November 2014 Newsletter

Table of Contents

From the President: Sandy Amoils, MD

I am excited to let you know that during the past 6 months our membership and Board unanimously voted to expand the categories of our membership to include allied health professionals as part of our organization. This was done after much deliberation and with the intention of expanding our membership to include allied health professionals who are trained in a manner that holds them to high standards of medical acupuncture expertise. By doing this our organization will hopefully become more inclusive of those in the medical community who are engaged in providing medical acupuncture to their patients. The new categories of membership are all well-defined on the AAMA website as the following:

Affiliate membership is available to the following practitioners:

  • Physicians, dentists, podiatrists and veterinarians licensed in the US or Canada who have an interest in medical acupuncture;
  • Physicians, MDs or DOs, trained and licensed in other countries but practicing in the US as licensed acupuncturists;
  • Physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists with appropriate medical acupuncture training who are active duty military, are practicing in VA or DOD facilities and institutions or are licensed to practice acupuncture in their state; and 
  • Persons with a graduate research degree (PhD or EdD) with an interest in medical acupuncture.

This is an exciting and bold move for the AAMA. These allied health care practitioners with demonstrated quality training in medical acupuncture, as members of the Academy, can add value and depth to who we are. I urge you to help us get the word out and encourage these new categories of members to join our ranks. We all have much to learn from one another.

The Annual Symposium entitled “Medical Acupuncture-Ancient Roots, Modern Applications” will be hosted in St Louis from April 23-26, 2015. Make sure to save the date for this. The Symposium committee chaired by Anna Kelly and Rick Hobbs have lined up an exciting array of speakers. If you have never attended one of our Symposiums, or have not been to one recently you don’t know what you’re missing! Not only are they a fabulous educational resource, but also a wonderful way to meet and mingle with like-minded professionals. Please consider joining us. You won’t regret doing so.

As promised in the last newsletter we are striving to improve what we offer to our members. So be on the lookout for offerings of free CME as a part of the Journal and from previously taped lectures that will be available on the website. Our new website is much more concise and user friendly too. Membership renewal and registration for the Symposium can all be done on-line.

Our various volunteer committees continue to work diligently to enhance your AAMA. We are always in need of new volunteers. Please let any of the Board members know if you have an interest in an area and would like to help.

Wishing you all a memorable and heartwarming holiday season. 

Bylaws Amendment Opens New Membership Categories

Until earlier this year, membership in the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture was restricted to medical doctors – MDs or DOs – with appropriate training in medical acupuncture. Those appropriately trained physicians in the U.S. or Canada were eligible for Full membership with voting rights in the organization. Those with less training, and those licensed to practice medicine in other countries, were eligible for Affiliate membership, a non-voting category of membership with more limited member benefits.

Evolving Healthcare Landscape Prompts Change

Significant changes in the current health care landscape prompted the AAMA Board to consider a proposal to revise the membership criteria. One such change is the increasing use of alternative therapies by the U.S. military. With growing interest and support, the military has been training expanded teams of medical personnel in the use of acupuncture to successfully treat wounded and suffering servicemen and women. A related change involves the proliferation of coordinated, team-based primary care and the assumption of greater responsibility by non-physician health care providers, including Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. In both instances, more and more allied health care practitioners are receiving rigorous, scientific medical training that includes training in acupuncture and other alternative therapies.

To reflect the evolving demographics of medical acupuncture practitioners, in June 2014, the Academy members voted overwhelmingly in support of an amendment to expand those long-standing eligibility criteria to include several additional categories of medically trained professionals. Passing with a margin greater than 10 to 1, the amendment presents opportunities for military and allied healthcare providers with appropriate medical and acupuncture training to contribute to the Academy, which remains the largest professional society of physician acupuncturists in North America. 

