Acupuncture is widely used by the American public, but little is known about its availability and use in academic medical settings. We performed a pilot study to compare acupuncture services provided by hospitals affiliated with a major academic teaching institution, and a parallel survey of services provided through an acupuncture school in one city in New England.
Acupuncture was available in 8 of the 13 hospitals. Acupuncture was provided in ambulatory clinics in all eight hospitals, but was available to inpatients in only one hospital. Six hospitals delivered acupuncture through an outpatient pain treatment service, one through a women’s health center, one through an HIV clinic, and one hospital delivered acupuncture through two services; a program in the anesthesia department and a multi-disciplinary holistic program in a primary care department. In contrast, the acupuncture school clinics provided services through an on-site clinic at the school, through acupuncture departments at two community-based hospitals, and through a network of 12 satellite acupuncture-dedicated clinics operating throughout the state.