DAOM Program Course List and Descriptions

The DAOM program is a clinical based professional program leading to a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. What distinguishes the DAOM from the MSTCM or the First Professional Doctorate degree (FPD) is:

  • Obtaining a specialty in TCM Gynecology and/or TCM Pain Management
  • Increased interaction and collaboration with Western medicine practitioners
  • Greater focus on critical-thinking skills with emphasis on diagnosis, analysis, problem solving and decision-making
  • Use of research findings in the health care decision-making processes

As a result of this structure, students will be expected to engage in comprehensive literature reviews and extensive reading, writing and analysis shared and processed with peers and faculty. Case studies will be analyzed in-depth and will focus on difficult chronic cases. Students will engage in creating diagnosis and treatment strategies that will work in private practices as well as within integrated clinical settings. The over-arching goal is to develop life-long learning and practice skills.

Be a Doctoral Student For a Day!

Clinical Training

Essential to our students' education is a comprehensive clinical experience. Students have the opportunity to intern at ACTCM's onsite Acupuncture and Herbal Clinic.

DAOM students are strongly encouraged to complete a minimum of two weeks of externship at Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou China. ACTCM maintains formal agreement with the institution.

Clinic Theaters

Clinic Theaters begin in the first semester and occur throughout the program. Clinic Theaters are part of TCM specialty classes. Two or three patients with disorders pertaining to the module topics are seen in a theater class setting. Students participate in the interview and diagnosis process, and treatment plan with faculty members. After the patient has been treated by the faculty members, the students move to the next classroom and engage in a discussion based on didactic class information, clinical experience, faculty input, and the literature reviews.

Clinical Grand Rounds

Throughout the doctoral program, clinical internship includes grand rounds with TCM practitioners and frequently with Western medical practitioners. In this environment, patients may be diagnosed by both practitioners. The faculty will discuss their diagnosis process and recommended a treatment plan, the strengths and weaknesses of their medicine in treating that particular patient, and how the practitioners can work collaboratively to provide the most effective treatment. Students will have ample opportunity to ask questions and hold in-depth discussions about their patients. Students work in small groups and treat the patients.

Clinical Observation

Students have the opportunity to observe with biomedical practitioners, such as MD, DO, DC, ND, NP at approved off-site clinical settings. The clinical observation experience provides the opportunity for understanding of the roles and responsibilities of other health care practitioners and developing the skills to work in collaborative practices and in medical teams.

Clinical Externship

Students complete their observation and externship hours in a variety of hospitals, outpatient clinics, and with private practitioners. Students also have the option of completing some of their externship for two to six weeks at Zhejiang Chinese Medical University (ZCMU) in Hangzhou, China.

In addition to studying in China, the ACTCM DAOM program also maintains partnerships with hospitals and integrated treatment centers  around the US that include:

DAOM Curriculum

The Doctorate in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (DAOM) is the highest degree awarded by the profession. Obtaining this degree from ACTCM will place you as a leader in the field of Chinese medicine.

The doctoral program consists of 8 semesters. During Semesters 1-8, students will study and intern on campus clinics four days per month (Friday through Monday). Some months require additional time on campus for comprehensive exams or capstone presentations.

  • Two - six weeks Clinical Externships abroad including Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou China, or
  • Students study with a senior Oriental medicine practitioners (minimum of 15 years clinical experience) of their choice. Practitioners must be approved by the Director of the DAOM program.

TCM Gynecology

AOM 8111 TCM Gynecology Foundations (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students will examine differential diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of the most common gynecologic problems from both a Chinese medicine and western perspective. This course focuses on treating diseases related to the female reproductive system by promoting the functions and the relationships of the internal organs, extraordinary meridians, qi, blood, and body fluids. The course covers detailed information on reproductive anatomy, endocrinology, and pathophysiology.

AOM 8112 Menstrual Health (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

This course introduces premenstrual syndrome, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, and dysfunctional uterine bleeding. Emphasis is placed on etiology, pathology, differentiation and treatment, including treatment modifications according to pattern differentiation.

AOM 8213 Endometriosis (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students learn theory and clinical applications for the treatment of uterine myoma and endometriosis. Emphasis is placed on the etiology, pathology, syndrome diagnosis, herbal and acupuncture treatment and discussion of dietary impact and life style choices.

AOM 8314 Fertility Support (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students examine female reproductive health and fertility. The Western and Chinese medicine pathology and physiology of infertility is discussed, along with the differentiation of syndromes and symptoms present in infertile couples. Several different etiologies for infertility are discussed, along with their corresponding Chinese medicine treatment protocols. In vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination procedures are examined along with Chinese medical protocols that will enhance clinical outcomes.

