April 12, 2020 College Updates

By Pacific College - April 13, 2020
COVID 19 Pacific College information

Dear Pacific College Community,

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it. And happy Sunday to everyone else. Yes, we can be happy. Despite the lockdown and threat of illness, members of our community continue to demonstrate generosity, appreciation, and creativity. Many of us are learning an important lesson about knowing what’s really important, right? My new motto is, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”  As a lifelong student, I’ve always known that 90% of learning is up to me, the student. As an educator for over 30 years, I’ve known that a school’s role is to provide the big stuff: motivation, a logical organization of content, faculty to deliver the content, and accountability. By accountability, I mean providing a mechanism for self-discipline, a way to ensure that students will do what they know they must do to learn. That’s the big stuff that we continue to focus on today. The small stuff will either be taken care along the way, or not. Knowing my staff, most of it will be. Either way, it’s still small stuff. Will we be perfect over the next few months of managing this shift from onsite to online? Definitely not. But we won’t, as they say, let perfect get in the way of the good. All the big stuff just mentioned will still be in place. Will you, as students, be perfect? Probably not. But by not sweating the small stuff, you’ll be a lot closer to it than you might be otherwise. In fact, so many students, staff, and faculty have been so wonderful and inspiring during this crisis that, in my mind in the ways that really matter, you are perfect. Bless you all.


The Pacific College administration and faculty are the metaphorical ducks, calm on the surface, but with sustained effort going on out of sight. As usual this weekly email will reveal some of their actions.


Classes and clinic are scheduled to begin the week of May 4. It is looking more and more like all those classes and clinic will be online. Faculty will either have a normal lecture online in week 1 or use week 1 as a faculty-student introduction week, getting to know one another and working out any bugs in the online classroom experience. If they do the latter, they may adjust their syllabi to reorganize course topics and assignments due each week. Please be patient with this process. It is IMPORTANT that you attend week 1, unless you are unable due to illness, or illness of family members, etc. Attendance will be taken and that is IMPORTANT to the accurate administration of financial aid. If you are on financial aid and want your stipend checks on time, it is important to attend week 1 classes. If you cannot make it, you must let your campus director AND the financial aid department know.


Significant training of faculty has begun, with our current “super users” of Moodle and Zoom conveying their expertise to over 150 fellow faculty members. Thank you, super users, for your generosity and thank you to all faculty for stepping up to learn these new skills.


Zoom training of new incoming students will begin tomorrow, April 13. Ongoing-student Zoom training will begin next Monday, April 20. Check your email daily for links to it. Follow the steps carefully, slowly, and then repeat. If you are in contact with your fellow students, try your Zoom skills with each other. Practice. Don’t worry about breaking anything. It’s software; it doesn’t break, it just freezes sometime.

It is important to know that there will be limited technology support during online classes, thus the importance of doing the training. Part of your training includes what to do if you have trouble during class. Zoom allows you to dial in to class with your phone. Make sure you know how to find those telephone numbers and write them down for each class. Have a “plan B” in place for worst case situations. Normally things run very smoothly, but hope for the best, and plan for the worst. Have a fellow student you can call as an emergency backup. They can put their phone next to their computer and you can listen. That probably won’t be necessary, but you never know. You should also know that all classes will be recorded, so if you miss something you can access the recording later. However, our attendance policy requires your live attendance in order to be marked present. Our 25% absentee allowance still applies. That allows for a fair amount of worst case situations.

If you don’t have a computer, I’ve enclosed information as an attachment about new computers that will work for our online courses. These new computers range in price from $200 to over $1000. It is NOT necessary to buy a new computer if you already have one that meets our current minimum specifications below:

  • Computer requirements:
    • No more than 5-6 years old (this could be waived if computer still runs well)
    • Can run Microsoft Office well (Word, Excel, etc.)
    • Can run the latest version of Google Chrome or Firefox
  • Internet requirements:
    • Can browse the web at a moderate speed
    • Can view streaming applications, e.g., Netflix or YouTube video without constant buffering
  • Must have a built-in microphone or ability to use a headset with microphone. You can use earbuds if they have a microphone and a jack to plug into your computer.
  • Webcam is required. It can be built into the computer or external.


Clinical deans have created a plan for online clinical experiences. This is still in the final planning stages and so is subject to change. State laws regarding telemedicine/telehealth are still under review.

Each shift will follow this outline:

  • 1-hr grand rounds
  • 1-hr clinic simulations
  • 1-hr telehealth
  • 1-hr at-home work to close the loop

Grand rounds:

Grand rounds is a meeting where doctors and medical students discuss difficult cases. It is designed to enhance clinical reasoning skills and sometimes used to introduce new information as well as discuss current research information. The clinical supervisor will act as the facilitator, prompting answers and discussion from students about a given case or patient presentation. It is not the facilitator’s role to provide answers until after a sufficient amount of discussion has happened. The supervisor will ask students to justify their rationale for each question and then expand on whether the student’s rationale is correct or needs improvement and why.

General objectives of grand rounds are for students to:

  1. Participate in the design and implementation of clinical best practices.
  2. Demonstrate and participate in diagnosis and treatment (including rationale for points and herbs).
  3. Provide updates in medical research.
  4. Demonstrate collegiality and professionalism among faculty and students.
  5. Increase confidence in the efficacy of patient care.
  6. Apply current knowledge and professional judgment while considering the patient perspective in patient management.