New Eligibility Categories

Eligibility for Full, voting membership was expanded to include Dentists and Podiatrists who have completed an organized medical acupuncture training program acceptable to the Academy. Eligibility for Affiliate, non-voting membership was expanded to include these new categories of practitioners:

  • Physicians, Dentists, Podiatrists and Veterinarian physicians with an interest in medical acupuncture      
  • Physicians trained and licensed in other countries but practicing in the US as licensed acupuncturists
  • Physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists with appropriate medical acupuncture training who are active duty military, or are employed by the the Veterans Administration or Dept of Defense or are licensed to practice acupuncture in their state      
  • Persons with a graduate research degree (PhD or EdD) with an interest in medical acupuncture

The Academy welcomes these health care professionals to membership. Together, we can work to achieve the integration of acupuncture as a valuable therapy into modern health care in the U.S. and Canada. Please contact Jim Dowden, Executive Administrator, or Sandi Amoils, MD, AAMA President, if you have any questions about the amendment. 

Register Now for the 2015 AAMA Symposium

Make plans today to attend the year's most relevant and exciting professional development opportunity for practitioners of medical acupuncture. 

The AAMA 2015 Symposium explores the mechanisms of acupuncture from several different perspectives and examines current scientific research in the field of medical acupuncture. In choosing presenters and topics, the Symposium Committee considers your recommendations, compiled from evaluations of the previous three years. "Each time we have completed this process, it has been very clear that we are a heterogeneous group with a broad range of interests," says Symposium co-chair, Richard F. Hobbs, III, MD, FAAMA. "Reflective of that diversity and of the committee’s commitment to invite speakers from the highest echelon of our profession, we have put together an extraordinary program for 2015."  

The Theme of this year's meeting -- "Medical Acupuncture - Ancient Roots, Modern Applications" -- will highlight many different approaches for addressing practical clinical problems. Surveys and evaluations from previous symposia indicate that there is a desire for more information about acupuncture techniques that honor the rich history of Asian medicine as applied to the contemporary, Western medical practice. An emphasis on evidence-based scientific research is integrated with practical protocols for the serious clinician. 

The 27th Annual AAMA Symposium will be held April 23-26, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch in St. Louis, MO. Anna C. Kelly, MD, FAAMA, and Rick Hobbs are co-chairs assisted by Laura Bowman, MD, DABMA.

This conference will offer a multi-tiered approach for the understanding and clinical relevance of acupuncture in daily practice. It will expand our awareness of scientific research into the effects of acupuncture, and provide participants with information about different approaches for the treatment of common conditions seen in clinical practice. Clinicians will learn multi-faceted ways to tailor acupuncture treatments for their individual patients. This conference will focus on clinically relevant treatment approaches that can easily be integrated into clinical practice. 

"At its best, acupuncture is based on an integral and holistic model of care that treats many common diseases that we see in clinical practice," says Kelly. "It is rewarding for both practitioner and patient, and is an essential tool in the treatment of a wide range of disorders.  Each year I come away from the Pre-symposium and Symposium with a renewed enthusiasm for this beautiful medicine. Come join us!"

And don't forget to carve out some time to visit the unique sights and attractions of St. Louis. Here's our list of "must-dos" and must-sees." 

Member News: Practice Opportunity in Oregon

AAMA member, Dr. Lowell Kobrin is planning to retire on June 30, 2015. He’s looking for a qualified physician to assume a 25-year, thriving general medical acupuncture practice at north bend medical center, the largest full service medical center on the southern Oregon coast. This is a medical co-op; the practice is not for sale. Several hundred patients will be in need of continuing care after Dr. Kobrin’s retirement. While there are three non-MD licensed acupuncturists in the county, there would be no physician acupuncturist for several hundred miles after Dr. Kobrin retires. The practice includes a comprehensive Chinese herbal pharmacy using professional patent extracts and tablets. Peaceful office suite overlooks old-growth forest. The practice includes all major approaches to designing treatment, but the main treatment is placed on the Korean hand acupuncture points. Dr. Kobrin will teach Korean hand therapy at no charge to any physician who commits to assume this practice. There are built-in referrals from over 30 physicians, plus a large patient base encompassing three counties. Interested medically trained acupuncturists can contact Dr, Kobrin (541) 267-5151, ext. 1301 or email

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New Acupuncture Research

The AAMA website has a new section devoted to current scientific research that may be relevant to your medical acupuncture practice. Check back often to read about industry developments. Here is a selection of the newest additions to the section: 

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