AOMA Blog

Final Reflection

Posted by Rhonda Coleman on Thu, May 14, 2020 @ 01:04 PM

Rhonda-2020Joyce Carol Oates said, “The great enemy of writing is interruption.” I have lived this truth for the past eight years trying to complete consecutive degrees while raising a large family. It has not been more apparent than in these past four months trying to complete my portfolio, and the past two weeks is a perfect example. I thought my reflection would be the easiest task of all the portfolio items to complete, however constant and frequent interruptions have disrupted my thinking to the point that some days I could not write more than one or two sentences in one sitting. I hope that in sharing my thoughts, I am able to convey the joy, enlightenment, frustrations, limits, and love that was all equally part of my overall experience in this program. 

Completing the DAOM program at AOMA Graduate school of Integrative Medicine (AOMA) has completely changed my life. This program is designed to develop strong leaders who apply critical thinking skills and who are dedicated lifelong learners and contributors to education and research in the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Upon reflection, my experience at AOMA was not at all what I anticipated. My journey began as a quest for mentorship and support as a new Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner. I had just completed the Masters of Science in TCM (MSTCM) degree program at Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Denver and did not feel prepared to be on my own yet. It was my hope that I would polish my skills, get additional training in mental/emotional support through TCM, and have greater access to seasoned professionals who could guide me in my practice. What I actually gained from my participation in the program was a level of confidence that grew me from a timid practitioner to a polished public speaker affecting change in my community through education and leadership in health.  

I had no idea who/what I wanted to be in my life until I was 35 years old. As a child I wanted to be a teacher. My mother would purchase sample textbooks and curriculum guides and give me the ones she didn’t like. I would use the teacher’s manual and workbooks to play “school” with my younger siblings and cousins. As I got older, I became enamored with the arts. I loved stage acting and thought I would love to become a professional actress. Then I found Traditional Chinese Medicine, and realized it was everything I wanted in my life but never knew existed. I wanted to be a healer practicing acupuncture medicine. My decision to continue on to the DAOM program was spontaneous. I had been counting down the days until I completed the three year, accelerated, MSTCM program and was looking forward to being done with school forever! I was sitting in business class, and a question came up about “finding your niche”. I began wondering what I could offer that would be different from the hundreds of acupuncturists serving the Denver Metro area. I knew that I wanted to share what I had learned with the community that raised me. But what would I offer that might attract and inspire them? I needed more time, more information, more support, and more school. I decided in that class, at the end of November, that I would apply to a Doctoral program that would begin in the summer. Seven months later, during the first residency week of the 3rd cohort to enter the DAOM program at AOMA, I found my tribe. I heard voices that echoed mine, I heard ideas I thought only I had considered, I felt validated and welcomed. From that first week and through the next 13 I slowly realized that I had demonstrated who I was since childhood, but I could not see it. I am someone who cares about others, I am helpful, I listen, and I try to solve or resolve problems that are presented. I am someone who loves to learn and who is not afraid to take the road less traveled. I like to share what I have, especially information or knowledge. I must have a purpose and I must make a meaningful contribution into my community in order to feel fulfilled. 

I had a lot of reluctance around having the term “leader” used to describe me before starting the DAOM program. I was lectured from a very early age on the importance of leading by example. I was placed in leadership roles despite my objections. My naturally inquisitive nature and willingness to try things others shied away from, put me in positions that made me “first” and by default a leader, but I was often oblivious to these instances as they occurred. I now recognize and accept both role and title, as well as the responsibility that comes with it. My community sees me as a resource not only in health but in public education. Last year I was asked to serve as Community School Coordinator for Denver’s first community school model. I was chosen because of my ability to organize people, curate resources, develop community, support families, and motivate others. I was invited to speak to university classes and high school classes as a motivational speaker. I have been asked to submit articles on holistic health and speak at health forums.  Recently with the COVID-19 crisis, there have been many panels and events held to offer support to people around self-care and emotional support. My community has reached out to me on multiple occasions to share in these areas. I’ve spoken on two radio shows and done two other panels. I credit the leadership development training I received at AOMA for nourishing whatever seed that was present within me upon my arrival, and allowing me the space to blossom into a better version of myself.

Going through the DAOM program at AOMA does not only impact the scholar, but transforms their lives in such a way that anyone the scholar builds community with will also be impacted. John F. Kennedy said: “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone…” The benefit to everyone is a shift in perspective. This shift broadens problem solving approaches, bridges gaps between communities, and inspires new ideas and goals. Those are some of my greatest takeaways from the program. AOMA offers not only technical or clinical training in TCM, but they help grow leaders in the field of Integrative Health. Now that I’ve completed the DAOM program, I feel prepared to lead my practice, my patients, and my community. I embrace leadership and I accept the responsibility that comes along with it. I am committed to growing and learning more, and I will invite my family and friends to grow alongside me. I am grateful for this experience. Thank you AOMA.

