American Academy of Medical Acupuncture wishes
to communicate its "White Sheet" and position
statements to Academy members...
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE
is rapidly evolving as an effective therapeutic modality within
the framework of modem American medicine. The United States has
seen an increase in popular interest since President Nixon's trip
to China in 1972 and this has led to scientific investigation
of acupuncture's physiologic impact on pain management as well
as its integration into contemporary medical practice.
Medical acupuncture is the clinical discipline
of acupuncture as practiced by a physician who is also trained
and licensed in western biomedicine. Founded on medical texts
of ancient China, the interpretation and application of acupuncture
within the context of contemporary medicine is an extension of
the physician's biomedical training. The medical acupuncture physician
uniquely offers a comprehensive approach to health care, which
combines classic and modem forms of acupuncture with biomedicine.
Medical acupuncturists treat a wide variety
of medical and pain problems by aiming to restore physiologic
balance and normal function within the body and with the environment.
The patient is treated with the goal of restoring health; not
to simply ameliorate or disguise symptoms. Acupuncture may be
combined effectively with conventional medical or surgical interventions
when acupuncture alone is not sufficient or appropriate to effectively
treat file patient.
The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture
(AAMA) represents over 1500 medical acupuncture physicians in
the United States. The AAMA is the sole physician-only acupuncture
organization in North America and a leader of the highest standards
of training, continuing education and practice of medical acupuncture.
The membership of AAMA embodies all the disciplines of acupuncture
currently practiced in the United States and nearly all disciplines
of medicine. The training and practice requirements for membership
in the AAMA are based on international standards and serve as
a model for state licensure of medical acupuncture physicians,
hospital practice privileges, liability coverage and third party
reimbursement. The AAMA has developed a Proficiency Examination
for its members and is structuring the American Board of Medical
Acupuncture for Board Certification of medical acupuncturists.
The medical acupuncturists' private practice
rights are currently threatened by the restructuring of health
care delivery and reimbursement. The AAMA seeks protection of
the medical acupuncturists' rights, appropriate endorsement by
the conventional medical establishment and recognition by health
care providers of medical acupuncture physicians who practice
uniquely different from non-physician acupuncture practitioners,
as well as their other medical colleagues. The AAMA is committed
to the pursuit of excellence in this field of medicine and will
continue to maintain this ideal as its highest priority.
OF MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE AND PHYSICIAN RIGHTS
Acupuncture practice by physicians
is the practice of medicine. Medical acupuncture specifically
represents the use of acupuncture by fully trained and licensed
physicians. The medical acupuncturist or physician acupuncturist
fills a unique and critical role by virtue of practicing medicine
from both western and eastern paradigms. Diagnostic and therapeutic
criteria are aimed at restoring balance or homeostasis within
the body and restoring health, rather than disguising or ameliorating
The AAMA firmly contends that the rights
aud privileges of appropriately trained physicians shall not be
abridged with respect to the use of acupuncture in the practice
of medicine. Further, the AAMA contends that it is appropriate
for regulation of physicians practicing acupuncture to come only
from medical boards, as is the case with any other medical specialty
and with appropriate participation of physician acupuncturists.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR PHYSICIANS
The AAMA requirements for practice membership
of American licensed physicians are 200 hours of formal approved
education, consisting of 120 hours of didactic education and 80
hours of clinical training. Further, an additiona120 hours are
required with two years of clinical practice to meet eligibility
for Full Practice Membership in the AAMA. The AAMA also affirms
the necessity of 50 hours of approved continuing education in
acupuncture every three years for continued membership.
The requirements are consistent with
those presented by the World Health Organization and the World
Federation of Acupuncture/Moxibustion Societies for American~Western
The AAMA offers a Proficiency Examination
for physicians who have the minimum educational standards noted
PRACTITIONERS OF ACUPUNCTURE
The AAMA supports the use of current
state medical licensing boards for the supervision of non-physician
acupuncture providers, if no non-physician acupuncture state licensing
The AAMA recognizes the importance of
acupuncture needles and other tools in the practice of acupuncture.
The AAMA emphasizes the necessity of aseptic, sterile or clean
technique as would be appropriate for any other tool or device
used in the practice of medicine.
The AAMA recognizes that the use of needles
by appropriately trained personnel should present a real, although
very infrequent risk to the patient with respect to tissue or
visceral trauma or infection. Appropriate training is essential
to provide the public with practitioners who may provide competent
care with minimal risk to the patient.
The use of acupuncture needles has included
millions of needle placements with a remarkably low incidence
of risk to patients and practitioners. As such, the AAMA commends
the FDA's reclassification of acupuncture needles to Class II
medical devices for use by appropriately trained practitioners.
to Top AAMA
of Contents Journal