AOM 8315 Ovarian Disorders (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students examine polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), premature ovarian failure, and ovarian cancer. The class focuses on the physiology, pathology, etiology, diagnosis and the treatment of those conditions. Particular attention is placed on accurate Chinese medical differentiation and the need to modify Chinese herbal formulas during treatment. The class includes clinical case discussion.

AOM 8416 TCM Classical Works of Gynecology (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

This course introduces the classical works of TCM gynecology, including Fu Ren Da Quan Liang Fang (The Great Treaties of Useful Prescriptions for Gynecology) by Chen Zi-ming, the first book in Chinese medical history that comprehensively covered women's health issues; Fu Ren Gui (Compass of Gynecology in Chinese Medicine) by Zhang Jing-yue, the book in which many of the most commonly used TCM Gynecology prescriptions were first described; and Fu Qing Zhu Nu Ke (Fu Qing-zhu's Gynecology) by Fu Qing-zhu, a frequently cited source of Chinese gynecology books since it was written.

AOM 9517 Gynecologic Inflammation and Infections (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students examine leucorrhea and pelvic inflammatory disease. The course focuses on the etiology, pathology, syndrome diagnosis, and the treatment of these conditions. Particular attention is focused on how to maximize the therapeutic result by promoting female reproductive physiology. The cases written by students are discussed in the course.

AOM 9618 Gynecologic Oncology (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students will discuss uterine tumors, cervical cancer, breast disorders, fibroadenoma of the breast and hyperplasia of the mammary glands. The course focuses on etiology, pathology, differentiation and herbal treatment plans.

AOM 9619 Abnormalities of Pregnancy (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this class pregnancy is reviewed from a Chinese medical perspective, including physiology, and medical issues that may arise. Information is organized along the lines of the four primary aspects of Chinese medicine related to pregnancy and childbirth: Qi and Blood, the Uterus, the Zang Fu organs, and the Liver, Heart, and Spleen. Among the topics covered are miscarriages and preeclampsia. Treatment modification based on pattern differentiation is discussed.

AOM 9712 Menopausal Care (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students examine the changes women undergo in menopause, and the management of this transition using Chinese medicine. The class focuses on menopausal syndromes and osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Students review physiology, pathology, etiology, diagnosis and the treatment for these conditions. The impact of lifestyle and the role of wellness will be discussed. Treatment approaches include Chinese herbs, acupuncture, and diet. Care is discussed in the context of integrative medicine.

AOM 9813 Labor and Postpartum Care (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course childbirth and the postpartum period are examined from both perspective of Chinese medicine and western medicine. This class focuses on treatment protocols as well as the role of Chinese medicine in labor and postpartum care.

AOM 9241 Clinical Internship and Case Analysis II (Sections 1-4) (2.00 Units) PF Grade Option

In Clinical Internship and Case Analysis II, the focus is on gynecology and addresses issues in women's health care and clinical case management from both a western medicine and Chinese medicine perspective. A strong emphasis is placed on treatment and management of endocrine disorders, reproductive and pregnancy health, chronic illness, issues related to aging, disease prevention, and patient education. The class includes clinical grand rounds, specialty clinics and clinic theaters. Clinical Internship and Case Analysis takes place under the supervision of clinical faculty.

TCM Pain Management Domain

AOM 8121 Pain Theories and Meridian Therapy (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course pain physiology and pain theories are examined, as well as the correlation between tissue injury and pain. Advanced meridian therapy, acupuncture techniques, Chinese herbology, scalp acupuncture and other microsystem needle techniques are elaborated as methods for pain management.

AOM 8224 Ortho-Neuro Examination and Imaging Studies (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students review musculoskeletal and neurological assessment. The class emphasizes a hand-on regional approach to orthopedic and neurological examination of the spine and the extremities. This course also covers the application and interpretation of medical imaging studies related to pain management, such as x-ray, CT scan and MRI.

AOM 8223 Scalp Acupuncture Therapy (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students are introduced to advanced scalp acupuncture therapy, including scalp line location, indication for treatment, and needling technique. Treatment strategies for neurological and neuromuscular disorders, such as paralysis and cerebral palsy are reviewed.

AOM 8324 Care of the Cervical Spine and Shoulder (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students learn advanced acupuncture techniques for the treatment of the cervical spine and shoulder injuries. The treatment of whiplash injury, cervical spondylosis, thoracic outlet syndrome, rotator cuff injury, subacromial bursitis, and frozen shoulder are reviewed.

