June 2014 John Weeks Integrator Round-Up: Professions

John Weeks, Publisher/Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports provides his monthly Integrator Round-Up of the latest news in integrative health including updates in integrative health policy, integrative health research, integrative health resources, useful data points, international integrative health, integrative health professions, integrative health people, and more

Acupuncturists prevail in Oregon battle with chiropractors over dry-needling

Oregon College of Oriental Medicine educator and clinician Beth Howlett, MAcOM, LAc recently shared her perspective in Acupuncture Today on a 3-year, interprofessional battle in her state: "Dry Needling is Acupuncture: Anatomy of a Legal Victory in Oregon." The timing was a January 23, 2014, Oregon Court of Appeals decision that overturned the Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners "dry needling" administrative rule allowing chiropractors to use the procedure. In Howlett's words, this decision "allowed chiropractic physicians to perform acupuncture after only 24 hours of training." The court concluded that "dry needling is not within the practice of chiropractic...and the rule thus exceeds the scope of the board's statutory authority." Howlett describes her profession's initial antagonism to battling another "CAM" discipline, instead of affirmatively focusing on the role of AOM in healthcare reform. Howlett notes that a critical point in her association's battle was to reframe the effort as not against the state's chiropractors, per se. In fact, most of whom were found to be neutral on the issue. Instead they focused on the Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiner's rule itself. Howlett is a member of the board of the Oregon Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

: This story lives up to its billing as an "anatomy" of this battle, from the perspective of the AOM profession that Howlett ably represents. I imagine that my chiropractic colleagues in Oregon might have some amendments. One thing of which we can be sure is that a 24 hour course on manipulation that would give AOM practitioners a new practice right would not go over well for the chiropractic field.

Naturopathic doctors thank World Federation of Chiropractic for hosting them at the WHO General Assembly

Two representatives from the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), past president Michael Cronin, ND and co-chair of a new M asters of Science in Global Health and National College of Natural Medicine and director of Natural Doctors International Tabatha Parker, ND attended the World Health Organization's 67th World Health Assembly as guests of the World Chiropractic Federation. The AANP is seeking to create a World Federation of Naturopathic Medicine with potential W.H.O. recognition of its field such as the chiropractic and acupuncture and Oriental medicine fields have achieved. In a short video featuring the two, which the AANP shared with members, Parker directly thanks the World Federation of Chiropractic “for being our incredible hosts here.”

: Good for the NDs to be moving toward this recognition, for the chiropractors for lending a hand, and for the NDs to make a point of publicly thanking them.

Christine Goertz, DC, in useful short video and perception surveys about chiropractors on Quantia MD

Reader Lou Sportelli, DC sent a link to an excellent 7-minute video on chiropractic that Christine Goertz, DC, PhD was invited to develop for Quantia MD. The video/slide show is available for free here after a sign-in. The video begins and ends with questions to the MD audience. The first is on the percent of the adult population that uses chiropractors or osteopathic manipulation (2%, 9%, 15%, 25%, 50% are the choices). The concluding question is on the percentage of medical doctors who believe they "understand the proposed medicinal use of chiropractic, and are comfortable counseling patients about its use" (0-10%, 11-25%, 25-50%, 51-75%, 76-100%). Between these, Goertz, a former NCCAM program officer and current member of the Board of Governors of the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), provides a useful selection of research on cost and effectiveness data in her field. Goertz is vice chancellor for research and health policy at Palmer College of Chiropractic.

: The answers: 9% of consumers see chiropractors and 38% of MDs think they understand the uses of chiropractic. I knew the first answer. On the second, I wondered if the self-perception among MDs regarding their knowledge of chiropractic might put their response much higher than the 38%, whether or not it was true that they had a basis for such understanding. It is a good sign that the number, at 38%, was relatively low, though I would guess that those who have a full and respectful "interprofessional" understanding would be lower yet. Notably, 50% of respondents guessed 0-10% and another roughly 37% guessed 11%-25% for a total of 87% putting the answer at below 25%. To the extent that Quantia MDs viewers and poll-takers are MDs, it appears that respondents have a higher estimation of their own understanding than they have of that of their peers.