for AAMA Symposium
Physicians who want to try a short mission with Bryan L Frank, MD, FAAMA, to Mexico Nov. 18-21 are welcome to visit the mission website at www.medicalmission.us. Numerous AAMA members have joined Dr. Frank in Mexico, Nepal and Ecuador in past years. Shown are Drs. Robert Milne and Dalbir Sudan in a clinic in Mexico this year. Future missions include Nepal in spring and fall 2005, Ecuador on June 4-18, 2005 and more. Interested persons are encouraged to contact Dr. Frank (405/623-7667)
By Nader E. Soliman, MD, FAAMA
OUTSTANDING EDUCATIONAL EVENT
AAMA's 17th Annual Symposium will be held in Atlanta, Georgia April 1-3, 2005, and as usual, a Pre-Symposium day will precede the event. The Symposium has become an annual celebration for our profession. It's an opportunity to meet with a distinguished and unique group of dedicated physicians, as well as to be a tool to enjoy some of the most fulfilling needs for continuing medical education in the art of medical acupuncture.
The dedication of our membership has made each Symposium an outstanding educational event. For the past few years, we have seen the Academy's efforts to hold the torch of high-quality education in medical acupuncture bear fruit. We have consistently enjoyed superbly organized symposia, and this upcoming Symposium will not be any less in quality and sophistication.
Faculty members of the 2005 Symposium include many well-known speakers, such as Drs. Francois Beyen, Jim Oschman, PhD, James Gordon, Patrick Mok, Nader Soliman, Ted Kaptchuk, Roberto Jodorkovsky, Brenda Gouliani, Kimber Rotchford, Roberto Jodorvosky, Alston Lundgren, Linda Rapson and Ji-Sheng Han, professor and director of Neuroscience Research Institute, Peking University, Beijing, China.
Topics to be presented will be of tremendous interest to our membership; they will enjoy topics on research and acupuncture treatment strategies. Subjects will vary from traditional Chinese medicine to French energetics, from the treatment of fibromyalgia and pain to the treatment of addiction, from treatment of insomnia to the treatment of psychological disorders and from the treatment of neurological disorders to the treatment of cancer.
NEW MICROSYSTEM OF THE HAND
Members will also enjoy learning about the different microsystems of acupuncture, including the Korean hand acupuncture and the advanced auricular system. Additionally, the Academy is proud to present a new acupuncture microsystem of the hand. The first time being introduced anywhere, the system will identify that the human organs are projected on the hand in three phases bearing similarity to the auricular system of Nogier.
Overall, the 2005 Symposium promises to be yet another indication that the Academy is the undisputed leader in medical acupuncture education. Again, achieving such high levels of excellence is due to the relentless efforts of our membership through the Symposium Committee over the years. This allowed the Academy to present the best in education to our membership, in particular, and to the world of acupuncture, in general.
And as I relate this success to the excellence of our membership efforts, I must acknowledge that excellence is not a gift from God. It is a human trait that is acquired only by relentless training and ruthless self-assessment. Our membership does not do a good job because we already have virtue or excellence. It is the other way around: We do a good job because we have met a whole range of standards, over and over again, and because we know how to tackle the task of meeting new ones. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not a glamorous nor singular achievement. It's a habit.
The 17th Annual Symposium will be held in Atlanta, GA, April 1-3, 2005 (with a Review Course March 29-30 and Pre-Symposium workshops on March 31, 2005) at Hilton Atlanta. As the upcoming Symposium is expected to have record attendance, I urge all of you to mark your calendar and make early arrangements to be part of this historical meeting. The hotel phone number, room rate and cut-off date can be found in the calendar on page 7 of this newsletter.
See you in Atlanta.
BACK TO TOP
Waiting to hear from CPT Panel
By Marshall H. Sager, DO, FAAMA
CHAIR, ICMART EDUCATION CHAPTER
For the past two years, AAMA had been active, as part of an ad hoc workgroup of the AMA CPT Editorial Committee, in formulating and valuing new national acupuncture CPT codes. Other members of the workgroup included representatives of the two prominent national non-physician acupuncture groups and the American Chiropractic Association. After numerous telephone and face-to-face meetings interspersed with multiple e-mails and, finally, evaluation of returned work-value surveys from the respective members, the group arrived at a consensus and made application to the AMA/Specialty Society RVS Update Committee (RUC*).
