American Board of Medical Acupuncture
The American Board of Medical Acupuncture (ABMA) was formally established on April 26, 2000. The ABMA has been created as an independent entity within the corporate structure of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture. The ABMA has a separate, independent Board of Trustees with full responsibility for the direction and operation of the ABMA.
Definition of Medical Acupuncture
Medical acupuncture is a medical discipline having a central core of knowledge embracing the integration of acupuncture from various traditions into contemporary biomedical practice. A Physician Acupuncturist is one who has acquired specialized knowledge and experience related to the integration of acupuncture within a biomedicine practice.
Education and Training in Medical Acupuncture
The World Health Organization and the World Federation of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Societies (WFAS) have promulgated acupuncture training and education standards for Western trained physicians. Those standards were first adopted in Beijing, China in 1987 and reaffirmed at the WFAS conference in Milan, Italy in 1996. These are considered to reflect the minimum level of training necessary for a Western trained physician to enter the practice of medical acupuncture. The WHO standards for physician acupuncture practitioners are as follows:
“4.2.1 For licensed graduates of modern Western medical colleges, who already have had education and training in anatomy, physiology, neurology, and all the other basic and clinical sciences involved in medical diagnosis and treatment, training in acupuncture can be accomplished following a different training pathway for them to master acupuncture as a special medical modality.
The theoretical part and objectives of this acupuncture training are parallel to those described in the complete training section, and the acupuncture core syllabus will be the same. (The entire WHO/WFAS document is available from the ABMA.) The whole course should be devoted to acquiring the knowledge and skill in acupuncture as well as the related basic theory for at least 200 hours of formal training. By the end of the course the participants should be able to integrate acupuncture into their medical practices. The proficiency of training and practice should be evaluated through an official examination by health authorities to ensure safety, competence, and efficacy.”
The American Board of Medical Acupuncture has established standards of training and education that exceed those established by WFAS as the entry-level standards. The ABMA will not accept into the process of Certification anyone who has not met the standards for training, education and experience as set forth by the ABMA.
The purpose of postgraduate education in medical acupuncture is to ensure safety, competence, and efficacy in the practice of medical acupuncture, and to understand its proper integration into a biomedical practice. This education can best be achieved through an organized course of study, with a systematic curriculum as described above. Of that program, at least 100 hours are to be clinical in nature, 100 hours didactic.
The educational requirements set forth by the Board are to be considered the minimum requirements of the Board and should not be interpreted to be restrictive in nature. The Board encourages continuing education and training in advanced level courses and in various microsystems. The Board has adopted a policy requirement that all physicians who have achieved certification from the Board must document minimum levels of continuing education in acupuncture in order to achieve re-certification.