Background: The Research Scholars Program (RSP) was created at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) to provide faculty development in research literacy, research-informed clinical practice, and research participation skills. The RSP is part of a broad effort, funded by a National Institutes of Health/National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine R25 education grant, to infuse an evidence-based perspective into the curriculum at schools of complementary and alternative medicine. The RSP arose from the realization that this curriculum reform would first necessitate faculty training in both research appreciation and pedagogy. OCOM's grant, Acupuncture Practitioner Research Education Enhancement, is a partnership with the Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing (OHSU SON).
Design: The RSP was developed initially as a collaborative effort among the OCOM Dean of Research (R.H.), OCOM Director of Research Education (S.F.), and an OHSU SON education specialist (K.L.). The 9-month, 8 hours per month seminar-style RSP provides the opportunity for a cohort of OCOM faculty and staff to explore research-related concepts and content as well as pedagogical practices that emphasize interactive, learner-centered teaching. The RSP adheres to a competency-based approach as developed by the Education Committee of the grant. As a tangible outcome, each Research Scholar designs a sustainable learning activity that infuses a research perspective into their courses, clinic supervision, or other sphere of influence at the college. In this paper, we describe the creative process and the lessons learned during the planning and initial implementation of the RSP.
Conclusions: We view the early successes of the RSP as encouraging signs that research literacy and an evidence-based perspective are becoming increasingly accepted as needed skill sets for present-day practitioners of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.