resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
August, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 08
What to Do When Your CE Is Not What You Expected
By Cherie Sohnen-Moe
How many times have you taken a CE course that didn't quite live up to your expectations? It's important to distinguish whether you just didn't enjoy the course, didn't like the course content, or thought the course was in some way misrepresented.Perhaps the course wasn't the best learning venue for you. (See "Learning Environments" in the May 2001 issue of MT.) If it was a "live" course, logistical issues such as uncomfortable chairs, poor acoustics, or lack of temperature controls could have made learning difficult.
It's important to investigate what recourse is available to you, if you determine that the CE course didn't deliver as advertised; the stated objectives weren't met; the quality of the materials was substandard, or you feel that some type of impropriety occurred (i.e., a financial issue or an issue of inappropriate behavior by the course facilitator).
Contact the CE Provider
The first step is to address your concerns directly with the course provider. Most providers will be open to your comments as long as they are presented in a respectful manner.
Determine ahead of time several options for remedying your complaint. Some possibilities are: a full or partial refund; repetition of the course; or a commitment on the provider's part to make necessary changes.
If you are unable to resolve your complaints directly with the provider or the provider's company, you can contact the Better Business Bureau in the provider's city; lodge a complaint with state and national organizations; or file a lawsuit.
Associations and State Boards
I contacted two national associations (AMTA and ABMP), one certifying board (NCBTMB), and four state licensing boards (where CEUs are required). Neither the AMTA nor the ABMP have "approved providers," so there isn't any action they can take. The process for handling complaints with NCBTMB Category A Providers is to submit your complaint in writing to the NCBTMB office. After it is reviewed, NCBTMB may directly contact the provider and require that the complaint be addressed or changes in policy be made. If it can't be resolved to NCBTMB's satisfaction, then the provider could lose his or her Category A Provider status. Many states require CEUs for license renewal. Here are the results of the four we contacted:
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) can be quite helpful. The BBB requires that complaints be filed in writing. Contact your local office by phone to request a form or you can go online. The URL for most cities is www.[cityname].bbb.org. Thus, the address in my city is www.tucson.bbb.org. If you can't locate your BBB directly, just go to the main site at www.bbb.org and you will find a search site for other BBB offices in the U.S. and Canada.
When you submit your complaint form you can also request mediation or arbitration. The BBB is affiliated with many trained mediators and arbitrators (the cost of these services vary). Once you have submitted your complaint, a copy is mailed to you and the provider/company. This letter also contains a status update section.
You can also call the BBB before taking a CE program to find out if the provider/company has any complaints on file. The BBB will give you broad categories of the type of complaints, the number of complaints, and the resolution status.
Filing a lawsuit is usually the last action to take once all other avenues of resolution have failed. If you are looking for financial reimbursement you can take your complaint to small claims court. This can be a hassle if the provider is not in your area. Also there are limits to the amount you can sue for in small claims court, and that varies by state. Contact your local justice court for the specific rules and procedures. Nolo Press provides a good deal of information on this topic. (See www.nolo.com/encyclopedia/small_claims_court_ency.html). If your complaint has to do with issues such as sexual harassment, you can file a civil suit. Contact your state attorney general for information on how to proceed.
Shout It from the Rooftops
It can be quite tempting to tell everyone about a bad experience you've had with a CE provider. I've overheard uncomplimentary conversations about providers and read similar postings on Internet newsgroups. Be careful of what you say so you are not sued for defamation.
The two major branches of defamation are slander (verbal) and libel (written). Make sure that you state your concerns as your opinion. It's fine to be emphatic and say, "I won't do business with this person and nobody else should either!" Always stick to the facts. The minute you start embellishing the truth you get into trouble. For instance, saying someone is a crook could be actionable, but stating that you never received a refund or that the course was too basic is fine.
Action can be brought against you if you try to interfere with someone's right to contract. The term for this is Tortious Interference with Contractual Relations. The measure is if you stated something that is not true and contacted someone who is doing business with that person. For instance, you know a school has hired a CE provider to facilitate a workshop and you contact that school and badmouth the provider; you could be liable. Again, you can state facts, but be cautious about the wording. Gary Wolf, attorney at law in Tucson, Arizona says; "Truth is the best defense for a defamation claim."
An Ounce of Prevention
Most problems can be averted by due diligence. (See my article on "Evaluating Continuing Education Providers" in the March 2001 issue of MT.) Invest your time in checking out CE providers and their courses. Yet, there may be times when you are dissatisfied with a course, despite all your research. My motto is that whenever possible, talk directly to the person who can do something about the problem -- which in this situation is the CE provider.
In subsequent issues, we will explore what constitutes a good distance-learning course; CE administration/tracking; and how to prepare before attending a class. Please feel free to contact me with questions or suggestions.
Click here for previous articles by Cherie Sohnen-Moe.
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