Having finished finals (my apologies for the month delay in blogging), and most of my intern sites, I'm a little sad that my time as an acupuncture intern at OHSU is over. Perhaps it was the excitement of working in a "real" hospital. Or maybe it was the respect garnered by friends and family when I told them that I had an intern shift on the new OHUS South Waterfront tower.
I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the integration of Eastern and Western medicine is really coming up, albeit slowly, and that we are on the forefront of it all. I understand that I was working in an integrative medicine department, but it was really incredible to see interesting cases where acupuncture worked it's magic, even if it wasn't in a dimly lit, soothing atmosphere, but a cold, stark white room on an exam table. Last week we were asked to assist Dr. Lu in giving sample treatments to residents up on the hill, and it was really great to see how interested they were not only in receiving treatments, but also referring patients to the integrative medicine practitioners.
There are several practitioners at hospitals around Portland, such as Dr. Zhaoxue Lu, at the OHSU waterfront and Dr. Yupeng Luo, and Roger Lore, DAOM at the Richmond center. All of these practitioners also have private practices at OCOM. Dr. Lu was the practitioner I worked with this term, and he works at OHSU in the Family medicine department three days per week. There are also other physicians at OHSU who integrate acupuncture in to their treatments on a regular basis.
I know that the idea of integrating acupuncture and western biomedicine is still a foreign idea to some health care practitioners. However, I feel fortunate to have chosen this medicine and to be a part of the integration of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in Oregon. I hope to one day be able to work in a hospital setting again, whether it's in-patient care, assisting with deliveries, or simply providing the best possible care in a hospital setting.
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