AOM 8425 Care of the Lumbar Spine and Pelvis (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students learn advanced acupuncture techniques for the treatment of the lumbar spine and pelvic injuries. The treatment of acute low back pain, chronic low back pain, spinal stenosis, lumbar disc herniation, scoliosis, sacroiliac joint injury, and piriformis syndrome are reviewed.

AOM 8426 Master Tung's Point Therapy (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students are introduced to Master Tung's points as well as other micro systems. Students review point location, functions, indications, and needling techniques for specialized points. Advanced techniques are covered, including utilizing distal points and the use of fewer needles to achieve the best result. Students will receive supervised training on point location and needling techniques in the classroom setting.

AOM 9527 Care of the Extremities (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course injuries to the arm, elbow, wrist, hip, knee and ankle, including tennis elbow, golfers elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, tenosynovitis, osteoarthritis, patella-femoral joint dysfunction, meniscus injuries, shin splints, ankle sprain, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis are examined.

AOM 9628 Neurological Disorders (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students review neurological disorders, with an emphasis on both Chinese medical and western medical pathology, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and the progression of common brain and nerve disorders. These include cerebral vascular accidents and related disorders, cranial nerve disorders, headaches, and peripheral nerve disorders. The course also includes Chinese medical theories about the prevention of and rehabilitation methods for these disorders. Case study is used to examine commonly seen disorders.

AOM 9728 Complex Pain Disorders (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

This course includes lecture and advanced clinical training from TCM practitioners and biomedicine experts. This course bridges the gap between TCM and biomedicine approaches to pain management and promotes cross-referrals and inter-disciplinary case management, including current research in both Chinese and western clinical medicine. Couse topics cover both the TCM and Western medicine perspective and treatment of the most relevant health conditions seen in a modern day clinic.

AOM 9729 Physical Therapy for Pain Management (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students learn how to apply therapeutic exercises to increase strength, stability, endurance and range of motion. Students learn physiotherapy techniques for pain management. The class focuses on of stretching, strengthening, passive movements testing and end-feel assessment, exercise, resisted exercise training, and postural re-education.

AOM 9341 Clinical Internship and Case Analysis III (Sections 1-4) (2.00 Units) PF Grade Option

In Clinical Internship and Case Analysis III students focus on advanced acupuncture and Chinese medicine techniques that bring together Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western medical knowledge to manage a wide range of disorders associated with physical injuries and pain that an acupuncture practitioner commonly encounters in medical practice. The class includes clinical grand rounds, specialty clinics and clinic theaters. Clinical Internship and Case Analysis takes place under the supervision of clinical faculty.

Integrative Medicine Domain

AOM 8131 Case Study Development and Literacy Search Skills (1.00 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students write case studies based on patients treated in their own practice. The emphasis of the course is to develop case study writing skills. The course introduces the techniques for accessing research literature, as well as the basic concepts of research methodology. The course prepares students to use online research, Boolean research, and other search tools.

AOM 8132 Environmental Medicine (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students are introduced to environmental medicine. The concept of body burden is discussed along with an overview of the major classes of environmental toxins, exposure routes and common symptoms associated with exposure. The class discusses the role of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in treating those whose health is compromised by environmental toxicity.

AOM 8434 Immunology and Oncology (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students examine the role of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in the comprehensive care of oncology patients. Treatments based on Chinese medical theory, including pattern identification, diagnosis, acupuncture and herbal therapy, are discussed, as well as methods of integrating treatments in conjunction with conventional medical treatment. Immunity is examined from a Chinese medical perspective.

AOM 8531 Mental Health I (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students identify patients with complex traumatic disorders and understand clinical signs and symptoms of major psychological disorders for professional referral. Additional topics include patient-practitioner rapport, communication skills, and multicultural sensitivity. The interrelationships between mental, emotional, behavioral and chemical dependency will be examined.

AOM 8532 Mental Health II (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this class students examine the relationship between mental health and chronic pain from both Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. TCM principles and treatments will be discussed. Shen patterns and Shen type differentiation will be emphasized. This course presents an expanded understanding and treatment of pain through integrative mind-body medicine. The focus of this class is developing treatment strategies for complicated pain presentations, creating integrated clinical treatment for pain.

AOM 8533 Mental Health III (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

The integration of TCM theory and practice and western mental health practices and techniques can create options for effectively helping patients create and maintain change and increased health and wellness. The impact of stress, trauma and related mental and emotional disorders can impact a patient's experience of pain, health, disease and wellness. This course will provide the practitioner with tools that can be used to identify and deepen patient motivation for change.