Topics: Traditional Chinese Medicine, alumni, acupuncture school, doctoral program, Austin, tcm, tcm education, acupunture, ATX

5 Benefits of Doctoral Education in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Posted by Brian Becker on Thu, Dec 13, 2018 @ 02:39 PM

Dr. John Finnell, shares what he believes to be the top benefits of attaining a doctor of acupuncture and Oriental medicine degree. #tbt #throwbackthursday

More than ever, I believe that doctoral and post-graduate education prepare the next generation of thought leaders and clinicians to move the field of acupuncture and Oriental medicine forward.

Our role in healthcareacupuncture role in healthcare

Our healthcare landscape needs highly trained clinicians, researchers, and leaders to move the profession forward. Doctoral-level education provides parity at the policymaking table. This may operate institutionally, governmentally, or within the domain of patient care. Parity by title levels the playing field with regard to co-operative patient care.

Leadership

While a doctoral degree alone does not confer success, it does provide one with a credential to fill leadership positions within academia, act as the principle investigator on NIH-funded research, teach at the doctoral level, and oversee doctoral-level clinical education.

professional acupuncture opportunitiesProfessional opportunities

The respect brought by the doctoral title is a feature which enhances patient care and establishes parity with other doctorally prepared professions. Specifically, licensed acupuncturists with a doctorate often find better prospects for hospital employment and faculty positions, and for obtaining research grants and a seat at the table in policy-making processes.

 

Move the profession forward

Doctoral training does provide the rare opportunity for us to explore our intellectual passions and create a new body of knowledge as the fruit of our scholarship. This same scholarship is the cornerstone to the foundation upon which our profession is built. This is not a stagnant process; the evolution of acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) in North America must be actualized through participation of its members. 

Actualizing requires a few key ingredients: vision, action, perseverance, belief, and transformation. All of these ingredients may be found as you pursue your career path. AOMA's DAOM program provides the platform upon which to solidify your role in the actualization of the field of AOM in the next century.

Lifetime learningdaom students

Finally, there are those of us who truly believe in the power of this medicine and want to learn as much as we can to better serve our patients. Improving your knowledge in pain management and the psychosocial aspects associated with pain is certain to improve patient outcomes and your satisfaction as an advanced practitioner of Chinese medicine.

Author bio

Dr. John doctoral program director is an accomplished researcher and skilled health care practitioner with a rich academic and professional background. His interest in lifestyle and environmental determinants of health led him to earn a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and a Master of Science in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine from Bastyr University, as well as a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Washington. As a practitioner of Naturopathic and Chinese medicines, Dr. Finnell’s clinical focus is on nutrition, pharmacognosy, herb-drug interactions, mind-body medicine, disease prevention, and lifestyle education. In addition to maintaining a professional Naturopathic and Chinese medicine practice, Dr. Finnell has also completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), and served as the acting Director of Research for the TrueNorth Health Foundation. Dr. Finnell’s strong research background and clinical experience as a Naturopathic and Chinese medicine practitioner enable him to bring an evidence-based and integrative perspective to AOMA’s doctoral program.

Download Introduction to DAOM Apply to AOMA  

Topics: job opportunities, doctoral program, DAOM, Dr. John Finnell

DAOM Student Spotlight: Pamela Gregg Flax

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Wed, May 07, 2014 @ 01:53 PM

Pamela Gregg Flax   DAOMFor Pamela Gregg Flax, a New Mexico-based practitioner and student in AOMA’s new doctoral program, the efficacy and magic of Chinese medicine have never been a question. Chinese medicine has been her primary form of healthcare for 25 years -- but her decision to become a practitioner came as a surprise, even to her.

Early in her career, she worked in the arts and in environmental philanthropy in Los Angeles. Pamela moved to Santa Fe to marry the man who is now her husband and began learning a healing form called Sat Nam Rasayan (SNR). SNR is a meditative technique described as a traditional healing based on self-consciousness alone. This healing tradition is a ‘familiar’ to Craniosacral Therapy, but comes from the lineage of Kundalini yoga.

“I thought that my interest in SNR was to improve my meditation skills, but I discovered a love of healing,” Pamela says.

