A Response To Will Morris

Dear Will,

This post is to respond to your recent Acupunture Today piece entitled Cultural Competency in East Asian Medicine: Perspective as a Tool. 

I want to encourage you to follow your own advice and continue to “pursue perspective”, particularly when it comes to the mission and objectives of the Community Acupuncture Network.As your perspective regarding CAN is severely lacking evidenced by your presentation of CAN, I am writing here to address the inaccuracies you present regarding CAN in order to both correct you and so that you may continue on your path toward cultural competency.Because clearly, your framing of what motivates our organization as well as CAN members as organizers working for social change demonstates a profound lack of understanding and poor perception.

Twice in your essay you state that it is the objective of CAN to promote a business model, as if for its own sake.You write:

“There are further reasons to pursue perspective. Hot spots abound in the field of acupuncture and East Asian medicine. Consider specialty groups and the Internet flame wars over a few years ago. Or, the current embattlement from community acupuncture network seeking lower cost training in acupuncture in order to serve the community acupuncture business model. The list is long and can include positions relative to medical ideologies such as the five-element/TCM arguments, economic forces such as insurance, and issues related to power and closure such as licensing, scope and turf concerns between professions.”

“The individual and the context, is similar to individual and groups. Individuals can have needs that differ from the context in which they serve. In addition, the role of the individual impacts their relation with other individuals. The context may be a professional discipline, a city, state or a work team. There are legal, social and purpose-based contexts. Take for example the needs of an individual practitioner as opposed to the needs of the profession at large. Is the decision made to benefit the individual or the group? The win-win of course, benefits both. Is what benefits a practice business model good for the profession? This becomes the question in the Community Acupuncture Network initiative to reduce the amount of education necessary to enter the profession. Is this really in the best long-term interest of the profession? How can we arrive at solutions for all?”

Really, all that needs to be said, is that you miss the point of CAN entirely, demonstrating the very cultural incompetence your essay is intended to address.And while I don’t think I am alone in thinking that it is not necessary to “look 100 hundred years ago towards the status of women and African-Americans in the world to see the ravages of certainty”, I am quite certain that you have little understanding of working class culture and its role in forming and driving the community acupuncture movement.

Let us consider your first statement:

“ Or, the current embattlement from community acupuncture network seeking lower cost training in acupuncture in order to serve the community acupuncture business model.”

We do not seek lower cost training in acupuncture in order to serve the community acupuncture business model.This makes no sense.How would lower cost training serve a business model?The CA business model is not an endpoint; it is a means to an end.And that end is making acupuncture accessible to working class people, plain and simple.Saying that we want lower cost training to serve a business model is like saying we would want lower cost food to serve a menu.It makes no sense, right?Lower cost food would serve people that could then afford to come and eat it, avoiding hunger.And in the same way we are driven to lower educational costs to not only produce graduates with less debt whom are able to pay off student loans in a reasonable amount of time making a sustainable and attainable wage, but also so that the profession may begin to draw from working class student populations which are less homogenous by nature.In this way, our overall mission of breaking class and race barriers to care can be addressed.So, your saying that we want lower educational costs to serve a business model demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of our mission and goals.

CAN is not interested in serving a business model.You follow the lead of Dort Bigg in his outgoing statement from the ACAOM regarding the FPD who referred to CAN as “an AOM organization promoting a unique business model for professional practice”.These classifications of CAN as primarily concerned with a business model strikes me as something that emanates from a professional middle class value sphere, concerned as it is with abstractions, status concerns, individualism and being future rather than present oriented.As a working class person working in a working class neighborhood with primarily working class clientele, let me inform you that I value people, my community and the relationships I have with these people, not a business model.The business model is a delivery vehicle, like a cigarette is a delivery vehicle for nicotine. The CA business model delivers relationships and results in a more secure community. And CAN, ultimately, is a delivery vehicle for a movement that is very concerned with organizing secure communities at the local, national and global level.If you think I am overreaching, I would say that you haven’t seen the true power of acupuncture work in an individual, their family or their community.

There is no want for perspective that is going to diminish our drive to eradicating barriers to care for the working class and people of ordinary income.There is plenty of discussion within the profession on issues of cultural competency, what with the hot spot issue of branding and our professional name brand (East Asian?  I like it!).In fact, it is something of a privileged-white-person pastime to create exclusive communities and then hold discussions on sensitivity and inclusion.Perhaps, however, if there were less white people in AOM, there would be less concern for cultural competency amongst the privileged, and more action in delivering actual care.Again, that brings us back to the true mission of CAN and diversifying the practitioner and patient pool.

Your second statement concerning CAN is perplexing.You say that CAN has an initiative to reduce training.Initiative is defined as follows:

1. an introductory act or step; leading action: to take the initiative in making friends.

2. readiness and ability in initiating action; enterprise: to lack initiative.

3. one's personal, responsible decision: to act on one's own initiative.

Can you please provide an example of an instance where CAN has taken initiative to reduce training for AOM?

While CAN has been vocally critical in the way that acupuncture education is delivered in this country, with its end result producing graduates that typically are out of practice within 5 years with upwards of 100k in debt having made no real difference in their communities with their acquired skill, we are not on record for initiating any reduction in educational requirements, as that would be an incredible waste of time and resources.What we are in favor of is an educational program that would produce graduates that are ready to practice in busy community settings, unsaddled with a mountain of debt as well as unburdened by a training process that makes them virtually unemployable in a community acupuncture clinic.We want quality, accessible and focused education that reflects the values and needs of working class communities.

Second, you again misinform the reader with CAN’s mission and purpose, stating that CAN is about a “practice business model”.I again recommend that you start to consider that CAN exists to create an environment of inclusion for diverse, working class communities in regards to both training and access to care and the business model is ancillary to that goal.You write that “the mere act of shifting one's point of view can resolve hot spots among an array of stakeholders” and I agree.If you can grasp that CAN exists to promote access to study and care, you will create less hot spots.

Further, this second passage seems to equate CAN with an individual.Again:

“The individual and the context, is similar to individual and groups. Individuals can have needs that differ from the context in which they serve. In addition, the role of the individual impacts their relation with other individuals. The context may be a professional discipline, a city, state or a work team. There are legal, social and purpose-based contexts.Take for example the needs of an individual practitioner as opposed to the needs of the profession at large. Is the decision made to benefit the individual or the group? The win-win of course, benefits both. Is what benefits a practice business model good for the profession? This becomes the question in the Community Acupuncture Network initiative to reduce the amount of education necessary to enter the profession. Is this really in the best long-term interest of the profession? How can we arrive at solutions for all?”

Ok, CAN is an individual and the profession is the context.Why don’t we go a step further, though?The profession is the individual and the public is the context or the group.How is it possible to create a win-win, you ask?In response, I would like to quote Abraham Maslow.From Maslow on Management:

“Another point that has been coming up is the talk about personal salvation.For instance, at the Santa Rosa existential meetings, there was much of this kind of talk, and I remember exploding in a kind of irritation on the grounds that they were selfish and did nothing for others and for the world.Besides, they were psychologically stupid and psychologically incorrect because seeking for personal salvation is anyway the wrong road to personal salvation.The only real path, one that I talked about in my public lecture there, was the path set forth in the Japanese movie “Ikiru,” i.e., salvation via hard work and total commitment to doing well the job that fate or personal destiny calls you to do, or any important job ‘calls’ for doing.”

CAN and its member organizers are living this salvation as a by-product of that total commitment to a calling.And that is why we are happy, positive, affirmed and actualized.We are not seeking some salvation in the future.We are living salvation by forgetting ourselves and engaging in the now with our communities.Remember when I said this isn’t about a business model?I meant it.

You asked, “How to arrive at solutions for all?”You perfectly mouth the words of the hapless seeker described above by Maslow, wondering how the profession will ever find its precious personal salvation.It can’t be found by looking.And the profession has been looking for almost 40 years!!!Looking for insurance parity, Medicare coverage, hospital inclusion, status, recognition, high pay, honor, prestige, doctor titles, blah, blah, blah.CAN has found salvation by that total commitment to doing well the job that we have been called to do; serve our communities.The profession has been and will continue to ask itself your same tired question forever because of psychological stupidity.So, I think Abe would say that your answer would be for the profession to stop seeking the road to salvation, and commit fully to actually helping people, and forget itself.What are the odds on that one?  Besides, that salvation would be contingent on the helping and community engagement being the calling.  And there is the dilemna.

You write:

Perspective provides insight and allows for a container large enough to embrace the full range of complexities so that cooperative solutions may be sought.

As the Vice President of the Board of Directors, I would like to conclude that we have had no formal or casual discussion with you regarding professional issues in any meaningful way.This leads me to offer that perspective is best formed through intersubjective interaction, through dialogue and that your weak perception when it comes to CAN, its mission, goals, motivations and behavior might be improved through a dialogue and not mere objective, monological observation from afar.Your article succeeds at producing misinformation for the public and a decrease in credibility for yourself.And I must insist that CAN’s perspective will continue to be formed through direct engagement with the public that we serve.Through them and with them, all cooperative solutions are being found, not merely sought.

Warmly,

Larry Gatti

This story was posted on December 23 2010 by LarryG.

Comments

  • December 23 2010 at 1:14 PM
    bottley writes:

    Hooray, Larry!

    What a treat to wake up to this today. I have a sincere hope that Mr. Morris will take you up on your invitation for dialog. I think you’re right about the process of abstraction being one of the greatest obstacles to progress. In the blogosphere, everyone is guilty of it, and real dialogue is the only way to bring it to earth, IMHO. I also think your very deft clarification of the “reduction of training” issue is a tremendous service to all of us.  These issues have been chewing on me my whole career. It’s hard, given the professional investment that many on the other side of the debate have in the existing system, to recognize how bloated much of the current training process has become and how overdependent it’s become on didactics. And I say that as someone who got a great deal of benefit from my time in school and is deeply grateful for that part of things.  I didn’t hate school, and many of the teachers I was privileged to meet and things I studied were incredible. But coming to it as I did out of several years of apprenticeship, it was painful for me to see how much of it also seemed completely useless and how easily that could be changed. I tried it their way for a long time, succeeded with it. AND HATED IT. Now, I do a NADA gig and a CA clinic, and I can’t even imagine going back to practicing the way I did. The training process that would have prepared me for the work I do now would look much less like my school program, and much more like my apprenticeship. Some middle path between them would not constitute a “reduction” as much as it would acknowledge that much more can be done with less by making qualitative shifts in the approach to training along with quantitative ones. Folks who want to become doctors should be able to. Folks who don’t want to, shouldn’t have to. I’d love to find a way to bring a lot of us together in dialog on THAT question. Great work, Larry. Thank you. 

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  • December 23 2010 at 1:33 PM
    Clayton Willoughby writes:

    My brain hurts

    People actually read books called The Sociology of Social Change? I’m still not sure if this is a real article or a bunch of Mensa-approved words thrown together at random. I’d say he’s a smart guy, but he did write “100 hundred years ago”.

    I’m really serious, I tried to read it but I physically had to stop, it’s just terrible. Why is it that anything written by someone with some fancy letters after their name has to also be read by someone with an equal “education”? That being said though, there are some people out there with PhD’s and the like that are able to speak without using phrases like “anima-animus axis” and “static and dynamic states in self and other”. Isn’t being able to be understood by your readers better than sounding like a c***?

    In truth, I believe that this is one of the “aspects of arsehole-ery” (soon to be my own thesis) CAN works against - head vs heart. Education is a good thing, that’s a hard one to argue against, but not if it turns you into a pure intellectual, removed from the world of mortal men & women. We live in a real world, not a textbook, nor a narrow definitions of a social experiment. 

    Don’t worry too much chaps, one day someone will turn in a good criticism of CAN that will provoke thought from CAN members; perhaps they will even talk to us to gain insight and balance to their own argument. Unfortunately, today is not that day.

    Why can’t it just be enough to just do acupuncture, and have most of our patients feel great? If the great debate is to see which model is the right one, let’s take a lesson from harm reduction folk - evidence based work. Let’s put aside all of the debate, the name calling, the preconceptions and just do the work; we’ll do it our way, they can do the other and we’ll see who’s left standing in 10 years or so.

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  • December 23 2010 at 5:42 PM
    tatyana writes:

    awesome response, brother

    that article is the best cure for insomnia yet. i bet that w. morris himself has no idea what he is saying in it most of the time. it reads like an intellectula jerk-off session that has nothing to do with even trying to bring real communication, real issues or real solutions to the table. and it is pretty obvious that he either does not get the vocation / calling aspect of how CAN leadership ticks or he is in deep denial about it, because it too damn powerful.

    why does acupuncture today even bother?

    -tatyana

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  • December 23 2010 at 6:23 PM
    Lisafer writes:

    AMEN

    I think a lot of us feel saved—saved from the craziness of the acupuncture world by the relationships we get to have with real people within our own communities. Saved every day.

    I love this blog. Like Brent, I hope that Will Morris will take you up on having a dialogue, if the goal really is to reach some understanding. The hard part about that is, from my perspective, the way that the Cultural Competency article is such a perfect example of the craziness of the acupuncture world. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you could summarize it like this:

    CAN to acu-establishment: The acupuncture world is completely dysfunctional economically. The only business aspect of it that’s really working are the schools, and they’re working, literally, at the students’ expense. People of ordinary incomes can’t get acupuncture, they can’t go to school without incurring a debt they’ll never repay, and when they graduate, they can’t provide services to their own communities. It just doesn’t work. We need to do something different.

    Acu-establishment to CAN, via Will Morris and AT: It’s bad for society that you are so certain about that. 

     

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  • December 23 2010 at 7:07 PM
    mitylene writes:

    Thumbs up to Larry!

    Great reply!

    How a person could write a sociological article while completely avoiding any and all social issues is crazy. He’s probably make sociologists cry everywhere and the masters of social theory roll around in their graves.

    I am serious! wink

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  • December 23 2010 at 8:11 PM
    FrankGrill writes:

    I can’t help but wonder

    if this is a sincere article about cultural competence that just happens to imply (twice) that CAN is the cultrually incompetent elephant in the room, or it is a thinly veiled attack on CAN wrapped in plausible deniability via the disengenuous use of cultural competence.  Only the subconscious of Will Morris knows for sure.  The rest of us can only speculate.

    But seriously, this kind of cranial rectal syndrome is so prevalent in our society and so malignant.  Another blog summed up our financial situation thusly:  “The big companies try to make the situation seem extremely complicated, so that
    only the “experts” can understand it.  By making things seem complex,
    the American people won’t feel competent to demand changes.  Indeed,
    they even promote academics who are trained to ignore the real world and focus on highly complex -unrealistic - models.”  Sound familiar?  Adding more complexity brings diminishing returns.  The antidote is not more complexity and nine-point axes, it is radical simplicity.

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  • December 23 2010 at 9:55 PM
    GAMB writes:

    Projection Bias

    “Take for example the needs of an individual practitioner as opposed to the needs of the profession at large…This becomes the question in the Community Acupuncture Network initiative to reduce the amount of education necessary to enter the profession. Is this really in the best long-term interest of the profession? How can we arrive at solutions for all?”
    This is text book projection bias. How can the owner of an acupuncture school not want to increase “the amount of education necessary to enter the profession”? It would be contrary to their own self-interest to not increase the cost of education.The concept that they seem to be unable to grasp is that an increase in cost of education is inflationary, adding an additional burden to a profession that is already suffering and, more importantly, transfers the financial burden of the practitioner to the patient!
    Simply changing a couple of nouns and a verb in his statements makes all this perfectly clear. At least to me:
    “Take for example the needs of an individual PATIENT as opposed to the needs of the profession at large…This becomes the question in the Acupuncture Education initiative to INCREASE the amount of education necessary to enter the profession. Is this really in the best long-term interest of the PATIENT? How can we arrive at solutions for THEM?”
    Kudos Larry!

    Gene

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  • December 23 2010 at 10:33 PM
    KevinCampo writes:

     Thank you larry for

     Thank you larry for supplying a razor to cut to the heart of the matter( without the help of nine cultural axes), and doing it in a kind way to boot.

    I read back over his essay trying to truly understand where he was coming from, and I gotta say, I just didn’t get it. 

    What struck me about it, and here I think is the big difference betweeen his and Larry’s, is the lack of PASSION.  Larry’s response is full of passion for the people he serves, and that allows his words to be clear and have meaning. The crazy CAN guy ends up making more sense.  I guess Will’s passion here could be considered the education of acupuncture students, being from an acu. school.  But it all just seems like he’s complaining that CAN is not playing fair.  I just don’t get it.  I will read it again, and hope for more clarity this time.

     

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  • December 23 2010 at 10:41 PM
    Guest writes:

    If you’re going to talk about Cultural Competence…

    At the encouragement of my husband, I read this article and, to my dismay and his delight, was unable to sit still until I drafted a response. I hate when he tricks me like that.

    So that I hopefully don’t come off as self-righteous and condescending, I would like to start off by stating my creds for responding in this way to Will Morris’s article:
    As a former clinician educator for medical students, medical residents and geriatrics fellows at Boston University School of Medicine, with my very own Health and Human Services grant-supported Academic Career Award in Cross Cultural Education, I am grateful to have spent years facilitating education on the “Cultural Formation of the Clinician” and justice-based medicine.

    While there is always room to introduce new concepts and terms to the field of cultural competence education in healthcare, one hopes that the terms will remain true to the spirit of the cause, i.e. to increase cross-cultural understanding with the ultimate goal of decreasing disparities.

