Wow, time has flown by since March 2009 when I was certified as the first Canadian Fellow of the American Board of Reproductive Medicine (ABORM).
I wanted to become ABORM certified (Fertility Acupuncturist) for selfish reasons. I wanted to separate myself from other acupuncturists and stand out as the obvious first choice for the public and for MDs looking for an acupuncturist to treat infertility and increase their chances for IVF success.
My Acubalance practice (started in 2000) already had a reproductive focus by 2009 for five years (my practice was over 85% fertility and pregnancy). But the increase in other acupuncture websites marketing “we treat fertility” was growing so rapidly that I wanted a more effective way to communicate to my perspective clients and MD referrals that I was the right choice for their fertility care.
When asked I was asked what makes me an expert in fertility I was concerned I sounded defensive by listing off all the fertility continuing education classes I took, how many fertility patients I treat in a day compared to the general practitioner (average 9/day) and sharing my website testimonials. I could see being certified as a Fellow of the ABORM as a credible way to communicate to my clients that I am expert in the field of reproductive medicine using Chinese medicine without appearing defensive. So now when I am asked what makes you an expert in treating infertility I can say “I am a fellow of the American Board of Oriental Medicine which demonstrates I have minimum competency in reproductive health.” And it has helped land my clinic (www.acubalance.ca) an exclusivity agreement to offer acupuncture on site at one of the largest IVF clinics in British Columbia. (At Acubalance, four of us are FABORM certified and our fifth is writing the ABORM exam in Feb 2014 in Austin Texas)
As of April 2014 the ABORM has over 300 Fellows and each year they average 25-50 exam candidates to write the four-hour exam. Now when I am asked if I can recommend a Fertility Acupuncturists outside of Vancouver I direct him or her to the members listing on the ABORM site and also the Randine Lewis CEFP site. I have benefited greatly from this designation and the creation of the ABORM. To the IVF docs, the designation “FABORM” Increased my credibility and expertise. It has helped position myself as a fertility acupuncture expert in the eyes of western medical doctors too and I have had the privilege to speak at the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS) annual conference three times about the benefits of integrating acupuncture and TCM as part of all infertility treatments
The ABORM-certification process allows you to dig into core fertility concerns and treatments. Certification involves 45 hours of ABORM approved continuing education coursework where you’ll learn about everything from how to treat polycystic ovaries and thyroid issues to male factor infertility and IVF support with acupuncture and herbs.
These are the courses I recommend to my Acubalance practitioners to help them prepare for the exam. The ABORM has a syllabus with a recommended reading list. But for my Acubalance docs and me we find it hard with our busy lives to have the discipline to make time read these medical text from cover to cover let alone retain the important details to pass the exam. The Pro D ABORM approved online courses have been super helpful and we find it easier to carve out an hour or two here and there every couple of days and listen to presenters pull out the important material compared to reading cover to cover each of the textbooks.
The biggest rewards from preparing for the exam and continued study weekly is how all of our confidence has grown at Acubalance. One of my associates treated 28 people the other day. I believe it has to do with the positive intention you put out into ether that attracts all these fertility clients and good referral karma. The more you study and believe you can help these couples the stronger your confidence grows which amplifies your intention that attracts these clients to you and not the acupuncturist down the street. That is one of our key formulas for success at Acubalance. Every week docs review material from a Pro D courses plus post weekly blogs. Do this for 4 months and watch your practice grow. Do it every week year after year and experience abundance!
I lost track about sharing the courses I recommend to help you prepare for the ABORM exam. As a minimum I recommend the following three courses:
Jane Lyttleton – Complete Infertility course
This courses covers both TCM and Biomedicine and it goes over both male and female infertility, complex conditions like PCOS, endometriosis, Miscarriages and IVF. Plus is provides both breadth and depth to really be the number one choice to prepare for the exam.
Dr. Paul Magarelli - Western Reproductive Endocrinology - The Complete Course.
This covers all the biomedicine material. Basically he took the required western medical textbooks and made an online course. So if you like to read volumes of medical text then pick up the books. This course is for those who want help passing the biomedicine art of the ABORM exam and prefer to learn from watching a presentation than reading medical text books.
And if you want to leave nothing to chance and ace the exam and be a confident fertility acupuncturist that has great referral karma then read the following blogs:
- ABORM Exam Prep Program developed by Pro D Seminars
- Three Steps to Building a Successful Acupuncture Infertility Practice
- TCM Trumps Western Medicine - How Chinese Medicine Helps Older Women with Infertility
The next ABORM exam is April 3, 2014. It is being held in beautiful Vancouver British Columbia.
How to prepare for the ABORM Exam Exam
Candidates must complete 45 hours of ABORM-recognized fertility/reproductive health courses (in-person, recorded, or live webinar) before sitting the exam. You have to complete the courses before the exam date in February 2014. If you register for ABORM CEU courses but have not completed them by the application deadline then print out your receipt from your provider and send it in with your application to demonstrate your intention to complete the 45 hours in reproductive health CEUs/PDAs/CPDs.
ProD is the largest provider of ABORM-approved courses and webinars in the world. It’s one of our goals to help practitioners improve their own practices as acupuncturists, develop their businesses and move the profession as a whole forward.
See our full list of ABORM Exam Prep (CEU approved): http://www.prodseminars.net/category/approved/aborm-exam-prerequisite
ABORM Fellows must complete 20 hours every two years to renew their ABORM membership. Areas of continuing education include fertility, andrology, obstetrics & gynecology, and menopause Check out our ABORM-approved courses for FABORM CEU renewal. (http://www.prodseminars.net/category/approved/aborm-member-renewal)
For more information on CEU requirements, visit ABORM (http://www.aborm.org)
Lorne Brown B.Sc., Dr.TCM, CPA, FABORM, CHt