Thomas Haines, Ph.D., the Coordinator of Doctoral Studies and Assistant to the President at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, was awarded one of the 37 coveted Leadership Awards presented at the 25th anniversary conference of the AAAOM held in Portland, Oregon in October 2007. These awards were given to honor some of the pioneers and leaders that helped expand Oriental medicine in this country over the past 25 years. Dr. Haines spent more than 35 years in higher education before coming to the field of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM). Since joining the AOM community over a decade ago, Tom has been highly influential in bringing higher education standards to the field of Oriental medicine and in the development of the postgraduate doctorate degree in Oriental Medicine.
In 1998, Dr. Haines attended the biannual CCAOM meeting in Alexandria, Virginia, armed with a set of doctoral standards that were designed for implementation within the profession of Oriental medicine. Present at this meeting were most of the 41 colleges of Oriental medicine that were accredited at that time. The CCAOM had been contemplating the doctorate degree for the profession for over a decade. The new interest among the colleges was in the development of a postgraduate clinical doctorate for licensed practitioners of OM. CCAOM members at this meeting eventually agreed to the doctoral standards and later that year, the standards were passed on to ACAOM for review.
The first OM colleges began offering postgraduate doctoral degree programs in 2002. Today there are over 10 colleges approved to award the Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) degree. Dr. Haines stated he had one primary goal when he agreed to come out of retirement and become involved in the field of Oriental medicine. This goal was to help develop a clinical doctorate degree for the Oriental medicine profession. However, with his involvement at the national level as an Alliance board member, Dr. Haines soon acquired a second mission. This mission was to help bring about the unification of the profession, or in his words, “the establishment of ‘one voice’ for the medicine”.
Dr. Haines is currently working on a third AOM career objective, the development and implementation of an entry-level doctorate in the field of Oriental medicine. The entry level doctorate will allow people to go straight for their doctorate in AOM instead of first having to receive an elongated master’s degree (which is almost four years long) before moving on to the postgraduate clinical doctorate.
The Leadership Award granted to Dr. Haines from the AAAOM is in response to his unfailing efforts to help people work together in the field of acupuncture and Oriental medicine to improve and create more educational opportunities as well as increase the awareness of this wonderful medicine’s potential.
For more information on the AAAOM and Leadership Awards, please contact Pacific College of Oriental Medicine at (800) 729-0941, or visit www.PacificCollege.edu