    Terms like “skilled reasoning,” “tolerance of ambiguity,” “anima and animus,” “hot spots” and “perspective,” have not been intrinsic to this discussion, and don’t replace words like “bias,” “racism,” “prejudice,” “blind spots” and “power.” In particular, Mr. Morris’ liberal use of “perspective” makes it sound as if “perspective” is something that one brings anew to the analysis of cultural assumptions. Perspective is intrinsic, meaning it is always there. I would argue that it is not a valuable term in the serious discussion of cultural competence. Though Mr. Morris pokes at “power,” I wonder why there is no outward mention of prejudice, bias, blind spots, etc in a discussion of cultural competence education. It would almost be disturbing if I believed that his intent was to actually create a different “language” around cultural competence; one which pseudo-intellectualizes and dilutes the discussion for reasons I don’t understand.

    To quote Mr. Morris: “We only have to look 100 hundred years ago towards the status of women and African-Americans in the world to see the ravages of certainty.” REALLY? When I see that, I have a hard time taking anything the author has to say about cultural competence seriously. But I’ll try.

    As my frame of reference, some of the key dicta in the evolution of cross cultural education are: 1) Learning to avoid cultural generalizations while respecting and acknowledging difference, 2) Exploring the values we (instructors, trainees, patients) bring into the profession and how they influence our personal and professional lives as well as our responses to diverse patient cultures, and 3) Exploring our underlying assumptions about self and other with an aim of understanding our constructions of difference and power.

    Now to another sampling from Mr. Morris’ “nine areas of contrast in cultural expression:”

    “Those seeking large differences in power distribution seek hierarchical organizational with rewards and punishments based on age, rank, status, title, and seniority. Those who value small differences in power seek egalitarian organizations, level power distributions, equal rights and relations, and equitable rewards and punishment related to performance.”

    “Different cultures vary in their ability to tolerate ambiguity. Those with a high tolerance for ambiguity value uncertainty. They seek out dynamic and changing states, seek high mobility, welcome challenges, encourage risk taking and see conflict as potentially positive. Those with low tolerance for ambiguity see uncertainty as a threat and then reinforce rule-based approaches to problem solving. They seek stability and low mobility, welcome routines, encourage clear procedures and view conflict as negative.”

    If I try to buy his suggestion that these “axes” be viewed as a framework for advancing cultural competence education, I can’t get there. First, because I am overwhelmed by the sweeping cultural generalizations he is espousing, completely antithetical to today’s standards of cross-cultural education.

    Second, because I somehow sense, after reading the article in it’s entirety, that these “cultural axes” are actually NOT aimed at furthering cross-cultural education in healthcare, but rather at addressing what seem to be perceived as points of contention , rather than cultural differences amongst acupuncture practitioners.

    To quote Mr. Morris once more (and finally):

    “the current embattlement from community acupuncture network seeking lower cost training in acupuncture in order to serve the community acupuncture business model.”

    The years I have spent learning about and supporting The Community Acupuncture Network (an actual non-profit organization, which deserves it’s caps) makes it clear to me, and anyone who has cared to learn about their mission, that they are about practicing justice-based medicine. This does not include doing ANYTHING in service of their business model,  but EVERYTHING in service of improving access to healthcare for patients, eliminating the power differential between patients and clinicians, and ultimately walking the talk when it comes to cultural competence.

    Why are they credible in a way that Mr. Morris seems not to be (at least based on his article)?

    Because they have and continue to embrace this discussion in the open, under the spotlight, under the microscope, with everything tough, gritty, raw and poignant about first putting themselves under the lens.

    Respectfully,

    Karen Bryant, MD

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  • December 23 2010 at 10:47 PM
    LarryG writes:

    You’re welcome, Brent

    And thank you for relating your experience, having been successful in both realms.

    I do not know how a conversation could be advanced as all previous conversations haven’t gotten much of anywhere due to what I perceive as major differences in priorities. But mostly, I think the issue comes down to actually helping people and then allowing for the opportunities that would naturally evolve from that work just happen.  Because in that instance they would be earned and deserved.  The profession has done nothing to earn or deserve most of the changes that are desired, so this naturally leads to a lot of conversation within the profession amongst “stakeholders”.  A lot of personal salvation seeking.  I think that “leaders” within our healing profession forget too much about the healing and focus too much on the profession.  The healing needs people to heal while the profession doesn’t.  And that is a problem. 

     

     

     

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  • December 23 2010 at 10:48 PM
    LarryG writes:

    Clayton-

    LOL

     

     

     

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  • December 23 2010 at 11:06 PM
    andy wegman writes:

    This was not Will’s finest effort.

    To be honest after reading the article twice, I’m not entirely sure what he was aiming at.

    And for AT - this got published as is.  Really?

    Slightly off topic, he shows his cards early by not capitalizing this organization’s name.  A small, but telling prejudice.

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  • December 23 2010 at 11:26 PM
    bottley writes:

    Couldn’t agree more.

    I think keeping the door to real dialog open is important, but I have the same frustrations and suspicions as you mention. Just to be clear, I didn’t mention “success”, if that’s what that was, in the other realm for any other reason than to describe the fact that I’d been there and know something of the territory that’s being defended in Mr. Morris’ essay. If I succeeded at anything during those years, it was mostly in paying with my life energy for a list of all the things I just couldn’t stand anymore. CAN led me back to what much of school led me away from, which is that it’s always first about the patients and how many and how much we help; not about “the profession” and certainly not about me. 

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  • December 23 2010 at 11:36 PM
    LarryG writes:

    Thank you

    so much for this, Karen.  Your taking the time to explain actual elements of cross cultural education was educational in a way that makes sense and offers room for growth and understanding.  All in a couple of easy to digest, short paragraphs.  Or, the exact opposite of Will’s offering, which was perplexing at best, disturbing at worst. 

    Reading that article disturbed me, and your explanation of what was truly wrong at the heart of it is very much appreciated.

     

     

     

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  • December 23 2010 at 11:39 PM
    LarryG writes:

    The crazy CAN guy

    Can I get this in a tee shirt?  ;

    Thanks, KC.

    And don’t try too hard to understand.  Language like that is devised to confuse with the goal of establishing a position of power, imo. 

     

     

     

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  • December 23 2010 at 11:41 PM
    LarryG writes:

    I like that line of reasoning

     

    Very unprofessional of you.   

     

     

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  • December 23 2010 at 11:45 PM
    LarryG writes:

    Yeah

    Those axes creeped me out.  It really came across to me as a way of establishing a sense of power over those that would dare to object to being shit on as being intellectually inferior.  When your neck is being stepped on, is it better to throw off the boot, or seek mutually agreed on reconcilliation?  

     

     

     

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  • December 23 2010 at 11:55 PM
    LarryG writes:

    ok

    Thanks for clarifying that. 

    I’m right there with you.  No CAN, no calling. 

     

     

     

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  • December 24 2010 at 12:55 AM
    jenniferwoolf writes:

    Yeah.

    Thanks, Karen.

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  • December 24 2010 at 11:34 AM
    Nora writes:

    in praise of certainty

    I agree with Will Morris’ idea that it can sometimes be appropriate to adopt a “stance of uncertainty about what [one] knows[s].”  But Morris undermines his own (vague, implicit) argument by invoking the (implicitly historical) social status of “women and African-Americans” (which are after all not mutually exclusive categories).  To the extent that slavery mostly no longer exists in this country; to the extent that most women enjoy most of the rights that most men in this country enjoy, etc.; to the extent that any social justice exists at all, is due to the certainty of those who fought for that change, NOT because a bunch of people in power suddenly started feeling ambiguous about a situation.  The slavery abolition movement, the movement for womens’s suffrage, the Civil Rights movement, the many and various struggles against colonial and imperial rule, the various incarnations of feminism and Womens’ Liberation, the American Indian Movement, the Labor movement, etc. - these are just a few examples of how people have joined together around an idea to fight against injustice and change the world.
    To be sure, someone can be certain and be very, very wrong (c.f. the “Birthers”).  But there is also such a thing as being certain and being correct.  Perhaps one easy place to start is to ask: “am I feeling certain something is true about another person or another group, or am I feeling certain about something that I know from my own lived experience?”  If someone is telling you something that they know to be true because of the latter reason, history indicates that it behooves you to take them seriously.
    I also think that “cultural competence” is not primarily a result of “skilled reason,” but of accessing (perhaps strengthening) one’s own imagination and sense of empathy.  Certainly it can be beneficial to read and learn more about different social groups and cultures and -ahem- history; those kinds of exercises can also strengthen one’s desire to seek social justice.  But without desire, without that visceral, emotional spark—indeed, without love—how would social change ever even happen?  I’m not anti-intellectual by any stretch - I’m perfectly content for people to write and read books with such titles as “Sociology of Social Change.”  But Morris’ article is so vague and obfuscatory, and so riddled with ungrammatical sentences that, while it might be too “heady,” it’s not a good example of rigorous intellectual argumentation.  

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  • December 24 2010 at 2:56 PM
    LarryG writes:

    Good points, Nora

    Nor am I anti-intellectual.  I am guilty of joyously reading books like The Sociology of Change, having been a…....  Sociology major. But that AT piece struck me as the worst example of post-modernist academese, where the reader can’t be sure if the piece either doesn’t make sense or is over their heads.  I am grateful that Karen could point out what actually comprises cultural competency education, as Will seemed to hijack the established language in that field, for whatever reason.  And my thought is that those that *try* to sound smart, usually have serious flaws in their thinking.  Hence Karen and you can write something intelligent that makes sense and is readable while Big Willie Writing Style writing is almost indecipherable and what you can get out of it gives you the willies.  That was fun.

    One question though: can a person not have both feelings that you mention and still not be harboring racism, sexism, etc?  I am thinking particularly about this definition of fascists:

    “a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with
    community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults
    of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed
    nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration
    with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with
    redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of
    internal cleansing and external expansion.”

    Can’t this sense of victimhood be derived from what one feels certain is true of another person or another group, AND base that certainty in narrow, selective and carefully interpreted experience and history about that other person or group?  I am thinking specifically about the attitudes of people down here in Arizona regarding “illegal immigrants”, a word mustered with palpable vehemence at times from people appear to fit well into the above definition of fascists.  I do not know that it would be enough for these folks to ask the two questions you offer.  I wonder if racism, sexism, etc are ingrained into ones worldview, backed up by a predisposition toward interpretting their experience a particular way.  

     

    Thanks for the link.  Have you seen this clip with Elaine Brown on the strike?

     

     

     

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  • December 24 2010 at 3:01 PM
    ewolfk writes:

    Thanks so much

    for this, LarryG, and everyone else who has commented.  I’m very glad I read this before I read the original article—kept me from lying awake all night writing responses in my head.  Then again, that assumes I would have slogged through the original article, which I probably wouldn’t have.  It did indeed seem that Will wanted to make a point and then came up with some words to pile around that point to make it seem like more than his opinion.

    For what it is worth, which is not much, I’ve had a vision for the past year or so, a vision for a forum in which “real” dialogue could happen.  So far, I have not been able to make the time to bring it to existence, but perhaps with the rising energy of spring the seed of the idea will become a visible reality.

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  • December 24 2010 at 6:13 PM
    racheline writes:

    I don’t have much to add…

    but I do love being part of an organization that holds a mirror up to the establishment and makes them squirm.

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  • December 24 2010 at 11:46 PM
    tessmcginn writes:

    says ewolfk:

    ” For what it is worth, which is not much, I’ve had a vision for the past
    year or so, a vision for a forum in which “real” dialogue could happen. “

    I think what happens on this forum can be construed as “real” dialogue.  When truth comes knocking at your door, welcome Truth with open arms, not to say, “Go away.”  Truth will indeed go away. -stolen and paraphrased from Robert Pirsig.

    Nothing more elegant to add to this wonderful thread from the best of the “Thread heads” (yes that would be you Nora and Larry).

    Enjoy your holidays everyone, especially you Will Morris. Keep talking to CAN, my comrades teach me “lots of stuff” everyday, I’m sure you can benefit from the collective wisdom as well.  We won’t give up on you if you won’t give up on us.

    Tess Bois (formerly McGinn)

    One World Community Acupuncture

    Fitchburg, MA

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  • December 25 2010 at 7:43 AM
    ewolfk writes:

    Apologies

    I do believe real dialogue happens here.  Sorry, if it read otherwise.

    I have a vision for a forum that would include folks like Will, and others outside the CAN community— in a place that is not already associated with one particular outlook or vision.

    Kudos to CAN for showing me that I wasn’t a lonely voice in the wilderness lamenting the wrong turns of the profession. 

    Happy Holidays to all.

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  • December 27 2010 at 12:33 AM
    Guest writes:

    Elaine, that community forum

    Elaine, that community forum (and several others) already exist. At some point, it might be best if you select one of those communication vehicles and build it, if that is how you want to contribute to the community.

    Since nobody contacted Will directly, he responded in an uncensored forum:

    https://groups.google.com/d/topic/aomcommunity/VEx_JWNxHys/discussion

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  • December 27 2010 at 8:43 AM
    LarryG writes:

    Thanks, guest

    But I’ll go and cut and paste his response here so that those interested don’t have to join a google group to read.  It makes sense to me that it should be here that he should post further responses as well, to myself and others that have posted concerns about his article.  Doing so elsewhere makes no sense. 

    ————————————————

    I will respond here since you have posted the CAN link to this forum
    is free and uncensored.

    Dear Mr. Gatti,

    This is a response to your blog post about my article Cultural
    Competency in East Asian Medicine: Perspective as a Tool, published in Acupuncture Today.

    It appears you cite me out of context. Cultural Competency is not about CAN. I used CAN as an example where the profession could engage in the work of cultural competency. Apparently, you feel that there are some perspectives about CAN (Community Acupuncture Network) that I have not presented in Cultural Competency. I am not authorized to fully represent CAN, nor have I presented myself as having the ability or intent to do so. It would be helpful for me to review the CAN goals and strategic objectives. As a former member of CAN, I never received such a document.

    Am I misinforming readers that “CAN is about a “practice business model””? My words seem to accurately reflect CAN’s mission as posted on the CAN website: “Community Acupuncture Network (CAN) is a non-profit organization of practitioners, patients, and supporters whose goal is to make acupuncture more affordable and accessible by promoting the practice of offering acupuncture in community settings for a sliding scale ranging within $15-40 a treatment.”

    You further say, “Remember when I said this isn’t about a business model? I meant it.” Further, that the “business model is ancillary to that goal” (diversity of access). The incongruence between what you say and what your official documents say is rather large. There are a number of perspectives that I can use to understand this problem, but I would like to hear yours before speculating.

    It would be useful to see CAN’s goals and strategic objectives especially those that convey creating, “an environment of inclusion for diverse, working class communities in regards to both training and access to care and the business model is ancillary to that goal.”
    Nowhere in the CAN mission statement does the word training appear.
    Maybe it is implied by the words “more affordable and accessible.”
    Your note suggests that the goal of CAN is to “diversify the
    practitioner and patient pool”, which is a goal I support.

    Values

    You claim to understand my ‘value sphere’, suggesting it is ‘professional middle class’ and concerned with “abstractions, status concerns, individualism and being future rather than present oriented.” My values are more complex than you represent, and depend on the needs of the moment. I also focus upon a balance between individual and collective needs; this is the very argument of perspective. Apparently, you missed the point.

    It further seems that you confuse class with values. They may have correlations, but they are not the same categories. Yes, I am a privileged middle class white professional male. My values draw from the participatory, co-operative and appreciative disciplines. Your communication does not present your background and I am wondering in what ways it is similar or different from my own. I think that a great exercise in this conversation – which is necessary – would be to look at real class differences and similarities in our views. That would allow us to engage in a meaningful dialog that enhances cultural competence for us all.

    Your presentation of my values, imply any attempt on my part to gain dialog will be dismissed as privileged white male middle class strategies for world domination. Rather, I share values with CAN and extend them as I remain dedicated to breaking class barriers by ensuring that underpriveled folks also get treatments in the $0-$5 range. My track record includes influencing the Red Cross to provide herbs at cost to patients with AIDS.  I am not sure where it comes from, your power to know that I “haven’t seen the true power of acupuncture work in an individual, their family or their community.” I ask that you provide evidence or your claim and also provide the means by which you come to such knowledge as we have never had a conversation about such matters.

    Education
    You claim that “we [CAN] are not on record for initiating any reduction in educational requirements, as that would be an incredible waste of time and resources.” Yet, that is not my experience of dialogs with many members of the current CAN board. Further, it is not clear what you are saying. Is CAN taking the position that the current amount of education required to enter the profession is appropriate and that there should be no less? Or maybe even more? There seems to be mixed messages in your response, as you also claim that lower cost education will improve success. You also state that you, “want quality, accessible and focused education that reflects the values and needs of working class communities,” we are on common ground here.

    I believe the AOM profession does help people, and that self-awareness is necessary to that outcome. What I ask for as a solution to the question, which must be asked “How to arrive at solutions for all?” is not one that can be solved at the level of the individual. Collective solutions are accomplished not individually. There is no easy salvation. The solutions that I recommend in other articles include work that is co-operative and appreciative.

    Warmly,

    Will

     

     

     

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  • December 27 2010 at 12:44 PM
    LarryG writes:

    In response

    I will write about your questions and comments here, not on the google group.  

    First, I did not try to present your article out of context.  I did not ever state that the Cultural Competency article was about CAN.  I only responded to your presentation of CAN in that article.  The article itself is another matter, and concerns about your presentation of cultural competency as an educational tool and discipline for those seeking to grow has been addressed in the threads here by Karen Bryant, MD.  I strongly suggest that you read her response and consider what she is saying.  And if you would then like to dialogue with someone whom can clearly help you evolve both your thinking and subsequent presentation of cultural competency as well as understanding what working on increasing ones cultural competency might look like from a teachers perspective, ask her questions.   For all of our sakes, I hope this happens, here, in the open.

