Content on integrative healthcare and complementary and alternative medicine is being taught in hundreds of educational programs across the country. Nursing, medical, osteopathic, chiropractic, acupuncture, naturopathic, and other programs are finding creative and innovative ways to include these approaches in new models of education and practice. This column spotlights such innovations in integrative healthcare and CAM education and presents readers with specific educational interventions they can adapt into new or ongoing educational efforts at their institution or programs. We invite readers to submit brief descriptions of efforts in their institutions that reflect the creativity, diversity, and interdisciplinary nature of the field. Please submit to Dr Sierpina at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr Kreitzer at email@example.com. Submissions should be no more than 700 to 800 words. Please include any Web site or other resource that is relevant, as well as contact information.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The grant effort at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM), led by PI Richard Hammerschlag, PhD, and research education director Susan Fleishman , focuses on building a research culture at OCOM. Anticipated outcomes of the initiative, entitled Acupuncture Practitioner Research Education Enhancement, include development of research-related competencies and critical thinking skills essential for the contemporary practice of acupuncture and oriental medicine (AOM), and creation of a cadre of AOM professionals with the interest and requisite skills to participate in the design and implementation of AOM research. The collaborative partner is the School of Nursing at Oregon Health & Science University. Masters students (MAcOM) enrolled in the three-year entry level program and doctoral (DAOM) students enrolled in the two-year postgraduate program are exposed to curricular content that will enable them to access and appraise relevant information, attain fluency in the language, design, and world view of research, exchange information with peers and patients in educational and practice venues, and develop skills of reflective practice. Competencies have been defined for the research-literate practitioner, which encompass the spectrum of novice to expert. A variety of strategies are being used to infuse research into the curriculum. A newly developed first-year required course, Ways of Knowing: Experience and Evidence in Oriental Medicine, includes information access skills and introduces research as one of several types of evidence that informs clinical decision making. This course provides foundational learning for the two existing core research courses—Oriental Medicine Research and Research Practicum. In addition, research-related learning activities are threaded into other biomedicine and Oriental Medicine courses throughout the master’s program. In the clinical doctorate program, three of the monthly four-day modules per year focus on research content. Faculty development is considered essential for successful implementation of Acupuncture Practitioner Research Education Enhancement. To this end, a Research Scholars Program has been created, patterned after the University of Michigan Faculty Scholars Program developed by Dr Rita Benn under an NCCAM-funded R25 grant. Under OCOM’s seminar-style program, faculty research scholars receive research and pedagogy training as well as mentoring support to develop research-related learning activities for the courses they teach. Given the goal of changing the culture at OCOM relative to research, Hammerschlag and Fleishman are encouraged that they are beginning to witness “ripple effects” from the grant, including a new, student-initiated research club and an OCOM clinic-initiated project to develop research-friendly intake and outcomes tracking forms.