Are acupuncturists doctors?
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Jessica

Port Charlotte, FL

#24 Jul 9, 2014
I'm an acupuncturist. Florida has the same law. We can be a primary healthcare provider & that's why we are considered Acupuncture Physicians or Doctor of Oriental Medicine. We can authorize lab tests, MRIs, etc and perform physical exams. We have an extensive background in Western medicine. The only thing we can not do is prescribe medications... But that's not a down fall for someone seeking natural medicine. Chiropractors, dentist, etc don't have a PhD or MD and are also considered "doctors." there's no difference. We care for the patient, diagnosis, and provide proper treatment to assist the patient in achieving desirable health.
Josie wrote:
An Acupuncturist my self
In the state of California, a patient can choose an Acupuncturist to be their Primary Care Provider. All the other states do not recognize this. In California an acupuncturist can order any test he/she sees fit or necessary to rule out conditions, just like a M.D.
Acupuncturist are trained in western medicine as well and can perform most types of physicals.
We do not prescribe western medications
joy

Santa Monica, CA

#25 Jul 16, 2014
I found a gem of a rheumatologist in my town who does NOT do the drug world, she uses acupuncture, prolotherapy and mesotherapy (homeopathic injections) for her patients...I've been seeing her for these treatments since probably late 2011 after a messy hip replacement....

She is rare and probably the only rheumy around who treats this way...she went on to advanced training in these fields after her medical degree....she followed in her father's footsteps who is this type MD on the east coast....

I don't see her as much now as the medicare system has changed so much. I go to a lower priced clinic now with 3 acupuncturists...
Charlene

Jacksonville, FL

#26 Dec 20, 2014
When Dr. Wang treats me with acupuncture, I am totally relieved of pain. Once or twice a year, I have a flareup of sciatica or crippling pain from lumbar scoliosis. It shoots from my right hip down my right leg. After the acupuncture treatment, I am pain free. Dr. Wang is a remarkable doctor. Acupuncture works for me like a miracle.
Anonymous

Santa Monica, CA

#28 Jun 20, 2015
Tom wrote:
I agree with you. An acupuncturist can pretty much do anything and even better job than a regular MD. Those Dr's can cure diseases not just supress the them. I much rather see an acupuncture dr than western dr.
Licensed acupuncturists do not have to go through the type of rigorous residency that medical doctors do. They are not knowledgable enough to diagnose serious illness. It's also a little dangerous to have an lac as your primary care physician because serious diseases can be missed and treated with expensive treatments that don't address the real problem. For pain management and lifestyle suggestions, I think an acupuncturist is okay to see, but not for anything beyond that.
acupuncturist-li censed

Denver, CO

#29 Jul 28, 2015
There are many answers...most of this thread represents various 'correct' responses within the United States and China. There exists states in the U.S. that don't even recognize the license. The truth remains that acupuncturists, sometimes referred to as *barefoot doctors*, are the oldest medically documented references to civilized healing treatment in the history of mankind.
My answer is that acupuncturists are the most authentic physician in the recorded history of human civilization. Let it end there.
acupuncturist-li censed

Denver, CO

#30 Jul 28, 2015
All modern healthcare practitioners are scientifically limited in their viewpoints and are merely and comparable to *automobile mechanics* in the world of global medicine. Acupuncturists were the first true doctor in recorded history. The doctor of philosophy yielded immense longevity because they were cultivated to learn by delving within slowly. This resulted in ease with themselves and within the social construct versus *disease* among a quickened and lazier modern society which is too frequently observed today.

MDs, DOs, dentists, podiatrists, chiropractors etc., etc. are some of the most unhealthy, abrasive people who operate instruments and study patients. For modern traumatology/emergency surgery, modern medicine is most useful. However, for day-to-day nutrition and overall general practitioner advice, such modern doctors are being lead yet again by applied naturalist philosophy = Chinese medicine.

It ends there.
Anonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
Licensed acupuncturists do not have to go through the type of rigorous residency that medical doctors do. They are not knowledgable enough to diagnose serious illness. It's also a little dangerous to have an lac as your primary care physician because serious diseases can be missed and treated with expensive treatments that don't address the real problem. For pain management and lifestyle suggestions, I think an acupuncturist is okay to see, but not for anything beyond that.
Needge

Compton, CA

#31 Sep 22, 2015
Helen Bates wrote:
It takes one extra year of education beyond becoming an acupuncture therapist (LAC) to become a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, this is in California. It takes at least 12 years of education to become a Board Certified Physician. You decide........
There is no title of Acupuncture Therapist in California. One must become a Licensed Acupuncturist (LAc). This means a 4-year Bachelor's Degree in addition to the four years (full-time and year-round) of Master's level acupuncture school. To receive the Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Degree (DAOM), there is another two year program. This is at least ten years of higher education plus state or national licensing examinations to call oneself a doctor.

