resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
September, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 09
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
I always felt that the case of Meador v Stahler and Gheridian would have made a terrific case for the award-winning television show "Boston Legal." I could just picture Alan Shore (brilliantly portrayed by James Spader) eloquently and passionately representing his client while educating the rest of us about our legal rights as patients.
Not familiar with this case? Let me explain. In 2005, a Massachusetts woman, Mary Meador, sued and won a $1.5 million award against her obstetricians for performing a C-section she made clear she didn't want. She didn't claim that the procedure was negligently performed or that her postsurgical complications (which left her bedridden and unable to work for a number of years) were foreseeable. The merits of her claim were that the doctors had misrepresented the risks and dangers of her birth choice -- a vaginal birth after a prior C-section (VBAC) -- and that they ignored her repeated pleas and requests for a vaginal birth.
The doctors were brought up on charges that they failed to obtain Meador's informed consent, which constituted substandard, negligent medical care. The forensic psychiatrist who testified at the trial established a link between the lack of informed consent and the physical and emotional toll it took on the patient and her family by forcing her to undergo a procedure she did not want and did not medically need.
When it comes to labor and childbirth, a woman's emotional vulnerability and physical discomfort makes it difficult for her to stand up for her rights. She needs to focus on her labor and not be engaged in an argument about what she is entitled to. According to the Childbirth Connection's "Rights of Childbearing Women" brochure2 (www.childbirthconnection.org), "Every woman has a right to accept or refuse procedures, drugs, tests, and treatments and to have her choices honored." (For a free copy of this important pamphlet, send a SASE to Childbirth Connection, 281 Park Avenue South, 5th Floor, New York, NY, 10010.)
Fifteen years before the Meador case, Congress passed the Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) as an amendment to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. It became effective in December 1991. Basically, the PSDA requires that Medicare and Medicaid providers (hospitals, nursing homes, hospice programs, home health agencies, and HMOs) give competent adult individuals, at the time they are admitted or enrolled in the program, information about their rights under state laws governing advance directives. These rights include:
The PSDA also prohibits institutions from discriminating against a patient who does not have an advance directive or a plan of care.
All hospitals that receive federal funding (nearly 80 percent of hospitals in the United States) must conform to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Conditions of Participation (CoP) which requires that hospitals honor patient rights as expressed by the PSDA, the Consumer Bill of Rights and the EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Advanced Labor Act) law to be fully informed of the risks, benefits and alternatives of any proposed treatment and to participate in all treatment decisions. Hospitals that fail to uphold this practice run the risk of receiving stiff fines and/or losing their right to qualify for Medicare or Medicaid funding.
In New York, we have the Public Health Law, Section 2503, passed in 1978 (see my March 2006 column "The Truth About Pitocin" ), that requires all doctors and midwives to fully disclose and require informed consent from laboring women, regarding the use of all drugs during labor and delivery. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAHO) accredits 80 to 85 percent of American hospitals, and one of their standards for accreditation is patient rights. Complaints about patient rights violations can be made to them at www.jacho.org or (630)792-5800.
In my May 2005 column "'V-Back' to the Dark Ages," I addressed the political environment surrounding VBACs and the increased medical denial of this choice, so I am not going to go into the benefits and risks of VBAC again. Instead, I want readers to know that we and our clients have choices and responsibilities when it comes to our health care. Informed consent can only be provided if the patient is truly informed, and by regularly conceding this right to our care providers, it proves how rare and improbable this practice is. The onus of education, the burden of learning the facts, options, alternatives and side effects of procedures and drugs must be the responsibility of the patient. That is the only way, regrettably, that the patient will learn all the facts. Patients don't have to be powerless about their rights.
This is neither a war against individual doctors, or hospitals and their care, nor a diatribe against the medical community at large. It is a wake-up call to those patients who have remained passive about their own health decisions for too long and who have merely accepted the choices that are made for them by others. Only when patients and their care providers can openly discuss, debate and compare options based on shared evidence-based information can we really have a partnership, a team, dedicated to a person's total health care. Alan Shore would have fought -- and won -- for these rights. We can too.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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