The Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) program is 1280 hours in length, composed of 576 didactic hours and 704 clinical hours. Courses are offered in a monthly modular format, in which students can finish the program after completing all the required modules.
Students, who earned a Masters’ degree or Master’s level equivalent with less biomedicine content than required by the California Board of Acupuncture, will be required to take the 48-hour Introductory Western Medicine Module to fulfill missing prerequisites. This module must be completed within the first 3 months of the program.
The rest of the program is composed of 25 modules. The Core Courses in modules 1-22 may be completed in 17 weekends over a 17-month period. The Specialization Courses in module 23 are covered in 6 weekends over a 6-month period. Module 24 is a 1-month Flexible Clinical Training Module wherein students can choose to go to China for externship opportunities at leading hospitals affiliated with the Zhejiang Chinese Medical University. Module 25 is an oral defense of the Capstone Project prior to graduation. All modules can be completed over a 26-month period, including a 1-month break before the Flexible Clinical Training.
The chart below is an overview of the Program’s courses and the hours dedicated to each module, including didactic and clinical hours.
|DFM 800 Introductory Western Medicine Module||48/0|
|1||DFM 810 Case Management and Presentation||16/0|
|2||DFM 820 Pedagogy||8/0|
|3||DFM 830 Scientific Foundation of Acupuncture||24/0|
|4||DFM 840 Co-management of Herbs, Formulas, and Pharmaceuticals||8/0|
|5||DFM 850 TCM Classics and Contemporary Applications||16/16|
|6||DRE 800 Research Methodology||16/0|
CORE CLINICAL MEDICINE MODULES
|7||DCM 800 Orthopedic Medicine and Pain Management||32/24|
|8||DCM 810 Neurology||24/16|
|9||DCM 811 Cardiovascular Diseases||24/16|
|10||DCM 820 Gynecology and Obstetrics||24/16|
|11||DCM 830 Pediatrics||12/8|
|12||DCM 812 Allergy and Immunology||12/8|
|13||DCM 801 Dermatology and External Diseases||12/8|
|14||DCM 802 EENT||12/8|
|15||DCM 813 Pulmonary Diseases||12/8|
|16||DCM 814 Urology and Nephrology||12/8|
|17||DCM 815 Endocrinology and Diabetes||24/16|
|18||DCM 803 Oncology||24/16|
|19||DCM 840 Psychology and Counseling||24/16|
|20||DCM 816 Gastroenterology||24/16|
|21||DCM 817 Infectious Diseases and TCM Emergency||24/16|
|22||DCM 850 Traditional Chinese Medical Qigong||24/16|
|DSP 910 Women’s Health and Endocrinology Specialization||144/312|
|DSP 920 Neuromuscular Medicine and Pain Management Specialization||144/312|
FLEXIBLE CLINICAL TRAINING AND CAPSTONE PROJECT
|24||DES 800 Flexible Clinical Training (China/USA)||0/160|
|25||DRE 900 Capstone Project/Oral Defense||24/0|
Total Hrs 1280
Modules 1-6 make up the Foundation Modules that equip students with basic information for the Core Clinical Medicine modules and Specialization modules.
Core Clinical Medicine Modules
Modules 7-22 cover a wide spectrum of the most relevant conditions seen in a modern day clinic, covering the 16 major medical fields in family medicine. Same as the Foundation Modules, these courses are presented once a month for a 4-day long weekend, during which 3 days are dedicated to classroom lecture and 1 day to clinical training, when appropriate. Classroom lectures are designed to be clinic-oriented with close relation to actual cases.
Module 23 is a list of Specialization Courses. After completion of the Core modules, students choose one specialization in which to perform in-depth study through advanced lectures in TCM and Western medicine. Specialization courses meet for a 4-day long weekend every month for 3 days of classroom lecture and 1 day of clinical training.
Five Branches University offers 4 specialization options. During application and registration, students will be invited to sign-up for their chosen specialty. Two specialties will be offered at the end of the second year according to majority vote and faculty availability; the other two specialties will be offered in the following year. If there is sufficient registration, the college may offer 3-4 specialties at the same time.
Upon entering the specialization module, students will be assigned an advisor to mentor the student during completion of the Capstone Project. Students are expected to be in constant contact with their specialization advisor when choosing a project topic, formulating a proposal, performing the research, and writing the project report.
Flexible Clinical Training
The program has a total of 704 hours of clinical training:
• 232 hours in Core Modules
• 312 hours in Specialization Modules
• Remaining hours in flexible clinical training.
The clinical training of the program is designed to accommodate the busy schedules of students. Students have 3 flexible options to choose from:
• Apprenticeship under the supervision of the teaching faculty
• Apprenticeship under a preceptor approved by the dean
• Independent study in student’s own private practice
Clinical training performed with the teaching faculty can either be done in the Five Branches campus clinics or in students’ own private practices, where students arrange to accommodate teaching faculty.
If a student wants to learn from a practitioner of his/her preference, the dean must approve the preceptor. During a preceptorship students train in a clinic of their choice with senior practitioners, who submit a written summary of the students’ performance at the end of the preceptorship.
If the student prefers to perform clinical training in their own practice, they must submit written case summaries on their performance for review by the Doctoral Academic Committee (DAC).
Each Core Clinical Medicine Module includes clinical training; in addition, students will complete 116 hours of clinical training in at least 6 of the Core Clinical Medicine fields. Students can choose from the same 3 flexible options.
For the 312 hours of Specialization Clinical Training, students can also choose from the 3 other options, but at least 150 hours must be carried out under the supervision of the teaching faculty, while a maximum of 100 hours can be performed in the students’ own clinics. Students are encouraged to pursue a perceptorship to broaden their experience through work with an individual practitioner or a medical institution.
Module 24 provides additional, flexible clinical training in the student’s specialty or any clinical medicine area of interest. In addition to the 3 clinical training options, students can enroll in a 4-week-long China externship where they can observe and practice in leading hospitals in China. If students choose to go to China, it will be during the 25th month of their program.
The 25th module is the Capstone Project Presentation and Oral Defense. Each doctoral student is required to complete an extensive research project report in the final phase of the Program before graduation to demonstrate mastery and synthesis of the knowledge and skills they have acquired in presentation, clinical evaluation and practice, as well as research capability. The Capstone Research Project will be from the student’s chosen field of specialization and carried out by using quantitative and/or qualitative analyses as well as inductive and/or deductive research methods.
Before the 3rd month of the specialization module, students submit a written proposal outlining their Capstone Project research plan to the Doctoral Academic Committee for review. Students proceed with the Capstone Project only after a submitted proposal is approved.
In the 26th month, the Capstone Project is presented to a panel of faculty, outside specialists and their class. During this Presentation and Oral Defense, students answer questions raised by the panel to demonstrate mastery of their subject at a Doctoral level.