Acupuncture certification in Kentucky took several battles to get through the legislature, and while our minimum standards for practice are not as rigorous as they are in other states, at least we restrict other allied health professionals from practice unless they have the same level of training. Except MDs, of course. Even in New Mexico where I still maintain my DOM license, the minimum standards that require the entire NCCAOM certification series, a full MSOM degree, and a live clinical exam exempt MDs from having even a modicum of real training. PTs ("dry needling"), DCs ("meridian therapy"), or MDs ("medical acupuncture") are allowed to practice in many states with token training hours citing that acupuncture is somehow in their scope of practice even though no formal education is provided. By that rational, I should be able to call myself a nutritionalist and a psychologist since I took classes in those disciplines as part of my APRN and TCM training.
Much as passing the NCLEX and graduating from an AACN-accredited school are the minimum for state licenser as an RN and passing the all three USMLE exams and graduating from an ACGME accredited medical school are required for MD licensing, NCCAOM certification and masters-level training from an accredited ACAOM school should also be the minimum requirement for state licenser (with one nationally recognized credential, thank you).
States like Hawaii have it right. Everyone has to attend a 3200+ masters degree program to be eligible for licenser regardless of other degrees, licenses, or certifications. This regulations helps ensure safe standards of practice and the consumer can feel confident that their provider is qualified provided they are licensed.
Hawaii should be the national model.
Unfortunately, a new bill has been proposed that will damage the credibility of the profession by letting unqualified practitioners be eligible to practice without adequate training. For a profession gaining support for mainstream use in healthcare as the result of increased research, this action is embarrassing and a hazard to safety and efficacy. Not only does Hawaii need support to maintain their current standards, we all do.
Acupuncturists to fight bill they say will lower standards