Answer: Less than it used to be.
(Please, sign the petition.)
If you earned an MAc and Dipl. Ac (NCCAOM) twenty years ago, you thought you had it made. You could get a license in almost all states with licensure. The schools and the NCCAOM touted the caliber of the education and credentials. You knew you had plenty to learn about this medicine, but you could practice safely.
In the gainful employment letter ACAOM points to the (supposed) earnings of those long-ago grads to minimize the financial struggles of recent grads.
But in 1995 the NCCAOM added the Herbal exam, and later the OM. Some states now require those additional credentials of all practitioners. ACAOM has increased hourly requirements for school accreditation several times. And the NCCAOM has put additional limits on who can take their exams.
Some of our most esteemed teachers do not meet the current requirements for sitting the exams. Many practitioners are trapped, unable to relocate.
By increasing the range of degrees and credentials available before our “brand” was established and our profession was strong, the alphabets increased division and confusion. No wonder the public can’t figure out how an LAc’s education compares to that of other providers.
And here comes the First Professional Doctorate. With this new degree, my alma mater announces,
“[graduates] will be recognized as doctors, both professionally and publicly, and will have increased credibility and standing.”
If graduates with an FPD have increased credibility and standing, what has happened to the credibility and standing of graduates of Masters programs?
According to ACAOM’s gainful employment letter, licensure requirements just happen, and practice success is a simple matter of practitioner choice.
Really, though, the “alphabets” have played a significant role in the expansion of requirements and credential creep, and most of the schools do little to teach students how to make wise business choices.
If, as ACAOM wrote, the graduates of twenty years ago do so well, why have entry level requirements been increased so much? Why are grads struggling to pay off existing loans encouraged to return to school to maintain their credibility? Will the NCCAOM require an FPD to sit their exams? Will the alphabets encourage states to require it for licensure?
ACAOM/NCCAOM/CCAOM/AAAOM — if you represent us, defend the value of our degrees and credentials. Your “options” too often become a requirements.
Colleagues, did the gainful employment letter represent your views? If not, sign the petition. 129 people have, which means ACAOM etc. can still claim to represent 32,871 of us.
© Elaine Wolf Komarow and The Acupuncture Observer, 2013-2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express written permission from Elaine Wolf Komarow is prohibited. Excerpts and links are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given with specific direction to the original content.