Thanks to a generous donation from the CHP Group, OCOM is able to offer three Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Scholarships of $10,000 to incoming first professional (MAc, MACM, or DACM/MACM) students for the 2021-2022 academic year. CHP CEO, OCOM Board member and donor, Michell Hay, reflects on the impact of this gift, “We appreciate the quality education programs that OCOM offers, and the valuable patient care you provide in the community to carry out the mission to transform healthcare.” This gift can have a major impact on reducing barriers to enrollment for students looking to bring that mission to communities currently underserved by licensed acupuncturists.
Any student applicant who has applied for Federal Financial Aid and identifies as coming from a diverse background and intends to serve an underserved community with their future practice is encouraged to apply. The process includes completing an application and submitting an essay (two-page, double spaced maximum) answering the question, “How will an OCOM education help you to increase acupuncture and integrative medicine access in a community you hope to serve?”
The scholarship committee will review all application materials and select the recipient based on eligibility, essay grammar and writing, adherence to topic, and depth of content. Applicants will be notified of the results by mid-June 2021. The Office of Financial Aid will incorporate the scholarship into the student’s 2021-2022 financial aid award letter.
Interested students should apply by the regular decision deadline of April 30, 2021. Download the application
The profession is changing and OCOM is in the middle of the moment. Since the events of the summer of 2020, conversations at the national and local level continue to shine a renewed spotlight on social justice issues and equity. The Board of Trustees, Executive Leadership and groups of faculty and students have gathered to hear feedback from BIPOC and other students regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We launched a survey to assess community opinions on a name change for the college to replace the word “Oriental.” The results show a majority of the wider OCOM community is ready for a change, with no clear path forward on an alternative name. Choosing wisely is an opportunity for OCOM to create a shared desired future and reflect that to the wider community.
So what will it take to change a name? While focus groups and survey respondents show there are greatly differing views of the term “Oriental” ranging from positive cultural affinity to no opinion to finding it offensive, those differences are most pronounced between generations and countries of origin. Responding individuals raised in the US are most vocal about the need for a change, and it is clear that significant representation of OCOM constituents (staff, faculty, students and alumni) are deeply troubled by the College retaining a name with the term Oriental, as they view it as a racial slur; but that view is not shared by all, including many faculty and students from cultures originating in Asia. The Board of Trustees saw the survey data that show now a majority of the wider OCOM community want a name change and at the request of the president voted to approve changing the college name. Yet this commitment is just the beginning of the process.
This mindful effort at the college, a thoughtful rename/rebranding as part of a wider DEI focus, will unfold as part of the next five-year strategic plan, which we anticipate to take six months or longer to develop and implement. Plan development will include new rounds of surveys and focus groups with the community to narrow and ultimately choose a new name and branding path for the college. Changes of this scale take time to fully implement, but the direction is clear, that we as a profession need to be grounded in different terminology, which is a direct response to needs expressed by Asian American students, alumni, faculty, and allies.
July 22, 2020
|December 2020 to present||
|August 2020 to present||
|January 2021-October 2021||
OCOM Library is delighted to announce the launch of the Kam Wah Chung Medical Archive. This historical digital archive is the result of the 2019-2020 project, Kam Wah Chung: A Historical Archive of Chinese Medicine in Rural Oregon, which is a collaboration between OCOM and the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site in John Day, Oregon. The project was supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA Grant), administered by the State Library of Oregon.
The Kam Wah Chung Medical Archive captures a unique snapshot of Chinese medicine’s earliest practice in rural Oregon. In the late 1800s, two Chinese immigrants, Ing “Doc” Hay and Lung On, purchased the Kam Wah Chung building in the mining community of John Day, Oregon, where the two operated a Chinese apothecary and a general store until Hay’s death in 1952. The museum is well known for its treasure trove of artifacts detailing the Chinese immigrant experience in the American West. The Kam Wah Chung Medical Archive focuses on medical objects that are found in the museum collection. The digital archive provides digitized images and descriptions of Chinese medical herbs, Doc Hay's handwritten formula prescriptions, Chinese patent medicine products, and books and pharmacy catalogs from the late 19th to the early 20th century. Translation has been done over the years by OCOM students and faculty, and is ongoing.
The Kam Wah Chung Medical Archive, now available to the public, is an excellent resource to those concerned with Oregon history, the Chinese immigrant experience in the American West, or traditional Chinese medicine and herbal practice. The Archive can be accessed at: kwc.ocom.edu
For any questions about the Kam Wah Chung Medical Archive, contact the OCOM Library / Oregon College of Oriental Medicine at: library.ocom.edu/contact-us/
You’ve come a long way, but there’s still a few more steps until you’re ready to start your practice and begin helping patients. This can be an arduous process, so KPC Herbs made this guide to help take out most of the guesswork when it comes to getting the right herbs you need for your patients.
Student Kit for Graduates - DOWNLOAD
The transition from being an acupuncture student to being a professional acupuncturist means learning to do many things for yourself on a smaller scale and from a different perspective. While prescribing herbal medicine is a key part of any professional training program, the back-end management of inventory, quality control, pricing, and dispensing may not have been an explicit part of your education. This workbook is a step-by-step guide with useful tips, links to templates, and recommendations built from the real experience of new entrepreneurs. The workbook is designed to be viewed digitally, with hyperlinks to templates of key resources. Or you can print it off and fill it in with pen and ink. We encourage you to use this guide in a way that works best for you.
Setting Up Your Granular Pharmacy - DOWNLOAD
These resources brought to you thanks to the generous support of KPC Herbs
In this new world of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that as medical professionals and as students working to become medical professionals, we re-enter our school and workplace under a social contract to protect the health of our community. Our priority is to keep people safe. We will rely on the information provided to us from the OHA, CDC, and other reputable sources for guidance in this changing world.