On a trip back to LA, Pamela told her acupuncturists that she wished she could do what they do. They encouraged her, and that was all it took—she was in school for her master’s degree in Chinese medicine a few weeks later. “The art of Chinese medicine still speaks to my core, as its subtle power and poetry continue to amaze, delight, and humble me,” she says.

Pamela DAOMPamela describes her path to AOMA as “intuitive and visceral.” After she completed her master’s degree program in New Mexico, she enrolled in two year-long continuing education programs. However, something wasn’t right about the decision.

“The plumbing started leaking in my office and home, and I could feel a weird tremor in my body, like I was jittery or resisting the force of a fast off-camber turn on my bicycle,” she says. “As soon as I accepted that I was headed in the wrong direction and withdrew from the classes, the tremor vanished and the leaks stopped. I was disappointed, but took heart in knowing that a strong current was moving me forward, albeit in an unknown direction.” 

Pamela doctor of oriental medicineA couple of months later, Pamela started studying pulse diagnosis with Dr. William Morris. When she asked him about AOMA’s new doctoral program, he said, “The first cohort starts on Wednesday. What do you want to know?” and she felt that moment of recognition, an inexorable pull of destiny, that the path of her life would now shift in an unexpected yet welcome way. She expects to graduate from AOMA’s doctoral program in 2015. Her initial research topic – How Chinese Medicine Can Intervene in Multigenerational Trauma – is changing her practice.

“I feel lucky to be at AOMA at this point in my career because it’s re-shaping me and my practice in the most unexpected ways. My query has led me to the field of Oriental Reproductive Medicine. Philosophically and practically I’m exploring the role that creativity plays in a vibrant life. I’m studying for the ABORM certification, connecting with Santa Fe birthing centers, and treating pregnant women. I love my work more than ever.” Pamela says. “And I love AOMA. It’s a strong institution with excellent resources: a ‘deep bench’ of teachers and fellow doctoral students, a stellar herbal pharmacy, and great leadership. Dr. Morris and Dr. Finnell have developed a DAOM program that has the potential to help move integrative medicine and medical inquiry forward with integrity, and I’m glad to be part of it.”

pamela bicycleOutside of AOMA, Pamela has a new practice at her own clinic, Full Well Acupuncture, which she spends a considerable amount of time cultivating. She’s not only a former competitive cyclist, Kundalini yoga teacher, and Qigong practitioner – she’s also an artist who especially loves visual arts, theatre/performance, architecture and design. Her husband is an actor and director who runs a theater company in Santa Fe, so Pam calls herself a “theater wife/widow.”

“We try to keep up with our old adobe house and resuscitate our land,” she says. “Now that I’m attending school in the land of music and everyone in Austin plays at least one instrument, I’m trying learning to play a recorder. I’m kind of terrible but having fun, and I’m getting ready to order a Chinese flute called the bawu.”

One of Pamela’s proudest achievements since she started studying Chinese medicine is making a believer out of her husband.

“He hates receiving acupuncture but insisted that I treat his last good knee after he tore his meniscus,” Pamela says. “He feels that the treatments helped heal his knee and prevented imminent surgery, and I’m thrilled to report that he is finally able to relax when he has acupuncture.”

Pamela is also very pleased to have helped a woman with a high-risk pregnancy go full term and have a healthy baby. She also enjoyed helping people avoid joint replacement surgeries and lumbar fusions, arrest the development of macular degeneration and begin a reversal process, heal or manage a new life with traumatic brain injuries, and feel some peace in transforming old emotional pain.

That’s not to say there haven’t been some challenges along her path.

Pamela and her mentor thought that they would go into practice after she graduated from her master’s degree program, but after visiting China, Pam felt moved to practice differently and knew that their paths would diverge. Telling him was painful for both of them, but – “acquiescing to truth is liberating,” she says. “I had to trust my instincts.”

Pamela loves the poetry and metaphor inherent in the theory of Chinese medicine and the way that the medicine seems to reveal more and more according to the depth of the practitioner. She is also deeply appreciative of “the focus on continual cultivation of the human spirit of the practitioner and the patient; and its simultaneous complexity and simplicity.”

“Years ago I vowed to live my life out of love and not fear,” Pamela says. ”I love this medicine. Thank you to everyone at AOMA for moving so dynamically and with such kindness to join my river with yours.”

Her advice to other students?

“Enjoy the journey. Trust the medicine. Trust yourself.”