AOM 8535 Advanced Herbs and Drug Interaction (0.75 Units) PF Grade Option

The practice of medicine is now at a crossroads: there are countless patients being treated simultaneously with both prescription medications and herbal formulas. Safety has become a major issue. Patients today are better informed than ever before, and they want to know how compatible herbs are with their prescription medication and what possible adverse interactions of which they should be aware. This course is designed to provide information to ensure the safe and effective use of Chinese herbal medicine in contemporary practice settings.

AOM 9635 System-Based and Integrative Medicine (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students examine the roles and responsibilities of other health care practitioners in patient care. The class covers the training, competencies, and scopes of practice of practitioners, such as MD, DO, DC, ND, Qigong practitioners and licensed massage practitioners. The basics of health systems are covered, including policies, organizations, financing, cost containment and principles of effective management of healthcare delivery. Discussion covers current models of delivery of health care within integrative settings that exist today and both the successes and challenges that must be addressed to achieve the desired outcome of effectively collaborative clinics.

AOM 9731 Western Herbs and Dietary Therapy (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course students are introduced to Western herbal medicine, pharmacognosy, the therapeutic constituents in herbs and current research on herbal medicine. Important herbal formulas are reviewed. The class also examines nutritional supplements, vitamins, and minerals, and explores the current research on the relationship between diet, lifestyle and disease. Dietary therapy to minimize and prevent inflammation is covered.

AOM 9732 TCM Dermatology (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this class students examine the identification and treatment of dermatological conditions according to Chinese medical theory, including psoriasis, tinea, eczema, atopic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis. Chinese medicine etiology and differentiation diagnosis are discussed. The Western medical management of these conditions is also reviewed. Internal and external Chinese herbal treatments are described.

AOM 9141 Clinical Internship and Case Analysis I (Sections 1-3) (1.50 Units) PF Grade Option

In Clinical Internship and Case Analysis the students focus on integrative medicine and addresses issues in health care and clinical case management from both a western medicine and Chinese medicine perspective. A strong emphasis is placed on prevention, patient education, and wellness. The class includes clinical grand rounds, specialty clinics and clinic theaters. Clinical Internship and Case Analysis takes place under the supervision of clinical faculty.

Capstone Project & Clinical Externships

AOM 8241 Clinical Case Study I (Sections 1-2) (2.00 Units) PF Grade Option

In this course, students complete a minimum of four (4) case studies based on patients treated in their own practice. In the first year of the DAOM program, Case Study Rubric I guides the students in their report writing. Each submitted case study will be evaluated by the Director of the DAOM Program and/or DAOM faculty members for revision and improvement. The emphasis of this course is to develop expertise in case study writing skills Students discuss case studies with members of their cohort and faculty to develop their research and communication skills.

AOM 8345 Clinical Case Study II (0.75 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course, students complete a minimum of two (2) case studies based on patients treated in their own practice. Case Study Rubric II serves as a more advance guide that ensures that the case studies meet advanced academic form and style standards suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal. Each submitted case study will be evaluated by the Director of the DAOM Program and/or DAOM faculty members for revision and improvement. The emphasis of this course is to develop critical thinking and expertise in case study writing skills.

AOM 8243 Clinical Observation (1.00 Unit) PF Grade Option

In preparation for working in an integrative setting, students observe Western healthcare practitioners, such as medical doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors, naturopaths and nurse practitioners. Students are required to find observation sites in their area of specialization. These sites must be approved by the Director of the DAOM program before the observation experience commences. The college provides a letter of introduction for the DAOM student in this endeavor.

AOM 8352 Clinical Research and Capstone Proposal (1.00 Unit) PF Grade Option

This course provides a foundation in research methodology to enable students to read and critique medical literature. Students learn how to interpret research questions, understand the basic concept of study design, interpret statistical results, evaluate potential bias and confounding, and address ethical issues of research. Students learn to organize and write the capstone proposal and basic principles of how to write the capstone projects. The class includes review and appraisal of relevant literature, design of the appropriate methodology and plans for data analysis. Students will learn to work with the capstone rubric.

AOM 8453 Capstone Research I (1.00 Unit) PF Grade Option

Students begin initial work on their projects in the first year of study and continue throughout the program. The capstone projects must demonstrate critical thinking and a synthesis of the skills and knowledge learned during the DAOM program. The research paper will be of a quality to meet academic form and style standards suitable for peer-reviewed professional publications. Students may do their DAOM capstone project in one of the following areas: research design proposal, academic study of clinical case work, theoretical analyses, literature reviews, or interpretive translation research. Students will meet with the Director of the DAOM program and DAOM faculty members for in-depth discussions of the capstone projects. Each DAOM student will be assigned a mentor for their independent capstone project.

