Are you a doctor?

Are you a Doctor?
An open letter the medical community by Stephen Thompsen, LAc

Throughout my career, I have been asked over 500 times if I was a medical doctor. And, for many years, I proudly said, ‘no, I am an Acupuncturist; how can I help you [eyebrow raised]?’ As though I was some kind of super doctor; a stronger, better, faster version of a medical practitioner. Over time, though, I started to change my answer as I began to understand the significance of what they were asking me. Those potential patients weren’t asking me if I was necessarily an allopathic medical doctor, but was I a practitioner of health qualified to practice within the medical field. Did you have to go to medical school? Do you have to have a degree before going into TCM school? Are you licensed or governed by professional board? All of these questions and many more are/were asked of me almost on a daily basis by people unfamiliar with TCM which number in the hundreds every week. Yet, these questions are not asked of a Doctor of chiropractic, physical therapy, dentistry, or pharmacy, though our scope of practice is larger, our treatment of disease more refined and inclusive.

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