CREATION OF THE RUC
The Medicare program and other third-party payors have paid for physician services according to a resource-based relative value scale (RBRVS). The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) has updated the RBRVS annually, and is required by statute to review the RBRVS at least every five years. The current five-year review is underway. The AMA, through the process described below, has participated in each of the updates and reviews.
The RBRVS uses the procedure codes and definitions contained in the Physicians' Current Procedural Terminology (CPT). CPT is maintained by the CPT Editorial Panel, a committee appointed by the AMA Board of Trustees. The CPT is updated annually to reflect current medical practice, and changes in the CPT necessitate annual updates to the RBRVS for the affected codes. In addition, HCFA may change the relative value of a procedure to reflect changes in the resources needed to perform the procedure, or if it concludes that a change otherwise is warranted.
In order to provide a mechanism to provide input from the physician community to the RBRVS updating process, the AMA created the AMA/Specialty Society RVS Update Committee* (RUC). The RUC makes recommendations to HCFA with respect to the physician work component of the relative value units contained in the RBRVS. The RUC has 26 physician members, of whom 22 represent medical specialty societies. AMA and the American Osteopathic Association each appoint one voting member. The RUC chair and a member of the CPT Editorial Panel are non-voting members of the RUC, and HCFA has sent at least one observer to each meeting.
APPEARING BEFORE THE RUC
On April 21, the acupuncture workgroup, represented by Tony Hamm and Christina Goertz (chiropractors), Roger Brooks (AAOM) and myself (representing AAMA) appeared before the RUC to explain the rationale, answer questions and defend the application. After much discussion and clarification, an accord was reached and a final acupuncture Work Value Index was sent on to the CPT Panel for acceptance. To this Work Value Index will be added the Practice Expense Index and the Malpractice Expense Index – the sum of which will be the new acupuncture CPT codes Index Values.
We expect to hear officially from the CPT Panel shortly to confirm the acupuncture codes index values and to verify their inclusion in the 2005 CPT publication.
BACK TO TOP
converting to e-mail
Register now for exciting changes
Exciting technological advances are in store for Academy members concerning the AAMA Newsletter. These changes will mean members will receive the newsletter more frequently and in a modern format available via e-mail and on the Internet.
Beginning in January 2005, the Academy will launch the AAMA e-Newsletter which will be available to members via e-mail and online at http://www.medicalacupuncture.org/. The new e-Newsletter will mean that we can communicate with Academy members faster and with greater frequency as developments and news are available. The e-Newsletter will permit a more complete listing of all educational programs available that are relevant to members and will permit us to link members to more complete and thorough resources and information offered not only from the Academy, but from a variety of other sources, as well.
The December issue of the current AAMA Newsletter will be the last in this print format. Electronically challenged members, or those who would simply prefer a print version, can download and print the e-Newsletter directly from the Academy website.
We are excited about this innovative change. We believe it will materially increase the value of this communications tool for all members.
Members should make sure that the Academy has your current, correct e-mail address so that you do not miss out on the AAMA e-Newsletter. Check the e-mail address we have for you by going to the online Membership Directory available in the Member Only section of the Academy website. Or, if you prefer, simply send an e-mail to Membership Coordinator Natalie Ortiz (email@example.com, 323/937-5514, x20) requesting that she update your e-mail address.
Incidentally, past issues of the AAMA Newsletter are posted at www.medicalacupuncture.org/aama_marf/newsletter/newslist.html.
BACK TO TOP
Board members sought
AAMA members interested in being considered for nomination to the Board of Directors are encouraged to submit a letter indicating their interest, along with a resume, by Feb. 1, 2005, Full members and Fellows are eligible to serve on the Board, which is responsible for developing AAMA policies and overseeing operations. Address your letter to Chairman of the Nominations Committee, c/o AAMA, 4929 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 428, Los Angeles, CA 90010. Also, the Academy is looking for volunteers for committees, which are listed online at www.medicalacupuncture.org/aama_marf/aama.html (click on Academy Committees). For details on responsibilities and joining, please contact Jim Dowden (firstname.lastname@example.org, 323/937-5514) or a member of the committee that interests you.