 

DAOM @ AOMA : Explore the Doctoral Program

 

 

Topics: student spotlight, transformation, doctoral program, DAOM

First DAOM Cohort: Why They Chose AOMA's Doctoral Program

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 @ 01:27 PM

The first cohort of DAOM students share why they chose AOMA’s doctor of acupuncture and Oriental medicine program.

daom program student, debbie vaughn“My choice to pursue my doctorate at AOMA is an easy one because my experience at AOMA (in the master’s program) went beyond all my expectations. The professors and clinic supervisors were outstanding professionals, approachable and eager to support my learning. When the program was over, I felt very well prepared to begin my practice. I have nothing but enthusiasm about returning.” – Debbie Vaughn

The DAOM at AOMA focuses on the care and management of patients with pain and associated psychosocial phenomena. This has been a key deciding factor for some in choosing the program.

daom program student, pamela gregg flax“The AOMA doctoral program on pain care and the psychosocial world offers an exploration of what it means to be human, and that interests me. Pain as a locus of inquiry and a portal into human consciousness is simply brilliant. Pain is a pivot point for people, one that is difficult to ignore and a primary reason for visiting a Chinese medical practitioner.” – Pamela Gregg Flax

Learners develop advanced skills and techniques to care for patients in a collaborative medical setting, and benefit directly from a number of integrative clinical education opportunities.

daom program student, thang bui“When my patients entrust their health to my knowledge, I believe that it is my responsibility to continue learning and become the best that I can. Initially, I chose AOMA because I had heard of Dr. William Morris, his profound knowledge in TCM and pulse-taking techniques, and his dedication to the TCM field. After finishing two terms at AOMA, I realized that all of the faculty here are also the best in their specialties. This is rare to find. The guest lecturers are also the best in their field and are willing to share their knowledge and success. Not only is TCM taught more in-depth, but biomedicine and research methods are also emphasized. Moreover, AOMA has the affiliation with hospitals and other major universities where I will be able to learn an integrative approach to healthcare and get access to the tools needed for my research.” - Thang Quoc Bui


DAOM graduates gain research experience and are prepared to participate in the broader dialogue surrounding the efficacy of TCM and its integration with mainstream paradigms of healthcare. AOMA’s doctoral program prepares learners to explore paradigms of inquiry and use both quantitative and qualitative assessment to conduct and publish individual or group research projects.

daom program student, james phillipsIt is now time to move forward and forge new dreams, to build on what I know and journey into what I do not. We need innovative thinkers and healthcare providers to create explainable models describing the mechanisms behind the tools that we use.” - James Phillips


AOMA DAOM graduates are poised for medical academic leadership. Licensed acupuncturists with a doctoral degree cultivate expertise in the field, becoming more effective health care providers and sought-after scholars.

daom program student, donna guthrey“After 10 years of private practice, I am ready to prepare myself for teaching. The philosophy and structure of the doctoral program at AOMA will further my skills and knowledge to prepare me for teaching in a master’s level program in Oriental medicine, so that new students understand the foundations of Oriental medicine. I think a doctoral level education is necessary to offer this level of teaching.” – Donna Guthery


AOMA’s first cohort of doctor of acupuncture and Oriental medicine students are learning essential skills, preparing to succeed as instructors, researchers or leaders in the field, and also to improve clinical outcomes and provide a higher level of care to patients.

Download Introduction to DAOM Apply to AOMA  

Topics: acupuncture school, doctoral program, DAOM

5 Benefits of Doctoral Education in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Fri, Mar 28, 2014 @ 09:30 AM

AOMA’s doctoral program director, Dr. John Finnell, shares what he believes to be the top benefits of attaining a doctor of acupuncture and Oriental medicine degree.

More than ever, I believe that doctoral and post-graduate education prepare the next generation of thought leaders and clinicians to move the field of acupuncture and Oriental medicine forward.

Our role in healthcareacupuncture role in healthcare

Our healthcare landscape needs highly trained clinicians, researchers, and leaders to move the profession forward. Doctoral-level education provides parity at the policymaking table. This may operate institutionally, governmentally, or within the domain of patient care. Parity by title levels the playing field with regard to co-operative patient care.

Leadership

While a doctoral degree alone does not confer success, it does provide one with a credential to fill leadership positions within academia, act as the principle investigator on NIH-funded research, teach at the doctoral level, and oversee doctoral-level clinical education.

professional acupuncture opportunitiesProfessional opportunities

The respect brought by the doctoral title is a feature which enhances patient care and establishes parity with other doctorally prepared professions. Specifically, licensed acupuncturists with a doctorate often find better prospects for hospital employment and faculty positions, and for obtaining research grants and a seat at the table in policy-making processes.