    However, I do find it interesting that you think that (the) one place that your Cultural Competency presentation could be useful would be CAN.  You offered no other organization within AOM where this could be the case.  Now, why is that?  Really.  I can’t fathom it and dare not speculate, as is my wont.

    When you write “I used CAN as an example where the profession could engage in the work of cultural competency” it comes off as saying something interesting about you.  It says that you think that we here are culturally incompetent.  Or at the very least, we could use some work.  Well, thanks for the opportunity!  One problem there: you have a different definition of cultural competency than that which is estalished in the field.  Now again, I do not want to go head long into your presentation as to what cultural competency actually is because Karen, an educator in the field, has already pointed out considerable flaws in that presentation and again, I think you should address those concerns if you are able and willing.

    “Apparently, you feel that there are some perspectives about CAN
    (Community Acupuncture Network) that I have not presented in Cultural
    Competency. I am not authorized to fully represent CAN, nor have I
    presented myself as having the ability or intent to do so.”  If you are going to attempt to tackle the realm of cultural competency and cite only one AOM organization in the field that could use some work, well then maybe you should be able to represent it.

    And I hear that you think you are doing just that.  And I attempted to correct your understanding in the blog.  

    If you were an engaged member of CAN, if you actually used CAN not only as a resource but as a support system from which you drew strength, courage and knowledge, if you did more than surmise our mission from a quote on the website, well then I think that what we are about would not only be obvious to you, but it would be valuable as well.  Members that use CAN as a support system engage in the free exchange of ideas with other members, sharing what works and what doesn’t work at the level of individual practice as well as at the level of community organizing.  Collectively, this drives the movement, as our shared experience culminates in a lose framework of rules that, while not rigid and hierarchical, guide the direction of the movement.  Having flexibility in thinking and action is what allows for innovation and further growth.  And, it should go without saying (but it won’t here) that our interaction with the community is the filter through which this coffee is brewed.

    Now, how to get that into a mission statement?  So, while I can see how you can say that CAN is about a “practice business model” having gone no further than the home page mission statement or casual forays into the forums during your dalliance as a CAN member, the mechanics and content of our relationships and our interactions in the name of social change (as opposed to social service, more on that later) using acupuncture as a rally point are what CAN is about.  This involves conversation and direct action regarding educating ourselves, challanging the establishment and working within the community.  But since you would find value in one, you can consider this link the official document to that end.

    You write “You claim to understand my ‘value sphere’, suggesting it is ‘professional
    middle class’ and concerned with “abstractions, status concerns,
    individualism and being future rather than present oriented.” My values
    are more complex than you represent, and depend on the needs of the
    moment.  I also focus upon a balance between individual and collective needs;
    this is the very argument of perspective. Apparently, you missed the
    point”

    What I wrote was that the way that you represent CAN points toward those PMC values.

    (Do you read a lot of integral theory?  I am getting that based on your “needs of the moment” thing.  Spiral dynamics?  Am I wrong?  Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Graves and Beck and Cowan’s work in representing that information, although Wilber has been criticized for his portrayal of Graves’ work.  And not to get off track, but one thing I found irritating on Integral was the hyper-focus on transformation as opposed to integration.  Going beyond me as opposed to healthy me and us.  Would you disagree that the professional middle class has an interesting attraction to the narrative of “transformation of consciousness” inherent in the integral framework as opposed to a healthy integration of self within society?  If I am way off base and you don’t read integral theory and such, please forgive me.)

    As far as balancing individual and collective needs as the basis for perspective, again, I did not want to get into your piece per se.  Rather, I wanted to address your representation of CAN.  And as an aside, one thing we do a very good job of around here is balancing the individual and the collective.  I think I described that process above.  We function as individuals within this collective and if something that an individual is saying is not useful to the group, going against the values, mission and goals (which again, all exist as the nature of our relationships, are shifting yet stable and as such benefit from a mission statement that allows for growth) it is repressed through a lack of engagement. On the other hand, if what an individual is saying is against the grain and yet innovative and possibly valuable to the group and the movement, it is supported through an engagement in passionate discussion. I didn’t miss your point.  I didn’t agree with it.  I was quite clear in casting CAN as an entity that is a collusion between practitioners and their community, at the local, national and global level, not practitioners and the profession. Accordingly, our conversation isn’t very interested in what is best for schools, other professional organizations and the boutique acupuncture practitioner community.  There entities have their own conversations revolving around their individual and collective goals.  It is ongoing and will continue in a mostly frustrated fashion for the reasons described by Maslow regarding personal salvation as opposed to salvation as a by-product of “hard work and total commitment to
    doing well the job that fate or personal destiny calls you to do, or any
    important job ‘calls’ for doing.

    I do not confuse class with values.  Indeed, it is a topic that gets a lot of attention around here and deserves careful consideration.  But there are class cultures.  And values are the substance of culture.  In acupuncture, I think the dividing line between working class and middle class is beyond income.  Let me quote Barbara Jensen on the matter:

     When I say “working class” I am referring to all people who work with things and their hands for a living,
    not just the industrial working class.  When I say the middle classes, I mean people who work professional
    jobs, who work with symbols rather than things.

    Striking, no?  This definition captures not only who I am in AOM, how I make my living, it is the basis for my relationships personally as well as professionally.  It preceds my time in AOM into all aspects of my life, defining my family as well.  And while these cultures overlap, they are certainly distinctive. 

    I do not make a living engaging students in a discussion of Qi.  I make it by eliminating or reducing pain in people from my community, organizing for social change around acupuncture with likeminded others.  And the values of this working class life are embodied in those interactions.  Accessibility, anti-status, solidarity.  Character is stressed over individual achievements.  The present is emphasized over the future. 

    I agree that conversation between classes can be helpful and do attempt to avoid generalizations as much as I am able.  I recommend this article and website as a starting point for effective communication between class cultures if you are serious when you say “I think that a great exercise in this conversation – which is necessary –
    would be to look at real class differences and similarities in our
    views. That would allow us to engage in a meaningful dialog that
    enhances cultural competence for us all”  I also recommend this site.  Understanding the values inherent to class cultures is essential to meaningful cross-class conversation and bridge building.  I admit a suspicion of people of more privileged classes and I recognize that each class has different strengths to add to a movement.  That actually happens here on CAN, where a mixture of people of different class backgrounds share and work for the greater good of the movement.  And it can be hard work, embarrassing and uncomfortable at times.  But, it is all necessary for moving the movement forward. The CA movement that is, not the AOM professional movement.

    “Rather, I share values with CAN and extend them as I remain dedicated to
    breaking class barriers by ensuring that underpriveled folks also get
    treatments in the $0-$5 range.”  I do not think that we really share values in the way that you imply.  CAN promotes community building through making acupuncture available to working class people whlie providing employement or business ownership at a working class wage.  Some clinics are flirting with the lower middle class wage rate; 40k.  However, we are not morally subsidizing high cost treatment by offering $0-$5 treatment.  And while there is value in what you are doing when you do that, it is fundamentally different than what CAN is up to.  What you are engaging in when you do that is social service.  What we are engaging in our work is social change.  There is a big difference.  Paul Kivel sums it up like this:

    Social service work addresses the needs of individuals reeling from the personal and devastating impact of institutional systems of exploitation and violence. Social change work challenges the root causes of the exploitation and violence.

    CAN is about challenging existing powerholders in AOM and society while also creating a viable alternative for communities.  You could say the difference is like that of treating at the root and branch level.  We are going for root causes of violence and denial of health care is a form of violence.  $0-$5 for deserving “underprivilged” folks is welcome, but doesn’t address the root causes of the violence at the heart of acupuncture inaccessibility.  Ultimatley, I would agree that we need both and that some of us are better suited to provide social service more than social change and vice versa.  The impact of class on this issue is likely vast, as it is impossible for me as a working class person to see myself as performing social service when I am working within a community that is at once familiar and typically marginalized.  When people (non-CA acupuncturists) tell me that what I am doing is “nice” or “beautiful” it bothers me for precisely this reason.  Because I know that from their perspective, my work is considered charitable or philanthropic.  This couldn’t be farther from my own perspective which sees my work as not only life-affirming, necessary and that aforementioned salvation-in-action, but work that is getting at the roots of legitimized violence and oppression within AOM and society as a whole. 

    What I meant when I said “CAN, ultimately, is a delivery vehicle for a movement that is very
    concerned with organizing secure communities at the local, national and global
    level.  If you think I am
    overreaching, I would say that you haven’t seen the true power of acupuncture
    work in an individual, their family or their community” I was touching on this.  I was trying to get at the raw power of acupuncture and its ability to heal individually and collectively, its ability to work as a medium for social change.  I did not say that you haven’t seen that power.  I suggested that if you think that I am overselling acupuncture as a tool for social change than you haven’t seen it work in that way.  

    In regards to education, I attempted to define what an initiative actually is, as your statement “This becomes the question in the
    Community Acupuncture Network initiative to reduce the amount of education
    necessary to enter the profession” clearly implies that we have some sort of concerted campaign to reduce educational requirements.  While people, CAN board members or otherwise, may have spoken of these things in the context of the FPD or otherwise, on a blog, in an e-mail or on a telephone with you, we are not now or have we ever been engaged in any sort of official initiative to reduce educational requirements.  There has never been a committee formed, a letter written or a dollar spent on that.  That is the fact of the matter.  The way you wrote in the AT piece suggested otherwise and I wanted to correct that. 

    As far as our official position on educational requirements for the entry into the profession, I am not sure how you are getting mixed messages.  Educational requirements are, for now, what they are.  We can’t go backwards (remember, we have no initiative to that end) and we do not think more is necessary or desireable as it will do nothing but create more obstacles toward producing “graduates with less debt
    whom are able to pay off student loans in a reasonable amount of time making a
    sustainable and attainable wage, but also so that the profession may begin to
    draw from working class student populations which are less homogenous by
    nature”.  This would define success for us.  An educational system interested in social change.

    When you say “There seems to be mixed messages in your response, as you also claim that lower cost education will improve success” you seem to imply that tuition is something that couldn’t be reduced by a willing educator that was interested in training working class students to work within their communities.  I do not think this is the case, that a willing institution could not lower educational costs in the name of social change.  It is a matter of will, Will.

    You write:

    What I ask for as a solution to the question, which must be asked “How
    to arrive at solutions for all?” is not one that can be solved at the
    level of the individual. Collective solutions are accomplished not
    individually. There is no easy salvation.

    I hope we are making headway on the idea that CAN is not advocating solutions for individuals and that as a collective body CAN and CA is a collective solution for the problem of access to care for working class and lower middle class people.  Our mission is social change, not social service, although we recognize the latters value.  While it could be possible to work in an effective alliance with other organizations, we are first and foremost engaged in the effort to organize collectively through information sharing in order to work within our communities, empowering other practitioners to that end.  It is the very definition of a cooperative effort. 

    Again, it is that hard work and total commitment to our calling that is directing us in concert with the real and present needs of our communities.  “There is no easy salvation” is not my experience.  What was hard, was the searching.   

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • December 27 2010 at 12:52 PM
    Guest writes:

    Cultural Competency

    Hi Larry -

    It appears that posting is free. That is fine. However, this list serve is subject to censorship. It is therefore, not an appropriate forum for debate since the owners are in a position to block communications with which they disagree. If we can get a waiver of policy on that matter in writing, I am open to this as an appropriate forum.

    In the interim, I look forward to your responses to my questions and requests.

    Warmly,

    Will

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  • December 27 2010 at 1:01 PM
    LarryG writes:

    No

    This blog and forum are moderated for a purpose.  If you adhere to the rules, which shouldn’t be too hard imo, you will have no problems.  But the rules exist for a reason.  And there will be no special waiver for you to engage on this blog.

    That being said, feel free to post.

     

     

     

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  • December 27 2010 at 7:02 PM
    Guest writes:

    CAN Censorship

    Hi Larry - Please point me to the guidelines here so that I can be certain of compliance.  I still look forward to your responses to my questions. To reiterate in part, it would be great to see the CAN goals and strategic objectives. To date, the information that I have from the mission does suggest a business model focus.

    BTW - your posting of my response to the CAN list was performed without any discussion with me. Common courtesy would suggest that a discussion with the author take place prior to copying into another forum.

    Warmly,

    Will

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  • December 27 2010 at 7:19 PM
    Guest writes:

    CAN Censorship

    Hi Larry - It is alright. I located the CAN Censorship policy:

    [1. The CAN Blog and the CAN Forums are moderated by the CAN Board.

    2. The CAN Forums are moderated more heavily than the CAN Blog,
    because the purpose of the CAN Forums is to help people understand and
    implement the community acupuncture business model; the purpose of
    the Forums is to be useful. If any thread, comment, or post is deemed by
    the CAN Board to be not useful, it will be deleted. If any CAN member
    consistently posts in a way that the Board deems not useful, that
    member will be banned and his or her membership revoked.
    What is not useful, includes, but is not limited to: deliberately posting
    controversial statements to gain attention for the sake of attention,
    deliberately posting controversial statements to incite argument for the
    sake of argument, encouraging any member of CAN to behave more like Gandhi and/or Mother Theresa, disagreeing with fundamental premises of
    community acupuncture as stated by Board Members or founders of CAN,
    and defending or promoting any aspect of conventional/private room/
    boutique acupuncture practices and/ or “hybrid” practices. If you wish to
    do any of these things, you may do so on your own blog or forum, not
    here.

    3. The CAN forums are not democratic. The Board is in charge of
    the discussion. The Board decides what is useful and not
    useful and is under no obligation to explain any of their decisions
    to anyone.

    4. Challenging the authority of the CAN Board in any way,
    including challenging any moderating action, is grounds for
    immediate banning from the forums.

    5. Constitutional rights to “free speech” do not apply to private
    forums. If the Board decides that you and/or your posts are not
    useful, you are out.

    ...Due to the many sacrifices the Board has made for
    community acupuncture, they gleefully embrace the role of
    heavy-handed tyrants; they have fully earned it. If people wish to
    read different viewpoints and perspectives about community acupuncture,
    they will find those viewpoints represented EVERYWHERE ELSE in the
    acupuncture world. The CAN Board feels no obligation to represent or to
    tolerate here the points of view of people with whom they disagree.]

    The lack of clarity with respect to what is “useful” makes the rules for posting unreasonable in my opinion, creating an unjust forum for debate. I depart and will be happy to discuss these matters with anyone who would like to participate in an open and free forum. For now, that is the AOMcommunity list serve hosted by the AAAOM, where the only rule is collegiality.

    Warmly,

    Will

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  • December 27 2010 at 8:36 PM
    LarryG writes:

    since you’re taking your ball and going home

    I am not sure what I have to do to answer your questions.  I tried carefully to do that above.   

    A link was posted on this blog to your response in another forum by our friend Guest (not verified).  Your responding there was strange and would have been more appropriate here.  Hence, I cut and pasted it.  In the future, you should put a disclaimer at the end of your internet communications if you want them to be confidential or attempt to prevent them from traveling.  The internet makes the spread of information easy.  Common courtesy aside, I do not think I was rude in doing something convenient for our members and other readers.  

    And for the record, I would likely find “collegiality”, the rule of the open and free AAAOM forum, to be as vague and discriminating as you would likely find what we consider to be “useful” on our repressive and censored totalitarian police site. 

    I hope you read those class articles.  It would get into the reasons for this.

     

     

     

     

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  • December 27 2010 at 10:38 PM
    Nora writes:

    Will, if you’re still around:

    It’s not a “censorship policy,” it’s a posting/moderation policy.  Moderation is totally normal in blogs and internet forums and has been for a long time.  

    I’m one of the moderators and I have to say that I have no idea what you are on about with referring to “censorship.”  We moderate with a *very* light hand, even in the forums (which as you read above are more heavily moderated than the blogs).  I’ve been a CAN member pretty much since the beginning and I’ve only seen a moderator remind people to *stay on topic* a handful of times (much less delete comments, ban a commentor or member, or other more assertive moderation).  The blog aims to be provocative (hey, it’s right there in the subtitle!) and not infrequently generates heated disagreement, which we generally have a high tolerance for.  So a poster may indeed encounter censure - but you’d have to *really* push your luck to encounter anything like censorship.  

    By the way, I don’t belong to the AOMcommunity listserve, because I can pretty much guarantee you (from things posted there that colleagues have quoted me) that it would destroy any remaining sense of collegiality I have for non-CAN acupuncturists.  So for the time being,

    I remain,

    collegially yours,
    Nora Madden

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  • December 28 2010 at 12:09 AM
    Jessica Feltz writes:

    CAN’s High-Tolerance For Provocative Disagreements

    Nora, you wouldn’t by any chance be referring to uncensored, heated discussions by some of these commentators, would you?

    Paul Karsten

    Jennifer Flynn & Co.

    Burton Kent

    Honora Lee Wolfe

    Elaine Wolf Komarow

    Maybe they all have stronger Liver Qi than Mr. Morris.  Or, if courage is lacking, perhaps that’s Kidney?

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  • December 28 2010 at 1:10 AM
    Steven Stumpf writes:

    Skip’s Jan 2010 comment

    Skip VanMeter posted a relevant comment almost one year ago wherein he discusses cultural education versus cultural competency making a persuasive argument for how these two domains differentiate the approach of CAN from that of AOM schools. IMO this is relevant to the current discussion here. I would like to cut and paste that post by Skip to the AOM community board. Any objections or warnings? Encouragement?

