Developing, Integrating, and Implementing Evidence-Informed Practice Curricula Throughout a Chinese Medicine Degree Program

Belinda J. Anderson, Benjamin E. Kligler, Paul R. Marantz, Stacy Gomes, William J. Casalaina, Marianne Fuenmayor, Jason Ginsberg, Kathleen A. Greenough, Olga Reznikova, Robert L. Saronson, Helen Zhang, Roni Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: To train faculty and develop curricula in evidence-informed practice (EIP) within a Chinese medicine degree program. Setting: Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (New York). Design: Faculty EIP training was undertaken through utilization of online EIP modules, and development and completion of a 3-credit (45 h) online Foundations of EIP course. This was supplemented by faculty meetings and one-on-one support from department chairs. Curriculum development was undertaken by an EIP Curriculum Committee. The committee followed a modified Delphi process to develop EIP course learning outcomes (CLOs), and to make changes to the College's clinic policies and procedures. EIP assignments were developed for each course in accordance with the CLO. Results: Ninety-one percent of the faculty and 97% of clinical supervisors received formal EIP training. Thirty-five percent of all didactic faculty, 38% of faculty teaching courses with EIP incorporated, and 30% of clinical supervisors completed 10 or more h of EIP training during this project. Faculty also received informal EIP training through participation in department and general faculty meetings. Seventy-three percent of the Master's degree curriculum, inclusive of 40 didactic courses and fifteen 60-h clinic shifts, were modified to incorporate EIP. EIP CLOs and corresponding assignments were developed. Clinic intake forms were modified to facilitate undertaking EIP in the College clinic. Issues related to how EIP is defined in conjunction with the nature of available scientific research in Chinese medicine required discussion and resolution. Conclusions: Training faculty and developing curricula in EIP within Chinese medicine colleges has unique challenges that must be factored into the strategies and processes. Factors that contributed to the success of this project were having faculty drive the process, integrating EIP content within existing curricula, gradual exposure, identifying champions, relating EIP to practice building, and openly discussing opposing perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-472
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
One such institution was Northwestern Health Sciences University (NWHSU),10 which later partnered with Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) and Albert Einstein College of Medicine to undertake a similar project at the PCOM campus in New York city. This was supported by a grant from the NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Previous similar projects at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM)11 and the New England School of Acupuncture (NESA)12 were successful in engaging students and faculty in research training, but they did also report a certain level of resistance. Previous studies at PCOM had demonstrated that faculty and students also had reservations about research. To directly address this issue and to lessen its potentially deleterious impact on the project, an emphasis was placed on trying to better understand the faculty and student’s perspectives surrounding research and EBM. Insights gained from this were then used to incentivize faculty and students, and develop curricula.

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), United States, under Award numbers K07AT007186 and R25AT003582. This publication was also supported in part by the CTSA Grant 1 UL1 TR001073–01, 1 TL1 TR001072–01, and 1 KL2 TR001071–01 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, United States (NCATS), a component of the NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© Anderson et al. 2020; Published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2020.


  • Chinese medicine
  • acupuncture
  • curriculum development
  • education
  • evidence informed practice
  • evidence-based medicine
  • faculty training


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