|A Publication of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine|
From the Desk of the CEO
The 2018 Chinese New Year began this year on February 16 - the Year of the Earth Dog. During the Year of the Dog, satisfaction and joy will occur from successful outcome of projects undertaken in the previous year, the Year of the Fire Rooster, 2017.
The productivity of last year, as well as the previous investment of efforts in 2015, 2016 and earlier are coming to fruition in 2018. In 2015 the NCCAOM set several strategic goals for the organization, two of which related to increasing opportunities for NCCAOM Diplomates to be successful in their careers as acupuncturists. These goals were to:
- Expand the Value of the NCCAOM Credentials to Assure and Advance Professional Opportunities for NCCAOM Diplomates
- Integrate NCCAOM Credentialed Providers into the United States Healthcare System
Before embarking on these goals to promote our Diplomates and their certifications, the NCCAOM undertook a needs assessment of our Diplomates and we found that the number one recurring request of all our Diplomates was for the NCCAOM to create a marketing and public relations campaign to promote our Diplomates and to advocate for NCCAOM National Board-Certified Acupuncturists™. We launched our campaign in May of 2016 and have documented the following outcomes in 2016 and 2017:
- Visits to the NCCAOM Website - 179% increase since 2014
- Find a Practitioner Visits - 188% increase since 2014
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Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC) Integrative Health and Wellness Caucus: Amidst the Opioid Crisis
NCCAOM representatives Matthew Stanley, Public
Member, Board of Commissioners and Mina Larson, Executive Deputy Director, were
pleased to attend the IHPC sponsored Caucus focusing on integrative health
solutions on March 15th in Washington DC. Representative Jared Polis
(D-Colo)., and Mike Coffman, (R-Colo), kicked off the inaugural Integrative
Health and Wellness Caucus: A bipartisan
Congressional effort. In the midst
of the largest American health crisis in recent history, this new Caucus was
the first event that provided legislative staff and other policy and regulatory
officials the opportunity to understand how shifting focus in healthcare to
prevention, health creation and promotion can create cost savings while
improving health outcomes for Americans. Rep. Polis specifically mentioned acupuncture
and acupressure in his remarks as examples of proven alternative treatments and
emphasized the importance of increasing access to “evidence-informed
In addition, Lt.
Gen. Eric Schoomaker, the former Army Surgeon General, and Dr. Ben Kligler, the
Director of the Coordinating Center for Integrative Health in the Veterans
Health Administration, presented an overview of efforts to increase integrative
health in the Veterans Administration (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD).
Gen. Schoomaker also pointed out that acupuncture and other integrative treatments
actually have more evidence of efficacy than opioids. Dr. Kligler addressed the
VA’s efforts to integrate a “whole health model” into their treatment plans by
organizing clinical care around what is most important to each individual
veteran. He outlined the VA’s plan for complementary integrative health
delivery, as directed by the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA)
as well as the VA’s development of 18 demonstration centers for whole health
around the country. As per the recent NCCAOM press release announcing Acupuncturists Now Included in the VA
Health Administration, Dr. Kligler
identified acupuncture as one of the proven complementary treatments used at
these centers. This thrilling news from
the VA will hopefully open doors to establishing qualifications for NCCAOM®
National Board-Certified Acupuncturist™ in other federal agencies.
NCCAOM was also
proud to have its very own Bill Reddy, NCCAOM National Board-Certified
Acupuncturist™ and IHPC Board member, present on the efficacy of acupuncture
and the growing use of treatment nationwide.
The event was a
successful introduction to the Caucus on Capitol Hill and provided an
opportunity to raise the profile of integrative and complementary medicine
among Congressional staffers and other policy makers. NCCAOM is a Partner for
Health member organization of the IHPC. Dr. Kory Ward-Cook, NCCAOM CEO currently
holds that IHPC Board seat.Return to Top
More Diplomate Services and New Look for NCCAOM
The NCCAOM Academy
of Diplomates was launched last year to provide additional services and more
value to our Diplomates. Please see the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates Factsheet. This year, the NCCAOM has hit the ground
running with finding more ways to promote your NCCAOM National Board-Certified
Acupuncturists™ credential. Working with the media is just one of the examples
of what the Academy is doing to get the word out about our National Board-Certified
Acupuncturists™. Please see the Public Education Campaign Page and our Press Center featured both on the NCCAOM and Academy websites.
Also, we have
dedicated a special timeline to posting updates and news on how acupuncture can
help with the Opioid epidemic. This includes a
white paper and other timely articles written by prominent members of the
acupuncture community. We will be continuing our work on this very important
topic as we make the public and media aware of acupuncturists’ role in helping with pain management and addiction. Meanwhile, through our advocacy
efforts we have reached out to the Senate Finance Committee, via a letter to present the benefits to having NCCAOM National Board-Certified
Acupuncturists™ be part of the solution to combatting the opioid crisis.