 

Move the profession forward

Doctoral training does provide the rare opportunity for us to explore our intellectual passions and create a new body of knowledge as the fruit of our scholarship. This same scholarship is the cornerstone to the foundation upon which our profession is built. This is not a stagnant process; the evolution of acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) in North America must be actualized through participation of its members. 

Actualizing requires a few key ingredients: vision, action, perseverance, belief, and transformation. All of these ingredients may be found as you pursue your career path. AOMA's DAOM program provides the platform upon which to solidify your role in the actualization of the field of AOM in the next century.

Lifetime learningdaom students

Finally, there are those of us who truly believe in the power of this medicine and want to learn as much as we can to better serve our patients. Improving your knowledge in pain management and the psychosocial aspects associated with pain is certain to improve patient outcomes and your satisfaction as an advanced practitioner of Chinese medicine.

Author bio

Dr. John doctoral program director is an accomplished researcher and skilled health care practitioner with a rich academic and professional background. His interest in lifestyle and environmental determinants of health led him to earn a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and a Master of Science in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine from Bastyr University, as well as a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Washington. As a practitioner of Naturopathic and Chinese medicines, Dr. Finnell’s clinical focus is on nutrition, pharmacognosy, herb-drug interactions, mind-body medicine, disease prevention, and lifestyle education. In addition to maintaining a professional Naturopathic and Chinese medicine practice, Dr. Finnell has also completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), and served as the acting Director of Research for the TrueNorth Health Foundation. Dr. Finnell’s strong research background and clinical experience as a Naturopathic and Chinese medicine practitioner enable him to bring an evidence-based and integrative perspective to AOMA’s doctoral program.

Download Introduction to DAOM Apply to AOMA  

Topics: job opportunities, doctoral program, DAOM, Dr. John Finnell

Acupuncture & Integrative Pain Care Round-table Discussion, March 21

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Wed, Feb 12, 2014 @ 01:26 PM

On Friday March 21st, AOMA will sponsor a round-table discussion about the role of acupuncture & Oriental medicine (AOM) in integrative pain care. Licensed acupuncturists can earn one free Continuing Acupuncture Education (CAE) credit (*pending) by attending.

Speakers will identify challenges within AOM research, integrative practice & pain care, and discuss opportunities for advanced clinical practice. Speakers include Dr. John Finnell, Dr. Daniel Weber, and Dr. Rosa Schnyer.

 

describe the imageJohn Finnell, ND, MPH, LAc

Dr. John Finnell is an accomplished researcher and skilled health care practitioner with a rich academic and professional background. In addition to being an active practitioner of naturopathic & Chinese medicines, he has completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), and served as the acting Director of Research for the True North Health Foundation. He is currently the Director of the Doctor of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (DAOM) program at AOMA.

 

Integrative OncologyDaniel Weber, PhD, MSc

Daniel Weber is a pioneer in complementary medicine committed to fostering dialogue between all types of health care professionals. His extensive academic history spans over 3 decades and includes in-depth study in Japan, the UK, and China. In addition to serving as the vice-chair of the oncology section of the World Federation of Chinese Medical Societies, he is a Visiting Professor at TianJin University, and President of Panaxea International. His research is conducted at Guang 'Anmen hospital in Beijing and at TianJin Unversity.

 

Schnyer RosaRosa Schnyer, DAOM, LAc

Dr. Rosa Schnyer has two decades of clinical research experience and is a leading figure in the development of methodologies for the study of acupuncture & Oriental medicine. She is a faculty member within AOMA's Doctor of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Program as well as UT Austin's College of Pharmacy & School of Nursing. She maintains an active clinical practice in Austin, Texas and has completed extensive training in both Toyo-Hari Japanese Acupuncture and acupuncture treatment for pain management.

 

Attendees will have the opportunity to present questions to the panel and participate in this important discussion about the future of acupuncture research & integrative pain care. Information about AOMA’s doctoral program, which has a clinical specialty of pain management and the accompanying psychosocial concerns, will also be available.

In addition to the engaging discussion with one free CAE credit, participants may also receive 10% off the registration cost of Dr. Daniel Weber’s Integrative Oncology CE Workshop on Saturday March 22.

Join us in the dialogue that will shape the advancement of TCM.

Friday, March 21:
7:30pm – 8:30pm - Roundtable Discussion
8:30pm – 9:15pm - Questions, Comments, and Cocktails

 

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Topics: acupuncture research, doctoral program, Dr. John Finnell, integrative medicine

Don't Miss the Doctoral Program Booth at Southwest Symposium!

