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How Does a Doctoral Research Project Develop?

Because all DAOM candidates were involved in the Yo San University Fertility Clinic sessions, Andrea’s defense presentation was one of especially high interest for the DAOM students and faculty members in attendance. What was learned from the DAOM Capstone Dissertation Project? Research is based in experience and hunches. It is a simple matter of articulating hunches into viable research questions that are grounded by prior literature and sound methodology. 
11/30/2011
Andrea Murchison is a long way from her home city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her journey from the northeast corner to the southeast corner of the North American continent can be characterized as a path of self-discovery, service and identification with the role of the empowering healer. Andrea’s career has always included a strong leaning in the direction of serving women and children. That service motivation was especially evidenced in an early career job as a child and family therapist where she worked with clients who were victims of abuse. The role of therapist/healer developed even further when Andrea earned the MATCM Degree from Yo San University in 2006. Subsequent to achieving licensure as an acupuncturist Andrea began service as the manager of the Yo San University Herbal Dispensary. In 2008 Andrea was promoted to her current position as Assistant Dean of the MATCM Program while also serving as a part time faculty member. Simultaneous with her administrative duties Andrea maintains a part time practice at the Yo San University Community Clinic. Achieving the highest degree in the profession, the DAOM, was a natural next step in Andrea’s personal and professional growth. It was through involvement in the DAOM Program’s clinical component, the new and unique Yo San University Fertility Clinic, that Andrea began asking questions and had some intuitive hunches about what conditions motivate women to seek the services of a fertility clinic. Those “hunches” are the seeds of a doctoral dissertation. After immersing herself in the research methodology components of her doctoral studies Andrea more precisely formulated her research questions and designated several variables pertinent to her investigation. With the scholarly foundation of a solid literature review on which to build her study, Andrea proceeded to bury herself for several weeks of systematic data gathering form stacks of archived Fertility Clinic patient charts. The completely anonymous data revealed some very interesting demographic as well as prior history and treatment information that were further explored during the dissertation “defense” session that culminated the DAOM program process. Because all DAOM candidates were involved in the Yo San University Fertility Clinic sessions, Andrea’s defense presentation was one of especially high interest for the DAOM students and faculty members in attendance. What was learned from the DAOM Capstone Dissertation Project? Research is based in experience and hunches. It is a simple matter of articulating hunches into viable research questions that are grounded by prior literature and sound methodology. Like all of the doctoral research projects that emerge from the DAOM Program, among other factors, Andrea addressed the implications of her findings for clinical practice. Andrea’s findings are particularly relevant to improving service at the Yo San University Fertility Clinic as well as for other TCM fertility practitioners. Thanks, Dr. Murchison for your contributions that will pave the way for improvements at the Yo San Fertility Clinic and beyond.
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