Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine

Course Descriptions

DAOM COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Module 1 – Analysis of Classical Works
This module delves into one of the most ancient TCM classic texts with a particular focus on TCM Internal Medicine, presenting core topics from the Yellow Emperor’s Classics of Internal Medicine (Huang Di Nei Jing). Combining didactic teaching with interactive discussions, during the class students will explore key concepts from this ancient text governing TCM practice.  This module provides the historical and clinical context of TCM and explores its theoretical relevance to modern Oriental Medicine practice.

Module 2 – Acupuncture & Therapeutic Manipulation
This course includes DAOM-specific topics in manipulation techniques, a major area of contemporary acupuncture mechanism research.  During this course and the follow-up modules students will explore the advanced acupuncture manipulation techniques and massage techniques presented in the ancient Chinese Medical texts and their relevance to modern clinical practice and research.

Module 3 – Gastroenterology I
This course explores specific diseases of the gastroenterological system from both biomedical and Oriental Medical perspectives.  During the course, students are not only trained to understand Gastroenterology from biomedical and TCM perspectives, but also how medical conditions in Gastroenterology can impact the quality of life.  Acupuncture as well as advanced TCM herbal therapies in the treatment of gastroenterological diseases is covered in this course.

Module 4 – Cardiology I
This course provides an overview of recent advances in cardiovascular medicine and provides training on differential diagnoses and the treatment of relevant TCM patterns.  Participants will become familiar with common cardiovascular diagnostic tests and receive training in the pathophysiology, TCM treatment and case management of cardiac diseases.  By the end of the module, students will be able to recognize red flags and risk factors, diagnose and treat common cardiovascular conditions, and recognize serious conditions that warrant referral to other health care providers.

Module 5 – Neurology I
This course presents advanced topics on common disorders in both the central and peripheral nervous systems.  For each disorder, the biology, pathology, neurological examination, diagnostic tests and the TCM and Western medicine diagnosis and treatment modalities are introduced. The course will also include TCM prevention and approaches to rehabilitation with case studies and analysis of common brain and peripheral nerve disorders.

Module 6 – Research Methodology I
This course provides a foundation in research methodology, which is designed to cultivate student competencies in reading and critiquing relevant medical research publications and to provide a foundation for the student-required clinical capstone project.   The core contents include interpreting research questions, understanding the four types of basic research design, analyzing statistical results, evaluating potential bias and confounding and addressing ethical issues in research.

Module 7 – Endocrinology I
The endocrinology module provides training in the examination and management of endocrine and metabolic disorders, with a particular focus on disorders of the Thyroid. This module reviews the body’s control mechanisms for hormonal production and how hormones act to maintain metabolic homeostasis. Case studies are presented to illustrate abnormalities in the endocrine functions. The course will cover the most commonly used diagnostic tests for endocrine dysfunctions.  Students will learn to diagnose and treat common endocrine diseases from both TCM and Western medicine perspectives.

Module 8 – Gastroenterology II
This module, builds on the Gastroenterology I course and explores specific diseases of gastroenterological system, with an emphasis on acupuncture treatment. These diseases are explored from both biomedical and Oriental Medical perspectives to provide doctoral candidates with an understanding of such conditions from multiple medical perspectives.  Students will apply acupuncture treatments to alleviate symptoms and stimulate the body to heal the root causes of the diseases of the gastroenterology system.

Module 9 – Neuroimmunology and Neuroendocrinology I
This course provides an update on the latest research on the neuroendocrine control of immune responses and the neuro-inflammatory process, with an emphasis on the introduction of a holistic perspective to the pathophysiology and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Inflammatory autoimmune response plays a major role in the pathogenesis for this condition, which has increased over the past several decades.   Students will learn to treat ASD children with a combination of natural therapies, including traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, contemporary energy medicine and nutritional supplementation.

Module 10 – Neurology II
In this module, students will learn how to diagnose, treat and manage CNS degenerative diseases commonly seen in professional practice.   These diseases in allopathic medicine are considered incurable and are notorious for adversely impacting quality of life. Complementary and alternative medicine is currently playing an important role in the management and care of patients suffering from CNS degenerative conditions.

Module 11 – Gynecology I
This course is designed to enhance students’ understanding of common gynecological disorders and clarify signs and symptoms in the lower abdomen that are indicative of gynecological disorders.   The module provides training in the anatomy, embryonic development and physiological functions of the female reproductive system.  Common pathological disorders involving gynecological or other systemic changes manifesting lower abdominal pain are differentiated in detail, followed by discussion on applicable allopathic and TCM treatments.

