Thoughts from a Student (future M.S.TOM/ D.P.T.)

I believe that the L.Ac title exists because there is a distinction between the depth of knowledge, amount of training, and, in my personal & humble opinion, respect for the cultures acupuncture and oriental medicine originated from.

If the acupuncture practitioner community were all required to pass the same licensing exams the "line that divides" us could not be challenged as it is now, between your site and the Medical Acupuncture Facts website.

When I move on to a D.P.T. program I will certainly have more than a few hundred hrs. of education ahead of me because the field is simply different. I will also have to pass the same exam as my peers for that title. The same should be true for clinical practitioners wanting to practice or specialize in (any type of) acupuncture.

Again, my humble opinion is that the patient should be well aware of the difference between medical and licensed acupuncturists.

1) Let us take our license equality concerns to the AAAOM instead of squabbling over the internet (I realize how that seems hypocritical)

2) Let all acupuncture practitioners be responsible enough to allow the patient to be informed of the difference and make their informed decision about their practitioner of choice.

Comments for Thoughts from a Student (future M.S.TOM/ D.P.T.)

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Dec 04, 2008
Thanks for the Shekels!
by: Lisa Hanfileti, LAc

Hi Yael,

Your Shekels are always welcome here! I think you are right about word-of-mouth referrals being the primary way that patients find practitioners.

As for all those letters after our names... it gets confusing since we do not have a uniform designation here in the U.S. "LAc", for Licensed Acupuncturist, is the most common, but there is also CA, RA, DOM, OMD, and I am probably missing a few.

I had a patient (who I had been treating for years) ask me if "LAc" stood for "Lactation Specialist"! Thant made me laugh! Yep, I think we get more wrapped up in the letters than patients do!

Keep up the good work with


Dec 04, 2008
by: Yael Ernst

I am in Israel, where we don't have license, we hardly have a diploma.
I am not sure that people who are not in Chinese Medicine are all that interested in checking out those letters after the name- Lic.Ac, O.M.D, Dipl.Ac and so one.

I think most people go to a certain practitioner based on word-to-mouth recommendation, you know, like "oh, this guy helped me with my knee", that sort of thing.

My 2 Israeli Shekels on the matter. :)

Yael Ernst

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