By Dr. Marshall Sager MD, Philadelphia, USA, May 8 2012
The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA) enjoyed a 4 day annual Symposium in April in Atlanta, Georgia. Many informative lectures and workshops were presented to participants. Attending the Symposium was ICMART General Secretary, Dr. Walburg Maric-Oehler, who delivered a well-received lecture and participated in several important meetings. Our next Symposium will be in April, 2013, in Baltimore. All ICMART members are cordially invited to attend.
The AAMA has numerous State and Local Chapters which present educational and recreational programs throughout the year. The camaraderie offered by these events is an added benefit of AAMA membership.
Currently the AAMA is active is insuring physician practice rights. In several jurisdictions in the USA, physicians have either been barred or severely restricted in practicing Medical Acupuncture. The AAMA is in the forefront of promulgating information about physician qualifications with the national theme that Medical Acupuncture offers patients “the Best of Both Worlds” of Western and Eastern medicine.
ICMART is critical to our long-range goals of permanently elevating the status of physician practiced Medical Acupuncture in the United States.
Report on current state of Medical Acupuncture in the United States
By Dr. Marshall H. Sager, MD, Philadelphia, USA
Approximately 2,000 physician acupuncturists are members of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA). These physicians are scattered throughout the 50 states and are governed by the rules and regulations of their individual state. No national standard for physician practiced acupuncture exists and this, in addition to the protection of physician practice rights and an increase in reimbursement by insurance companies and third-party payors, is one of the most important topics on the AAMA agenda.
The AAMA is continuing its efforts to establish a national standard for physician acupuncturists, based on its strict educational and training standards in order to stop the political discrimination by the non-physician acupuncturists. Additionally, we are presently attempting to gather international documentation about the efficacy of Medical Acupuncture vis-a-vis traditional Western medicine in order to expedite the adoption of national standards and increased insurance and third party reimbursements. Currently, Medicare, our senior citizen national health program, has recognized acupuncture by adopting procedural codes; however, acupuncture is still not eligible for reimbursement. We are looking forward to the promulgation of a completed ICMART Lexicon of Medical Acupuncture as a vehicle to help us accomplish these important goals.
Many regional and state Chapters of the AAMA exist throughout the country. These Chapters offer individual and cooperative programs including lectures, educational courses, out-reach programs as well as social events.
The preparation for our annual Symposium is continuous. The 2013 Symposium, to be held in Baltimore, Maryland, is significant, as it will mark our 25th year. We plan to make this Symposium very special, including an event to honor Past AAMA Presidents.
Work continues with our affiliated American Board of Medical Acupuncture (ABMA), our certifying agency. The ABMA offers an annual rigorous, certifying examination for qualified physicians who wish to become Board Certified in Medical Acupuncture. In addition, the ABMA supervises a re-certification program for physicians who attained Board Certification for the past 10 years.