    I think it is good for CAN to represent itself. I am certain there are numerous misunderstandings about CAN and how it views its mission. The cultural competency discussion does a pretty good job of making that point. CAN does not need to defend itself. In fact, at this moment in AOM time CAN can shine a light in a better direction.

    The AOM board is full of lurkers. The CAN board is full of participants. Even if for a short stint it would be good to demonstrate how a community build extensive conversation among its constituents/members.

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  • December 28 2010 at 1:10 AM
    Guest writes:

    Hmmm….

    Hi Nora,

    Like you, we collectively moderate very little on the AOM Community Forums and censor nothing. In my view there are only LAcs. It is unfortunate that our community has become so fractioned and communications have become so difficult/intolerable that we have to classify ourselves as CAN-LAcs, NADA-LAcs, Biomed LAcs, etc.

    It is important that we work together to elevate the discussion and re-establish a value system and professional infrastructure among those that care that we can pass on to the next generation of practitioners. It is not sustainable for any of us or beneficial to our patients to pass on the 3 decades of in-fighting regarding educational and practice model disagreements. Let’s find a consensus-building path and expand our views on what we think is professionally possible, regardless of how long it will take or what it looks like.

    Our profession has gone through enough radical changes in the last 20 years, the lack of stability seems completely reasonable to me. Regardless, I think it is completely possible for us to influence each other globally as practitioners and find stability if we are able to engage each other in an independent and publicly accessible discussion group and stay in that room long enough to build respect for each other’s humanity and professional achievements.

    I would gladly welcome additional moderators to the AOM Community Forum if you feel that is what is preventing contributors from joining. Additionally, ACAOM is looking for commissioners, AAAOM is looking for new directors, and state associations across the country are looking for volunteers. The profession needs new leadership to take over and build the future. Too few are willing to put in the time or energy to do the work that makes our profession possible and everyone is willing to complain ad nauseam, let’s change that together.

    As I have mentioned before publicly many times, it doesn’t matter to me which alphabetical configuration we use for our professional association but we need to support and build one that will advance and protect our profession (thereby our patients) according to the basic values and structural considerations we can all agree on.

    We need people who can moderate difficult discussions and hold people accountable without excluding, censoring, or demeaning. Feel free to get in touch with me privately if you or others have alternative ideas of how we can dialogue with each other about controversial issues and professional futures.  Enough midnight ranting, off to enjoy the beautiful snow and some hot cocoa.

    Best and happy new year,

    Michael

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 8:20 AM
    Guest writes:

    Larry - Nora - Jessica

    Larry - Nora - Jessica

    First - this is the policy statement, “they (CAN Board) gleefully embrace the role of
    heavy-handed tyrants; they have fully earned it. If people wish to
    read different viewpoints and perspectives about community acupuncture,
    they will find those viewpoints represented EVERYWHERE ELSE in the
    acupuncture world.”

    This is not a particularly inviting position. No does it convey a neutral ground for a dialog. Another possibility is to agree to copy all discussions here in the AOMCommunity board at the same time. That way, if there is something that I say and upon which that the CAN board chooses to exact tyranny, it can continue unfettered of bias.

    Second - Larry, you claim to have answered my questions, but I can’t find it in your response. Please direct me to your responses to each of my questions and requests.

    Once we get process worked out, I am happy to remain in dialog.

    Warmly,

    Will

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 12:14 PM
    andy wegman writes:

    This a public forum

    and is open to anyone with a browser (or an rss feed for that matter)

    Any posts/comments seen here are fair game for copying to the AOM Google group, as any blog would be.

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 12:21 PM
    LarryG writes:

    This “dialog” with you, Will

     

    is starting to feel like homework.  Since you’re playing the role of teacher, maybe I could get a written assignment, complete with numbered questions and then you could grade it for me. Could you please think about including extra credit work.  It keeps it fun!

     

     

     

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 1:35 PM
    melissa writes:

    censorship reminder: let’s call it like it is

    Please remember that CAN, the website,  was actually born from an act of censorship by the acupuncture establishment.

    It is YOUR lack of collegiality, right from the start, that has created this polarization that you all publicly lament, while privately just wishing we would all go away. to claim otherwise is false and does not easily lead to reconciliation.  

    Correct me if i’m wrong, but it was the articles that were first published by Lisa in Acupuncture Today back in 2006, that generated a tidal wave of comments and led to Lisa being directly asked to stop submitting any more articles, that they would NOT be published in AT.

    That dismissal created the need for an independent place to continue the discussion among the enthusiastic professionals that were finally finding a place to create the kind of profession they had been yearning for and was being summarily dismissed by the acu establishment. Viola! CAN was born.

    Whatever pretty, patronizing language you want to put around it, CA has
    been met with nothing less than derision, marginalization, and outright
    hostility by the acu establishment over and over again.

    The acu establishment continues to show its censorship stripes (although couched behind that pseudo-“collegiality”) by ingoring and trying to silence and undermine the thousands of “stakeholders” opposed to the FPD, undermining those coments in favor of calling out the abuse of Title IV funds by acu schools, by refusing to teach CA classes requested by students in acu schools or by “phasing” out CA clinics as they become the most popular and, in general, deriding CA with words like “chaotic” “anarchy” “devaluing” “cut-rate” “dangerous” etc etc

    “Too few are willing to put in the time or energy to do the work that
    makes our profession possible and everyone is willing to complain ad
    nauseam, let’s change that together.”

    We are. Changing that. Tried to do it with you, had to do it in spite of you. Have been working for that change for the past six years or so, and with a completely volunteer Executive Board, Board of Directors and organization of thousands.

    “basic values and structural considerations we can all agree on.”

    I may be speaking just for myself here, but i’m not sure that is actually possible. You continue to tell us that we are “devaluing the profession,” insult our patients for being stupid enough or uneducated enough to not want to pay what they cannot afford for what they have been never convinced can actually work, block our colleagues from seeking the education they request at a price they can afford, and then berate us for bringing OUR “basic values and structural considerations” to the table. and you wonder why we tire of participating in the abusive, one-sided discussion? (i was just reminded of back in 2009 when you referred to us so
    “collegially” in your AOM group as “loud-mouthed, undereducated,
    over-opinionated low-level practitioners”)

    if there were really a spirit of collegiality being modeled on your part, you would be praising, not deriding, our efforts to spread acupuncture to the masses, to grow the profession, to create actual acu jobs. you would be asking questions, coming to observe our clinics, attending our workshops and meetings, promoting CA in acu schools and inviting us to participate in meaningful debates on the future of the profession—not after the fact, and under protest, but before any controversy and out of a sense of progress.  

    “We need people who can moderate difficult discussions and hold people accountable without excluding, censoring, or demeaning.”

    we agree. we just don’t think the acu establishment has earned that trust—see above.

    We know what collegiality feels like, because it’s all over this website and in over 160 mutually supportive clinics across the country and beyond.

    And we’ll know it when it comes from the acu establishment because it will sound and feel like truth, like you taking responsibility for your own efforts to block us at every turn and it will come through in a willingness to recognize that our acu culture is as valuable as yours.  Until then, you are not really reaching out in good faith, but continuing to tell us to sit down and shut up unless we choose to play your way.

    There is a reason that it is called truth and reconciliation, in that order.

    Melissa

    Good health is not a measure of adapting to a sick society.

    When the power of love outshines the love of power, the world will know peace.

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 1:52 PM
    Guest writes:

    Censorship and CAN’s Business Model Mission

    Larry -

    I suppose I could bust the questions out so they are clearer to you. Or, you could ask for specifics in order to clarify what you don’t understand.

    In the interim, I still don’t get the gap between the rhetoric on these pages and your official positions. Maye it is time to change the mission statement and the policy docs.

    [[[4. Challenging the authority of the CAN Board in any way,
    including challenging any moderating action, is grounds for
    immediate banning from the forums.

    5. Constitutional rights to “free speech” do not apply to private
    forums. If the Board decides that you and/or your posts are not
    useful, you are out.]]]

    ....

    [[[...Due to the many sacrifices the Board has made for
    community acupuncture, they gleefully embrace the role of
    heavy-handed tyrants; they have fully earned it. If people wish to
    read different viewpoints and perspectives about community acupuncture,
    they will find those viewpoints represented EVERYWHERE ELSE in the
    acupuncture world. The CAN Board feels no obligation to represent or to
    tolerate here the points of view of people with whom they disagree.]]]

    This is not an open forum, according to the documents. How am I supposed to understand who CAN is when who you say you are and your documents controvert the discussions that people put forth?

    [[[Community Acupuncture Network (CAN) is a non-profit organization ...whose goal is to make acupuncture more affordable and accessible by promoting the practice of offering acupuncture in community settings for a sliding scale ranging within $15-40 a treatment.]]]

    This mission statement speaks to a business model. Also, waiting still for goals and strategic objectives. These are the documents that I find more reliable in distinguishing the nature of an organization - far more than casual blogging.

    Warmly,

    Will

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 2:00 PM
    melissa writes:

    once you decide on yours

    please send them as well. it seems like the AOM google group has been rife with discussions lately in trying to define the “strategic goals and objectives” for the AOM profession for quite some time…why, it looks like going on over 20 years in fact!

    Melissa

    Good health is not a measure of adapting to a sick society.

    When the power of love outshines the love of power, the world will know peace.

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 2:06 PM
    Skip writes:

    Sure, Steven

    Go ahead.

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 2:13 PM
    LarryG writes:

    thanks, teach

     

    But first an assignment for you.  Respond to Karen Bryant, MD regarding her issues with your article.  This thread has raised other issues than those within our “dialogue”.  Do you have any interest in doing this?  If not, why? I think it would be helpful for us all to see that conversation to take place.   

     

     

     

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 2:28 PM
    Jessica Feltz writes:

    Goals & Strategic Objectives

    Will, you won’t find the document(s) you seek, because you’re mistaking us for a spider.  If you want a sense of what we’re planning to do over the next year, read this.

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 4:27 PM
    Guest writes:

    Tone

    Larry -

    I am not here to teach you. Further, I doubt that you are sincere in this characterization.  My name is Will, I prefer that you call me that or by my earned title, Dr. Morris. I do not accept your attempt to place me in a role as your teacher - such an act requires a two way agreement. Further, it is likely insincere on your part, tongue in cheek and sarcastic. The tone here seems immature and rife with authority issues.

    I am attempting to get answers to questions that I raised in response to your comments on Cultural Competency. If you don’t want to answer, just say so.

    As for Karyn Bryant, I will consider a response to her as soon as we work out the bases for dialog.

    Warmly,

    Will

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 4:42 PM
    Guest writes:

    Melissa -

    Not sure what

    Melissa -

    Not sure what you are talking bout here. My what? I am not here representing anyone but my self.

    W

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 4:46 PM
    Guest writes:

    Metaphors Aside - I don’t

    Metaphors Aside - I don’t speak spider or starfish.

    Jessica - thank you for directly responding to one of my questions. That is appreciated.

    I participated in CAN for more than a year, reading the documents. My assessment is that there is a heavy focus on the business model. Look at the criteria for being listed as a CAN clinic. If the mission of CAN moves away from citing a business model, then I can be in a position of representing my understanding of CAN on the terms that have been presented here.

    Warmly,

    Will

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 4:51 PM
    LarryG writes:

    We already did that

    work out the bases for dialogue, that is.  We have a posting policy.  You can either honor it or not.  If anyone breaks them, including you, moderators act accordingly.  Is that not clear?  Post here or don’t but our rules for conversation aren’t going to change now or later in order for you to feel safe.  If you feel like posting what you write here on another site, that is your decision.  Have at it.

    As far as authority issues, my only issue is this: you assume authority that you do not have around here and carry that air around with you in the manner in which you communicate.   I guess we both have issues with tone.   As far as answering your questions, I do not feel under obligation to spell things out for you.  Hang around and earn an understanding.  That’s how we do around here.  While you are conducting what looks like field research, we are running a movement and as such have wildly different priorities. 

     

     

     

     

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 5:09 PM
    Nora writes:

    Tone policing?  Seriously?

    Will, please quit trying to set the rules for how we engage with you.  And, by the way, if Larry’s (or my, or Jessica’s, or Melissa’s, or Lisa’s, or ANYONE’s) tone, or our policies, do not seem “particularly inviting,” it’s because you were not particularly invited.  You’re more than welcome, but not *particularly.*  So please quit demanding particular ways of being handled—I’m sure you’re not that delicate—and have the decency to answer Karen, who is not a CAN member and was (I would think) perfectly polite and professional enough to “deserve” a response.

    And while homework is being handed out, here’s some stuff that’s been on the internet for years, that you might find helpful:

    http://www.derailingfordummies.com/#notlistening

    http://theangryblackwoman.com/2008/02/12/the-privilege-of-politeness/

    http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2008/05/feminism-101-on-anger.html

    I can find lots more where that came from, if that’s not enough.

     

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 6:49 PM
    David Lesseps writes:

    a skinnier reply column

    Larry, 

    Perhaps you should settle into a meditative posture on Dr. Morris’ doorstep until  he accepts you as a student.  Your Gung Fu is really good, but you need the warm wisdom of a true master to temper your wild and willful heart.

     

    David The Punk from SF (my earned title)

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 7:20 PM
    melissa writes:

    you said:

    “Also, waiting still for goals and strategic objectives (of CAN).” 

    so i am asking for you to present “your” meaning the AOM group’s “strategic goals and objectives”  since you often speak on behalf of “the profesion” there or as a school administrator and active member of the established AOM professional orgs (past president of AAAOM, i believe).

    my belabored point being that it seems that these goals and objectives have been the source of constant infighting for years,  looong before CAN came along and started ruffling feathers.

    or we might even ask you to present your own personal “goals and strategic objectives” if you now wish to claim that you do not speak for anyone else:  

    like what exactly was your point in writing the AT article and choosing to point
    to CAN specifically twice—but no other acu organization—in the context of  “cultural competency” if not to provoke a response from us? one might have included NADA or Dr Tan or any number of other acu orgs that fall outside the acu mainstream but you did not do that.

    you published in the widely read, freely distributed AT publication and now try to deflect the heart of the criticisms with your argument by crying censorship, pointing the finger at the CAN blog and wanting to retreat  into the AOM group, a forum that is easly as moderated as the CAN blog. seems like a lot of effort to avoid, not engage in, dialogue.

    Melissa

    Good health is not a measure of adapting to a sick society.

    When the power of love outshines the love of power, the world will know peace.

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 8:26 PM
    David Lesseps writes:

    Warning: heavy handed moderation

    In the interest of legibility, please try not to add comments to multi-tiered comment threads.  Doing so creates a column that is too narrow to easily read.  

    If you feel a strong need to comment on a particular part of a thread that has become too narrow, post a small reply  stating “see long-winded reply at bottom”, or something similar.

    With warm love from your moderator,

    David The Punk from SF

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 9:52 PM
    melissa writes:

    perfect example

    to avoid silly skinny columns, see reply below

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 9:55 PM
    melissa writes:

    long winded reply to above

    sorry David, i was away from my usual computer and thought this went in as a regular reply-that column is silly…

    perfect example

    On 1:12pm December 28th, 2010 melissa said:

    to Will,

    Jessica offers an actual explanation of our unorthodox
    organizational arrangement and you derisively dismiss it, refuse to
    seriously consider it—as you say push it “aside”—with that
    patronizing tone you can’t seem to see is such and insult: “i don’t
    speak spider or starfish.” demeaning, derisive, not open to dialogue or
    attempt at understanding.

    can’t you see where this began? please see my comments above
    regarding the way the tone was set back in 2006, when AT dismissed
    Lisa’a articles and created what is now CAN, with its posting policy,
    similar to most other blogs.

    just curious, you joined CAN in January of 09 in the heat of your
    being a primary backer of the FPD. why did you join exactly? genuine
    curiousity and admiration of CA? did you ask any questions along the
    way? attend a workshop? visit a CA clinic? or was it  primarily to find
    out  what the opposition to the FPD looked like from the inside?

    and of course there is a focus here on promoting the CA business model. but, as Larry
    pointed out (in detail!) it is a means to an end, which is to fulfill
    the medical oath we took to serve patients that are suffering by
    providing acupuncture at affordable rates. it includes a great deal more
    in terms of philosophy, values and right livelihood, which we don’t tend
    to need to spell out in documents because we are living it every day.

    what is your point here? you promote the FPD and advancement for professionals; we promote affordable acupuncture and a more patient-centric acu universe.

    why do you say you want dialogue but reject it when it comes?

    now you say you want us to change our mission statement so you can present your views? why in the world would we do that? 

    can you see now how this leads to the need for a posting policy?
    because folks like you come here to tell us to change our mission
    because you disagree with it.

    honestly, for me, it would just be easier if you and the other acu
    professional org folks would just finally admit it publicly: that you
    hate CAN and all it stands for, and that you only wish to engage in
    dialogue in hopes we will somehow be absorbed or just go away.

    because that is all i hear when you obliquely attack CAN in AT, and
    then refuse to actually defend your arguments when called on them.

    Melissa

    Good health is not a measure of adapting to a sick society.

    When the power of love outshines the love of power, the world will know peace.

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 11:18 PM
    Guest writes:

    Melissa –

    I have a lot

    Melissa –

    I have a lot of projects on my plate, so my time here will necessarily be limited as deadlines loom. I also have to be mindful of my patients.