AOM 9554 Capstone Research II (2.00 Units) PF Grade Option

This course is a continuation of the process of developing and writing the capstone thesis. The capstone project must demonstrate critical thinking and a synthesis of the skills and knowledge learned during the DAOM program. The research paper will be of a quality to meet academic form and style standards suitable for peer-reviewed professional publications. Students may do their DAOM capstone project in one of the following areas: research design proposal, academic study of clinical case work, theoretical analyses, literature reviews, or interpretive translation research. Students will meet with the Director of the DAOM program and DAOM faculty members for in-depth discussion of the capstone project. Each DAOM student will be assigned a mentor for their independent capstone project.

AOM 9551 Capstone Development and Research (1.00 Units) PF Grade Option

This course is designed to learn skills in the evaluation and synthesize of research information, to communicate that information to other healthcare practitioners, and to apply that information to enhance patient care and practice building. This course focuses on the beginning process of developing and the capstone thesis. The course includes research design, skills necessary to access the literature, current research in the field, and guidelines for critically reading and synthesizing research articles and reviews.

AOM 9545 Clinical Externship I (2.00 Units) PF Grade Option

Several options are open to the students for completing the clinical externships: (1) externship at Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou China under the supervision of Chinese and/or ACTCM faculty; or (2) Students are working with senior AOM practitioners (a minimum of fifteen (15) year of clinical experience) of their choice in the United States. If AOM practitioners are dual licensed as MD, DO, DC, ND, NP, the fifteen (15) years may be accumulative years of practice in the field of health care with five (5) years of clinical experience in AOM. A blend of Western medicine and AOM practice must demonstrate a level of expertise, skill and knowledge, and provide an appropriate level of clinical education for the DAOM students to achieve expected program competencies. ACTCM must approve these practitioners or mentors. Externship opportunities are available in integrative medical settings that include Chinese medicine practitioners and western medical providers. ACTCM must approve all externship sites.

AOM 9847 Clinical Externship II (2.00 Units) PF Grade Option

Several options are open to the students for completing the clinical externships: (1) externship at Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou China under the supervision of Chinese and/or ACTCM faculty; or (2) Students are working with senior AOM practitioners (a minimum of fifteen (15) year of clinical experience) of their choice in the United States. If AOM practitioners are dual licensed as MD, DO, DC, ND, NP, the fifteen (15) years may be accumulative years of practice in the field of health care with five (5) years of clinical experience in AOM. A blend of Western medicine and AOM practice must demonstrate a level of expertise, skill and knowledge, and provide an appropriate level of clinical education for the DAOM students to achieve expected program competencies. ACTCM must approve these practitioners or mentors. Externship opportunities are available in integrative medical settings that include Chinese medicine practitioners and western medical providers. ACTCM must approve all externship sites. Students may complete one or several of these options with prior permission of the Director of the DAOM program. The Final Comprehensive Exam is based on the clinical externship experience. This comprehensive case study reflects patient care and treatment, case management, critical analysis, and evidence informed decision. Case Study Rubric II serves as the guide that ensures the case study meet advanced academic form and style standards suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal.

AOM 9856 Capstone Presentations I (0.50 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course the DAOM students engage in the clinical analysis of the capstone project presentations. The presentations are presented by each graduating cohort. Participation in this class prepares students to begin researching and planning for their capstone project.

AOM 9857 Capstone Presentations II (0.50 Unit) PF Grade Option

In this course the DAOM student is engaged in the research and writing of the capstone project with the assistance of mentor, the Director of the DAOM Program and DAOM faculty members. Each student presents their capstone project to the entire ACTCM community.

AOM 9941 Clinical Externship Completion (0 Unit)

This is a "placeholder course" that bestows zero-units or grades. It serves the following functions: if a student has completed all modules of the DAOM program coursework but has not completed the externship hours and makeup work, a student may register for AOM 9941 Clinical Externship Completion. This will keep a student in active status. The fee is $450 per term. AOM 9941 Clinical Externship Completion does not qualify as half-time enrollment so a student will not be eligible for financial aid or to defer financial aid loan payments during this time.

AOM 9951 Capstone Completion (0 Unit)

This is a "placeholder course" that bestows zero-units or grades. It serves the following functions: if a student has completed all modules of the DAOM program coursework but has not completed the capstone project, a student may register for AOM 9951 Capstone Completion. This will keep a student in active status. The fee is $650 per term. A student may remain in this status until the four-year limit is reached. AOM 9951 Capstone Completion does not qualify as half-time enrollment so a student will not be eligible for financial aid or to defer financial aid loan payments during this time.

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