BACK TO TOP
Toshikatsu Yamamoto, MD, instructs during Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture educational seminar for Illinois AAMA Chapter. The event was very popular and attracted 35 doctors from all over.
President Anna C. Kelly, MD, announces a date change for a meeting listed in the last AAMA Newsletter: The Georgia Association of Medical Acupuncturists (GAMA) is planning a seminar for Feb. 26-27, 2005. Jeffrey Yuen, LAc, will speak on, "Oriental Medicine and Women's Health: The Treatment of Infertility and Menopause," at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia, 4355 Ashford Dunwoody, in Atlanta, GA.
The Academy is pleased to announce the formation of the Ohio Chapter. Officers include President Sandi Amoils, MD; Vice President Steve Amoils, MD; President Elect Liz Woolford, MD, and Secretary/Treasurer Claudia Harsh, MD. Members interested in joining this Chapter should contact Dr. Sandi Amoils (email@example.com -- corrected e-mail address from last issue -- or 513/791-5521).
The Pennsylvania Chapter is fortunate to have Dr. Rajam Li in the Philadelphia area. Dr. Li, professor of TCM for foreign students at Xiamen University, has been teaching an intensive course on TCM and will give Chapter members lectures on treatments for patients for the changing season. A practicing Daoist, Dr. Li will also be lecturing on Lao Ze and Daoism. In addition, he teaches Tai Qi.
Anyone living near Philadelphia is welcome to join this Chapter and participate. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does your state have a regional AAMA chapter? If not, please consider forming one. Chapters provide fellowship, professional camaraderie, education and curbside consults. Contact Regional Chapter Subcommittee Chair Martha M. Grout, MD, FAAMA (602/787-8500, email@example.com).
Chapter presidents, please e-mail your updates for the AAMA Newsletter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BACK TO TOP
Members participating in AAMA's referral program will be happy to hear that 360 telephone calls came into headquarters (and 4,086 hits to the referral web page) in July, and 382 calls (and 4,398 website hits) in August from patients seeking medical acupuncturists.
Practice members (associate, full and Fellows) who are not participating in the patient referral program but would like to, need to notify AAMA by mail (4929 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 428, Los Angeles, CA 90010) or by e-mail (email@example.com). To see if you're signed up for this program, check the referral search (Find an Acupuncturist) at: www.medicalacupuncture.org/findadoc/index.html.
The World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies (WFAS) and the Australian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA) announce the 6th World Conference on Acupuncture, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in the Modern Age, Oct. 29-31 in Gold Coast, Australia. WAFS World Conferences are held every four years in conjunction with WFAS General Assemblies to promote academic exchange, to develop the science and practice of acupuncture-moxibustion, and to strengthen the understanding and cooperation between acupuncture-moxibustion societies internationally. For more information, visit www.acupuncture.org.au/wfas_2004.cfm, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call +61 7 3846 5866.
Nader E. Soliman, MD, FAAMA, president of AAMA, was recently interviewd by the "NewYork Times" for the article, "Acupuncture Moves Toward the Mainstream," published on Sept. 28. The anesthesiologist outlined the increasing demand being generated for medical acupuncture now that many physicians are interested in learning about its benefits. He noted that many physicians who used to be reluctant to refer their patients to acupuncture treatment are now doing so regularly. Dr. Soliman was also interviewed by "Health" magazine for an article to appear in the second or third week of October.
AAMA's 17th Annual Symposium will be April 1-3, 2005 at Hilton Atlanta in Georgia. A Review Course will be taught March 29-30, 2005, followed by Pre-Symposium workshops on March 31. The Board Certification Exam will be given to qualified candidates on April 3, 2005. Rooms are being offered at $159 night (single/double) through Feb. 25, 2005 (or until the block sells out). Call 404/659-2000, and be sure to mention AAMA to get the discounted rate.