Do not demean another's vocation unless you have all the facts.
LAA

Boulder, CO

#32 Nov 11, 2015
DCA wrote:
It must be noted that at accredited Acupunture and Oriental Medicine Colleges and institutions such as ACAOM and AOMA to name a few, a four year degree is required to enter their Masters Degree program. To become a licensed acupuncturist LAc, you must complete a Masters Degree program at an accredited institution. To obtain a Masters Degree program you must complete many hours of rigorous course work and clinical work. This is not your typical Masters Degree Program, as students must attend full time , all year round (including summers), and pass all boards. This means that it takes 7-8 years minimum to become a truly licensed acupuncturist not just a 100 to 300 hour video. This of course is not even at the clinical doctoral level. If a student wants to complete the clinical Doctoral level known as DAOM or Doctor of Acipuncture and Oriental Medicine, then add another 2 years to the program. In other words the minimum education to become licensed Doctor of Acupuncture after high school is 9-10 years.
. <quoted text>
WHAT??? This is not true. You only need the equivalent of a associates degree to get in to many accredited acupuncture colleges. 7-8 years is a stretch too, it takes most people 3-4 years to attain a masters in acupuncture or oriental medicine (acupuncture and herbs), and yes, another 2 years to get a PhD. If you go part time or fail a lot of classes, yes, 7-8 years is correct, but really, 5 years is on the long side of getting your masters in this field of work. So the minimum education to become a licensed Doctor of Acupuncture after high school is 7 years at an accelerated rate, 8 years for a normal 4 year acupuncture college.
An actual real Doctor

Melbourne, Australia

#33 Nov 28, 2015
Everett Churchill wrote:
Interesting thing about this question... along with MDs and chiro's, acupuncturists are the only ones in the industry (oops, maybe dentists?) who can diagnose and treat patients. Not nurses, not PTs. So it's interesting and inconsistent that we are denied the "Dr" designation.
Medical practitioners and Dentists are Drs. Chiropractors and Acupuncturists are not.
Peoples choice

Melbourne, Australia

#34 Nov 28, 2015
Loving how hard Chiropractors and Acupuncturists are trying to push for calling themselves "Doctors".
Really sad
acucenterfl

Cocoa Beach, FL

#35 Jan 24, 2016
Also in the state of Florida an Acupuncturist can be a Primary Care Physician.

Josie wrote:
An Acupuncturist my self
In the state of California, a patient can choose an Acupuncturist to be their Primary Care Provider. All the other states do not recognize this. In California an acupuncturist can order any test he/she sees fit or necessary to rule out conditions, just like a M.D.
Acupuncturist are trained in western medicine as well and can perform most types of physicals.
We do not prescribe western medications
FSH

United States

#36 Apr 14, 2016
I think it is deceiving to call acupuncturists doctors if they do not have a Ph.D. Or MD.
Not to take away on their education, but if you are not a doctor you should not be referred to as such.
FSH

United States

#37 Apr 14, 2016
Peoples choice wrote:
Loving how hard Chiropractors and Acupuncturists are trying to push for calling themselves "Doctors".
Really sad
Totally agree! This takes away from the hard earned degree of medical dotors. If someone wants to be called a doctor in medicine , then do real thing and go to med school.
FSH

United States

#38 Apr 14, 2016
Jessica wrote:
I'm an acupuncturist. Florida has the same law. We can be a primary healthcare provider & that's why we are considered Acupuncture Physicians or Doctor of Oriental Medicine. We can authorize lab tests, MRIs, etc and perform physical exams. We have an extensive background in Western medicine. The only thing we can not do is prescribe medications... But that's not a down fall for someone seeking natural medicine. Chiropractors, dentist, etc don't have a PhD or MD and are also considered "doctors." there's no difference. We care for the patient, diagnosis, and provide proper treatment to assist the patient in achieving desirable health.
<quoted text>
I totally disagree. There is a huge difference. There is a reason why MD's can prescribe medications. MD's have received years of extensive medical training which makes them qualified to accurately, efficiently and most of all safely diagnose and treat different diseases and conditions.
Real diseases require real medications.
jane

Los Angeles, CA

#39 Jun 9, 2016
Helen Bates wrote:
It takes one extra year of education beyond becoming an acupuncture therapist (LAC) to become a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, this is in California. It takes at least 12 years of education to become a Board Certified Physician. You decide........
Ms. Bates you are incorrect. Reputable acupuncture schools require a Bachelors Degree for admission just like Western Med Schools. All acupuncture schools are a 4yr Masters Degree Program plus nearly 1000 hours of clinical training much like a western residency program. The DAOM (doctoral degree) is an additional 2yrs of didactic education plus another 700 clinical hours and most require a dissertation. To my knowledge there is not one medical school which requires their students to research, write & defend a dissertation. So actually the DAOM acupuncturist does much more academic work to earn designation of Doctor than most MDs ever will. So Yes, you decide who has more knowledge, experience & background to diagnose & treat you...
jane

Los Angeles, CA

#41 Jun 9, 2016
acupuncturist-licensed wrote:
All modern healthcare practitioners are scientifically limited in their viewpoints and are merely and comparable to *automobile mechanics* in the world of global medicine. Acupuncturists were the first true doctor in recorded history. The doctor of philosophy yielded immense longevity because they were cultivated to learn by delving within slowly. This resulted in ease with themselves and within the social construct versus *disease* among a quickened and lazier modern society which is too frequently observed today.

