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Doing my Work to Better the Field

  • 06 Feb 2017 12:16 PM
    Message # 4594180

    Dear AAAOM,

      My name is John.  I am a licensed acupuncturist and board certified herbalist.  I have been practicing consistently for 5.5 years, since I became licensed for the first time in 2011.  I have embraced the struggles facing our profession throughout my years of practice always adopting a mentality of working harder and attempting to elevate the field as if my own force of will and devotion would be the primary determinant of whether this field actualized it's potential or not.  There are many reasons why I feel my disposition and experience offer possibly unique insights and solutions to the challenges of our combined mission.

      First I think it is important to note my start in this career.  I paid for school purely with student loans.  I had no wealth or support to start and finished school with a multitude of financial, health, circumstantial, and constitutional challenges.  I started my first office under difficult circumstances and opened a second In another location while working in a third just to stay and survive with my sick family member.  

      Second, my experience with a variety of groups and styles is extensive for a short, almost 6 year career.  I have worked in 8 offices in two different states and 7 different towns.  My first office and most recent office were both started by myself 4 years apart.  Between those two, I worked in a pay share environment with no support, as a W2 employee in a TCM style clinic with cupping and trigger point needling, 2 POCA based community clinics, and 2 non poca community clinics.  I have billed insurance in two states, worked in cash practices, and managed workers compensation cases.  I have treated people in pure acupuncture clinics, mixed clinics, and even as a pure herbal consultant.  I have treated 24 patients in 4.5 hour shifts with only acupuncture treating patients every 10 minutes As well as on the 15 minute, 30 minute, 45 minute, and hour with various combinations of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and extra modalities.

      Thirdly,  I have aggressively pursued continuing education in the form often with no CEU reward for the sake of the knowledge, my field and my patients. I have achieved a wide range of usable knowledge and experience with a vast array of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and other techniques.  I have co-taught several Pulse Diagnostics courses in 2 day live seminars.  I am a member of a Non-Profit Professional Organization and the associated radio/webinar show viewed on a weekly bases.  The group now has 2800+ members world wide with the majority in the United States.  So far I have done this work as a donation of my time because I believe the more practitioners we have effectively treating patients the better it would be for the field.  

      I have contemplated for a great while what the best way would be to help the field.  So far these have been my solutions.  The amount of controversy, infighting, financial or political power plays that I had witnessed in state organizations and between groups has led me to shy away and focus solely on just one group.  Unfortunately I find myself yet again questioning the intentions and aspirations of those around me.  While i still believe in the premise of the group, it has become clear that while it is a force of good within the field, they too are combative with other groups and are filled with people making their own power and financial plays even taking advantage of my donated time to do so.

      I have seen the power of this medicine.  I have also seen the challenges of myself, my colleagues, and my patients in both offering and receiving care.  I have learned (at least in MA) the ins and outs of dealing with insurance and other reimbursement structures and the lack of power that our field holds. I have participated in hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings to the overall healthcare system and could have saved millions more already if there were t structural improvements in the right places.

      My office takes a great deal of my time.  I am very dedicated to my patients.  I am also very dedicated to my colleagues and my students.  I question where the change will come from.  Where does one go to help actualize the greater good.  I don't think it is in the States.  I thought it would be in my group.  I decided a while ago that it is too much for a single "do gooder" to change the world or create a structure to do so.  My theory is that to have a voice in the AAAOM, one of the most important, not-for-profit groups in the field would be the best way I could help.  In turn, it would also be my hope that there was a means and an opportunity to do so.

      If It seems that I can be helpful and contribute to further successes.  Than please let me know how and what that process would look like.  Thank you for your time.




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