Here is my problem with hearing the words, "It couldn't hurt:" It COULD hurt if done improperly, and may not do any good. A licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist goes through a 4-year program of learning in GREAT depth all of the intricacies of this style of medicine. In many states, doctors are allowed to practice acupuncture without ANY training because it is considered a "medical procedure" and thus falls under their scope of practice. Luckily, the doctors who practice acupuncture without ANY knowledge of the system are few in numbers. However, the "training" that many doctors receive should not be considered training, but a brief introduction. 100-300 hours of instruction just isn't enough to learn the ins and the outs of such an intricate system of medicine. Kudos to those doctors who have the conscience to get at least SOME knowledge, but this doesn't make you an acupuncturist.
Unfortunately, through programs to teach "medical acupuncture" there isn't enough hands-on training, and this is where the problems lie, in my opinion. There are proper angles and depths at which needles are inserted at each of the acupuncture points (of which there are over 500 commonly-used points). If needles are inserted improperly, such injuries can occur as tendonitis, neuritis, pneumothorax, peritonitis and more. An acupuncturist spends an entire YEAR learning just proper needle insertion, let alone the other aspects of the medicine.
"Medical acupucnturists" aren't given enough training in the art of Chinese medical diagnosis. For example, back pain, in Chinese medicine can have one of several different diagnoses that is leading to the patient experiencing pain in their back. Many medical acupucnturists use a standard set of acupuncture points (kind of like following a recipe to bake a cake) to treat back pain, regardless of the Chinese medical diagnosis. Doing so may lead them to use a point that, at best will have no effect, or at worst, exacerbate the complaint.
Another downfall to a lack of hands-on training is a lack of the concept and perception of Qi. Now, I know this may sound like a silly thing to be concerned with, but I assure you, it's not. (I will note here, that not believing in, or being able to feel Qi, at least isn't DIRECTLY harmful, just a waste of a patient's time, money and trust in the medicine). Medical practitioners who learn "medical acupuncture" are not taught to feel Qi. To me this is missing the entire point of the medicine! If you can't feel the Qi, or don't believe that it exists, how can you manipulate it in order to get the healing response that is desired?
Again, I applaud doctors for opening their minds to the possibilities that other styles of medicine can work. However, unless you're willing to dedicate your time to getting full training, please refer your patients to a specialist. Let's all stick to what we're good at, and refer our patients to each other. They will be the major benefactors, which is what should have gotten us into medicine in the first place.