Archive for tag: graduation

Saying Goodbye to AOM Graduates

This week we will be saying goodbye to another class of AOM students as they graduate and move on to their professional lives as Oriental Medicine practitioners. This summer all of our graduates are students of the Oriental Medicine program (go, OM!).

AOM group

Since I started in the spring of 2015, I haven't seen a more dedicated group of students and practitioners. All of them came to AOM with estimable professional backgrounds and life experiences, which made them secondary teachers and clinicians to students in classes and clinics. I will miss them all! But it brings me joy to think of them sharing their knowledge and passion for Oriental Medicine with the world.

I asked each of them to share what their future plans are, what they'll miss about school and words of advice for future AOM students.

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Robert Fischer, DC '94, MSOM '16

What are your future plans?
I've decided to make no major decisions for six months, but rather will focus on my physical, mental and spiritual well-being that have been neglected while nurturing my already-existing (chiropractic) practice that I've cultivated over the past 20 years.

What do you look forward to most about graduating?
I'm eager to really start learning and applying my skills, but on a different level and in a different way.  My head is already immersed in texts, but on my own terms. Dermatology and men's health interest me. I've just started to read, "Live Well, Live Long" by Peter Deadman; apropos and right on time for me, I highly recommend it. I've also recently enrolled in a language school to hone my Spanish acumen.

Favorite class or instructor?
Each instructor had their good and bad qualities, which challenged and taught me equally -- a gift to be bestowed. I have reverence and gratitude for each of them as do I have for my fellow students. Some instructors I've even had intellectual crushes on (they are well aware of who they are!).

Words of wisdom for AOM students?
I would like to remind others to embrace change. Let things ebb and flow. There are many metamorphoses in life, of that I can surely attest. Be true to yourself; be humble and mindful without judgment while presenting the truth only as you know it to be, both personally and professionally. There is always room for excellence. In that respect success is sure to come your way; you won't have to chase or look for it. Have tenacity and perseverance, but conversely recognize the importance in letting things unravel and flow as they were meant to be. Get out of your own way. Essentially, Wu Wei...

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Linda Oster, DDS, MSOM '16

Words of wisdom?
Just remember to keep "showing up" for wherever your passion leads you, and at some point you will really appreciate your efforts and will, at the same time, realize how much more there is to learn. And remember, even more importantly, you are never too old to take on a new project!

Favorite class or instructor?
I found all my classes to be thought provoking and challenging, some more than others. I am grateful to have worked with so many different instructors, each with different strengths (and shortcomings).  Each one has touched me and changed me. I will always treasure that.

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20-16-08-12_beBrittney Epps, MSOM 16

What are your future plans?
Open a clinic in my hometown in South Carolina.

What do you look forward to most about graduating?
Going out into the world and applying what I've learned.

What will you miss about NUHS or your time during grad school?
My teachers and fellow classmates.

Words of wisdom for AOM students?
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me." Philippians 4:13

Favorite class or instructor?
Dr. Cai's Materia Medica

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Bi Feng, MSOM '16


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All that light could've been generated from the brainpower of the students who were working overtime and getting their final days and nights of studying in before their last exams of Week 15. I'm very proud and impressed by all the students who made it through. This summer trimester has been a tough one for everyone. Congratulations to both the graduates and the students who keep on keeping on!

A final picture of the LRC taken this past Saturday night.

And lastly, this is my final AOM blog post. It's been a great experience reflecting on and sharing my AOM adventures with fellow and potential AOM students. The AOM Blogger torch is being passed to Iuliana Lixandru. I look forward to reading her posts!

Goodbye, Graduates!

At last December's Fall 2015 commencement ceremony, a large class of students graduated from the AOM program with five students from the MSOM program and 10 students from the MSAc program receiving their degrees from the College of Professional Studies.

I thought it would be nice to hear from a few of them about their plans for the future and if they had any words of wisdom to share with current and future students in the AOM program at NUHS. Fortunately, I was able to catch up with Imani Owens-Bailey (ND, MSAc), Shannon Glish (DC, MSAc), and Sarah Boysen (MSOM) to find out what's in store for them as they move on to becoming professionals in the field of Oriental Medicine.


Imani Owens-Bailey, ND, MSAc
AOMSA's Illinois Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine's Student Rep

2016-01-22_owensbailey2What are your plans post-graduation?
In the short term, studying for and passing the rest of my NCCAOM board exams. In the long term, I plan to use my combination of skills in naturopathic medicine and acupuncture to help my patients get and stay healthy!

Any advice for National AOM students regarding school or future practice?
Start taking board exams before you graduate, info will be fresh and it expedites your road to licensure! Keep some type of field notes for yourself of treatments that worked. Do Stroger (if you can); you'll learn a lot. And become a student member of ILAAOM and attend their networking events.

What's your most memorable event or aspect during your time as a student?
Some of my most memorable experiences were during my Stroger Hospital shifts where patients, some of whom had never heard of acupuncture, were able to get amazing pain relief from their treatments. One of my most memorable events was participating in the Veterans Stand Down. I got a chance to provide PTSD ear seed treatments to homeless vets as they sat waiting for haircuts. I was happy to be able to give back to them in this small way.