    Your response is filled with assumptions that have little if any contact with reality, so I will take them a step at a time. I see my attempt at humor is taken as patronizing, demeaning and derisive.

    OK – let’s look at this further.  You ask “can’t you see where this began?” Then you raise that “AT dismissed Lisa’a articles and created what is now CAN, with its posting policy, similar to most other blogs.” ??? This makes no sense. I have no relationship with AT other than to write a column. Are you confusing me with AT – this is getting really weird.

    You ask why I joined CAN in January of 09.  You also ask if I asked questions. My questions were: How does this work? What is the model? And it was not necessary to post those questions; it was in the archives that I found answers to my questions. My interests were because I felt that this is an important approach to care and I want my students exposed. I went to clinics and I had community acupuncture clinical practitioners presenting in business classes.  I further set up clinical rotations for our students with CAN models.

    I also serve on the AAAOM education committee. In that role, I participated in work on master degree standards and FPD standards. I have also developed 2 DAOM programs. One of my areas of interest is in program development and articulating programs in terms of competencies. This was an area that I felt was lacking in the accreditation standards, so I paid to travel and contribute to that conversation.

    I do not want you to change your mission statement. It is just that if you are not about business, then why sell s mission statements that indicates that you are? There is a huge gap here that is only explained by attacking me.

    I do not disagree with your mission statement I like it. It makes CAN focused upon a business model: one that I like. But if you are going to tell me that you are not about business as Larry and many others have, then the lack of integrity between what is said and done becomes glaring. Do what you will. Given the mission statement, CAN is a business model focused organization.  I am not the one who says that is not true – y’all are. In any regard, please do post policy, cause it helps to build trust and I certainly do not trust or feel safe presenting my views here.

    If the CAN business model is a “means to an end, …and includes a great deal more
    in terms of philosophy, values and right livelihood”, then let it be shown. Why must I be ensconced in CAN culture to get it? Why must I drink the cool-aid? Why not have transparent documentation of your positions even if you live it? You say I promote FPD and advancement for professionals and suggest that I don’t promote affordable acupuncture in a patient centered acu-universe. Oh thou who art holier than me. I ensure more than 60,000 patient visits per year that cost $0-$5-$15-$25 a treatment depending on the communicate and facilities where those services are provided. I am committed to a class free access to the practices of Chinese medicine in Northern America. But, while you expect me to becomes fully ensconced in your culture, you do not take the time to find out about me, my values and my work. You make many of the same logical errors that Larry made and never responded to. But, that is CAN communication style and it is consistent. Remain blinded so that you can continue to dismiss the other.

    I have not rejected dialog. I am trying to find out what the rules are and no-one is willing to define where the line is. So, we will go until we find out.

    I did not “obliquely attack CAN” in AT. This is an area for the field to address. I think that CAN is an important dialog for the profession and I have actively attempted to create forums in the national professional association arena. CAN is an area where the profession can engage in the development of Cultural Competencies.

    I don’t get where you and Larry get your super powers to know my thoughts, feelings, and motivations. This is a bizarre setup. You say that I “hate CAN and all it stands for” and that I “only wish to engage in dialogue in hopes we will somehow be absorbed or just go away.” Where have I ever said that? That is incredible. It is out of contact with reality and stunning. The courtesy of a little bit of check in to see what is true. Just like Larry you and I have never spent time together, you have no idea where I live with this. I will post elsewhere as to why I let my CAN membership lapse. But this kind of stuff is certainly part of it.

    Will

      0 likes
  • December 28 2010 at 11:44 PM
    Guest writes:

    CAN culture of personal attacks

    Jessica

    OK - so personal attacks are part of the CAN culture?

    W

      0 likes
  • December 29 2010 at 12:37 AM
    Jessica Feltz writes:

    First,

    you whined that the blogs are “censored,” creating an “unjust” and “unreasonable” forum for debate.  (None of the other commentators that I linked to were prevented from expressing their argumentative opinions on our “censored” blogs, which was my point.)

    Then, you complained that I “attacked” you…it sounds like you are stating that I did not “behave” the way (I) have been trained to, that (my) social behaviors were inappropriate.

    First we censor too heavily and then not enough.   

    Why don’t you do us all a favor and cut the netiquette crap.  Dr. Bryant’s comments are here.  Please respond. 

      0 likes
  • December 29 2010 at 12:38 AM
    Jessica Feltz writes:

    Reply

    Here.

      0 likes
  • December 29 2010 at 1:05 AM
    melissa writes:

    *sigh*

    yes, your “attempt at humor” was derisive, or we are just too dense to understand it

    there is no confusion about my association with you and AT, just a history lesson about why CAN exists and the missed opportunities for dialogue by the profession

    genuine thanks for getting lots of people acupuncture and exposing your students to it!

    but as a strong proponent of FPD, and high-priced acu education, you derail many possibilities of students actually implementing a CA practice.

    in your censorship comment above, i quote you directly: “Maye it is time to change the mission statement and the policy docs.”

    you don’t have to drink anything, but it seems clear that many thousands of others come here and seem to “get it” without “documents”

    the posting policy is available and has been pointed out to you repeatedly, so i believe it might be you that is not having much “contact with reality”

    i don’t claim to know anything about your inner thoughts, and can really only go by the words that come out. many people come here to dialogue and we don’t feel like their tone is quite so patronizing

    you still haven’t addressed any of the points made about your original article, especially those of Dr. Karen Bryant.

    Melissa

    Good health is not a measure of adapting to a sick society.

    When the power of love outshines the love of power, the world will know peace.

      0 likes
  • December 29 2010 at 1:20 AM
    Guest writes:

    responded in the community forums where you posted

    Sidenote: It is sad to see the tone directed at Will in these threads, it is completely unnecessary.

    Sidenote2: the CAPTCHA’s are exceptionally difficult for some reason, when CAN renovates the website it might be a good ideas to consider captcha.net.

      0 likes
  • December 29 2010 at 2:18 AM
    Guest writes:

    Nora -
    Thanks for these

    Nora -

    Thanks for these links, they are informative and useful.

    I referred to no one’s tone as inviting, rather, it was the policy statements for participation to which I referred. OK - I will say - it is flat out uninviting. And, I recall a couple of posts where Larry’s presentation was framed as an invitation for me to participate. Further, without the courtesy of a communication to me, the author, Larry copied my post in another forum to this location.

    That did pull me in whether or not by invitation. Once here, I attempted to get an idea what the rules are to no avail. It is still not clear what kind of communication will cause a “tyrannical” act of censorship or excommunication - all powers claimed by the board. I then attempted to set some standard, primarily because I find it difficult to engage with people without clarity. One thing is clear: it is not collaborative or co-operative, rather, it is more like a bully pulpit.

    There are documents including the mission statement that focus on business as the purpose for CAN, but people say this is not what CAN is about. Where is reality here? It is a bit fuzzy. I can’t tell if it is deliberate obfuscation, outright lies, ignorance or some perspective I haven’t considered. Maybe you can help as while you bring forward a social agenda that authorizes rage as a medium for interaction, your communications with me have been somewhat respectful and responsive. It is not enough for people to say “you haven’t been a real participant here or you would know.” I look at the artifacts of the organization and asked for an explanation of the gap between the documentation and the rhetoric - Larry refuses to respond in any meaningful way as do others. I offer a solution, and receive ridicule as a patronizing and authoritarian “teacher” giving assignments. Now I see that you engage in the same demeaning metaphor.

    So - given the fact that I have not had anyone give me the purpose for CAN other than to tell me about my shortcomings and lack of participation or I would “know” -  the view I am now formulating is this, despite the pleadings and assertions by participants here: CAN is about a business model, and the forum is a bully pulpit.

    So - I now join y’all in the unsavory ways of communication present within this culture. Ones that involve being nasty and namecalling.

      0 likes
  • December 29 2010 at 2:18 AM
    Guest writes:

    Power-Title and Cultural Competence

    Dear Karen

    You apparently read my article in detail. You also carefully choose to recognize me as Mr. Morris, when it is clear that I go by Will. You also ignore my earned doctoral degree. This is a common power ploy in conventional medicine. It is one that is designed to sustain the class privilege of the physician over other classes of health care providers. What is bizarre, is that many on this list play into the same abuses of class and privilege by flaunting your degree in this forum while dismissing mine. Yet, they claim a social sophistication.

    As an immediate resolution, let’s play this out. I can respectfully call you Karen, Ms. Bryant, Mrs. Bryant, Dr. Bryant. Whatever you choose. I would ask the same courtesy. If you use professional title, please address me accordingly. If you use first name, I am happy with that, I prefer an environment where stripes and badges are not used as currency of power. So – Will and Karen can speak, Dr. Bryant and Dr. Morris can speak, or any combination. I merely request the respect of parity wihtout the subtle discrimination that has been present throughout your discourse and that of others. For me, if there is a need for formality, then my earned title is appropriate. I prefer first names.

    Providing your credentials doesn’t make you come off as self-righteous and condescending. That is important information and goes to the dialog. Rather, it is the subtle abuse of power by title through which the condescension is achieved. But, I must ask, in your practice of justice based medicine, have you ever ensured the presence of an acupuncturist, naturopath or chiropractor at the policy making table in the medical school or in a hospitalist context? If you have, you are a hero in my book, one that serves the greater public good.

    I offered a non-exclusive list of axes. They were presented not as an extension on the dialog within conventional medicine. Rather it was posed as a set of examples. Obviously AT is not an arena where such a subject could be addressed in depth. Clearly, Karen though more depth should have been present. I agree.

    You are right to bring up that perspective is nothing new. I actually used it as a euphemism for what is called transdiscipline. It is where a third non-included middle is employed to gain access to a dimension of thought that allows for a resolution of the biases contained within the opposite poles. The 9 axes that I presented from Martin & Nakayama, 2006; Ting-Toomey & Chung, 2007 are used in cultural competency programs in university settings. Yes, they do not comport with the redux that medical education has placed upon that matter. But, that environment is designed for first professional degrees. Prejudice, blind spots and bias occur when one adheres or limits ones perspective to one end of an axis or another.

    I did ask people to look 100 hundred years ago towards the status of women and African-Americans in the world to see the ravages of certainty. Yes, REALLY! It was hell. And the system was certain that it was right. Maybe you can explain why such an observation makes it difficult to take my comments seriously.

    I like the “key dicta” that you cite. Including: “1) Learning to avoid cultural generalizations while respecting and acknowledging difference, 2) Exploring the values we (instructors, trainees, patients) bring into the profession and how they influence our personal and professional lives as well as our responses to diverse patient cultures, and 3) Exploring our underlying assumptions about self and other with an aim of understanding our constructions of difference and power.” Absolutely, it is good stuff and a great contribution to the dialog.

    The sweeping cultural generalizations are in this case designed to define two ends of a continuum of general experience. They are not used as generalizations about any individual or group. The axes are, however, present in some form in most cultures. The problem of generalization comes to bear when the logical distinctions between class and individual are transgressed or conflated. That is, we cannot apply a generalization to an individual. But how do we discuss compare and contrast issues of gender (anima-animus) and temporality in different cultures? Are we to ignore such critical thought in order to avoid a “cultural insensitivity?”

    People, mea culpa for not capping Community Acupuncture Network. That was unintentional after working on a series of documents where proper names are not capped. In any regard, I did cap CAN.

    But, Karen, you too are entering topics into the mission statement that do not exist. There is nothing there about practicing justice-based medicine, or about eliminating the power differential between patients and clinicians. It might be implied, but if that is the mission, why can’t people say what they are doing? This is not me asking for a change of mission statement. I could care less about that. What I care about is saying what I do and doing what I say. It is a matter of integrity. Anyway, just as the others, you are going off of the mission statement and adding things that you have made up.

    Lastly, I have seen the lens projected outward in these forums, and not inward. Maybe you could point me towards some “microscopic content” in these forums that are “tough, gritty, raw and poignant” self-reflections? To date, what I see are projections.

    Respectfully,

    Will

      0 likes
  • December 29 2010 at 3:09 AM
    LarryG writes:

    Q & A- kind of

     
    pulled from various posts. lots of cutting and pasting so forgive the formatting.

    Q-Am I misinforming readers that “CAN is about a “practice business model”?

    A-
    CAN obviously has a business model and it is enforced as per LOC
    standards.  What I have tried to convey to you, and what I think you
    have referred to as rhetoric, is that the business model (sliding scale,
    hours, location, hybrid) is one part of how CAN functions to create on a local, national and global level an  “environment of
    inclusion for diverse, working class communities in regards
    to both training and access to care and the business model is ancillary
    to that
    goal”.  When you say “practice business model” you are referring to the rules of LOC inclusion
    criteria.  However, as an organization CAN is working hard to uphold the principles and values of access to education, access to care, equal rights, sustainability
    and social justice. When you wrote “the
    current
    embattlement from community acupuncture network seeking lower cost
    training in
    acupuncture in order to serve the community acupuncture business model”
    in your Cultural Competency piece, I objected to you reducing CAN to its
    objective LOC inclusion criteria, effectively discounting the
    subjective values that actually created the criteria.  The business
    model/LOC inclusion criteria DO NOT EXIST without the values that created
    and uphold them.  Those values are what CAN is “about” while the
    business model/LOC inclusion criteria are the logistical tools we use to
    act on those values. Is this clear?  If not, I do not know what else to
    say.

    Q- The incongruence between what you say and what your official documents
    say is rather large. There are a number of perspectives that I can use
    to understand this problem, but I would like to hear yours before
    speculating.

    It would be useful to see CAN’s goals and strategic objectives
    especially those that convey creating, “an environment of inclusion for
    diverse, working class communities in regards to both training and access to care and the business model is ancillary to that goal.”

    Maybe it is time to change the mission statement and the policy docs. 

    A- At this time, CAN does not have an official document that
    details the subjective values and principles behind the objective business model/LOC
    inclusion criteria nor our goals and strategic objectives.  Those values, etc have been discussed in length on the blog
    and in the forums by members for more than 4 years, as well as in training workshops and in several books by Lisa and now Andy. 
    An *official* statement of CAN’s values and how they relate to our
    mission, strategies and goals wouldn’t be a bad idea, though.  I for
    one take them for granted because I live and breathe community
    acupuncture and CAN and I know many others here do the same.     

    Q-
    [[[4. Challenging the authority of the CAN Board in any way,
    including challenging any moderating action, is grounds for
    immediate banning from the forums.
    5. Constitutional rights to “free speech” do not apply to private
    forums. If the Board decides that you and/or your posts are not
    useful, you are out.]]]
    ....
    [[[...Due to the many sacrifices the Board has made for
    community acupuncture, they gleefully embrace the role of
    heavy-handed tyrants; they have fully earned it. If people wish to
    read different viewpoints and perspectives about community acupuncture,
    they will find those viewpoints represented EVERYWHERE ELSE in the
    acupuncture world. The CAN Board feels no obligation to represent or to
    tolerate here the points of view of people with whom they disagree.]]]This is not an open forum, according to the documents. How am I supposed
    to understand who CAN is when who you say you are and your documents
    controvert the discussions that people put forth? [[[Community Acupuncture Network (CAN) is a non-profit organization
    ...whose goal is to make acupuncture more affordable and accessible by
    promoting the practice of offering acupuncture in community settings for
    a sliding scale ranging within $15-40 a treatment.]]]
    This mission statement speaks to a business model.

    A-Our moderating policy is primarily there to prevent trolling.  Do you know what that is?  Here is a link.

    You
    can discuss things and have debate without being a troll.  We
    haven’t removed any of your content yet because we do not think you are
    trolling.  You are not posting for mere reaction.  You have come across
    as smug and condescending from my perspective, as I have come across as
    sarcastic to you.  Neither of these things are trolling per se. So, you
    can attempt to understand more about CAN without trolling and all will
    be well.  You won’t be “censored”.   

    Q-Also, waiting still for goals and strategic objectives.

    A- I answered this above.

    The rest of these are from your post to Melissa, but I will address them. I also would like to address comments you made in response to Melissa that included me.

    Q-How does this work? What is the model?

    A- The model is
    the combination of the objective business model/LOC inclusion criteria
    and the subjective principles and values of access to education, access
    to care, equal rights, sustainability
    and social justice. This is currently
    encapsulated by “Our mission” on the homepage.  You initially reduced CAN to its objective features while leaving out the subjective values and principles that gave birth to CAN.  

    Q-It is just that if you are not about business, then why sell a mission statements that indicates that you are? 

    A-I never said CAN was not about business(more below).

    The
    mission on the home page is a short statement that admittedly does not
    include much of the subjective aspects of CAN and CA.  In fact, it does not include all the LOC inclusion criteria either.  Directly below “Our Mission”, however, we see “How about joining an online community of acupuncturists who are not only
    doing something, but who will share all the nuts and bolts of how you
    can transform your practice into something that not only makes your
    living but embodies your ideals?”  “Ideals?  What Ideals?”  And then people usually poke around and/or join CAN.  Or not.  

    Those values and
    principles, those ideals, take a while to understand in some cases, some do not care
    about them while others are primarily motivated by them.  LOC inclusion
    can not possibly measure ones subjective values and principles, only
    objective logistical markers for a clinic.  The mission clearly states
    affordability and access as the goal of those markers, however.  Embracing them and others leads to greater success as far as we can
    tell.  I do not have data to support this claim.  But at the very least
    it seems clear that those that fully embrace the subjective values and
    principles are inspired and happy people loving what they do, which
    leads to a lot of folks getting acupuncture.  Creating this is what CAN
    is “about”.  That is why I said the business model was ancillary to that
    goal.  In truth, they can’t exist without each other.  But the
    feeling generated during and after a busy shift(20+people/4hours) is a big part of why
    I love what I do and work to help others succeed.  I would be so bold
    as to state that others here love the feeling of being in community as
    well and through CAN they get to share how to better integrate
    themselves into their physical community within an online community of
    likeminded folks.  Win-win.  You see, it is impossible for me to riff
    about what CAN is without espousing what you called “rhetoric”.  We may
    have to work on an official document of rhetoric then. 

