resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
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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