Beginning in January 2005, the Academy will launch the AAMA e-Newsletter which will be available to members via e-mail and online at http://www.medicalacupuncture.org/. The new e-Newsletter will mean that we can communicate with Academy members faster and with greater frequency as developments and news are available. The December issue of the current AAMA Newsletter will be the last in this print format. Members should make sure that the Academy has your current, correct e-mail address so that you do not miss out on the AAMA e-Newsletter. Check the e-mail address we have for you by going to the online Membership Directory available in the Member Only section of the Academy website. Or, if you prefer, simply send an e-mail to Membership Coordinator Natalie Ortiz (email@example.com, 323/937-5514, x20) requesting that she update your e-mail address.
With the International Council of Medical Acupuncture and Related Techniques (ICMART) just barely over in Australia in October, ICMART XII World Medical Acupuncture Congress is already being planned for May 20-22, 2005 at Hotel Diplomat in Prague, Czech Republic. Sponsored by Czech Medical Acupuncture Society, the Symposium is being organized by Guarant International. A preliminary agenda, along with a participation application form, will be available soon. For more details, visit www.medicalacupuncture.org/events/icmart_2005.html or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The AAMA will host the ICMART Congress in 2006.
The Academy has now posted a list of members who are Board Certified online at www.medicalacupuncture.org/cme/cme/board_certified.html. There is also a link to this web page on the left-hand menu bar of the home page (click on Board Certified Physicians). Diplomates of the American Board of Medical Acupuncture (DABMA) are listed alphabetically by last name, along with their location, and dates of certification and expiration.
Structural Acupuncture for Physicians is offered now through June 12, 2005 by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesia, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehab, at Harvard Medical School in Boston, which will grant up to 300 Category I CME hours for this course. Guest speakers, clinical instruction and home study are involved with the course, which also can be viewed via the Internet. Instructors are Joseph F. Audette, MA, MD; Kiiko Matsumoto, LAc and David Euler, LAc. For more information, visit http://cme.med.harvard.edu (and search by dates or topic), e-mail email@example.com or call (617) 384-8600.
If you've read any good books on acupuncture or related products recently, please send that information to AAMA headquarters to be shared with the membership. You can also post a review of the publications in the Academy's online bookstore. Go to: www.medicalacupuncture.org, click on AAMA Store and then on Check Out Our Comprehensive Selection. Next click on the book cover (or More Info) and then on Post a Review.
The Third International Congress on Traditional Chinese Medicine, which is sponsored by the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, will be held Nov. 13-15 in Beijing, China. There will be presenters, scientific research and education, forums, abstracts, exhibits, tours of area attractions and more. Underwriter is the China Academy of TCM, assisted by the World Federation of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Societies, China Association of TCM and Pharmacology, China Association of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, and China Society of TCM. For additional information, contact David Chen (626/570-1936, firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit www.ccpit.org.
A new VAS and Protocol Workshop with Nader E. Soliman, MD, FAAMA, is being offered for those who have trained in Auricular Medicine, in Dr. Soliman's office on Saturday, Nov. 20. Register with Bryan L. Frank, MD, FAAMA (405/623-7667, email@example.com).
Please send news items and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BACK TO TOP
ICMART Education Chapter update:
It is my honor to have been selected to chair the International Council of Medical Acupuncture and Related Techniques (ICMART) Education Chapter (Committee). The Chapter's mission is to determine what international training standards for physician acupuncturist would be appropriate and accepted worldwide.
Setting international training standards for physician acupuncturists
By Marshall H. Sager, DO, FAAMA
CHAIR, ICMART EDUCATION CHAPTER
The task is daunting because currently, educational and technical training standards are incredibly diverse among ICMART member nations. Further, international egos and chauvinistic attitudes regarding particular national techniques and paradigms must be mollified and harmonized so that divergent educational requirements can be coordinated and unified. As I said, the task is daunting.
At the same time, the goal of the Education Chapter is urgent. We are at a defining moment in international acupuncture. Physician practice rights are being challenged in many countries.
The ramifications of the work of the ICMART Education Chapter for AAMA members are immeasurable. Our education and right to practice would be challenged, should the Education Chapter fail to reach its goals.
