- Working With Other Organizations to Fully Integrate Acupuncture Into Mainstream Medicine.
We are working directly with the AAAOM board and CAOMA leadership to reinvent the acupuncture profession as a part of mainstream medicine. We support licensed acupuncturists who wish to work as solo practitioners outside the mainstream. However, our goal is to incorporate mainstream clinical training experience in the curriculum of training programs and a primary concern for ACAOM.The Guild has reached out to the Council of State Associations to identify successful strategies on a state-by-state basis for ensuring LAcs are included as covered providers with private insurers, self-funded programs, and under the Affordable Care Act.Guild members who seek strategies to work in the mainstream are encouraged to contact us. We are always looking for the right persons to participate on regulatory boards and medical practice organizations in their respective state to carry the message how acupuncture can offer care options as a proven modality.
- Advocating for increased workforce opportunities in mainstream health care organizational settings.
The Guild initiated and continues to create the research that documents the poor work prospects for many licensed acupuncturists. NGAOM National Director of Education Steve Stumpf published two papers in 2010 that were the first to document the poor work prospects for LAcs. In 2012 he joined with the AAAOM to publish a followup paper that demonstrated wide support among LAcs who wish to work in mainstream medicine.Acupuncture is a young profession that can learn from the path followed by other healthcare professions in their journeys become part of mainstream healthcare. These include medicine, nursing, osteopathy, chiropratic medicine, physical therapy and physician assistant practice.We do not need to forge a new pathway when a tried and true one has existed for more than a century.
- Promoting Uniform National Competencies and Standards
Professional competencies are the cornerstone of every healthcare profession. These define the knowledge, skills and abilities which every licensee must possess in order to practice effectively and safely. The Guild was among the earliest advocates for the creation of national acupuncture competencies by practicing acupuncturists. This initiative is underway as a collaborative effort including input from organizations that support the idea of national Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs).The AAAOM released a comprehensive set of KSAs in December 2014. You can review these here. Guild members continue to be centrally involved in this process.Standards are one of the cornerstones of any healthcare profession. These are the tools used to measure the extent to which any given practitioner or training program can demonstrate competency. The Guild led the initiative to propose national standards for measuring competency that are aligned with other healthcare professions and emphasized mainstream medicine. We are thrilled this has become a broad movement.
- Creating, developing and adopting common and shared legislative language as evidenced through nationally coordinated state acupuncture practice acts.
Every state in which acupuncture is regulated includes a description of the LAc scope of practice; specific language that describes exactly what any LAc can do. Statutory language from state to state can vary tremendously. This is confusing to consumers and legislators.The Guild understands that every state should include a common scope of practice and that this common scope must be adopted by national acupuncture groups. The release of national KSAs is a step in that direction.This initiative has been endorsed by other leading acupuncture organizations. Only the Guild, through our ties to the OPEIU and the AFL-CIO, has the legislative strength to actually see this happen. In this regard, the Guild seeks to act on behalf of all LAcs and all acupuncture organizations – state by state – to make this a reality by 2020.