The NCCAOM and the
Academy are also rebranding this summer with a new logo, fresh website and innovative
marketing materials to promote your certification. The rebranding is to
emphasize the importance of the NCCAOM brand when consumers, other
practitioners and others are looking for acupuncture treatments. We are also
registering NCCAOM Board-Certified Acupuncturists™ with the US Patent and Trade
Office to ensure that only our NCCAOM Diplomates can use this designation and
that it is exclusive to those who have received the training, education and
assessment of a National Board-Certified Acupuncturists™. Other services such as a job board will also
be available to you as our valued Diplomate. Look for the new website this
summer.Return to Top
Did You Know?
The NCCAOM published
their official Dry Needling Position Statement last year
to help state associations and regulatory boards with providing support regarding
this issue and supplying information about standards. The NCCAOM over the last
several years has worked with states by supplying letters and testimonies
against the practice of dry needling by PTs and other allied healthcare
practitioners based on their lack of training, education and assessment of acupuncture competency.Return to Top
Safe Chinese Herbal Compounding and Dispensing Needs Assessment Survey Results
protecting the public is a concern for Chinese herbal medicine practitioners
and the acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) profession. To that end, the
NCCAOM created the Safe Chinese Herbal Compounding and Dispensing Taskforce,
consisting of a diverse group of herbal professionals, to study the potential
of creating a certificate of qualification (COQ) program in safe compounding of Chinese herbs. The first step in determining if a certificate
of qualification (COQ) program should be initiated was to conduct a needs
assessment to determine the AOM profession’s overall support and interest for
NCCAOM to create a program for the safe compounding and dispensing of Chinese
herbal formulas by acupuncturists practicing Chinese herbal medicine.
The Safe Chinese
Herbal Compounding and Dispensing Taskforce completed the needs assessment in
December 2017. Five hundred sixty-six (N=566)
respondents participated in the survey.
Overall results were positive in supporting the development of the COQ
herbal safety program. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of the participants strongly
agreed/agreed that voluntary competency verification was needed for herbalists to safely
compound and dispense Chinese herbs. The Taskforce members determined from the
practitioners’ comments that those in favor felt safety in compounding and
dispensing was necessary to protect the public. The majority felt that acupuncturists
practicing Chinese herbal formulae compounding should meet FDA
requirements before they are forced to. The respondents were in favor of the
NCCAOM moving forward with creating a Chinese Herbal Compounding Safety COQ.
(15%) of the responses were neutral and had no opinion either way. Twenty-seven
percent (27%) of the practitioners replied they strongly disagreed/disagreed to
additional training. Concerns centered around the current extensive training
already received in school and most were confused that the certificate program
would be a mandatory requirement. Practitioners expressed that FDA standards
are meant for herbal manufacturing companies and are too strict for most solo
practices to comply.
Based on the
positive survey results and the NCCAOM’s concern for some practitioners’
negative responses and confusion, the NCCAOM is planning to host a webinar and
publish some articles to educate and raise awareness about the need for a Chinese Herbal Compounding Safety COQ. Work will also continue with subject
matter experts to develop the educational program for this voluntary Chinese Herbal Compounding Safety COQ. Return to Top
NCCAOM Official Practice Tests: Coming Soon!
things are happening here at NCCAOM. We are finalizing the NCCAOM Exam Prep
Center featuring the NCCAOM Official Practice Tests™ .
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launch of the NCCAOM Official™ Practice Tests will take place this Spring.
These practice tests will include a diagnostic report to help students and
examination candidates prepare for the NCCAOM Board Exams. Most importantly, these practice tests will be structured similarly to the NCCAOM certification exams.
note: NCCAOM Diplomates will be able to gain PDA points for successfully taking
these practice tests. We will be launching the NCCAOM Exam Preparation section
of our website with the practice tests by this Spring.
Call for Volunteers
NCCAOM is actively seeking a Diplomate for our Biomedicine Exam Development Committee. The Diplomate must be dually licensed
as a Licensed Acupuncturist (or state equivalent), and also hold an MD, DO, or
RN degree. This individual should have a
strong knowledge of pharmacology, be available for in-person meetings beginning
in May and July of this year, be NCCAOM certified as either a Diplomate of
Acupuncture or Diplomate of Oriental Medicine, be fluent in English, and
ideally have graduated from acupuncture schooling within the past 7 years. The committee work demands an individual with
strong collaborative and consensus seeking skills.
exam development process is critical to establishing baseline competency for
the profession. The work involved
between meetings is generally minimal, though some training and concise
assignments will occur. This is an
opportunity to help maintain and shape the NCCAOM biomedical exam, utilizing
critical thinking skills and creativity to edit and create exam items, consider
appropriate content for the test based on the NCCAOM Job Task Analysis, and
work in a positive team environment.
Committee members are asked to serve for a minimum of three years
following an initial year as a guest of the committee.Please send an email to email@example.com if you are interested in this positionReturn to Top
Notice About Meridians Journal
Please note that the Meridians: The Journal of Acupuncture and
Oriental Medicine, will no longer be offered online via the NCCAOM Academy
of Diplomates or NCCAOM websites. The NCCAOM supports the Journal, through
advertisements, but is no longer a sponsor. The Academy continues to explore other
sponsorships and affinity partnerships as a benefit of active NCCAOM
certification. Meridians is now the official journal of the American Society for Acupuncturists (ASA).Return to Top
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