Our alumni are working in...
Amit Singh, MAcOM 2004, runs a thriving private practice in Southeast Portland. Passionate about the “effortlessness” of his practice and the importance of open-mindedness, Amit says “OCOM welcomed me into a family of people who took the medicine from the heart and believed in it completely.” Read more.
Roberto Masferrer, MAcOM 2010, discovered acupuncture through his martial arts practice, and his Peace Corps experience persuaded him that acupuncture would be more satisfying than a career in Western medicine. Roberto now balances his private practice with his volunteer work in rural health, martial arts study, and his dream of using his private pilot skills to provide care to remote communities. Read more.
Christine Knight, MAcOM 2003, has been in private practice since graduating from OCOM. In addition to practicing Chinese medicine with a focus on injury treatment and prevention, she sets up and manages community acupuncture walk-in clinics through her company. Read more.
Wellness Product Development
Peter Borten, DAOM 2000, has “always been a mad scientist type.” Looking around the waiting room at northwest Portland’s Dragontree Holistic Day Spa (one of two locations), it’s a description that appears to fit. The plush, jewel-toned room sparkles with dozens of small bottles — Dragontree Honey Milk Bath, Dragontree Apothecary Fertility Formula — offering dozens of beauty products and herbal concoctions to browse through while waiting for a massage or acupuncture treatment. Read more.
Diana Hermann, MAcOM 1999, treats dermatological conditions, autoimmune diseases, and respiratory ailments in her Fort Collins, Colorado specialty clinic. In 2009, she launched her product line, Zi Zai Dermatology, in which she creates handcrafted small batches of exceptional skin care products formulated with Chinese herbs. Read more.
International Public Health and Nonprofit
Mateo Bernal, MAcOM 2009, developed his international focus long before studying at OCOM. As a policy advocate in the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Chiapas after college, Bernal worked to raise awareness of the economic and social issues facing poor communities in Mexico. He soon realized he “wanted something more concrete and more practical to give” to people he cares about. Read more.
Gidon Levenbach, MAcOM 2007, is a man on the move. Since graduating from OCOM, he spends half the year traveling and working in the U.S., and the other half directing the Flying Needle Project, the acupuncture clinic and public health initiative he founded in South Africa. Serving a patient population with serious medical concerns and few resources, Gidon’s work is inspiring. Read more.
Megan Yarberry, MAcOM 1998, combines her passion for Chinese medicine with her background in international affairs in creating an adventurous career. She maintains a private practice and academic career in beautiful Hawaii, while pursuing her conviction that acupuncture is “extremely well-suited to resource-poor environments” — a conviction that has taken her to communities in need throughout the world, including in Kenya, Uganda, and Haiti. Read more.
Chi Wilburn, MAcOM 2009, recently returned from Bali, where she studied and practiced Shonishin (Japanese pediatric acupuncture) under Soma Glick. Since her return, she has incorporated her knowledge into her practice, and plans to open a monthly pediatric clinic to offer the medicine to more children. Read more.
Sara O'Byrne, MAcOM 2012, DAOM 2014, currently serves as the Chinese medicine instructor for Naturopaths Without Borders (NWB), a group whose mission is to provide naturopathic health care to impoverished communities, while empowering those communities through education, supporting growth and cultivating sustainable resources. Read More.
Dr. Laura Varga, MAcOM 2010, DAOM 2012, works at The Duke Center for Integrative Medicine, where she practices and educates peers and patients towards the goal of true integration in health care. Read more.
Doug Beal, NP, MAcOM 2009, has worked as a nurse practitioner and staff member at Kaiser Permanente since 1994. Since graduating from OCOM, he has brought Chinese medicine into his work and is in a position to not only see changes in the system, but to create them. Read More.
A “miracle liquid” inspired clinical psychologist Stephen Saeks, MAcOM 2003, to pursue the study of Chinese medicine. Now a licensed acupuncturist, he blends his skills in a practice offering Chinese medicine, psychotherapy and an integration of the two. Read more.
OCOM alum In Yu, MAcOM 2007 and DAOM 2010, partners with a chiropractor and massage therapists as part of her complementary medicine group practice. Influenced by her childhood exposure to acupuncture in her native Korea and by OCOM faculty member, Dr. Joe Coletto, In says she is “grateful for every single day.” Read more.
After meeting as OCOM students, Jen DeMaio, MAcOM 1999, and Steve Spader, MAcOM 2000, became partners in business and in life. Now balancing private practice, married life and parenthood, Jen and Steve run Two Turtles Wellness Center in Moorehead, Minnesota. Read more.
Research, Publication and Scholarship
Asked why he makes research a priority in his career, LTC (Ret) Fujio McPherson, DAOM, MSN, ARNP, LAc, responds that he wants “to show that Chinese medicine, as a system of care, is not only effective at improving clinical outcomes, but also in changing behavior, which is a critical component of health promotion.” Now on the leading edge of the U.S. military’s new wave of alternative medicine studies, Fujio credits OCOM’s doctoral program and its emphasis on research as having a great influence on his current research efforts. Read more.
Now a PhD candidate at Johns Hopkins University, Victor Kumar, MAcOM 2003, found that his OCOM education led him to pursue an academic career while maintaining his clinical practice. While he treats a broad range of conditions in his Washington, DC-based clinic, Victor’s scholarship focuses on “how systems like Chinese medicine are being interpreted by practitioners and how they’re being integrated into existing medical practices.”
Working alongside her mother in an integrative mind-body-spirit practice, Christina Bjergo, MAcOM 2005, combines acupuncture, shiatsu bodywork, sound healing and dreaming techniques in treating her patients. She also keeps busy teaching qigong classes, and she's written a book, The Tao of Tarot. Read more.