    Ultimately, the current mission statement as well as the “Join Now” reflect a balance between the business model and our values.  People have to dig deep past that.  Perhaps what one sees and how far they go is a result of their perspective. 

    Q-But if you are going to tell me that you are not about business as Larry
    and many others have, then the lack of integrity between what is said
    and done becomes glaring.

    A- I never told you that CAN is not
    about business.  Not once.  I stated that CAN promotes a business model
    that is founded on certain values and has the goal of creating secure
    communities.  “The business model is a
    delivery vehicle, like a cigarette is a delivery vehicle for nicotine.
    The CA
    business model delivers relationships and results in a more secure
    community.
    And CAN, ultimately, is a delivery vehicle for a movement that is very
    concerned with organizing secure communities at the local, national and
    global
    level.”  I wrote “The CA business model is not an
    endpoint; it is a means to an end. 
    And that end is making acupuncture accessible to working class people,
    plain and simple.”  I wrote “I again recommend that you start to consider that CAN exists to create
    an environment of inclusion for diverse, working class communities in regards
    to both training and access to care and the business model is ancillary to that
    goal”.   So, in reality what CAN is “about” is more than the business model/LOC inclusion criteria, though the business model is essential to the success of a clinic and the movement.  I am trying to point out that CAN is trying to create clinics that balance the objective and the subjective aspects of community acupuncture practice.  But I never said we are not about business.  No business, no busy-ness, no movement.

    Q- I am trying to find out what the rules are and no-one is willing to define where the line is.

    A- You can consider the line trolling as discussed above.

    Q-
    If the CAN business model is a “means to an end, …and includes a great
    deal more
    in terms of philosophy, values and right livelihood”, then let it be
    shown. Why must I be ensconced in CAN culture to get it? Why must I
    drink the cool-aid? Why not have transparent documentation of your
    positions even if you live it?

    A- As a writer, I think you
    should make more of an effort to understand what you are discussing before
    you publish a piece.  That being said, we may work up a larger mission
    statement to address future time consuming exchanges.  

    Q-But, while you expect me to becomes fully ensconced in your culture, you
    do not take the time to find out about me, my values and my work. You
    make many of the same logical errors that Larry made and never responded
    to.

    A- We are not spending our time publishing pieces in AT about
    how Will Morris can be an arena for Cultural Competency work and as such have no obligation to find out anything about
    you.  You, as the writer of an article that appeared in AT and mentioned
    CAN twice, have the obligation to find out about CAN.  If we were going
    to have a dialogue about what is good for the CA movement or the
    profession, finding out about you would be necessary and vice versa. 
    That has not been agreed upon to my knowledge. In any case, I only
    speculated about professional middle class values in regards to you. 
    You confirmed being a professional middle class white male, but stated
    that your values were more complex than what I wrote.  I then asked you
    about Integral and if you had any association with that thought
    framework.  You didn’t reply.  

    I am not sure what logical errors
    you are referring to.  I have tried to answer your questions and have
    not been that successful.  I hope this attempt, which will be my last,
    works for you.

    Q-I don’t get where you and Larry get your super powers to know my thoughts, feelings, and motivations.

    A-
    I am not sure what you are talking about here.  Was it because I wrote
    “These
    classifications of CAN as primarily concerned with a business model
    strikes me
    as something that emanates from a professional middle class value
    sphere,
    concerned as it is with abstractions, status concerns, individualism and
    being
    future rather than present oriented”?  This doesn’t take super powers. 
    It was a speculation and I do not think I attempted to know your
    thoughts, feelings or motivations anywhere else in this encounter.
    Correct me if I am wrong. Maybe you are just getting frustrated?

    Q- You say that I “hate CAN and all it stands for” and that I “only wish to
    engage in dialogue in hopes we will somehow be absorbed or just go
    away.” Where have I ever said that? That is incredible. It is out of
    contact with reality and stunning. The courtesy of a little bit of check
    in to see what is true.Just like Larry you and I have never spent time together, you have no idea where I live with this.

    A-
    True, we haven’t spent time together.  But I never said anything about you wanting CAN to
    go bye-bye or your hatred of CAN, so I do not appreciate you coupling me
    with this comment to Melissa.  You misrepresent me here. 

     

    That
    is all, Will.  I tried to get to all the questions that you wanted
    answers for.  Hopefully, I was successful.   

     

     

     

     

      0 likes
  • December 29 2010 at 8:40 AM
    Guest writes:

    CAN Censorship

    Jessica - it appears that I have located the bounds as one of my posts has been deleted. I now understand that CAN policy is to allow outward castigation but not inward.

    Thanks All!

      0 likes
  • December 29 2010 at 9:53 AM
    Guest writes:

    Errors of Assumption

    Melissa -

    You make some errors of assumption here. You also misrepresent yourself.

    When you say: “honestly, for me, it would just be easier if you and the other acu professional org folks would just finally admit it publicly: that you hate CAN and all it stands for, and that you only wish to engage in dialogue in hopes we will somehow be absorbed or just go away.” I have never said that. I do not hate CAN. I do see the forum where mean spirited rhetoric is encouraged. But, I attribute that to emotional immaturity. So, when you state that “i don’t claim to know anything about your inner thoughts” - there is a problem. Which is it, do you know my inner thoughts or don’t you? This is a magical power claimed by many in this forum including Larry and I fail to see it resolving. Rather, I see its denial which allows such delusions to be maintained.

    I do not serve as a strong proponent of the FPD. I do participate in standards development in all areas that I can. As far as action is concerned. And, I am interested in the debate.

    As for cost of programs, I have already stated that masters program are bloated. I have asked the faculty at our school to reduce the program in order to make it more affordable, the program is already in the bottom 5% cost wise for OM programs. Further, with such a cost structure, the institution gained regional accreditation. And - we expose our students to CAN styles of practice. I do not promote the CAN web site however, because it poses problems related to professional conduct. It’s not that I hate CAN, I love what is happening in America because of it.

    I have already communicated this to CAN leadership in the past. I believe that people should be graduating with doctorates now. There are only a few competency shifts necessary to accomplish that. I am also on record supporting a tiered profession so that people can get work and experience in CAN and NADA style clinics early on. Early CAN leaders said they would support FPD if the structure permitted a tiered entry. They retracted that position.

    I like CAN’s values. I love what CAN has done for patients and practice. I have a real problem with how CAN does it. The name-calling and castigating of the other seems useful to CAN. To me it is non-collegial, inhospitable and creates a bully pulpit, one that values adolescent rages against the machine. BTW - I am not that machine! Past CAN postings have held me up as such - this is the kind of cultural insensitivity that Karen was trying to get at which applies a generalization to an individual.

    I believe that we can deal with difficult issues in ways that are respectful and professional. The argument has been made for rage as the mode. I don’t buy it. But, I am a white, male, middle class, white collar worker, so my views may not hold water here. But, I do not see a commitment to community building outside this environment in these forums. Rather, I see an egoic separation from the whole.

    As a matter of fact in contradiction to the self-congratulatory rhetoric I find in these forums, past CAN leadership have conveyed to me a darker underbelly of CAN. Shadow CAN is one where there is an express intent to destroy the institutions of this field. I hear none of that coming forward in the attempt to show a CAN with a moral high ground. That is, not to say this isn’t an appropriate course of action - that is how this country became what it is. The issue, is that the plans and representations don’t include this intent. So, I don’t want to assume intent. At this stage, I will ask. What is CAN’s current relationship to this strategy? If it is still present, let us not sustain hidden agendas, but rather proceed with transparency.

    Let’s get all of this out in the open and into a dialog. AAAOM has extended their call for papers, Maybe we can get a panel discussion that deals with hot spots such as FPD, tiered practice or any other aspects. Also, with ACAOM and AAAOM seats open, this is a perfect opportunity to participate constructively. If there are people here who want to participate, please contact me and we can cooperatively create a proposal.

    Warmly,

    WIll

      0 likes
  • December 29 2010 at 9:56 AM
    Guest writes:

    Thanks Larry

    This is helpful. I am also seeing that the censorship policy, while framed as tyrannical by the board in the policy docs, is actually not that on the ground and in action. Also good. I will read your responses and reflect.

    Warmly,

    Will

      0 likes
  • December 29 2010 at 12:19 PM
    Jessica Feltz writes:

    Will ~

    I have checked with the Moderators, but neither they nor I have removed any of your posts.  Perhaps there was a computer glitch when you posted it?  Please resubmit what has been lost.

      0 likes
  • December 29 2010 at 2:40 PM
    melissa writes:

    dear will

    i appreciate you staying in the game and for finally speaking in a tone i can understand: honest, without artifice—it’s very refreshing. i mean this sincerely.

    for me, THIS feels like collegiality. and perhaps this is the point of the entire debate for me: you  (and the “profession”) mostly insist that we speak your language—what you deem the “professional” way, the “right way” and which i and many others percieve as pretentious and wasteful. you refuse to attempt to hear us in our own language, which is yes, sometimes heated and messy (for us, when we know things are getting real, that this might be a person we can know and respect.) to me, this refusal is privilege and that is why you elicit a visceral reaction from “straddlers” like myself. if i choose to, i can certainly pull from my elite education and my time walking among you and speak your language but i choose to honor the values from my upbringing and to purposely speak plainly. i find it allows for  more honest communication and gets things done more quickly.

    but too often it goes this other way. you refer to CAN twice in a public article. you then act wide-eyed surprised that we may want to respond and would do so here, where we generally do that, and not in  AT where we are clearly not welcome. (except you had to know this would be the case, having been a CAN member, and you admit to wanting to engage in debate).

    i, too, have many things on my plate today and will have other comments later. but for now,

    thank you for publicly stating your love for CAN.

    thank you for going on record in word and deed in support of lower cost acu education

    you
    say are “not that machine” but you ask us to present our passionate
    arguments not by creating clinics and getting on with the work of
    helping patients but in a “call for papers,” and by joining the
    AAAOM—implying that this is the only way to “participate
    constructively” this is troubling to me for laying any groundwork for
    dialogue-see above.

    as far as knowing your thoughts, perhaps you are right that i
    grouped
    you mistakenly with others. if this is true, then i do apologize.

    and,
    although i suspect Larry does have some super powers, i, sadly, do not.
    what i do have is a very low tolerance for duplicitous behavior (not by
    you specifically but by the alphabets—more for another blog) and for
    patronizing. i also have a passionate and
    emotional approach to my life’s calling and probably a healthy dose of
    what you characterize as adolescent rage against the machine, triggered
    most dangerously when “the machine” seems to want to ignore and
    perpetuate human suffering (of patients, debt-ridden students, punks without jobs). especially one that is supposed to be
    relieving it! i admit, it just makes me cross-eyed crazy! you may see
    this as adolescent, i see it as honest and it has led to the
    construction of a neighborhood clinic and work nationally to create the
    possibility of many, many more.

    to make a clumsy metaphor:

    you shit-talked someone down the street from the guy’s local diner. he heard about it and started a conversation about it with his buddies over breakfast. you found out about it and decided to stop in—to set him straight. when you got there you asked how were you supposed to find a seat. the patrons all said “no problem, just grab a seat,” but you waited, standing at the door, insisting that someone explain how you should be seated. people started to kind of ignore you or joke around: buddy just grab a seat, will ya? and tell us what you came to say. you get offended—why shouldn’t they just have a sign explaining that most people just grab a seat? a few more people pipe in to get on with the conversation, because honestly, we don’t have all day here. You begin by saying that the guy misinterpreted your shit-talk about him, and that if he wanted to repeat what you said, he should have asked you first and that if he wants to talk about it he can come by your fancy office. that that is really the “professional” way of going about things and getting work done.the guy you bad-mouthed, by the way, is the general contractor building your new office.

    there is general eye-rolling about what it means to get things done. somebody just asks hey, if you don’t like the guy or whatever, just cop to it, why don’t ya?

    you are more offended because you feel this isn’t true and why would these people think otherwise (you’ve been going around in the background saying good stuff about him, trying to broker agreements to build stuff if he’ll agree to cutting some corners) so you list all the ways you really do like the guy and think what he’s building is great but you had this one thing to say and it just felt easier to do it on the other side of the street where you feel more comfortable. what’s wrong with that?

    i mean it’s not like you could come to THIS diner regularly—you’re convinced that it’s down right dangerous. and you sure as heck couldn’t bring any of your students here, because they would get the wrong idea of what it is to be professional. so instead you invite these diner folks to come to your office building (where they are always made to feel out of place—no one knows how to talk shop or tell jokes or just , you know, be normal), but mysteriously, they would prefer to have the meeting here at the diner. but again, you make it clear (or your friends do-sorry, we can’t tell all you suits apart, you seem to trade jobs a lot) over and over and over again that it’s just to unsavory and dangerous for you to come to the diner to try to discuss important subjects.

    people naturally feel insulted personally and on behalf of their diner family and wait for you to leave or start calling you out well, if you don’t seem to like us and won’t talk to us like we’re not stupid, maybe we can’t have much of a conversation. you insist we’re making wrong assumptions all the time and are obviously immature and filled with rage why should we talk to you? so you will need to leave, convinced that you were right all along. unbeknownst to you sitting right there that day among all the fantastic normal folks are also multiple PHDs, award winners, and scholars as well as all manner of people you could probably have great conversations and maybe even go fishing with but now you’ll never know. these people moslty grew up at this diner and know they can be themselves here. newer people just blended in and got to know people and helped out and are now treasured regulars, too. I mean, i could go on and on with this, like when you just come and admit, hey, i’m not sure what i was thinking but i really wanted to have a chance to talk with you guys, and felt kind of weird about it so i published that strange article that shit-talked that guy but  i actually love the food here ( i go to another diner sometimes) and maybe i can start coming a little more without the drama, we could get to know each other better…or your office friends who know they’ll hate it here could just stay with that and not come and ruin our meal by insisting we have to come eat at their office and talk about shit we don’t see making a difference in our lives. we’re busy building houses and having fun and making friends and talking with people who understand our language. we know it makes some people crazy, and their talk makes us crazy , too. we just try to stay busy and keep things open because sometimes people really surprise us.

    well, that was silly, but there you go.

    warmly, from my seat in the diner,
    Melissa

    ps. the pie here kicks ass!! 

    Good health is not a measure of adapting to a sick society.

    When the power of love outshines the love of power, the world will know peace.

      0 likes
  • December 29 2010 at 3:03 PM
    Nora writes:

    hey Will - I’m taking a step back here.

    Can I ask you sincerely what you mean when you say “CAN is an area where the profession can engage in the development of Cultural Competencies”?  I don’t think of CAN as an “area” so it’s really not clear to me what you mean.  I read your article several times and it’s not clear to me there, either; is CAN meant to be an example of an institution that is culturally “incompetent,” or were you perhaps meaning to suggest that CAN as an organization is addressing issues of cultural competency in ways that might be useful to the profession as a whole?

    Or (a third, very “meta” possibility) is the way this conversation got derailed an example of the kind of misunderstanding *within* the acupuncture profession that you think improved cultural competency could help with?  Because it seems that you want CANers to behave according to the standards of your professional culture; but you don’t seem to see that your standards are just part of a certain culture and therefore not necessarily better than our standards/culture.  Does that make sense?

      0 likes
  • December 29 2010 at 3:16 PM
    tessmcginn writes:

    your attention please!

    I have been a paying member of CAN before it was CAN and I followed Lisa’s writings since she was first published in AT so I actually have some observational expertise on this discussion.

    What i have observed is anyone who has any kind of desicion-making power within the organization is not impartial.  And as a dues paying member I also will say that I am not impartial.  We do tend to defend our positions and are not prone to self-reflection.  At least on this forum.  That sounds bad huh?  Well it’s not.

    Melissa, Larry, Nora, Lisa and the list goes on are highly principled people who will defend our collective principles of social justice, platform of patient first, and increase access to acupuncture through high-volume, low cost (for 70% of the population anyway) business models.  None of us are in complete agreement on all aspects of these principles; just like the founding fathers of this country had much discussion before committing itself to the constitution of the United States.  

    But our country is CAN.  Our country is not the entire acupuncture community.  I don’t think any of us on CAN has any illusions that our viewpoints are easily and universally accepted within the entire acupuncture community.  Some people wish that we could “all just get along” and I do too.  But if getting along means changing what CAN represents then I welcome the fight.  CAN walks the walk and most others in the acupuncture community just talk the talk.  My fellow CAN members are changing the world one patient at a time.  That is not a perfect stating, but a working one.

    It seems that Will wants to have a conversation and doesn’t appreciate the “tone.”  I can appreciate that but I think the continued insistence on “correct tone” is just a way of derailing the conversation.  As my in-laws would say, “Toughen up Will.”  Or perhaps you want to go back to forums where everyone plays nicey-nice and nothing truly substantial ever gets exchanged.

    Truthfully I have not read every post on this thread.  Frankly it’s just too boring.  But I do agree with you about your issue with the physician who addressed cultural competency and did not abide your credentials while calling attention to hers.  I for one do not like that and I’m glad that got called onto the carpet.  But I do also think you should stop this insistence that you be engaged in a tone you find proper.  Give it a rest and if you really engage, you won’t even notice when someone isn’t playing nice.  

