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Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
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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