I frequently hear Acupuncturists object to longer term treatment, past the number of visits to solve the main symptom the patient came in for, insisting that “my patient just wants me to solve their low back pain, etc.” Additionally, many Acupuncturists site their short treatment protocols as a point of pride, feeling that this demonstrates how much compassion they have for their patient’s budget, and how quickly they can resolve symptoms and how honorable they are not to “overtreat.”
But, what if they have other concerns? What if you notice facial pallor indicating possible blood deficiency or lung qi deficiency? What if you notice that there are deep, deficient pulses? Is it in your patient’s best interest not to at least tell them of your findings and educate them on the ramifications if THEY ARE NOT TREATED? How honourable is it to solve one symptom when these other signs you have observed will likely inevitably worsen with time, creating new symptoms that could have been avoided with your care?
After you solve their low back pain, did you offer to solve their other health complaints that you documented in your thorough health history?” On average, patients have 50-65 symptoms!! Yes, even patients in their 20’s.
Most patients are never given this “What’s next” option
or “How can we take my health to the next level?”
How do you know what your patient wants if you don’t ask?
Additionally, it’s not up to the patient to know what they need medically! They are coming to you for your professional advice. They are not simply paying you to respond to their chief concern. In fact, this is one of THE MAIN complaints patients have about Western Medical practitioners and a major reason why they seek alternative medicine! They want REAL SOLUTIONS and not just band-aid; they want to treat the root cause of their health.
- You are the Practitioner.
- You are the authority on health with knowledge of an entire medical system.
- You have been given a license that you studied, trained and asked for, therefore you are obligated to uphold the tenets of your profession
- You have a Professional Degree.
YOU HAVE A “PROFESSIONAL DEGREE”
You may not have thought about this, but your license means you are not only licensed to make a Chinese Medical diagnosis and formulate a Chinese Medical treatment protocol, but you are OBLIGATED to do so, by virtue of being licensed and holding therefore a Professional Degree. You are obligated to give them your professional assessment of their entire health profile per your Professional Degree. Yes, your license is a Professional Degree.
“A professional degree prepares the conferee for a particular profession by emphasizing skills and practical analysis over theory and research. Most but not all of the professions associated with professional degrees are professions that require licensing in order to practice as a professional in the field. Professions include: audiology, architecture; dentistry; dietetics; many fields of engineering; public education; law; medicine (MD, DO or MBBS); chiropractic; podiatric medicine; nursing; medical laboratory science; music therapy, speech language pathology; occupational; physical therapy; optometry; psychology; pharmacy; radiography; social work; urban planning; and veterinary medicine all require a person to first obtain a professional degree in the relevant subject area(s) prior to professional licensure, certification or registration.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_professional_degree
Given that you have a Professional Degree, just like an MD, and as such are licensed for “practical analysis” and to practice (which means taking action) as a “professional in the field,” you are obligated, just like an MD, to review all systems of the patient’s health and render your professional judgment based on your “practical analysis.”
How would you feel if you scheduled a paid appointment with your MD for your back pain, etc. and all he/she did was hand you pain pills without investigating why the pain occurred, only to discover later that you actually had a tumor creating the pain, or a kidney infection or some other, possibly life-threatening condition? Yes, MDs practice this frequently and that is the very reason that patients complain about their doctors and WHY they instead come into our offices!!! We are obligated to fully analyze their entire health status, and based on patient’s response and criticisms of Western Medicine, we know they WANT our full analysis.
The best way for a patient to continue care, giving you time to offer your best and deepest healing, is for them to recognize you as a Medical authority and trust your advice enough to follow it to the very end of the care they need.
To Your SUCCESS!
Caroline & Bryan
P.S. Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think!