Posted by Justine Meccio on Mon, Jan 20, 2014 @ 10:40 AM

DAOM Booth Southwest Symposium SWSEach year, AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine sponsors the Southwest Symposium (SWS) - a premier, 3-day continuing education and integrative medicine conference. The event brings together practitioners, educators, and other health care professionals from the fields of acupuncture & Chinese medicine, massage therapy, and naturopathic medicine.

Visit Our Booth:

AOMA's admissions office staff will be on-site at SWS to provide information and answer questions about the Doctor of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (DAOM) program.

Be sure to visit us at booth # 20 to meet Dr. John Finnell, DAOM Program Director, and enter a drawing to win a free gift!

About the DAOM Program:

The Doctor of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine program is a transformative educational experience that prepares master's-level practitioners to become leaders in the care and management of patients with pain and its associated psychosocial phenomena. This rigorous program will challenge you to develop advanced clinical techniques, strong academic research skills, and to cultivate professional leadership abilities.

About the event:

Southwest Symposium 2014: The Heart of the Medicine
February 14-16, 2014
Austin, TX

 

DAOM Learn More

Topics: acupuncture school, doctoral program, DAOM, Dr. John Finnell, continuing education, southwest symposium, SWS

New DAOM Faculty Support Integrative Medicine Focus

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Thu, May 02, 2013 @ 12:59 PM

AOMA’s premier doctoral program welcomes its first cohort of students this summer and the program director, Dr. John Finnell, has been hard at work recruiting world-class faculty and putting the finishing touches on the doctoral program curriculum. Check out this easy-to-browse overview of the curriculum with links to DAOM faculty rosters.

DAOM Program Overviewacupuncture doctoral program

  • Specialty in Integrative Management of Pain

  • Professionalism, Leadership and Teaching

  • Inquiry and Scholarship

Modular Format

  • 2 year program of study

  • 14 week-long intensives on campus

  • Continue professional practice while enrolled

DAOM Program Competencies

  • Integrate Traditional Chinese Medicine and Biomedical Concepts

  • Systems-Based Practice

  • Pain Management Specialty

  • Systematic Inquiry

  • Scholarly Publication

  • Leadership, Teaching & Professionalism

  • Lifelong Learning

DAOM Curriculum: TCM Theory, Classics and Techniques
Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Faculty
DAOM faculty

The Classics

  • Classical Chinese theories on pain

  • Psychosocial phenomena in the Classics

Acupuncture

  • Advanced techniques for treating pain

  • Advanced electro and laser acupuncture techniques

Herbal Medicine

  • Family lineage treatments of pain

DAOM Curriculum:  Topics in Pain and Associated Psychosocial Phenomena

  • Pain in oncologic and palliative care

  • Gynecologic, pelvic and visceral pain

  • Vascular and lymphatic pain

  • Neurological, sensory and dermatologic pain

  • Pain from musculoskeletal disorders

  • Eco-psychosocial pain and associated psycho social phenomena

Integrative Clinical Partnerships

AOMA Clinics - Specialty pain clinics

Austin Pain Associates - Integrative pain management

Seton Family of Hospitals and Clinics

  • Palliative care

  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation

DAOM Curriculum: Integrative MedicineDAOM program
Integrative Medicine Faculty

Biomedical Theories of Pain

  • Embryology, anatomy and physiology

  • Pharmacology and drug-herb interactions

Functional & Nutritional Medicine

  • Dietary and nutritional approaches to treating pain

  • Clinical application of functional medicine

Integrative Medical Practice

  • Case management in integrative care

  • Integrative practice management

DAOM Curriculum: Research & Inquiry
Research & Inquiry Faculty

Paradigms of Inquiry - Exploration of scientific paradigms and beliefs

Qualitative and Quantitative Assessment - Overview of types of research

Research Methods and Design - Design of research proposal and Institutional Review Board application

Research Project - Publication of research manuscript

Potential Inquiry Topics (examples)

Quantitative Research

  • Pilot clinical trial of TCM intervention in pain care

  • Biomedical models for Qigong

Qualitative Research

  • Recursive assessment of TCM in practice

  • TCM knowledge survey for health professionals

Mixed Methods Research

  • Patient centered outcomes research

  • Comparative effectiveness research

DAOM Curriculum: Leadership, Professionalism & Teachingaccredited DAOM
Professionalism & Leadership Faculty

Leadership

  • State and National Associations

  • Legislative Issues in Healthcare

Professionalism

  • TCM in integrative healthcare settings

  • Negotiating position and remuneration

Teaching

  • Educational techniques and technology

  • Developing effective teaching materials

  • Supervision and evaluation of student clinicians

Ready to learn more? Explore the Program:

 

DAOM @ AOMA : Explore the Doctoral Program

Topics: doctoral program, DAOM, Dr. John Finnell

Interview with John Finnell: DAOM Program Director

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Wed, Mar 20, 2013 @ 02:27 PM

AOMA believes strongly in leadership. One feature of that value is the knowledge of eachDAOM program director other’s story. Director of Community Relations, Sarah Bentley, interviews Doctoral Program of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Director Dr. John S. Finnell to gain insight on the journey to his role within the AOMA community.