To keep our community safe, OCOM will have important social and professional expectations of its faculty, staff, and students — on and off campus. This is essentially the social contract that all are expected to follow to provide the best care for our patients, education for our students, and a safe environment for us all.
We ask that students, faculty, staff, and visitors follow these guidelines:
As one of the oldest colleges in America teaching the healing arts of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, tuina, shiatsu, cupping, gua sha, hara diagnosis, and other techniques, our college was also founded in an era when the term “Oriental medicine” was commonly used to describe what many now call East Asian Medicine. For OCOM, the medicine we teach is based on the Chinese classics and also informed by years of development in other Asian countries and influenced by other Asian cultures including but not limited to Korean, Japanese, Tibetan and Vietnamese.
In recent years, our profession in America has struggled with naming conventions for some of our older accredited colleges and programs, and for our professional organizations that also have the term “Oriental” in their names. On the OCOM campus, there was a workgroup convened in 2013 to look at the use of such terminology. While outcomes from that group recommended that our print, publications, web presence, and communications style guide encourage the phrase “Chinese medicine” for describing what we teach, there was no agreement on the use of the term overall and the name of the college was not changed.
In 2015, the OCOM Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved a survey of students and professionals on the attitudes toward the term “Oriental” as a descriptor of the profession and the medicine. In 2016, the results were presented at a student research conference.
Also in 2016, a bill was passed and signed into law by President Obama that removed the term “Oriental” from all federal use. This bill stimulated further national debate in our professional organizations and colleges and, over time, several accredited schools have made significant changes to their names to remove the term.
In 2018, a presentation of the 2016 campus survey results was given to the President’s direct reports. In part because of the historical lack of consensus on campus and that attitudes toward the term continued to evolve, another campus survey was ordered.
The 2018 administration-driven OCOM survey on the use of “Oriental” in the OCOM name was conducted; and the results were presented later that year to the Program Committee of the college’s Board of Trustees. During that meeting, summaries of results from both the 2016 and the 2018 surveys were discussed with board members.
Opinions on a college name change and on maintaining the term “Oriental” continued to vary greatly. The committee discussed gathering additional input, and began to assess the cost and possible paths to implementing a change to the name. No clear options emerged and no recommendation was made to the full board. The issue of changing the institution’s name was put on hold pending further input, with a recommended pivot to use limited resources for new program development and implementation.
However, out of the work in 2018, a decision for another incremental step was made: to update the titles for the college’s new programs, eliminating the term “Oriental” from degree titles except for the DAOM. The new degree titles for first professional degrees, as approved by the Board of Trustees and presented to our accreditor for approval in 2018, are DACM, MACM, and MAc.
Further, the term “Chinese medicine” is still preferred in OCOM official communications and publications. College administrators, staff, and some students have continued to raise the issue of and concern over the use and public perception of the term “Oriental” in the college name. These concerns were discussed with student leaders in a June 15, 2020 meeting and by the President with the full Board of Trustees on June 25, 2020.
Throughout these many conversations, no consensus over what should replace the name has emerged, but unease with the term “Oriental” among the OCOM community has been persistent. With support from the Board of Trustees, our current President is revisiting the college naming convention. As part of that effort, we are asking our internal audiences (students, faculty, staff, alumni) to weigh in. Information gleaned will be presented to the trustees for further consideration.
In response to student concerns as well as current events, President Sherri Green met with student leaders on June 18, 2020 to discuss a range of issues related to inclusion, bias, racial literacy, our curricula offerings on public health, and other critical issues that address health disparities.
OCOM as an institution serves BIPOC and gender and culturally diverse students, staff, faculty, and patients. The OCOM Community is committed to health, healing and social justice. Yet, not all our community members experience the safety and inclusion we aspire to as a college. While OCOM faculty, staff, students and alumni have continually served and done important work with vulnerable and marginalized communities in our clinics and across the country, we are listening closely as an institution to how we have come up short for BIPOC students. No matter the intent, we must look at impact. OCOM is responding to the call for action as a whole community.
Any path toward equity and justice requires that we see fully the roots of racism in America that go back to the very founding of our nation. We also must look clear-eyed at our own institutional shortcomings.
In particular, the recent conversation with students highlighted the importance of:
Through meetings with staff, faculty, and students over these past weeks, OCOM has recommitted to dialogue that is informed by these root concerns. Working together we can courageously improve as an institution of higher learning and lean-in together for the important work to assure a healing environment for our students, staff, faculty, and patients.
This announcement has taken some time, as we decided to slow down and listen to those most affected before planning. We can do better as an institution, and our reaction to this moment should not be superficial or fleeting. Below is a framework to guide our efforts. We will collaborate as a community and with our Board of Trustees to refine and firm up a strategic plan to move this work forward.
Institutional Change Will Involve Everyone
Our goals for this next phase of growth for our learning community are still forming, but at the core we are looking for transformation. Classes alone do not get us there, but rather full engagement of our community over time will be required.
The OCOM Library has gathered a resource page for students, faculty, staff, and alumni to use in considering ways to inform themselves on issues of bias in health care, anti-racism, and BIPOC experiences. Find the full reading and media list here.
OCOM is a member of the Coalition of Community Health Clinics, whose mission is to support a safety net of health and preventive services for low-income, uninsured, and under-served community members. They recently published resources addressing systemic racism as a public health crisis. Click here for the full list of health resources.
None of these resource lists are exhaustive, but a starting point. We will continue to update them and offer online updates.