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 About Research at OCOM

Since its founding in 1999 (by Dr. Richard Hammerschlag), the Research Department's partners have included such leading health education and research institutions as the Oregon Health & Science University, the University of Arizona, Legacy Health System, Portland State University and Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, and the University of Western States. These collaborative projects have been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health/National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and from private foundations.

From 2005 until 2013, the department implemented an NIH/NCCAM grant — Acupuncture Practitioner Research Education Enhancement (APREE) — to enhance research literacy and research appreciation in academic and clinical training. The continuing research education initiatives are now focused on analysis of intake and outcomes data collected at OCOM's clinics, and opportunities for student participation in research.

The Ongoing Role of Research

Research appreciation and literacy are infused into both the master's and doctoral curricula. A series of three courses for master's students provides the foundation for understanding the role of research in the field and prepares them to participate in such research. In the first year, a course entitled "Oriental Medicine Research I" introduces students to key concepts of research literacy and research opportunities at OCOM. The Year Two course, "OMR II," grounds students in the challenges and current status of clinical research in acupuncture and other modalities of Chinese medicine. In the third year's "Research Practicum" course, students are mentored by faculty to participate in ongoing research projects.

Doctoral research coursework provides students with a deeper understanding of issues in research design and evaluation. Critical thinking skills are developed, along with an appreciation of evidence-based criteria and outcomes in health care research and clinical practice. In the doctoral program's Capstone Project, students demonstrate their abilities to synthesize the theoretical and practical/clinical aspects of doctoral education, critically evaluate research and potentially contribute to the research base of Chinese medicine, and enhance competencies of professional communication.

Learn more about Research Education at OCOM.

The staff of the Research Department assists faculty and students interested in conducting research in OCOM's clinics and elsewhere. Such help includes the formulation of the research question, obtaining of relevant literature, design and methods of the proposed project.

Research at OCOM is facilitated by the College Research Committee (CRC) and the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The CRC functions to coordinate and prioritize emerging interests for data collection from OCOM's clinics and the college's collaborative research projects. The IRB reviews all research projects involving human subjects to ensure patient safety and confidentiality.

Contact the Research Department

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