    And if you stop noticing tone, you will may also take time to acknowledge that what CAN is doing something worthy.  Not perfect but worthy of notice and not derision from most of the profession.  You can criticize with open arms aspects of the process towards meeting our goals but not the goals themselves.  

    Social justice kind of feels open ended but it’s not.  It’s giving fair treatment to all.  All in CAN means the 70% of the population that has been marginalized by the acupuncture profession.  Marginalized by class lines and through racial disparities.

    I don’t speak in an academic manner.  This is not an academic forum; it is open to everyone.  And we all have a right to speak unless it’s just too personal; too off the point.  I don’t particularly like academic speak when it comes to “cultural competencies” because it fails to speak directly to those for whom this is an issue.  

     So Will, I wish you would change your tone; make it a little less academic, I would find it a little more engaging.

    Thanks.

    Tess Bois (formerly McGinn)

    One World Community Acupuncture

    Fitchburg, MA

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  • December 29 2010 at 5:22 PM
    David Lesseps writes:

    Please explain

    As a moderator of this forum I can tell you that I did not delete any posts.  Please tell us what was removed, and feel free to re-post.

    David The Punk from SF

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  • December 29 2010 at 6:11 PM
    MMDobson writes:

    Will, your comments addressed to Karen

    ...make so much more sense than the article in AT.  I admit, after reading the original article, I just assumed you hit the maximum allowable article length.  So much was hinted at, but not explored.

    I am of the group who finds it difficult to read sociological theory, although the topics themselves are interesting.  If the CAN blog had not referenced your article, I probably wouldn’t have sat through it (and I usually enjoy reading what you’ve written).

    The references in that article to CAN were unfortunate, in that they were just as inadequately fleshed out as the other points in the article.  

    I remember working with you several years ago to painstakingly derive a mission statement for one school where we both worked, and I know how much weight each word carries in your mind.  Even knowing that, I find your  statements regarding CAN as primarily existing to further a business model to be disingenuous.  Having read the forum content for a year as a member, you cannot have escaped the importance of social justice in medicine as one of the main tenets of CAN.  And if you did manage to misunderstand the aims of the organization as primarily a promoter of a business model (profession-based aim as opposed to patient-based aim), then I would suggest you have missed the most important reason why many of us are involved in CAN and are operating CA practices.  And that may be something you would like to take another look at, rather than just arguing the mission statement.

    I don’t pretend to be the scholar and debater that many on this particular blog are, and I certainly don’t intend to express the main opinion of CAN or anyone else.  I leave that to others, and there are obviously lots of them.

    Respectfully, MM 

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  • December 29 2010 at 8:57 PM
    Guest writes:

    Right On

    Whew. Nora, you get it. Uncertainty allowed you to check with me to identify truth. It is item three. This is a first fully respectful dialog that employs a glimmer of what I was attempting to communicate and failed at miserably with this group. You get it.

    Thank you….

    Warmly,

    Will

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  • December 29 2010 at 9:12 PM
    Steven Stumpf writes:

    posting your Jan 2010 entry to the AOM board

    Thanks. It is done.

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  • December 29 2010 at 10:03 PM
    Guest writes:

    Thanks

    Thanks MM -

    I look through the artifacts online. Here, from the bylaws:

    2. Community Acupuncture shall be defined as including clinics that meet the following criteria:
    a. Group treatment spaces (no private acupuncture treatments)
    b. If a sliding scale is used, it is somewhere between $15 and $40 with no greater than a $15 surcharge for the initial treatment.
    c. If a flat rate is charged, it’s $30 or less.
    d. No proof of income is required or requested.
    e. Herbal consults are charged at the same rates as the community acupuncture rates above.
    f. The clinic must be open at least three days a week

    This, and the mission statement build CAN as a business model. I can appreciate that this is in service to a larger social agenda. However, there are no concise documents from which I can pull a clear statement. Far from disingenuous, this is my impression. I am told my impression is wrong. But I just spent an hour rummaging around the site and I still get business model. If I want my clinic recognized, I must adhere to the business model put forth in the bylaws. So - OK - in service to a greater social change. I maintain that my assessment is accurate if not complete.

    Warmly,

    Will

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  • December 29 2010 at 10:39 PM
    Guest writes:

    Response to Dr. Morris

    My responses in line (—-):

    Dear Karen,
    You apparently read my article in detail. You also carefully choose to recognize me as Mr. Morris, when it is clear that I go by Will. You also ignore my earned doctoral degree. 
    —- Dr. Morris, you may have illuminated a “blind spot” of mine with respect to addressing your credentials, and I’m happy to call you Dr. Morris if that is meaningful to you. It is of no matter to me what term you use to address me.—-

    This is a common power ploy in conventional medicine. It is one that is designed to sustain the class privilege of the physician over other classes of health care providers, not to mention patients. What is bizarre, is that many on this list play into the same abuses of class and privilege by flaunting your degree in this forum while dismissing mine. Yet, they claim a social sophistication.
     
    As an immediate resolution, let’s play this out. I can respectfully call you Karen, Ms. Bryant, Mrs. Bryant, Dr. Bryant. Whatever you choose. I would ask the same courtesy. If you use professional title, please address me accordingly. If you use first name, I am happy with that, I prefer an environment where stripes and badges are not used as currency of power. So – Will and Karen can speak, Dr. Bryant and Dr. Morris can speak, or any combination. I merely request the respect of parity wihtout the subtle discrimination that has been present throughout your discourse and that of others. For me, if there is a need for formality, then my earned title is appropriate. I prefer first names.
     
    Providing your credentials doesn’t make you come off as self-righteous and condescending. That is important information and goes to the dialog.  Rather, it is the subtle abuse of power by title through which the condescension is achieved. 
    —-I didn’t intend for it to be subtle. Rather a push back to your suggestion that the article you wrote is brilliant enough to be used as curriculum for medical education in cultural competence.—-

    But, I must ask, in your practice of justice based medicine, have you ever ensured the presence of an acupuncturist, naturopath or chiropractor at the policy making table in the medical school or in a hospitalist context?
    —-To answer your question, my acupuncture, naturopath, chiropractor, shaman, and herbalist colleagues (among others) are all “at the table” in my practice. We freely collaborate on the co-management of our patients, at the request of and for the benefit of our patients. In my program development capacity as Medical Director for Elder Care in the hospital where I work, I do use the power associated with that title to work with my administration colleagues to create policy which includes disciplines like acupuncture. I am heavily invested in learning from the Community Acupuncture Network’s model of justice-based medicine to address the inequities in health care delivery that are staring us in the face at every moment. If there is a great, knowable capacity to benefit from a healing therapy, then how can there be any question of the urgency and importance of making that therapy available to individuals who may benefit? Founders and members of CAN are no more keenly aware than other acupuncturists that the healing modality in which they’ve trained has the potential to greatly improve healthcare outcomes. They use this awareness, however, to plan a delivery of their services which decreases the burden of ill health not just for individuals, but for communities, and infuses “justice” into the practice of healthcare delivery by working to make their services accessible to anyone.  It is clear that a key step in closing the disparities gap has been the affordability model; but engaged members of CAN also know about initiatives in cross-cultural education that take place during their workshops, unfold during forum discussions, efforts at recruitment and training of acupuncturists representative of disenfranchised communities that they aim to serve, active engagement in healthcare policy aimed at helping to thrust affordable acupuncture further into the mainstream, etc. —-

    But If you have, you are a hero in my book, one that serves the greater public good.
     
    I offered a non-exclusive list of axes. 
    —-Which you then termed “The Heart of the Matter” —-

    They were presented not as an extension on the dialog within conventional medicine. 
    —-The dialogue I introduced, while also not exclusive, extends beyond conventional medicine, and again takes to task the notion that those axes are “the heart of the matter.” It has historically been the case that cultural competence education bumps up on some rather touchy feelings that are necessary to confront in the process of working towards respecting, understanding, and embracing difference, as well as recognizing and moving beyond our own prejudices and biases. Shame, for example, is one of those charged and unpleasant feelings, often triggered when our prejudices and biases are “outed.” My experience as an educator and instructor in cultural competence education with medical trainees has humbly taught me that having the courage to bear witness to, while facilitating this process, brings the greatest rewards for those brave enough to take the plunge.  All the while, committing to doing the work myself. Couching the discussion of cultural competence in academic euphemisms could be seen as a ploy for avoiding the intensity of these discussions, to the great detriment of students looking for education in cultural competence. —-

    Rather it was posed as a set of examples. Obviously AT is not an arena where such a subject could be addressed in depth. Clearly, Karen though more depth should have been present. I agree.
     
    You are right to bring up that perspective is nothing new. I actually used it as a euphemism for what is called transdiscipline. It is where a third non-included middle is employed to gain access to a dimension of thought that allows for a resolution of the biases contained within the opposite poles. The 9 axes that I presented from Martin & Nakayama, 2006; Ting-Toomey & Chung, 2007 are used in cultural competency programs in university settings. Yes, they do not comport with the redux that medical education has placed upon that matter. But, that environment is designed for first professional degrees. Prejudice, blind spots and bias occur when one adheres or limits ones perspective to one end of an axis or another. —-
    —-Prejudice, blind spots, bias, privilege, racism, and abuse of power do not just occur, they absolutely permeate relationships between health care service providers and patients. At either end of an axis, and all along the continuum.—- 
     
    I did ask people to look 100 hundred years ago towards the status of women and African-Americans in the world to see the ravages of certainty. Yes, REALLY! It was hell. And the system was certain that it was right. Maybe you can explain why such an observation makes it difficult to take my comments seriously. 
    —-Yes, I definitely sounded was snide here. Still incredulous at your comment. As a brown woman of African American descent, I can’t remember a day when I wasn’t aware that “the system” would have me believe that my status was sub-par, not to mention what my parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. experienced. Nora’s comments (http://www.communityacupuncturenetwork.org/blog/response-will-morris#comment-31570) illuminate the feelings behind the gasps that erupted when many members read your statement.  In addition, that you go the “old school” route of sanctioning women and African-Americans as your only examples of historical prejudice and discrimination in this country is pretty telling, to me, of your own perspective.—-

    I like the “key dicta” that you cite. Including: “1) Learning to avoid cultural generalizations while respecting and acknowledging difference, 2) Exploring the values we (instructors, trainees, patients) bring into the profession and how they influence our personal and professional lives as well as our responses to diverse patient cultures, and 3) Exploring our underlying assumptions about self and other with an aim of understanding our constructions of difference and power.” Absolutely, it is good stuff and a great contribution to the dialog.
    The sweeping cultural generalizations are in this case designed to define two ends of a continuum of general experience. They are not used as generalizations about any individual or group. The axes are, however, present in some form in most cultures. The problem of generalization comes to bear when the logical distinctions between class and individual are transgressed or conflated. That is, we cannot apply a generalization to an individual. But how do we discuss compare and contrast issues of gender (anima-animus) and temporality in different cultures? Are we to ignore such critical thought in order to avoid a “cultural insensitivity?”
    People, mea culpa for not capping Community Acupuncture Network. That was unintentional after working on a series of documents where proper names are not capped. In any regard, I did cap CAN.
    But, Karen, you too are entering topics into the mission statement that do not exist. 
    —-I am doing nothing to their mission statement.  Their mission statement is brief, succint, and serves its purpose.—-  

    There is nothing there about practicing justice-based medicine, or about eliminating the power differential between patients and clinicians. It might be implied, but if that is the mission, why can’t people say what they are doing? 
    —-This frustration with “people” not putting things in front of you in the format that you request has nothing to do with your self-described “white, male, middle class” privilege does it? —-

    This is not me asking for a change of mission statement. I could care less about that. What I care about is saying what I do and doing what I say. It is a matter of integrity.Anyway, just as the others, you are going off of the mission statement and adding things that you have made up. 
    —-Dr. Morris, I have witnessed you accuse people of “not knowing you.” Well, since you don’t know me, I will tell you that it is a mistake to accuse me of “making up” anything.—-

    Lastly, I have seen the lens projected outward in these forums, and not inward. Maybe you could point me towards some “microscopic content” in these forums that are “tough, gritty, raw and poignant” self-reflections? To date, what I see are projections. 
    —-No, I will not. It’s there. Look for it yourself. Karen—-

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  • December 29 2010 at 10:56 PM
    melissa writes:

    or…

    it is sad that Will came here with a lit bomb of condescension and patronizing language and can’t understand why he was met with honest responses to it.

     

    Melissa

    Good health is not a measure of adapting to a sick society.

    When the power of love outshines the love of power, the world will know peace.

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  • December 29 2010 at 11:15 PM
    Guest writes:

    Social Change via Biz and Bully

    Larry - your references are missing, so I can’t get to the context for your posts. You have also mixed different quotes from different conversations. By mixing context, the meaning of my words have been twisted.

    You say “I never said CAN was not about business” But, you also say, “Remember when I said this isn’t about a business model? I meant it.”

    This leads me to believe that you have no stand, that I cannot trust your representations and that debate with you is a treacherous course of action. What is clear is that you are wiling to change your position and misrepresent your position to get your way and that the “ends justify the means.”

    Here is where I am with how I see CAN at the moment:

    CAN is an organization focuses upon values of access to education, access to care, equal rights, sustainability and social justice. This is accomplished through a business model and bully pulpit tactics.

    At no point in this dialog has any of this statement been controverted in word or deed.

    I am certainly open to being influenced into a different view.

    Warmly,

    Will

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  • December 29 2010 at 11:29 PM
    Guest writes:

    Karen -

    Karen - when you

    Karen -

    Karen - when you tell me there is something in the mission statement that doesn’t exist, you have made it up. I made the reference based upon your comments, not my imaginings of your thoughts or intentions.

    But, in general, thank you for what is for the most part collegial and constructive input. I appreciate it even if it is considered inappropriate in this forum. As for my expectations that people do what they say and say what they do - this might be a factor of my white, male, middle class, white collar status. Or, it might be a matter of basic human dignity and decency regardless of class. It is, however, an issue across cultures in my experience.

    Warmly,

    Will

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  • December 30 2010 at 12:03 AM
    Guest writes:

    Not quite . . .

    Dr Morris,

    My original post included a discussion of the Community Acupuncture Network’s mission as it relates to the topics relevant to cultural competence and justice in the delivery of healthcare.  I said nothing about their mission statement. If you can’t see the difference, I can’t help you.

    Karen

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  • December 30 2010 at 12:36 AM
    andy wegman writes:

    Will, really?

    You wrote: Here is where I am with how I see CAN at the moment: CAN is an organization focuses upon values of access to education, access to care, equal rights, sustainability and social justice. This is accomplished through a business model and bully pulpit tactics. At no point in this dialog has any of this statement been controverted in word or deed.

    After the extensive and genuine thought displayed by several CAN members (and non-members) in just this dialogue, the fact you characterize the Means as you have is disappointing, but not entirely surprising.  

    You may want to have a look here for a few examples of the type of positive support and fellowship that is common to these pages that you have overlooked.

     

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  • December 30 2010 at 12:38 AM
    crismonteiro writes:

    just plain mad- angry that is.

    Will Morris, I want to clearly express my angry feelings that have come of a result of reading your article in AT and your dialogue here. My anger is a means of censuring you, not censoring, and presently is my best means to engage with you authentically.  I’m pissed.

    I would like to try to understand your perspective, but your words keep getting in my way.  Let’s just say that the way you write (and perhaps the way you speak, but I don’t know) is so filled with lingo, and jargon that I find it really difficult to follow your line of thinking.  I’ve said this before via a previous forum, but I find it really off putting and intimidating, and my assumption is that your use of the terms of formal logic, etc. here are intended to “put me in my place.”  Not  me specifically, but people reading here, like me, who don’t know WTF all those Latin words and terms mean, and how they are applied in a formal discipline like mathematics or philosophy.  Just as me inserting an adverb thusly:  I don’t know what the fuck you mean, has it’s linguistic effect on the reader, so too do your very formal word choices.  Can you say what you are saying in more simple and plain language?  Am I to believe that I am just incapable of understanding your mind or the thoughts it generates? I really do try, but like so many of us here I too have a lot on myplate, and something simpler, more clearly written would be much appreciated. 

     I find it odd that you were offended here when Karen Bryant neglected to include your credentials but included her own, given your mistake in failing to capitalize the Community Acupuncture Network in your article.  I know you plea some Latin term, but really, what gives?  Just for the record, and in an effort to vent as much of my ire around this, you repeatedly have spelled my name (which is what I consider my credential) not only on this forum, but in the AOM group and on the AAAOM forum.  What gives?  

    You place yourself in the role of victim when it comes to the bad manners and anger here at CAN.  Aren’t you creating that role for yourself?  Despite your professed love for CAN and it’s values, you have subtly derided CAN via your AT article, and in the past, you invited and then uninvited, with no explanation, the CAN board (or members thereof) to attend an AOM round-table discussion.  I’m having a hard time seeing how your actions as an individual are lining up with your love of CAN… other than as a business model that you are willing to kind of show students, but minus the anger.  A lot of us are angry here with you, as a proxy of the larger AOM profession.  What am I doing about it?  Providing a whole lot more acupuncture for my community, making a living at my chosen profession by actually practicing, and did I mention that I managed to create a few jobs along the way?  It’s all very pragmatic and down to earth.  No call for papers nor applause needed. 

    And as for the mission statement of CAN—business model and all*

    —I stand behind that too.

    Thanks,Cris Monteiro

    *all being the values, goals, and commitment to a calling mentioned in so many of the comments above. 

