PIHMA is excited to have its first Doctoral Graduate! Oscar Morales was an exemplary student at PIHMA and now owns a practice with his fiancée, Jessica Gray, another PIHMA graduate. They focus on the mind, body, and spirit in their business and provide their patients with comprehensive treatments.
Oscar Morales went from someone who disliked school to a Doctor of Acupuncture with a Specialization in Herbal Medicine.
“The funny story is I didn’t want to go to school after high school. As a student, I disliked school. I decided to leave school and join the Army. So, at 17, I signed up and left that year thinking everything would be okay, and they sent me to school. So, the very thing I was trying to avoid, I didn’t avoid. It turned out good, though, because I have been going to school since then, and improving, and becoming a leader and a Doctor.”
Like many of PIHMA’s Students, Oscar transferred from another school.
“After graduating with a bachelor’s from Northern Arizona University (NAU), I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I came to Phoenix and started to work at the Laser Spine Institute as a Surgical Assistant. My brother was a Surgical PA there, and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. He told me to go to Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM) and become a Naturopath.
I went to an Open House, and they talked about how they looked at the root cause and worked with the mental, emotional, and physical. It sounded great, so I went.
When I was at SCNM, they talked about mind, body, and spirit, but I didn’t see that when I was there. They talked about it but didn’t embrace it or live it. It was more of a theory.
Once SCNM started to cover Oriental Medicine, I knew that I didn’t want to be a Naturopath. I wanted to practice Oriental Medicine, so I transferred to PIHMA.
Oscar thrived at PIHMA.
“I had a wonderful experience. I relied on my superiors and supervisors to get as much information out of it as possible. I got a great education and experience out of the program.”
Oscar is now on the Foundation for PIHMA Research & Education Board.
Oscar completed the Doctorate program so he could compete and collaborate with other Doctors.
“I was initially going to become a doctor at SCNM. When I transferred to PIHMA, I figured that would go away, and I would do a Master’s degree. Once the Doctorate opened, I jumped on it. The Doctorate is what I wanted.
Was it the title of Doctor? Kind of, but for the most part, it was being able to compete with the other doctors in the valley regarding doing collaborative care. I’ve had experiences in a previous facility where if you are below the doctor status, there is a hierarchy, and you have to deal with the politics.
Even though I disagreed with the hierarchy and their processes or procedures, I would be above all of that if I had a doctor’s status. So, in my case, I felt that to be able to teach other Doctors and to be looked at as an equal, I needed to get my Doctorate.”
Oscar and Jessica own a practice.
Oscar met Jessica while attending PIHMA. Now, they are engaged and have opened a practice called The Place Called OM, which focuses on the mind, body, and spirit. Jessica plans to include her weight loss program.