HISTORY OF STANDARDS
Currently, the WHO/WFAS (World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies) guidelines are the only determining policy for physician practiced acupuncture training internationally. WFAS is overwhelmingly comprised of non-physician Chinese acupuncturists. The perception that the Chinese "know best" with respect to medical acupuncture training and, therefore, can dictate the "rules" internationally is pervasive but intolerable. WFAS has gained its position of international superiority because no other organization, especially physician organization, has challenged them.
Additionally, the WHO/WFAS guidelines, as they now stand, marginalize the acupuncture training of most of the ICMART members and many of the AAMA members. As an example, the AAMA currently cites the WHO/WFAS basic training recommendations for "Qualified Physicians" (limited training as a technique) as endorsing 200 hours of training. The last meeting of WFAS was very contentious on this issue indicating changes hostile to the 200 hour standard will be enacted in the near future. ICMART, comprised only of physician acupuncturists, has recognized the need to develop and promulgate its own "rules" respecting international medical acupuncture training guidelines.
In other words, WHO/WFAS guidelines and their political ramifications are the driving force for ICMART to get involved as a policy maker in the international realm of medical acupuncture. Our participation is not optional – it has become mandatory. Now ICMART, through the Education Chapter, has taken up the cause.
Prior to a meeting of the Education Chapter, held in Brussels in late August, I began my work with the cumbersome and time-consuming task of analyzing and collating the 30-plus international replies to a 21-page questionnaire developed by Dr. Francois Beyens of Belgium. While somewhat edifying, the questionnaire did not resolve any issues, but it did serve to emphasis the chaotic state of international physician acupuncture training and the reason physician acupuncturists are prime targets for non-physician assault.
My position as past president of the AAMA and my experience working with the many divergent opinions of our Board members, combined with the tutelage of Executive Administrator Jim Dowden, has prepared me for this task. To say that diplomacy is needed is quite an understatement. For the greater part of the last year, I have worked diligently to gain the trust, respect and acceptance of the Education Chapter members. I am pleased that they have expressed confidence in my ability to lead ICMART to a successful outcome. I am always mindful, however, of my primary duty to the AAMA. Any international goals I help to establish will be in keeping with the standards set for AAMA membership. My personal goal is, through ICMART, to propel the AAMA into greater national and international prominence.
The first meeting of the Education Chapter was held last month in Brussels. I chaired the meeting which was attended by Dr. Francois Beyens of Belgium, Dr. Walburg Maric-Oehler of Germany, Dr. Gilbert Lambrechts of Belgium, Dr. Mike Cummings of Great Britian, with Dr. Jacqueline Filshe, and Dr. Helmuth Liertzer of Germany. Discussions were lively, and our understanding of the importance of our mission was emphasized by the European members who cited impending questions about their qualifications being raised by non-physician interests.
Following the presentation of the results of this meeting to the entire ICMART membership in Australia in October, the real work begins. It will be my task to find a way to structure a unified education standard while maintaining international egos and nationalistic policies. It will not be easy, but this job is absolutely necessary.
BACK TO TOP
This is the call for abstracts of research projects or case reports to be presented as Posters at AAMA's Symposium in Atlanta, GA in April 2005.
Due by Feb. 1, 2005, abstracts should be a 200-250 word description of the research project and findings or be a summary of the case, treatment approach and outcomes. They will be reviewed by the Poster Committee. Authors of abstracts selected by the Committee will be invited to present their work in Poster format at the Symposium. Poster presenters will get 50% off their Symposium early-bird registration fee.
Posters will be presented at the Symposium's Wine and Cheese Reception and stay up the next day. Poster presenters can submit their abstracts for publication in the Medical Acupuncture journal.
Abstracts should be submitted to AAMA offices by Feb. 1, 2005 to be considered for Poster presentation. You are encouraged to submit the abstract via e-mail, in Microsoft Word or text format, to: email@example.com. Selected abstracts will be announced by mid-February.
Call AAMA Executive Administrator James Dowden (323/937-5514) for further information.
BACK TO TOP
Applications being accepted
for Post-Doctoral Fellowship
The Minnesota Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (MNCAM) is now accepting applications for its Post-Doctoral Fellowship for fall 2005.
