Centers Of Excellence
Malcolm Grow Medical Center (Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland) is a de facto training center for Air Force physicians, who have completed or are in the process of finishing Dr Joseph Helms' renowned acupuncture training course. Civilian physicians and licensed acupuncturists are also welcome for training. Clinicians report that this experience substantially enhances their clinical practice.
Our clinic offers a practical experience to deal with acute and chronic problems of patients referred to us after problematic outcomes with Western medicine. These patients come from the well-known surrounding military centers such as Walter Reed Army Medical Center (Washington, DC) and the National Naval Medical Center (Bethesda, Maryland).
The clinic's hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Afternoons are devoted to clinical research and protocol patients. We see at least 50 patients per week and approximately 100 patients over 10 working days.
The majority of our patients have pain: fibromyalgia, protruding disks, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, degenerative disk disease, spinal stenosis, frozen shoulder, peripheral neuropathy secondary to diabetes or chemotherapy, torticolis, overuse syndromes, abdominal pain of unknown etiology, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, osteoarthritis, migraines, etc.
We also treat patients for obesity, nicotine abuse, dry mouth and dry eyes from various etiologies, hot flashes, chronic fatigue along with depression, and dermatological conditions such as eczema.
Currently, our treatment modalities include needling body acupoints, auriculotherapy, electroacupuncture (Craig), microcurrent, laser techniques, piezoelectric stimulation, electroauriculotherapy, some Korean hand acupuncture, YNSA, and dry needling for trigger points.
We have had many practitioners visit us. Dr Joe Helms recently paid us a brief visit to review our techniques and results. Instruction is limited to 2 students per week. There are hotels across the street from Andrews AFB.
Perhaps it would be interesting for other clinicians to offer their clinical settings as limited opportunities for instructing newly trained acupuncturists. We could produce a network of training centers that would be beneficial to the clinician and patient. Possibly we could designate certain clinics as "centers of excellence" for training purposes.
On another note, I traveled to China last July to lecture and demonstrate my rapid acupuncture technique to reverse dry mouth in head and neck cancer patients (xerostomia). This unique experience took place at a "center of excellence," Fudan University Cancer Hospital, Shanghai. This invitation was arranged through M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, where I previously demonstrated this technique. Clinicians from M.D. Anderson and Fudan Cancer Hospital have ongoing cancer research collaborations. Americans are investigating the spectacular survival rates of patients with pancreatic and liver cancer in China.
While in Shanghai, I contracted a viral upper respiratory tract infection. My colleagues were very generous to admit me to their hospital and let me experience firsthand their version of Western medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. What a wonderful opportunity to observe and be treated. I even took pictures! Obviously, it went well for me. I found the Chinese people incredible and look forward to another visit – but, needless to say, not as a patient!
This issue is coming to you at the beginning of another new year. I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!
-- Richard C. Niemtzow, MD, PhD, MPH
Dr Richard C. Niemtzow is a Radiation Oncologist and Colonel in the United States Air Force. He is the Chief Medical Consultant for Alternative Medicine for the Air Force Surgeon General. In addition to his research activities, Dr Niemtzow practices Medical Acupuncture full-time at Malcolm Grow Medical Center, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. He is Chairman of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA) Research Committee.
Richard C. Niemtzow, MD, PhD, MPH
9800 Cherry Hill Rd
College Park, MD 20740
Colonel (Dr) Richard C. Niemtzow
Medical Group (AMC)
Malcolm Grow Medical Center
Andrews AFB, MD 20762