Doctor of Oriental Medicine Joins UNM School of Medicine Integrative Medicine Clinic Under Unique Arrangement in the City


Mary Smith-Fassler, RN, D.O.M., has joined the new University of New Mexico Integrative Medicine Clinic, located in the UNM Hospitals Northeast Height Clinic on Academy near Wyoming, working alongside UNM physicians to provide patient care.

The arrangement is believed to be the first in Albuquerque where physicians and acupuncturists work in collaboration to determine the best modality of treatment to benefit the patient.  They also have the opportunity to access the medical records, tests, x-rays and treatment results in an academic environment. 

Under a new Acupuncture Protocol in affect within the UNM Health Sciences Center, acupuncture will be provided either by a licensed doctor of Oriental Medicine, board certified to practice acupuncture in the state or by a licensed M.D. board certified in Acupuncture.   Primary care physician referrals are required at the clinic to see a Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

"I believe Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine are good compliments," said

Dr. Smith-Fassler of her practice.  "Western medicine is designed to treat the acute stages of disease while Chinese Medicine also looks to the root of the condition. Both Western and Eastern Medicine are preventative in their own unique way."

Many patients turn to Chinese medicine when they find they are running out of options, she said.  "For instance, we have had great success working with chronic pain. By working together in a true team atmosphere with the patient and his or her physician, we've found that many times we have been able to gradually wean patients from pain medications."

In addition to the acupuncture treatments provided at the clinic, Arti Prasad, M.D., chief of the Section of Integrative Medicine holds clinics for adult patients and provides comprehensive assessments embracing the principles of integrative medicine such as life style modifications, nutrition, spirituality and culturally appropriate care.    Brian Shelley, M.D., sees patients of all ages for health and wellness and has commonly treated patients with chronic pain, menopause, diabetes, obesity, depression and anxiety.  Both physicians also provide counseling on natural health products. 

Dr. Smith-Fassler works with Drs. Prasad and Shelley to provide acupuncture services at the Northeast Heights Clinic from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.  She also accepts referrals from other primary care physicians throughout the city.  She currently treats patients for a large variety of conditions including lower back pain, chronic pain management, neck pain, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, nausea and vomiting of pregnancy and induced by chemotherapy, substance abuse, chronic headaches, dental pain, pain due to arthritis, stroke rehabilitation and menstrual cramps.





Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322

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