All great social changes in history started with an idea that most people “shot down” and gave all the reasons why it wouldn’t work. Only a few saw things differently. Only a few, were willing to step up and say, no – this isn’t right – we need to fight for what’s right.
A few – that’s all it takes for change. A few – willing to step up and do the right thing. A few – inspired enough to not be satisfied with the “status quo” and willing to step out their comfort zone and say, yes, I’ll take a stand and do the right thing. We are pioneers in an amazing medicine, with a rich, ancient history. In other countries, there is no question – it has already been integrated for years. Unfortunately, here in the US, our ancient medicine is new, unbelievable, and weird – STILL – even after decades of access. This is a root cause of all our political and social issues surrounding our medicine. Our modern American “healthcare” system has an incorrect view of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Once this is corrected, the political and social standing will come much easier. This is why there needs to be resources put towards proper branding. This is why I’m looking for my 300 AP warriors. Will you be part of the solution?
Neither the system, or our legislators and policy makers, understand that our medicine is completely independent of Western medicine. This is why a variety of western medicine professionals think they can just integrate it as an additional modality, and have done so in many states! Now, another symptom has popped up and the PTs want to rename our medicine, bypass minimal educational standards, and completely ignore the basis for its effectiveness and safety. They are getting away with this in many states because there isn’t enough information, or political standing, due to a very minimal amount of licensed acupuncturist in those states. They don’t have the resources to navigate the politics.
Now they’ve come to Florida, and tried to “negotiate and discuss” what the language should look like, so they could get our support. The Society’s response was “no” we will not compromise on this, sorry.
You see, I’ve been in this situation before, where it was a “David and Goliath” story. This was back in early 2000, when I was on the BOA, and the MDs and PAs petitioned the BOA to repeal our Acupuncture Physician rule. Our BOA attorney recommended we listen to them and repeal the rule. We, as a board voted to ignore our attorney’s advice, and opted for our legal right to seek outside council. I was not going down in the history books as voting to repeal our acupuncture physician rule. No. We needed to fight this. The profession stepped up and we won the day after many months of legal arguments back and forth. Finally a judge in administrative court ruled in our favor and we did not have to repeal the rule. We won against the FMA. Wow. The system can work if you have the resources. All it takes strength, confidence, bravery and financial support. This effort cost close to $100k in legal fees –but split among 1000 licensees, that averaged $100 each. A small price to pay for defending our practice.
Now in reality, I’m not really interested in fighting this many years later – I’d much rather play with toddlers. But, I just can’t sit back and watch it fall to pieces, especially when I’ve seen us win in the past. I helped rewrite our state law and helped pass legislation 3 years in a row that solidified our practice. This happened in the late 1990s. After we saw these changes signed into law, I was appointed to the Board of Acupuncture. There I helped write many of the rules that give us such an amazing scope, like AIT.
I’ve seen us succeed in the past, with only a few dedicated to the cause. We’ve won against the big guys, and prevailed. We’ve done it before and we can do it again.
Now, here’s the thing, the profession had some losses to deal with, even though we fought against those attacks; we realized that if we don’t get the root cause handled, these types of issues would continue to come up. It’s like when you only treat the pain and not the cause of the pain. It keeps coming back!
This is why we need commitments.
Will you be a warrior for the profession? I’ve got to tell you, I was hoping for more of a response. For those of you that stepped up and paid the full year, THANK YOU!
This week, I took ½ of Monday off and all of Tuesday off – that’s revenue I lost out of my clinic – to advocate and strategize for this effort. Would you be willing to do that? In the next few weeks I’ll have to take another 3 days to travel to Tallahassee and meet with key people. Would you be willing to do that? If I don’t go, who will? I’d much rather be treating patients than speaking to lawmakers and policy makers, and losing income at the same time. But, if we are going to win this, this is what it takes – and I’m willing to do it, will you support that effort?
I’ll travel, I’ll represent you and the rest of the profession, and I’ll know that I’ve done the right thing. I understand that this is so much bigger than my clinic or your clinic. This is about changing history and creating positive social change. This is so much bigger than you or me - this is about our impact on healthcare. You and I both see how people suffer with their body and are frustrated because they have no answers; you and I know there’s a better way! This is what motivates me to make sure that this medicine is available for my grandbabies and their children.
Let’s get this initiative started and show the rest of the country that Florida has the best practice act in the country, and has a profession that is so strong it’s willing to step up and be an inspiration!
Will you join me?
I’ve also heard some of you say to me; “Mary, the problem is that most APs just don’t want to fight the system.” I totally understand that! Not all are warriors. That’s why I’m only looking for 300. The rest should just contribute what they can, and pass the word on to their colleagues, and not “put down” the effort, but cheer the warriors on.
If you believe you will fail; guess what, you will. If your patient believes they will never get well, guess what, they won't.
You’ve seen this, I’ve seen this. We are confident we will win this battle, and have already seen the changes surrounding this issue.
The air in Tallahassee around this issue has already shifted.
All 3 state organizations are united in our fight – we can win this battle. To win the war, we need long-term commitments so we can put resources towards fixing the cause (lack of branding and consistent PR) and not just give money when there’s a problem – but continue the regular contributions so we can plan to change the whole environment and fix the cause.
Will you join us? Click the Buy it now button, choose your level of involvement, and click the "cart" button". Together, we will continue to be the BEST state in the US to practice Acupuncture and OM.
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