Did you have a favorite or most influential class or teacher?
One of my favorite classes was Intro to Oriental Medicine because Dr. Zhu's stories really made the foundations and histories of TCM come alive. One of my most influential teachers was Jia. I loved how in addition to basic diagnostic skills, she taught us exercises to build our Qi and how to use palpation to influence point selection. She emphasized the importance of being kind and shared her own kind encouragement with students.

Final words of wisdom?
Take it all in, the time will fly by faster than you know! I'll miss days on shift and in classes with the great friends I made during the program. Much appreciation to my peers and to program faculty for a wonderful learning experience!

Watch Imani's YouTube video describing her experience as an intern at Stroger Hospital.


Shannon Glish, DC, MSAc
AOMSA Secretary

2016-01-22_glishWhat are your plans post-graduation?
First off - GET MARRIED (on New Years Eve)! Then start looking for the ideal office location to begin the process of opening a clinic in Michigan with my husband where we can start to put our knowledge to work. McKee Chiropractic & Acupuncture - "We have the key to your health!"

Any advice for National AOM students regarding school or future practice?
Get involved! The more you know - the better! And that includes people. The friendships, mentorships, and colleagues that help you get through these programs don't have to end when the program ends. Shadow other practitioners, join associations (AOMSA), and participate in on-campus events (fundraisers, blood drives, teacher assisting etc.).

What's the most memorable event or aspect during your time as a student?
Treating patients - seeing results in patients using strategies that were learned in class and witnessing their excitement with getting better. I've seen an array of conditions including knee pain, menstrual issues, stress, TMJ pain, low back pain and digestion complaints, just to name a few.  

Favorite or most influential class or teacher?
HB Kim - He connected everything that I ever learned throughout the whole program and has a GREAT book that is a fabulous reference.


Sarah Boysen, MSOM
Salutatorian and former AOMSA President

2016-01-22_boysenWhat are your plans post-graduation?
Plan my wedding (!), start a business, and hopefully relax a little bit!

Any advice for National AOM students regarding school or future practice?
I would advise them to start networking outside of school to broaden opportunities after school and take the time to observe experienced acupuncturists. You'll learn so much!

Most memorable event or aspect during your time as a student?
Making awesome new friends and collaborating with like-minded colleagues.


It's sad to see so many wonderful people leaving at once. With their departure, they'll be leaving behind a large void in clinic that was once full of very talented and compassionate healers. AOM students have been blessed by their presence and wisdom. Thanks to them all for passing on the knowledge that they've gained during their time at National. They will be missed!

Navigating the Road to a Degree

2015-11-20_2This past week while preparing to register for classes for the Spring 2016 trimester, I realized that I was in somewhat of a predicament in having to fit five trimesters of courses into three. And because I would be taking classes from five different cohorts, there were some scheduling conflicts that could prevent me from graduating on time next December (2016). 

When I transferred to NUHS, I learned that I would need to complete my MSOM degree by that date, to comply with the school's policy on completing the program within eight years. I had started at another school in 2008, and though I hadn't been actively studying for the past seven years, I would still have to follow that time frame. I know that program requirements and curriculum do change, especially in the rapidly evolving world of oriental medicine, so the eight-year policy makes sense.

2015-11-20_1To help me figure out this dilemma, I set up a meeting with Dr. Kwon, the AOM assistant dean and my initial academic adviser, to figure out what to do. Could I drop down to the Acupuncture-only program? No, because it has a six-year requirement, I learned. Would I be able to learn and apply any of the information that I would have to acquire in such a short period of time? And retain it? Would there be a way to work with my schedule?

Going to see Dr. Kwon gave me some peace of mind because by knowing the program like the back of his hand, he was easily able to analyze my schedule and move and arrange my classes and clinic shifts to make them all fit. (Due to my unusual situation, I will be allowed to take some DC/ND course equivalents and take senior herbal shifts ahead of time.) His biggest concern was making sure that I wouldn't be overwhelmed during my last trimester so that I could focus on studying for board exams and planning my career. Kudos to Dr. Kwon for looking out for my well-being!


But I am now somewhat filled with anxiety and dread for the upcoming trimesters. As much as I love herbal medicine (I'm sort of glad that I won't be scaling back to acupuncture-only), I'm reluctant to take multiple seminars and herbal classes at once. Just one single herbs class, Herbal Formulas 2, along with my other classes, is enough for me this trimester. On top of that, I'll be stacking up at least five clinic shifts per trimester (16 shifts crammed into three trimesters). This schedule is definitely not recommended (nor probably allowed, unless you're in a situation like mine).

These words of advice from the witty and wise Yogi Berra seem appropriate right now: "If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there." I, instead, seem to have followed this saying of his, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it!" Pursuing a career in oriental medicine is certainly not something that can be left to fate or the last minute. It takes lots of effort and planning!

2015-11-20_4To end on a more positive note, I am glad that some of the time I spent freaking out was spent looking at the National Association for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)'s website for information on licensing requirements for various states, as well as how to apply for the national board exams and certification. Quite an involved process that I had been putting off until this week.

Helping upcoming graduates to navigate the exam and certification process by creating a step-by-step procedure guide has been a goal of the AOM Student Association, so hopefully that is something that I can work on simultaneously and we can get up and running in the next year!