Module 12 – Pulmonology
This course focuses on common diseases of the respiratory system.   TCM treatment techniques in the management of respiratory disorders form the core of this module and include training in allopathic medical etiology and pathology of pulmonary disorders and in TCM syndrome differentiation and diagnosis. Clinical theater within the module exposes students to the clinical decision making process when treating pulmonary diseases with TCM treatment techniques.

Module 13 Diagnosis and Treatment Method of Acupuncture
This course focuses on the clinical application of the ancient TCM theory of channels and collaterals. Advanced topics such as layered analysis and applications are presented. The course covers the most current Western medicine research on acupuncture meridian theory and its relevance to modern day clinical practice.

Module 14 Dermatology
This course provides a foundation for the treatment of selected dermatological conditions in TCM practice.  Advanced TCM treatment techniques are discussed such as trigger point, external poultices, liniments and plasters in the treatment of dermatological diseases commonly treated in allopathic medicine.

Module 15 – TCM Psychology
This module focuses on TCM approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric and psychological conditions.  Students will receive training on the proper assessment of mental health disorders from both the biomedical and TCM perspectives.  Common psychological conditions are explored from TCM, biomedical and psychological perspectives. This course emphasizes the interaction between physical and psycho-emotional disharmonies as well as social influences on mental disorders. Therapeutic and clinical approaches to counseling are discussed in addition to acupuncture and TCM herbal therapies.

Module 16 – Oncology
This course introduces advanced topics on commonly seen tumors in various systems of the body. For each location, the biology, pathology, diagnostic examinations and tests as well as the TCM and Western medicine approaches to diagnosis and treatment are introduced. The course will also address TCM prevention and rehabilitation methods with case studies and analyses on common Oncological diseases.

Module 17 – Pediatrics
This course explores key issues in pediatric medicine from both biomedical and Oriental medical perspectives. The module emphasizes the differences between the pediatric and adult patient, focusing on the general constitution of children at various stages of their growth and development. Unique treatment modalities that are pediatric-specific are explored and presented. Various TCM and conventional pediatric diagnostic techniques are also addressed in this module.

Module 18 – Gynecology II
This course focuses on women’s health with an emphasis on fertility. The Western and TCM pathology and physiology of infertility, along with syndrome differentiations are presented. The course covers current Western medicine research as well as TCM treatments.  IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) and Intrauterine Insemination procedures, as Western treatments of infertility in collaboration with TCM treatments are discussed.

Module 19 – Biomedical Assessment
This module addresses various biomedical procedures used in diagnosing various diseases.  Students receive instruction in conducting a Western Physical Exam and on the clinical applications of various diagnostic imaging modalities such as X-ray, MRI, CAT scan, PET scan.   The course also covers relevant laboratory tests such as stool, urine and blood tests and the range of normal and abnormal test values that may be indicative of disease.

Module 20 – Classical TCM Literature II
This module builds upon on the subject material presented in Classical TCM Research Literature I and II, presenting advanced topics with more emphasis on the 19 pathologies, which is an integral part of any TCM clinical practice. Combining didactic teaching with interactive discussions, the class explores advanced concepts and techniques from the ancient texts as relevant to modern age TCM practice.

Module 21 – Nephrology and Urology
This course covers the management and treatment of common conditions involving the urinary tract and genitalia for men of different age groups.  Students are trained to recognize the red flag symptoms appropriate for referral; diagnose these conditions from Eastern/Western medical perspectives and provide contemporary acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal treatments.
Module 22 – Immunology
This course is composed of two major parts: 1) a general introduction to the anatomy and physiology of the unique organs related to immune disorders; 2) the diagnosis and treatment of some of the major diseases based on certain symptoms in the department of immune system; especially the emphasis on the diagnosis and treatment of integrated Chinese and Western Medicine.

Module 23 – Neuroimmunology and Neuroendocrinology II
This module covers headaches and neuroimmune and neuroendocrine control of inflammation. Emphasis is placed on diagnosis of headaches from both a biomedical and TCM perspectives. Advanced TCM treatment options are explored in addition to acupuncture and TCM herbal therapies.

Module 24 – TCM Oncology
The oncology module provides training on the examination and management of oncological diseases. The courses are designed to enhance the students’ understanding of common oncological disorders and clarify the indicative symptoms and signs of malignancies in varies systems of the body. Complementary and alternative medicine is playing more and more roles in the management and care of these diseases. Students will learn to diagnose and treat various malignancies from both the allopathic and the TCM perspective, especially the palliative care associated to the side effects of radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy, in an effort to improve the quality of life.

