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Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
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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