Please briefly describe your background and where you’re from.

I was born in Odessa and raised in Plano, Texas, and my family roots are laid down in Holiday and Archer City.  I consider myself fortunate to have experienced life in other cultures, like Seattle, Spain, Sweden and Poland. I also learned much from my travels throughout North America, other parts of Europe and Latin America. Never lose sight of where you’re from, because it leads to where you’re going! 

Please briefly describe your path to Traditional Chinese Medicine.

From the start, I was faced with my own health challenges and spent my formative years in and out of surgery, casts and braces for correction of clubbed-feet.  I think that it was a fire sparked at age seven by my orthopedist, who fated me with being pigeon-toed for the rest of my life, that led me to Traditional Chinese Medicine.  It was that fire that fueled my intention to walk for years with my feet outward, until one day I became aware that they were straight.  It is that same spark and fire that we cultivate in our patients that inspires their intention to heal from within. 

Please briefly describe your career path so far in the field of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

After undergraduate studies in chemistry and graduate studies in environmental engineering and sustainable infrastructure, I spent five years pursuing a career as an environmental contractor, primarily for the Environmental Protection Agency.  It was the direct experience of investigating the most toxic places in our environment that inspired me to alter my focus from remediation of environmental health disasters to helping others regain their health and live in balance on this planet. Upon completing my Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and MS in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at Bastyr University, I embarked post-doctoral training in complementary and alternative medicine research, sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).  During my postdoc, I conducted a clinical trial on vitamin D and Klotho (a marker of aging) and completed a master of public health in epidemiology at the University of Washington.  I also worked on developing bio-molecular models of metabolism and aging for application to research in Oriental medicine.  I likewise completed a clinical research residency at the TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California, where I studied the safety of medically supervised water-fasting.  In addition to my scholarly activities, I had a thriving medical practice at the Seattle Nature Cure Clinic, in which I integrated care with both Naturopathic and Oriental medicines.

Talk about the benefits of doctoral education in acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

I truly feel that my doctoral and post-graduate education have broadened my understanding of the challenges that we humans face living on God’s green earth.  Doctoral training does provide the rare opportunity for us to explore our intellectual passions and create a new body of knowledge as the fruit of our scholarship.  While a doctoral degree in acupuncture alone does not confer success, it does provide one with a credential to fill leadership positions within academia, act as the principle investigator on NIH funded research, teach at the doctoral level, and oversee doctoral-level clinical education.  I am passionate about understanding the Naturopathic concept of the vital force ‘the Vis,’ and the Chinese concept of ‘Qi.’  I believe that these are more than concepts and that they are in fact measurably reflected in human physiology.  It was my doctoral and post-graduate education that gave me the tools and vocabulary needed for my lifelong pursuit of exploring and understanding these concepts so fundamental to Naturopathic and Chinese medicines.  Actualizing requires a few key ingredients: vision, action, perseverance, belief, and transformation.  All of these ingredients may be found as you pursue your own dreams. My doctoral, and post-graduate, education provided the platform upon which I actualized mine. 

What has been the most transformational experience you’ve had since starting on the path of Chinese medicine?

In 1993, while visiting the medical school at the University of Washington, a dear friend of mine, who knew of my passion for herbal medicine and the environment, suggested that I visit a small herbal medicine school in Seattle.  I replied, “I am serious about my education!,” and was led, instead, to pursue graduate education and a career as an environmental engineer, thus sealing the first turn of my fate.  Ten years later, I again began the pursuit of medical education, and another dear friend, knowing my holistic sensibilities, suggested that I instead consider a small acupuncture school in Austin.  Now this is where it gets interesting!  By the end of that same day, I came across a dual degree program in holistic medicine – a marriage of all that I was seeking.  Thereafter, I embarked upon the second turn of my fate, and I set my intention to bring the knowledge that I gained in Naturopathic and Chinese medicines back to Texas.  The scents of Seattle brought forth the memory and realization that I was attending that same ‘small herbal medicine school in Seattle’ – Bastyr University.  Ten years later, with the fulfillment of my intention to bring the fruits of my pursuit of Naturopathic and Chinese medicines back to Texas, I now embark on the third turn of my fate at the ‘small acupuncture school in Austin.’  I would say that the dance between my early indoctrination and my life’s calling led to my most transformational experience, which was accepting my fate and pursuing it with all of my heart.  It is no mystery that fate has guided me back to AOMA, and the future is full of possibilities.