Cadaver Training
Students receive a one day training experience at the Cadaver lab of the Miami Anatomical Research Center in which they actively participate in the dissection of a human cadaver under the training and supervision of both a Western medicine trained anatomist and a member of ATOM’s TCM faculty.    During this experience, students will explore anatomical structures of the human body and its relevance in understanding the connection between TCM and allopathic medicine approaches to diagnosis and treatment.

AOM Research & Capstone Strategy
In preparation for the required student-prepared Clinical Capstone project, students, in a series of 2-hour training sessions offered monthly, are expected to review and present research articles and professional literature selected by the instructor to the entire class followed by instructor- facilitated group discussion.  During this experience, students are expected to improve their knowledge in research study design, enhance their abilities to comprehend medical research and to develop the ability to apply this knowledge in the assessment of clinical studies and in designing their own Capstone projects.  Following satisfactory completion of the program research design modules, students must prepare and present to the school community a Clinical Research Capstone project suitable for publication in professional peer reviewed publications.

Capstone Research Project
DAOM candidates must complete, as a requirement for graduation, a research project that demonstrates an integration of the knowledge and skills required in the core curriculum.   The research project has to be well written and presented in front of the DAOM Capstone Committee. The project will be evaluated by the Committee in the final phases of the program. For details of the Capstone project, refers to the Capstone Project Manual.

DAOM Clinical Training

Internship Options

The CIP provides students with a combination of required and optional internship/externship experiences. The required program ensures that students receive comprehensive training from the experts in the field of Oriental and conventional Western medicine. Students are provided the following options for obtaining the required clinical training credit (also refers to specific syllabus for details):

• Sunday clinic internship: On Sunday of each module, students are required to follow the DAOM faculty member to see patients in a grand rounds-type experience. The instructors are experts in the field of TCM and/or Western medicine with a variety of specialties and areas of expertise. The students will be exposed to patients with different diseases in the field of internal medicine germane to the module taught (e.g., neurology) and be provided opportunities to learn more advanced styles for conducting patient intakes, physical examinations, diagnoses and preparing treatment plans that are not typically covered in Master’s clinical level training. Sunday clinic is the foundation of the DAOM internship program.

• After-class internship: On Friday and Saturday of each module, between 6 and 10pm, students will have opportunity to interact with on-site DAOM faculty members and other students to learn advanced methods of patient assessment, diagnosis and treatment. This optional session also serves as a review session for what the students have learned during the current DAOM training module. A maximum of 192 credit hours can be awarded in the After Class Internship.

• Supervision internship: It is a required program experience in which DAOM students are expected to assume in-depth professional responsibilities and supervision skills through providing clinical instruction to Master-level students. Each DAOM student will be assigned to supervise Master-level students for this component of the required clinical internship experience. The internship also provides students with opportunity to experience acupuncture clinic management. Qualified members of ATOM’s clinical faculty will provide instruction to DAOM students throughout the Supervision Internship experience.

• Apprenticeship with medical professionals: Internship with medical doctors in the ATOM Student Clinic provides opportunities for DAOM Interns to engage in collaborative interactions with other medical providers in appropriate clinical settings. It also provides Intern training in biomedical assessment knowledge and skills including instruction on physical exams, lab tests, diagnostic imaging, and narrative report writing, as well direction on facilitating patient care in collaboration with conventional health care personnel.

• Apprenticeship in other healthcare institutions: For students who desire the opportunity to apprenticeship with healthcare professionals other than members of the ATOM faculty to fulfill a portion of their internship hours, an apprenticeship experience is an option. The externship site and supervisor/mentor must be reviewed and approved by the ATOM DAOM Steering committee. Students who wish to pursue this option must complete and submit to ATOM, the Apprenticeship Approval Form, provide the required professional information on the proposed apprenticeship site and supervisor/mentor, and a signed copy of the Apprenticeship Agreement.

• Case Report: The case report is a written summary of a clinical case with at least three follow-up visits, containing the patient’s health history, main complaints, diagnoses, pattern identification, treatment principle and protocol, results as well as a discussion and comments. The Case report reinforces knowledge and skills in case management, data organization and report writing. For detailed requirements of the case report, refer to the Sample Case Report for DAOM Clinical Credit and the Rubric for Case Reports for DAOM Clinical Credit.