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  • December 30 2010 at 1:39 AM
    Nic writes:

    an overview

    Hey gang here is my impression of this “conversation”

     

    - hey why did you write that?

    - i dont understand? what? clarify

    - wait  you dont understand? i dont understand that

    - i really just dont understand.  you seem angry. i dont understand that either.

    - you still dont understand? you should really understand.  you seem smug.

    - well you are unproffesional.  we should really talk about this.  if you changed maybe i could understand

    - i understand how you might not understand

    - thanks but i still dont understand

    - let me break it down and see if you can understand

    - no. i dont understand

     

    Warmly, Nick

    :D

    (do you feel the warmth)

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  • December 30 2010 at 2:54 AM
    tatyana writes:

    ***

    I am with you, Cris. I could not make much sense of that article, but then that’s how I feel about most articles in AT and most other so-called “professional” publications. They go in the recycle bin pretty quickly. All those fancy words just seem like the author is trying to show that they are smarter than you, what a fucking waste of time. So I would rather just spend my time actually treating actual patients who I can actually relate to. In my opinion the best cultural completence lessons are learned working in a community acupuncture clinic - the patients teach us more than we can ever learn from reading some extra fancy artice.

    -tatyana

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  • December 30 2010 at 3:49 AM
    LarryG writes:

    ?

    You lost me. 

     

     

     

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  • December 30 2010 at 7:28 AM
    Guest writes:

    Signing Off

    OK People,

    You have justified the gang mentality. You have justified mean spirited arguments. You have justified e-bullying. You have justified lying. And this, all in an effort towards “justice medicine”.

    I look forward to conversations that might alter my perception and experience of this space as a bully pulpit. It has altered my view of CAN as a business model to CAN as a social movement that uses a business model.

    I commend you on your work. I commend you on reaching under-served populations. Please do consider placing people in seats at the ACAOM and AAAOM. That way you can see for yourselves what is going on and develop a better understanding of the complexities those organizations are dealing with. But, more importantly, you would have regular influence on the dialog that is taking place in those forums. I would support an appointment by Dr. Bryant, Nora and Mary Margaret and there are many others including Lisafer.

    My offer still stands to pursue a dialog at the AAAOM spring meeting. Far from the only solution - it is a place where discussion can take place without hiding behind pixels. Anyone interested, please contact me off-line at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

    I have too many deadlines to continue at this time. Must sign off with regrets for now. Back in about a month (I hope).

    W

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  • December 30 2010 at 11:41 AM
    Spartacus writes:

    This is quite possibly the

    This is quite possibly the most patronizing response to anyone or anything that I have seen in print in a long, long time.  Someone cuts through your meta-fog just enough to elucidate an original point of yours from the source of this debate (which, might I add, is not necessarily “truth”) and you can’t just say “yes that is exactly what I was getting at” - you take the galling step [ie. the “uncertainty” statement] of *explaining to her how she went about it*?  At best this can be taken as you presuming the role of teacher and the questioner (in this case Nora) that of student, at worst it shows up an attitude wherein you presume your rightness, and the questioner has “whew!” finally seen the light of that rightness, and overall really it’s probably a mixture of both.  In that one sentence you shine a bright, bright light on the deep and searing irony embedded herein: you wrote an article, published in a trade publication, about cultural competancy, and don’t seem to have any awareness of your own cultural worldview or the cross-cultural skill not to elevate your own status to that of truth-holder and put down anyone who asks a question of you into the lesser-powered role of student/truth seeker.  Unbelievable. 

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  • December 30 2010 at 12:05 PM
    David Lesseps writes:

    like

    David The Punk from SF

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  • December 30 2010 at 1:01 PM
    Nic writes:

    i just mean this is going no

    i just mean this is going no place. it is a waste of time.

     

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  • December 30 2010 at 1:11 PM
    LarryG writes:

    z

    I don’t understand.  

     

     

     

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  • December 30 2010 at 1:44 PM
    David Lesseps writes:

    a real shame

    So sorry to see you leave Dr. Morris.  After spending so much time defining the playground rules, and finally getting the real dialogue started, it really is a shame your deadlines got in the way.

    Oh well, at least Nora gets it.

    David The Punk from SF

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  • December 30 2010 at 3:08 PM
    david villanueva writes:

    I totally agree w/ you, Ztrukn.

    People getting all worked up with no positive outcome.

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  • December 30 2010 at 3:51 PM
    melissa writes:

    unfortunately not surprising

    as laid out in my silly diner metaphor above, and despite repeated, patient attempts to just get him to speak normally, Will leaves with exactly the same snarky attitude he came in with and believing that his behavior has nothing to do with the reactions he gets.

    News Flash: thankfully,  the AAAOM is not the only place for meaningful work in acu-land. But Nora *does* get it!

    BTW:

    A bully pulpit is a public office
    or other position of authority of sufficiently high rank that provides
    the holder with an opportunity to speak out and be listened to on any
    matter. The bully pulpit can bring issues to the forefront that were not
    initially in debate
    , due to the office’s stature and publicity.

    This term was coined by President Theodore Roosevelt,
    who referred to the White House as a “bully pulpit,” by which he meant a
    terrific platform from which to advocate an agenda. Roosevelt famously
    used the word bully as an adjective meaning “superb” or “wonderful” (a more common expression in his time than it is today).

    Due to the archaic nature of the adjective “bully” and the religious symbolism of the word pulpit (the elevated platform used by a preacher), this phrase is often misunderstood as a pejorative.

    The term is not related to the noun bully, i.e. a harasser or someone who intimidates, in an interesting way. The word is related to the Dutch boel, meaning lover, and is also found in the German word Nebenbuhler,
    meaning a rival for a lady’s affection. In English usage around 1700,
    “bully”  gives us
    the connotation of a ruffian.[1]

     

    happy new year, my fellow ruffians!

    Melissa

    Good health is not a measure of adapting to a sick society.

    When the power of love outshines the love of power, the world will know peace.

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  • December 30 2010 at 5:04 PM
    Guest writes:

    People, people, people…...

    Is it really worth it to throw “good energy after bad”?  Is there actually a point to this whole conversation other than to point out each other’s flaws and faults?

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  • December 30 2010 at 7:00 PM
    melissa writes:

    people, people, people

    not totally sure but i think (and hope) that one of the  exciting changes to the new website is the elimination of the “guest unverified” posts on the blogs

    won’t that be fun!

    Melissa

    Good health is not a measure of adapting to a sick society.

    When the power of love outshines the love of power, the world will know peace.

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  • December 30 2010 at 7:08 PM
    Spartacus writes:

    From my perspective…

    as a n00b, as it were (still a student, technically), I’m learning things from all this.  This organization has a heart that speaks to mine, and I’d be lost without such a community - and really appreciate a vigorous, vehement discussion (even if it doesn’t get quite to debate status).  That’s the merit I see in it, for what it’s worth.

      0 likes
  • December 30 2010 at 8:21 PM
    Guest writes:

    a little off topic, but funny….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=866YvYJRvWw

    At 7:10, Will states “we can’t explain the details of how aspirin works.”
    Hmmm…I beg to differ, just pick up any pharmacology book.

      0 likes
  • December 30 2010 at 8:45 PM
    Nic writes:

    actually yeah

    Larry did say some great stuff that really clarified some things about CAN for me. 

    What was pointless was that it was not going anyplace.

      Will was entranched in his position and the CAN position varies with who is representing it which frustrated Will.  CAN is a starfish after all and not a spider but Will keeps on looking for the spider so he can engage “properly and profesionally”.  Interesting to see it in action (the acu class divide) but it does get old and I strarted to get a migraine.  

    makes me thankful for CAN

     

    Nick

      0 likes
  • December 30 2010 at 9:05 PM
    Guest writes:

    cultural competence

    Will,  Thanks for writing this.  You’ve really got to the heart of what I don’t like about CAN.  I don’t actually see much self-reflectiveness here or in the forums.  I see a lot of politicization and self-glorification.  I’ve owned both a community acupuncture clinic and a conventional practice.  My working relationship with my patients was no different in either setting.  It has always been based on integrity, love and respect.  Likewise, my commitment to my community has not changed based on the setting or the business model.  At the heart of any business model is the people working in the clinic.

      0 likes
  • December 30 2010 at 10:18 PM
    David Lesseps writes:

    hmmm…

    I would say the heart of my clinic, and the CAN model, is the patients.

    David The Punk from SF

      0 likes
  • December 30 2010 at 10:31 PM
    MMDobson writes:

    No thanks

    I don’t know enough about the subject, and am just trying to get my new business started.

    MM 

      0 likes
  • December 30 2010 at 11:10 PM
    andy wegman writes:

    guest without a name

    I’m going to make a wild guess and suggest you have a personal axe to grind with CAN and specifically with the site’s clinic posting policy.

    If I’m correct, I’d also like to point out ‘self-glorification’ is a skill you seem to know quite well.  That and bridge-burning.

    For your patients sake I hope you continue to bring love and respect to your work.  Perhaps you would consider doing the same for your colleagues who take time to teach you what they know about their experience with Community Acupuncture and in business generally while speaking honestly and openly with you to support your endeavors.

      0 likes
  • December 30 2010 at 11:24 PM
    Whitsitt writes:

    The heart of any business model is the folks paying the bills

    That really gets to the heart of the difference between the valuesof CAN and the rest of the acu-profession.  We seem to focus on helpingour patients, and get a decent living, a strong organization, andcollegiality with our peers as a by-product.  They seem to want tofocus on “the profession” and hope to help patients as a byproduct.  Aquote from another post in this thread (that I can’t for the life of me seem to find again to cite properly - Written by Michael Jabbour - editor):

    “I have mentioned before publicly many times, it doesn’t matter to mewhich alphabetical configuration we use for our professionalassociation but we need to support and build one that will advance andprotect our profession (thereby our patients) according to the basicvalues and structural considerations we can all agree on.”

    If the professional organization is advancing and protecting the profession at the expense of helping patients, what should we do then?  Maybe that’s why we have such a hard time agreeing on basic values and structural considerations.  Just sayin’.

      0 likes
  • December 31 2010 at 12:12 AM
    The Zang Fool writes:

    not the heart

    Patients are more like the Triple Warmer of the boutique business model: mysterious, mostly theoretical and difficult to locate.  

     

      0 likes
  • December 31 2010 at 2:53 PM
    melissa writes:

    and to answer your question

    my diner friends and i are actually genuinely grateful for the efforts of you and friends, especially in terms of getting through the zoning process and having some money to get that office building built, because it is now where our community clinic is, and that’s been really helpful for keeping us all going!

    and do we sit around sometimes and fantasize about dismantling the power and wealth structure that you mostly trade aong yourselves and that we feel could be more equally distributed to benefit more people in our own communities? sure we do, it’s pretty natural and it’s no secret.

    but i suppose most of us have probably realized that, as any good builder knows, demo and remodeling are usually so much more work, expense and hassle. it’s often easier and more structurally sound to use some good materials—some vintage ones even (ancient texts, etc)!—and just build something from scratch.

    anyone who wants to come by and pick up a hammer or help lift the beams is always welcome.

     

    Melissa

    Good health is not a measure of adapting to a sick society.

    When the power of love outshines the love of power, the world will know peace.

      0 likes
  • December 31 2010 at 6:32 PM
    Whitsitt writes:

    lulz

    way to apply that theory!

      0 likes
  • December 31 2010 at 11:53 PM
    MMDobson writes:

    Protect the profession?

    It seems to me that if we do a good job for the (let’s face it) customers, the profession will take care of itself, but that’s just me.

    I appreciate what’s been done by lots of people to make it possible for me to have this opinion, but I don’t think “the profession” is in survival mode any more.  And the techniques that were necessary to get “the profession” past survival level are not useful at this point in our work.  Maybe they never were.

    Now, if we were talking about the survival of specific acupuncture schools, that would be a different situation…

    MM 

      0 likes
  • January 1 2011 at 1:40 AM
    Guest writes:

    Is the point really just to

    Is the point really just to know who is saying what? How do you even know that anyone is who they say they are? What does it matter?

    The issues are the same regardless. And diversity of opinion shouldn’t depend on knowing WHO says what but rather, focusing on what is being said may shed more light on the various aspects of the issue.

      0 likes
  • January 1 2011 at 8:48 PM
    GAMB writes:

    The point is that if you

    The point is that if you truly stood by your words, then you shouldn’t be afraid to associate your name with them. Will M. had confidence enough in his opinion to sign his name to his rebuttal. Of course he didn’t realize that he lacked the cultural competency and native language skills necessary to effectively communicate on this forum and so was handed his hat. Rather, he took his hat and sprinted out the door. At least everyone who’s read this thread knows unequivocally what he stands for and for what he doesn’t. I think that matters very much.
    The majority of comments by anonymous Guests are single potshots at CAN. They rarely (never?) respond to replies to their posts. This makes them seem very gnat like.  You know, annoying and unimportant instead of misguided and possibly teachable.
    You’re choosing to participating in this forum for some reason anonymous Guests (not verified). So I’m calling you out. Tell us who you are and what you stand for.  You don’t have to be afraid of revealing who you are when participating in the conversation. Just be prepared to play by the local rules, speak or at least be familiar with the local language, and to be able back up your opinions.
    Gene

      0 likes
  • January 2 2011 at 10:04 AM
    River Jordan writes:

    Bully! (i.e. wonderful!)

    Thanks Melissa for the linguistic clarification - now I too can try to impress people with my knowledge of obscure and archaic lexicon and perhaps even get it right.

    Seriously though, some of you deserve gold medals for wading into a troublesome conversation and patiently responding to what felt to me like a lot of calculated compliments and clever manuevering to shift the focus of debate away from substantive issues that make the difference between suffering and good health to millions of people, and instead on to distract with a debate on personalities and politeness.

    I could be wrong - I fully admit that I do not know Dr. Morris other than his words and the history gleaned from statements of my CAN brothers and sisters.

    And what of those 60,000 low cost treatments? Are these to be taken at face value?  Or should this be understood in context? 

     

     

      0 likes
  • January 2 2011 at 12:11 PM
    Guest writes:

    And my point is, if you

    And my point is, if you truly want to explore opinions from named sources and believe that only folks who identify themselves by name has enough integrity to “stand by their word”, there’s a very simple solution to ensure compliance. Stop accepting comments from non-identified writers.

    BTW, what if I am one of you?

      0 likes
  • January 2 2011 at 3:42 PM
    GAMB writes:

    No. That’s your second

    No. That’s your second point. Your first point was basically that identity doesn’t matter when stating an opinion about an issue. Nearly every newspaper editor in the country requires a writer’s contact info with the submission of a letter before they print it in the “Opinions” section. Why is that?

    “Stop accepting comments from non-identified writers.” - Wasn’t that Melissa’s point? FYI, Talking in circles is another annoying trait.

     “BTW, what if I am one of you?”  - I don’t care.

    Gene

     

     

     

      0 likes
  • January 3 2011 at 10:02 AM
    Guest writes:

    comment deleted by moderator

    trolling is not permissible on the blog.

      0 likes
  • January 3 2011 at 2:19 PM
    Guest writes:

    Meaning what?

    Meaning what?

      0 likes
  • January 3 2011 at 2:31 PM
    Jessica Feltz writes:

    Meaning

    this

      0 likes
  • January 3 2011 at 4:41 PM
    GAMB writes:

    Beautiful!

    ~ Gene

      0 likes
  • January 3 2011 at 5:16 PM
    Whitsitt writes:

    It’s not just you!

    It’s not just you!

      0 likes
  • January 4 2011 at 11:26 AM
    Guest writes:

    I think you must have me

    I think you must have me mistaken me with someone else, Andy.  I don’t even know who you are. It’s true that I don’t associate with CAN but that’s a personal choice I made based on the above assessment. I discovered that if you don’t agree with the leftist political ideology of the organization, CAN has little to offer.  It’s essentially a political organization. I don’t have any issue with CAN’s clinic posting policy—not sure what you’re referring to? Most of what I learned about this business model I learned from my teacher Dr. Tan before CAN was even created.  It was really his work that inspired me to open my clinic (and continues to inspire me), not CAN.

      0 likes
  • January 4 2011 at 11:31 AM
    Guest writes:

    censorship

    Really no censorship huh?  After I posted a critical comment on one of Lisa’s blogs she closed it for further comments.

      0 likes
  • January 4 2011 at 12:13 PM
    Guest writes:

    thanks

    Thanks Will.  You’ve nicely summed up my experience with CAN and why I no longer associate with the organization.  The tone of the respone to your posts is pretty unbelievable.  I don’t know you personally but I’ve met many of your students who speak of you with great respect.  I wish you well.

      0 likes
  • January 4 2011 at 12:56 PM
    Guest writes:

    oops

    Sorry, I left out the word “together” by accident.  The people working together in the clinic.  I meant both patients and staff together. But I don’t think anyone is reading this thready anymore anyway,  Oh well.

      0 likes
  • January 4 2011 at 1:23 PM
    LarryG writes:

    haaaaaaaa

    haaahahahahahah!

    Thanks for the laugh, guest!

     

     

     

      0 likes
  • January 4 2011 at 3:08 PM
    GAMB writes:

    You don’t associate with CAN but…

    you continue to troll the forums. Grudge much? Try this group:

    http://groups.google.com/group/aompm/sub?s=Q4MXegwAAAA9PO6dx9ee5Sytb2WwaIMu&hl=en

    You may find it a better suit. 

    Gene 

      0 likes
  • January 4 2011 at 3:39 PM
    andy wegman writes:

    guest, I must’ve been mistaken then.

    If no interest in CAN, then why continue to post here?

      0 likes

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