Clinic Simulations

For the second hour, the faculty will run clinic simulations with peer assessment. This will entail two co-treating interns taking another student who is acting as the patient through an intake and assessment. This resembles the on-ground clinic where interns treat other students. Once the intake and assessment are completed, the other students on the shift will provide constructive feedback. A rubric for clinic simulations will be provided to each student at the beginning of the term. The interns who were doing the intake will do a case write-up for the following week’s grand rounds.


The education and implementation of telehealth will be introduced gradually according to the following schedule:

  • Week 1: Introduce telehealth, laws and regs.
  • Week 2: Supervisor will lead a telehealth consultation with a student in the group (all mics and cameras are off with the exception of the supervisor and patient.)
  • Week 3: Two co-treating interns do a telehealth interview with another student in the group (all mics and cameras are off with the exception of the intern, supervisor, and patient.)
  • Week 4: Two co-treating interns does a telehealth interview with a real patient or mock patient (depending on state regulations), based on availability (all mics and cameras are off with the exception of the interns, supervisor, and patient.)
  • Weeks 5-15: Continue Week 4 plan.

In thinking towards your future practice, as you can probably see right now, not being prepared for emergencies with a different way of practicing can hurt acupuncturists financially. It also prevents our patients from being able to get much needed help. We often forget that as Chinese medical doctors, needles are only a small part of what we do. In fact, in ancient times, needles were considered last resort. Telehealth is a way, in many states, by which we can still provide access to Chinese medical care for our patients in times like this when they need us the most. Sign up for this practical experience in telehealth by registering for clinic shifts as you normally would.

At-Home Work to Close the Loop

To fulfill the fourth hour of clinic, student will complete at-home work. The group leading the intake for the clinic simulation will draft a case report utilizing the DAOM Oral Case template. This will be used as the case for the following week’s grand rounds section. The group leading the telehealth consult will draft up a Report of Findings and Treatment Plan designed to be given to the patient.

My appreciation to Dr. Leng Tang-Ritchie and the other deans for their work on the online acupuncture clinical training plans.


  • To the extent possible, Dr. Reuss will guide San Diego massage faculty to follow clinic training guidelines above.
  • Chicago massage students should contact David Sol for latest clinical training information.
  • Massage students in NY will, in all likelihood, not have clinical training at the start of Spring 2020 unless we can reopen the clinic. New York hands-on massage classes will be postponed until we revise the schedule of those courses to allow for a delayed start and identify available faculty.


To the best of my knowledge at this time, nursing clinics are currently unavailable in hospitals or other specific healthcare settings.


At this time we still need to resolve online clinic limits placed by ACAOM and the states. We are actively engaged in that process with the agencies. Even if we cannot immediately get those limits expanded, by signing up for your normal clinic load online you may be able to receive credit for all the online clinic training, if limits are lifted, as well as have the option to do all those shifts on ground as well at no extra cost. By signing up for the online clinic, you keep your option open for a timely completion, as well as retaining the option to do all your normal, on-ground clinical training at no extra cost.

If you don’t do the online clinic, you obviously won’t have credit for it and you will have to do on-ground shifts when they become available.

You have nothing to lose by signing up for the online clinic. In addition to the clinical grand rounds with Pacific faculty, I will set up more Master Classes with the most well-known acupuncturists and herbalists in the world for our clinical students. These will only be accessible to them. They will not be publicly available, as they are now. They will be part of the online clinical classes.


We know that students who were not part of the graduating class in Winter 2020 have not had an opportunity to make up those shifts yet. We have not forgotten you. We were hoping that those shifts could be made up on-site in a normally functioning clinic. That may still be the case once we can re-open. In the meantime, as mentioned previously, register for the shifts you normally would in Spring 2020. If Spring 2020 is to be your last semester, we will have noted that and will provide priority make up shifts when they become possible, either on ground or within agency online limits.


Our academic teams have reviewed all syllabi in an effort to ensure all course learning objectives are met and that hands-on courses are revised and rescheduled appropriately. The start of most hands-on acupuncture and massage courses are either delayed or the didactic portion of the classes have been moved to the beginning of the course, or both. Revised schedules will be forthcoming. All didactic courses are currently still scheduled to end by week 14 of the semester.


  • The new date for San Diego graduation, which includes online transitional doctoral students as well as all onsite students, is August 7, 2020. We will still be at the International Legacy Center in Mission Valley.
  • As previously mentioned Chicago has announced the rescheduling of its graduation to September 13, 2020.
  • New York has been postponed with no new date at this time.


Our on-going Master Classes continue with three more amazing presenters addressing the timely theme of immune system support:

As you can see, they will be broadcast live on our new YouTube channel.

The previous four Master Classes can be found by clicking on the links below.

  • Mazin Al-Khafaji on Psoriasis here,
  • Dr. Dustin Dilberg on Shoulder Pain here,
  • Dr. Jake Fratkin on COVID-19 and a TCM Case Study here,
  • Dr. Jill Blakeway on COVID-19 and Telemedicine here.


To get additional information about any of the above topics, it is almost always better to contact your respective dean or campus director. While I have tried to be responsive to individual student emails, sometimes that can be difficult. If you do contact me, which you are still welcome to do, would you remember to tell me which campus and program you are in? That is almost always essential to addressing your question or to direct you to the appropriate administrator.

Hopefully this email finds you enjoying your day,

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