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The Official Publication of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia
Board Election 2016

Board Election 2016

The next Board election will be held in December 2016. There are three positions up for election for the 2017-2020 term. The positions are open to any of the electoral districts in British Columbia.
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It is time to consider running as a candidate for the Board. The CTCMA Directors of the Board are the people who ensure that the public is protected while guiding the profession into the future. If you are unable to commit to running for the Board, there are many other activities needing volunteers. If you are interested in sitting on a committee or simply interested in making a short term commitment please let us know. Committee and working groups are often looking for volunteers. If you have not done so already, it is hoped that you will consider participating in College activities in whatever way you are able to do so.

Nomination packages will be provided – September 2016.

Deadline for receipt of nominations – Friday, 14 October 2016 by 12:00 pm noon.

Online Renewal Draw

Online Renewal Draw

Congratulations to the Online Registration Renewal Draw Winner!
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We are pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 Registration Renewal draw for an Apple iPad Air 2. The draw was won by Ms. Lai Nar Chan. Congratulations to Ms. Chan and our appreciation to all registrants who chose to renew their registration online!

This is the second year online registration renewal has been available and we are pleased that 88% of the registrants took advantage of this method.

Message from Chair

Message from Chair

Investigation about the Necessity and Possibility to Establish a Unified Professional Association for TCM practitioners and Acupuncturists
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CTCMA has been established for more than twenty years. The work of the college has been smooth with the support of many registrants, and today we are always striving to improve. Twenty years ago, there were only 5 professional associations in BC. Since that time the number continues to grow. In 2012 two associations successfully merged into one association, and currently there are now 11 associations in BC and another may be starting up. This situation has been described as unique among the regulated health professions in BC. The norm is for one health profession to have one professional association. Although there are 11 associations, 60% of the CTCMA registrants do not belong to any association. In fostering dialogue between registrants and the College, improving the quality and delivery of continuing education, and generally to protect the public, it is most important to have a unified professional association.

TCM is a self-regulatory profession in BC. The Health Minister of BC, under the authority of the Health Professions Act (HPA) established the CTCMA. Under the HPA Board Members are required to take the Oath of Office. The Board hires the Registrar/CEO to run the operations of the College, the Registrar hires the Staff to carry out the work of the College. There are nine members in the Board of the CTCMA, among them six were elected by the registrants, and three public members are appointed by the provincial government. A majority of the Board Members are elected registrants, familiar with the profession. The purpose and mission of the CTCMA is to protect public safety and interests. Colleges must carry out its duties under the HPA, assessing the competency of TCM practitioners entering the profession, assuring the continued competence of those practitioners, and investigating any complaints that are received concerning those registrants. If the CTCMA does not fulfill the duties to protect public safety and interests, the provincial government has the authority to withdraw self-regulation and impose government sanctions.

A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) may register under the laws of BC, usually as a non-profit society seeking to further a particular profession, the interests of individuals engaged in that profession and the public interest.

The roles of these professional associations have been variously defined: “a group of people in a learned occupation who are entrusted with maintaining control or oversight of the legitimate practice of the occupation;” a body acting “to safeguard the public interest;” organizations which “represent the interest of the professional practitioners,” and so “act to maintain their own privileged and powerful position as a controlling body.” Association may:

  • engage in promotional activities though media events and campaigns
  • advertise:
    • employment opportunities
    • professional products, resources and conferences
  • create professional development opportunities
  • develops membership benefit programs, for example, negotiate with third party insurers on coverage
  • engage in lobbying or advocacy activities on behalf of members, such as:
    • invite community to support profession
    • recruitment and retention
    • on behalf of members government liaison
    • employer liaison
    • funding for association programs
  • on behalf of a member hire a lawyer
  • cooperate with College to work together for common goals.

In short the relationship between the College and the professional associations may be compared with the all known relationship of Yin and Yang. Although both are concerned with the public interest, the biggest difference is that the College’s prime mandate is to protect public safety and interests, while the association’s prime mandate is to protect their members’ professional interests.

The establishment of a unified professional association has the advantage of saving human and financial resources. For example, when negotiating with an insurance company for liability insurance a greater membership may mean a reduction in premiums; increases in attendance at continuing education events may reduce costs and raise standards. When lobbying stakeholders, a unified association would result in larger membership, and increase credibility and legitimacy. In short, with a majority of registrants participating in a professional association, all would reap the benefits.

Role of a Regulatory College and a Professional Association

Role of a Regulatory College and a Professional Association

The College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of BC and professional associations have different mandates.
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The College is responsible for regulating TCM practitioners in the public interest under the authority of the Health Professions Act.

To meet its mandate of public protection, the College:

The professional association promotes and advocates for the professional and personal interest of its members.

To meet the needs of its members, an association:

  • Establishes, monitors and enforces standards of practice
  • Enhances the quality of practice and reduces incompetent, impaired or unethical practice
  • Establishes and maintains a continuing competency/quality assurance program to promote high standards of practice
  • Represents the TCM profession to government, employers and other organizations
  • Works with other organizations to promote the TCM profession
  • Supports the development of social programs for its members
  • Promotes research and development to advance the TCM profession

If you have practice related enquiries please send them to the Registrar.  Enquiries relevant to your colleagues will be published in the Q&A column.

