The education initiatives of the OCOM Research Department are intended to enhance research appreciation and literacy and to provide interested students with the opportunity to learn research by participating in research studies. Research appreciation and literacy are infused into both the master's and doctoral curricula. Doctoral research coursework provides students with a deeper understanding of issues in research design and evaluation.

During our NIH/NCCAM grant — Acupuncture Practitioner Research Education Enhancement (APREE) — we developed nine core Research Literate Practitioner (RLP) Competencies, an educational foundation to support research based on analysis of intake and outcomes data collected at OCOM's clinics and to introduce evidence-informed clinical judgment education and assessment.

Research Curriculum

MAcOM curriculum

Master's students take a series of courses in acupuncture and Chinese medicine research throughout the program. They learn how to formulate a research question, implement a search strategy, locate relevant published articles, critically evaluate the methods and conclusions of published research studies, participate in research projects and formulate a pilot study using the NIH grant-writing format. Master’s students also explore the importance of research for enhancing the credibility of acupuncture.
 
The first year of the master's program includes an introduction to ongoing research at OCOM and an information access course that teaches students to:
  • Formulate a research question
  • Construct and implement a bibliographic search strategy
  • Locate published articles on acupuncture and Chinese medicine research

The second-year research course teaches students:

  • The importance of research for enhancing the credibility of acupuncture
  • How to determine if a research study has been well-designed

The third-year Research Practicum provides students with opportunities to:

  • Participate in mentored clinical or survey research projects, or to
  • Design a pilot study using the NIH grant-writing format

DAOM curriculum

Doctoral students learn to critically evaluate published research and incorporate research findings into clinical practice, as well as develop skills in the design and implementation of clinical research studies.
 
The doctoral program's monthly modules train students to:
  • Enhance critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate published research
  • Enable students to collaborate in the design and implementation of clinical research studies
  • Incorporate research findings into clinical practice and communicate with health care colleagues

Research Grand Rounds

This seminar series examines challenges in the design and implementation of research, especially in the field of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. In contrast to hospital-based grand rounds, which focus on clinical care, OCOM’s Research Grand Rounds explore issues of clinical research.

Research Literate Practitioner Competencies

OCOM's academic program is built on student achievement of educational competencies related to the practice of Chinese medicine. To support and enhance these competencies, OCOM's research education program developed nine Research Literate Practitioner (RLP) Competencies  — a set of skills, knowledge, behaviors and attitudes that provide an educational foundation to support research based on analysis of intake and outcomes data collected at OCOM's clinics and to introduce evidence-informed clinical judgment education and assessment. They were developed as part of our 2005-2013 NIH/NCCAM grant: Acupuncture Practitioner Research Education Enhancement (APREE).

Achievement of research literacy in the professional domain means that a practitioner demonstrates the following nine competencies of a research literate practitioner:

  1. Generates searchable questions
  2. Accesses information
  3. Differentiates which information to consider as evidence
  4. Critically evaluates and synthesizes evidence
  5. Interprets evidence to make clinical judgments
  6. Integrates evidence into professional communications
  7. Maintains ethical standards of practice
  8. Engages in reflective practice
  9. Participates in the culture of research

Resources for Conducting Student, Faculty and Alumni Research

We recommend the following websites and resources to anyone who wants to learn more about the field of acupuncture and Chinese medicine research. Explore the online repository of acupuncture research resources, learn about OCOM's Institutional Review Board and how to submit a research proposal.