I always thoroughly enjoy my time as an instructor at McMaster University Contemporary Medical Acupuncture program. Yes, there is the fact that you simply improve ones own practice by teaching, then there is the mind bending aspect that Doctors, Chiropractors and Physiotherapist are asking me questions and looking to me to teach them (*boom*). But more often than not I find Dr. Alejandro Elorriaga (program director) to be one of the most skillful, informative and entertaining aspects of these weekends. If one is ever to gain mastery of a given skill you must first find a master to learn from.
Acupuncture in Ontario is a controlled act (for good reason!). In order to deliver a needle in this province practitioners are required to have a minimum 2500 hours of education and training in the areas of anatomy, physiology, pathology, treatments etc. Then there are minimum requirements for continuing education. Each time I go down to McMaster University I know I am in for at least 10 hours a day of “pure clinical nectar” (as the Spaniard calls it) which means every spring and fall I log an extra 150 hours of learning from the masters. Next time my CEU log is due I am only going to note the 30 or so hours required to maintain my license or I’ll be writing forever!
Another great side benefit of this is I get to speak with Family Physicians, Anesthesiologist, Physiotherapist and Chiropractors about my own clients and cases that are tough to treat without outside peer consultations (psst. Massage Therapists just don’t get this opportunity so making hay while the sun is shining is my MO at present). Then once again, there is Dr. Elorriaga, aka. “El matador,” truly at home solving problems brought about by complex clinical conditions and/or poor treatment by other health care practitioners and I am certain, making waves with established ways of doing things at times. He is certainly no Pirate, more like a Conquistador and most certainly a master at his craft that can also entertain like no other Doctor I have known. And that is why it is enjoyable and rewarding for me to be a member of this swashbuckling group of healthcare practitioners.