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The American Society of Acupuncturists, ASA, is a professional organization representing the profession of acupuncture on a national level in the US. The ASA held it’s first annual meeting here in Albuquerque NM this past Friday and Saturday (March 4th and 5th). Among the many things discussed was the announcement that the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, NCCAOM, has undergone a restructuring and formed the Academy of Diplomates. The Academy will be a membership organization that represents NCCAOM Diplomates.

NMSAAM has worked in the formation of the ASA and NMSAAM President Steven Malins was at the meeting in Albuquerque to represent New Mexico acupuncturists/DOMs. We fully support the NCCAOM and the ASA, and are confident they will work together for the best interests of our profession. A full summary of the NCCAOM restructuring will be coming soon and NMSAAM will update you as soon as it is ready for distribution! For now the ASA has released the following statement following the meeting in Albuquerque.

Dear Colleagues:

It is no doubt with surprise and perhaps trepidation that you learn today of the new NCCAOM Academy. The ASA has been in close contact with NCCAOM regarding this new arm of their organization. It is the position of the ASA that there is immense work to be done for the profession. We recognize that solely structured as a certifying body, NCCAOM was limited in the amount and type of work it could do on behalf of the profession without violating the rules surrounding its own credentialing under the NCCA

The leadership of your state associations in attendance at the recent ASA meeting in Albuquerque, NM met with NCCAOM about this issue, and the board of the ASA has worked with NCCAOM to help determine how to best make this change of benefit to the profession as a whole. The ASA has signed a memorandum of understanding with NCCAOM about this new Academy, and we continue to work with NCCAOM to assure that the roles to be played by both organizations remain clear and complementary. There is much work to do ahead to assure that work of the Academy does not detract from the ASA, and similarly that the ASA not be in competition with this structure, but rather in collaboration.

The ASA remains the core structure dedicated to improving the practice of acupuncture via the state association infrastructure, and serves a different purpose to what the Academy can achieve. The NCCAOM has pledged its support of our work. We hope in the near future to create shared benefits for practitioners, and, by working together, deliver more powerful representation to and on behalf of the profession. We encourage all practitioners to join their state associations, and encourage Diplomates of the NCCAOM to give constructive feedback on how to collaboratively develop the new Academy. Both of these organizations have at heart the best interest of the individual acupuncture practitioner, and we look forward to many years of service in harmony.

The Board of the American Society of Acupuncturists