In 2007, seven years before Acus Foundation was established, Founder and President Joseph M. Helms, MD presciently wrote this in the conclusion of his book, Getting to Know You: A Physician Explains How Acupuncture Helps You Be the Best YOU. Talk about putting vision into action!
"Acupuncture is an ideal primary approach for many of the medical problems that arise daily on military bases, such as musculoskeletal trauma, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal disturbances, and headaches … I would create a training program in medical acupuncture exclusively for military physicians, so that all bases and military medical environments were generously staffed with qualified physician acupuncturists. Because of the constant turnover of military personnel in all service branches, a pan-military training program is necessary to continually refresh the physician population with new acupuncturists."
We are thrilled to announce the publication of a new peer-reviewed article by the Acus research team in The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. The article, "Critical Factors to Practicing Medical Acupuncture in Family Medicine: Patient and Physician Perspectives" was co-authored by Christy J.W. Ledford, PhD; Carla Fisher, PhD; David A. Moss, MD; and Col. Paul Crawford, MD. The research team gathered data in 2016 and 2017 through patient interviews and surveys at the Family Medicine Residency Clinic of Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Read the full article here!
Introduction: Although an increasing number of physicians are completing medical acupuncture training, only half of those physicians are able to successfully incorporate acupuncture into practice. We conducted a qualitative study to identify the factors and barriers that can enhance and impede physicians' delivery of and patients' engagement in medical acupuncture within the family medicine clinic.
Methods: We conducted interviews with 15 family physicians and 17 patients in a US family medicine clinic that has integrated medical acupuncture into its practice. Audio recordings were transcribed and analyzed by 2 members of the study team in ATLAS.ti, using the constant comparative method.
Results: We identified 3 physician themes of factors/barriers that impact delivery/engagement: 1) patients' aversion to needles, 2) time challenges, and 3) access to resources. We identified 3 additional themes from patient interviews: 1) appointment access; 2) wanting noninvasive, no side effects alternative; and 3) openness to anything.
Discussion: The factors and barriers reported by physicians/patients help illustrate conditions needed to enhance physicians' ability to provide acupuncture and patients' willingness to engage and sustain it. Participants' experiences help to illustrate strategic approaches to managing these barriers—strategies that can be used by other individuals/institutions to enhance care delivery and patient engagement.
The latest Acus newsletter is out! In this edition, read about the uniqueness of service-related pain and stress, and how acupuncture can help, sometimes with just one needle. Click here for the full newsletter.
Above. Acus Preceptor, Dr. Freda Dreher, supervises military physician-students at the January training module.
In January 2018, our third cohort of military physician-students reached the halfway point in their Acus medical acupuncture training program. We are very proud of our students! They were engaged, energized, and primed to use medical acupuncture as a first line of treatment with their patients. Here are a few of their comments from the training program in January:
- "Acupuncture will help treat all ailments I encounter in my patients. I can't think of a single patient that wouldn't benefit from an acupuncture treatment."
- "These [acupuncture] skills can be used to treat patients' pain and the underlying issues."
- "Obviously the treatment of pain without medication is the most useful application in military medicine."
More on the January session in our forthcoming newsletter. The next Acus training module will take place April 27-30, 2018 in Las Vegas.
The Acus Foundation office in Berkeley, Calif. will be closed December 23-January 1, 2018. If you need to contact us over the break, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, and happy holidays!