Beth Burch, ND, Dean of Doctoral Studies, is the first member of OCOM's staff and faculty to complete the Human Investigations Program (HIP) at Oregon Health and Sciences University. She graduated in 2012, earning a Certificate of Human Investigations. The HIP certificate track consists of 24 credits and offers advanced training in clinical and/or translational research. Subject matter taught in the program includes research study design, statistics, protection of human subjects, and evidence-based medicine theory, among other topics.
The HIP culminates with a capstone project of either a student-designed and executed research study or an NIH-compatible grant application. Dr. Burch chose to use OCOM's clinic data for an investigation into the treatment of musculoskeletal complaints with acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Her study, "Results of Four Acupuncture Treatments for Muscle and Joint Pain: An Analysis of Patient-Reported Outcomes Data from an Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Teaching Clinic," demonstrated significant improvement in pain and function amongst OCOM patients returning for a fifth visit over an 18-month period. The study is an excellent example of the utilization of data from OCOM's patient-centered outcomes research program, and its potential to provide valuable insight into the effect of acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatment on a variety of health conditions.
Dr. Burch presented her work at the 2013 Symposium for Portland Area Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (SPARC) and plans to submit the paper to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.
In addition to her role as Dean of Doctoral Studies, she teaches Oriental Medicine Research II in the master's program and oversees the doctoral capstone research projects, personally mentoring several of these projects each year.