Acupuncture Continuing Education

California Acupuncture Work Comp Physician Update

California acupuncture laws and regulations establish California licensed acupuncturists as treating physicians in the worker’s compensation system but not as primary care physicians. California worker’s compensation rules define a primary care physician as “a physician who has the responsibility for providing initial and primary care to patients, for maintaining the continuity of patient care, and for initiating referral for specialist care. A primary care physician shall be either a physician who has limited his or her practice of medicine to general practice or who is a board-certified or board-eligible internist, pediatrician, obstetrician-gynecologist, or family practitioner.”

The California labor code (3209.3) defines a treating physician: “Physician includes physicians and surgeons holding an M.D. or D.O. degree, psychologists, acupuncturists, optometrists, dentists, podiatrists, and chiropractic practitioners licensed by California state law and within the scope of their practice as defined by California state law.”


Acupuncturist Scope of Practice
The California acupuncture scope of practice law grants acupuncturists the ability to “engage in the practice of acupuncture” and to, “perform or prescribe the use of Asian massage, acupressure, breathing techniques, exercise, heat, cold, magnets, nutrition, diet, herbs, plant, animal, and mineral products, and dietary supplements to promote, maintain, and restore health.”