MDs, DOs, dentists, podiatrists, chiropractors etc., etc. are some of the most unhealthy, abrasive people who operate instruments and study patients. For modern traumatology/emergency surgery, modern medicine is most useful. However, for day-to-day nutrition and overall general practitioner advice, such modern doctors are being lead yet again by applied naturalist philosophy = Chinese medicine.

It ends there.

<quoted text>
Dear Anonymous,
Your ignorance about an Acupuncturist's education and clinical training is completely wrong. Most LAcs in California have Bachelor's Degrees. They definitely have a 4yr Masters in Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine (plus nearly 1000 clinical hours) plus those with DAOM have an additional 2 yrs of clinical & didactic study and most DAOM programs require a dissertation. We actually are quite competent in all western diagnostics as we must know their parameters for our board exams both on the national level and within the state of California. Do educate yourself before you comment about what you don't know well.
jane

Los Angeles, CA

#42 Jun 9, 2016
FSH wrote:
<quoted text>
Totally agree! This takes away from the hard earned degree of medical dotors. If someone wants to be called a doctor in medicine , then do real thing and go to med school.
Really... not sure about Chiropractors, but you obviously have no clue what the educational requirements are to become a licensed acupuncturist. Let me tell you:

Reputable acupuncture schools require a Bachelors Degree for admission just like Western Med Schools. All acupuncture schools are a 4yr Masters Degree Program plus nearly 1000 hours of clinical training much like a western residency program. The DAOM (doctoral degree) is an additional 2yrs of didactic education plus another 700 clinical hours and most require a dissertation. To my knowledge there is not one medical school I know of which requires its students to research, write & defend a dissertation to actually EARN their Doctor title designation. The DAOM acupuncturist actually does, in most reputable schools, research, write and defend a dissertation.

Not sure if you know it but the only persons having the doctor title without doing the "dissertation work" are MDs.
So yes, I agree, perhaps do the "real" thing and write a dissertation to actually earn your Doctor title. Can assure you if dissertations were required by western med school students we would witness the bottom fall out of med school enrollment!
doctorlove2000

Toronto, Canada

#43 Aug 3, 2016
In Canada, Acupuncturists are not designated as doctors, although the profession is working to bring about a change. To become an acupuncturist, a student must undergo at least 2200 hours of study and at least 500 hours of clinical practice that works out to 3 years of full time study. Many acupuncturists have training in massage therapy, nursing, naturopathic medicine or other regulated professions.

Although acupuncturists do not dispense pharmaceutical drugs, some have undergone additional schooling that enables them to prescribe Chinese herbs to treat illness. Acupuncturists use various modalities to treat all kinds of conditions. For some acupuncture works, while it won't work for everyone it is worth trying as it has little side effects and can be combined with routine care. Those who do use it often find benefit in many areas besides the chief complaint. If you are suffering please visit our website for more information and you will find a list of illness treatable with acupuncture: http://www.onsitetherapy.ca/
Dr Acupuncuture

San Diego, CA

#44 Oct 27, 2017
James Lee wrote:
Licensed acupuncturists that have completed the 4 year program are just that. Qualified as they are, they are not Medical Doctors (M.D.s). The only way that an acupuncturist can refer to themselves as doctor is if they are already an M.D. or have completed a doctoral program in acupuncture which has earned them the title of "Ph.D". As for whether you should call them "Doctor", it is unavoidable that patients will instinctively refer to the acupuncturist as "Doctor" as acupuncturist is seen as a health provider. However, the acupuncturist shouldn't encourage this unless they actually qualified for the title. In my practice, I usually correct my patients when this and let them know that it is alright to call me by my first name.
if they have completed the doctoral program yes they are doctors... don't know what that diatribe was about calling ourselves doctors, was all about
Jay

United States

#46 Sunday Nov 26
rod wrote:
if their is witch doctor in title.Why an acupuncturist does not call doctors.A doctors treat, diagnose, teach or advice the patient.So acupuncturist too.

The important he/ she is license to practice acupuncture.
Case in point. One can measure one's qualification by the level of their writing. The titled of Dr. Is one that is earned through a well rounded education from a real university.

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