Please share some accomplishments with us. What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of pursuing my dreams, despite the dreams that others may have for me.  Whether it was my orthopedist telling me that I would be pigeon-toed for the rest of my life, mentors telling me to just become an MD and change the system from within, or deans telling me that I was ‘crazy’ to study Naturopathic and Chinese medicines and pursue further training in public health and research: I had a vision and put it into action; I lost sleep but persevered; I believed with all of my heart; and lo and behold I transformed into the dream. Though some may say that we have more than one life to live, I live as if I have just the one.  I hope that everyone has the chance to fulfill their dreams as I have.

Tell us one unexpected thing about yourself.

I come from a musical family, and spent my early years mastering the trombone, baritone and tuba.  I may be considered the black sheep in my family for turning away from a career in music, but my family does appreciate having a doctor around.  Something unexpected – you may have heard me playing tuba or bass-trombone in a Dixieland jazz band on the streets of Stockholm!

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Topics: doctoral program, DAOM, Dr. John Finnell

Doctoral Program in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine begins in July

Posted by Sarah Bentley on Wed, Mar 06, 2013 @ 11:08 AM

 

 

doctoral program in acupuncture and oriental medicineThe doctoral program in acupuncture and Oriental medicine at AOMA begins in July, 2013. The two-year program is has a modular format, coupling week-long, intensive, on-campus learning experiences with extended periods of home study, allowing working professionals to continue their practice while enrolled. Here are the specific dates for the academic calendar.

 

AOMA’s vision of scholarship focuses upon advanced clinical specialists, collaborators, educators, researchers, and leaders. “A doctoral program at AOMA builds upon the strong master’s program providing our graduates and other practitioners with an opportunity to realize their dreams,” according to President William Morris. 

 

The AOMA community has a passion for quality, excellence and deep self-reflection.  As a result, since its founding in 1993, AOMA has grown by every important measure from its student body, faculty, accreditation and campus facilities to patients and community outreach. 

 

The doctoral program in acupuncture and Oriental medicine provides a specific example of AOMA’s search for quality and depth, which is reflected in the status as the second regionally accredited DAOM program in the U.S. President Morris paused for consideration, "This achievement signifies AOMA’s passion, commitment and care for its mission of transforming lives and communities."

 

All doctoral programs in acupuncture and Oriental medicine are post-graduate clinical doctorates. AOMA sought input from its surrounding communites of interest and created a program that focuses upon the management and care of patients with pain and associated psycho-social disorders.

 

doctoral program directorIn January, AOMA hired the director of the doctoral program in acupuncture and oriental medicine, Dr. John S. Finnell.  Dr. Finnell is an accomplished researcher and skilled health care practitioner with a rich academic and professional background. Prior to beginning his career in integrative medicine, Dr. Finnell completed a Masters of Science in environmental engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden.  His interest in lifestyle and environmental determinants of health then lead him to earn a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine and a Masters of Science in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine from Bastyr University, as well as a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Washington. As a practitioner of Naturopathic and Chinese medicines, Dr. Finnell’s clinical focus is on nutrition, pharmacognosy, herb-drug interactions, mind-body medicine and qigong as well as translational medicine, disease prevention, and lifestyle education.

 

In addition to maintaining a professional Naturopathic and Chinese medicine practice, Dr. Finnell has also completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), and served as the acting Director of Research for the True North Health Foundation. He has lead and participated in numerous research studies, including “Vitamin D and Aging: Unraveling the Regulatory Axis between Vitamin D and Klotho”, funded by NCCAM (2009-2012), and “A Comparative Effectiveness Trial of High-quality Vitamin D3  Nutritional Supplements to Replete Serum Vitamin D”, funded by the Diabetes Action Research & Education Foundation (2009-2011).  A frequent presenter at professional conferences throughout the U.S. and Canada, his work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine. Dr. Finnell’s strong research background and clinical experience as Naturopathic and Chinese medicine practitioner enable him to bring an evidence-based and integrative perspective to AOMA’s doctoral program in acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

Download Introduction to DAOM


Topics: doctoral program, DAOM, Dr. John Finnell

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