and integrative health and medicine products and practices in response to the COVID-19 crisis. More.

Medical Acupuncture Journal Updates 

Fast-Track Articles, Ahead of Print:

Most Recent Issue: October 2020 

Most-recent CME Articles:

New Scientific Research Related to Acupuncture 

Effect of Electroacupuncture vs Sham Treatment on Change in Pain Severity Among Adults With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial
[JAMA Open Network]
“This randomized clinical trial found no difference in pain reduction between real and sham electroacupuncture, but there was greater reduction in back pain–specific disability compared with sham control.”

A Comprehensive Review of Alternative Therapies for the Management of Chronic Pain Patients: Acupuncture, Tai Chi, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, and Chiropractic Care
[Advances in Therapy]
“There has been a tremendous amount of research dictating the effectiveness of alternative therapies for chronic pain management. The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive evidence-based update of alternative therapy used for the management of chronic pain conditions.”

Postoperative analgesic efficacy of ear acupuncture in patients undergoing abdominal hysterectomy: a randomized controlled trial
[BMC Anesthesiology]
“Electric ear acupuncture provides postoperative analgesia, reducing morphine requirement and consequently its side effects.”