Safety And Jurisprudence Examination Update

Safety And Jurisprudence Examination Update

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Safety Examination

The Safety Examination for Dr.TCM will be discontinued as a registration requirement for applicants seeking registration as a Dr.TCM. Following the implementation of the entry-level competencies into the College’s registration programs, the Board determined that the Safety Examination for Acupuncturist and TCM Herbalist based on the Safety Program Handbook meets the competencies required to practice safely as a Dr.TCM.

The Safety Examination for Reciprocity will be replaced by the Jurisprudence Examination.

Jurisprudence Examination

Following the publication of the Jurisprudence Handbook in 2014, the College has been working on the development of a Jurisprudence Examination to ensure that TCM practitioners seeking registration with the College have a thorough understanding of the legal framework and possess the required competencies to practice ethically.

The Jurisprudence Examination will become a registration requirement from November 1, 2016. Please check our website in the Summer for updates.

Jurisprudence Handbook

The Board has asked that the official English version of the Jurisprudence Handbook be sent to all registrants. The intent is to promote professional competence and to support you in your daily practice of providing TCM health care to British Columbians. Practitioners who prefer to read the unofficial Chinese version may do so on the website.

Dr.TCM Clinical Examination Retake

Dr.TCM Clinical Examination Retake

The College will begin accepting applications to retake the Dr.TCM Clinical Examination on April 18, 2016.
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Please visit the Dr.TCM Examination page for more information.

Pan-Canadian Examination Schedule

Pan-Canadian Examination Schedule

Examination Guides and Application packages for the 2016 Pan-Canadian Examinations will be posted on the College’s website in May.
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The examinations will be administered in the Greater Vancouver area on the following dates:

  • Written Examinations: Saturday, October 15, 2016
  • Clinical Case-study Examinations: Saturday, January 21, 2017

For more information, please refer to the Examination Section of the College’s website.

Community Engagement:

Community Engagement: “Ticket to Your Future”

For the second year in a row, I have had the opportunity to take part in North Vancouver School District’s “Ticket to Your Future” career night. This year, I recruited 4th year ICTCM student Shanie Rechner (currently preparing for her trip to Taiwan) to come with me. I felt that having a TCM student present to offer first-hand perspective to the students and their families, as well the experience she would gain representing her chosen profession, would be valuable to all.
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500 of North Vancouver’s grade 9-12 students and their families registered in advance for their chance to meet with over 40 presenters representing various career sectors and professions, as well as opportunity to talk to representatives from several post-secondary institutions.

In the “Health” sector where we were located, we shared space with RCMP, registered nurses, medical doctors, kinesiologists, the profession of neuroscience, and the Canadian military to name a few. It was a diverse room, and it struck me as to how far the TCM profession had come. We had been placed at the centre of the room, and at times felt as if all eyes were on us. As some of the more curious presenters came over to chat, ask questions and/or check out some of the information we had displayed, it quickly became clear to me how important this event truly was. This was our opportunity to highlight the TCM profession not only to the students and families in attendance, but to the members of the health field present as well. We had been offered the chance to demonstrate that TCM was no longer on the “fringe”; that we were a mainstream medicine and that being in the same room together proved we could all ‘play’ in the same proverbial sandbox. It was also obvious to me during these interactions, that we were being measured. How articulate we were in answering questions and how well we presented ourselves would matter in how these individuals would take our message back to the members of their profession. It was an exciting and somewhat intimidating revelation all at once.

Once the students started streaming in however, we got busy talking TCM. One student in particular spent an extended amount of time at our table. She had been interested in Naturopathy, especially the TCM component of study. She talked to Shanie and myself for a long time about how the two practices were different and what TCM could offer. She wanted to know what books she could read, how the education/training process worked, and if she could shadow a practitioner to get a feel for the medicine. After arming her with all of the information we could, she carried on to visit the other tables and I’m assuming, the other rooms at the school. At the end of the evening, she returned to us to announce that she had made a decision. She wanted to study TCM. Her mother then relayed to us stories of how from a very young age, her daughter would mash up various herbs and flowers to make patches and poultices for her younger sister (with various allergic reactions ensuing), and that we had made “quite the impression” on her. We of course, were elated.

Although this was for us, the most profound interaction of the evening, the overall response from all of the parents and students we spoke to was very positive. Many of the parents had experienced or had knowledge of, some form of TCM treatment (acupuncture, cupping etc.) and the students were interested, asked good questions and wanted to learn more. The message we took from this was that TCM, as a profession was definitely becoming a point of interest on the career map.

Of course, it’s events like these that offer the most opportunity to showcase what it is that we do, but it’s important for all of us to remember that we are each the face of this medicine, and how we conduct and present ourselves in our day to day life both in, and out of the clinic, directly reflects and influences how people view the medicine we practice. I encourage everyone to get involved in his or her community to engage the public about TCM. Offer talks, write articles, or participate in community event days, because in the end, it’s really in the best interest for all of us.

– Dr. Kim Graham, Dr.TCM