The fellowship is a 2-3 year program that trains conventional and complementary health providers to conduct research in CAM. The application deadline for this fellowship is Dec. 1, 2004.
The program includes coursework in research methodology with application to the particular problems posed by CAM, mentoring, seminars by leading CAM researchers, and participation in a CAM research project. Completion of the coursework may lead to an MS degree either in Clinical Research, or in Health Services Research and Policy, both with a Graduate Minor in Complementary Therapies and Healing Practices. Degrees are conferred by the University of Minnesota. To be eligible for the fellowship, applicants must have a doctoral degree from an accredited institution and either US citizenship or permanent residence.
More information, fellowship criteria and application materials are available by sending an e-mail to Laura Ford at firstname.lastname@example.org. The fellowship pays a yearly stipend that increases with years of post-doctoral experience, plus a portion of tuition, fees and health insurance. Student loans are deferred while holding the Fellowship. Fellows who complete the program and enter clinical research may be eligible for an NIH-sponsored loan forgiveness program for practitioners who enter clinical research at www.lrp.nih.gov.
The Minnesota Consortium for CAM Clinical Research is a collaborative association among researchers, faculty, doctors and alternative health professionals at leading research, health care and educational institutions in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. Institutional affiliations of Consortium members include the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation, the University of Minnesota, and Northwestern Health Sciences University.
BACK TO TOP
Shown at a session during AAMA's Annual Symposium in Chicago are Dr. Takahashi, Nakazawa and Mamiya.
Enjoying AAMA's Symposium in Chicago are Drs. Francois Beyens, who will be in the 2005 Faculty, and Helene Langeven, who was in the 2004 Faculty.
Jay Sandweiss, DO, FAAMA (seated), offers Pre-Symposium workshop, Integrating Acupuncture and Manual Medicine: An intersection for Energetic and Somatic Pathways.
BACK TO TOP
Entries sought for research contest
Annual Acupuncture Research Award rules outlined
The call for entries has gone out for the annual Acupuncture Research Award. First-, second- and third-place awards will be presented at AAMA's Symposium 2005:
- First Place: $1,500. Paper to be presented at AAMA's Symposium in Atlanta, GA, April 2005. Symposium registration, travel to $500 and three night's hotel lodging for the presenting author.
- Second Place: $750. Registration for AAMA's Symposium in Atlanta, April 2005. Travel to the Symposium paid to $500.
- Third Place: $350. Registration for AAMA's Symposium in Atlanta, April 2005.
Papers for second and third place to be announced at the Symposium. The authors will be acknowledged there.
- Submissions must be original work, in either clinical research or basic biochemical or physiological research pertaining to acupuncture. The work must not be previously published. Work done and accepted for publication during the 2003-2004 year period will be considered, if the publishing journal will allow presentation at AAMA's Symposium.
- Papers should include the name and degree of the principle author and any coworkers, the institution or affiliation (if any), mailing address and telephone/fax numbers. E-mail address are desirable but not mandatory.
- Submissions should be received by Feb. 1, 2005. Beyond that date, due to judging time and notification needs prior to the spring Symposium, papers cannot be guaranteed acceptance for this year.
- Submissions will be judged and rated on originality, suitability for publication, research design, and clinical or basic science relevance.
- If human subjects are involved in the research, proper informed consent must have been obtained and approval of appropriate institutional review committees obtained, where applicable.
- All submissions must be in English. All proprietary rights to the research work are reserved to the author(s), including future right to publish any and all aspects of the research.
- Acknowledgement of receipt of the submission will be sent within 15 working days. The AAMA Board of Directors will assign a panel of judges. Winners will be selected at the sole discretion of the judges and the AAMA Board. Winners will be notified in adequate time to attend the spring Symposium.
- Six copies of the paper should be sent to:
Research Award Contest
c/o Todd C. Royal
12930 Ventura Blvd., #923
Studio City, CA, 91604
All submissions must be mailed to AAMA by Feb. 1, 2005. For further information, contact Todd C. Royal (818/906-3173, email@example.com).
BACK TO TOP